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Shell gives nod to Alberta oil project

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it was moving ahead with a project in Alberta, Canada, expected to produce 80,000 barrels of oil per day.

"I'm pleased we're moving ahead with this important project," Lorraine Mitchelmore, a vice president in charge of heavy oil developments, said in a statement. "Our decision to invest in Carmon Creek has been carefully studied with the goal of designing a project that is competitive from a commercial, technological and environmental perspective."

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Shell owns a 100 percent stake in the Carmon Creek facility. Heavier grades of Canadian oil are too thick to flow naturally so Shell will use a steam injection system to heat the oil and reduce its viscosity.

"Once the project is up and running the aim is to virtually eliminate the need for freshwater use for steam generation through recycling of water produced with the oil," the company explained.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. reported in May oil was seeping to the surface at locations near the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in Alberta. The company was using a steam-injection system to pressurize and warm oil for extraction. Alberta energy regulators ordered the company to stop using the process to control the seepage.

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Shell gave no information on the total investments targeted for the Carmon Creek project.

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