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French energy company Total investing in Canadian oil project

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PARIS, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- French energy company Total said it decided to proceed with an investment in an oil sands project in Canada, that is expected to yield 180,000 barrels per day.

Total said it expected to spend more than $13.5 billion in the four years it should take to develop the Fort Hills oil sands mining project in Alberta, approximately 55 miles north of Fort McMurray.

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"With an expected mine life in excess of 50 years based on current planned production rates, Fort Hills represents more than 3 billion barrels of resources and strengthens Total's global portfolio by adding geographic diversity and long-plateau production with limited geosciences risk," Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of upstream operations for Total, said in a statement.

Total has been involved in Canadian operations for 15 years. Last year, it was associated with the production of about 12,000 barrels of oil per day in the country.

Total's announcement followed a decision by Royal Dutch Shell to move ahead with its Carmon Creek project in Alberta. That operation is expected to produce 80,000 barrels of oil per day.

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