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Imperial Oil granted water permit for oil sands mine

Imperial Oil granted water permit for oil sands mine

The Canadian government has reinstated a water permit to Imperial Oil Ltd. to build a C$8 billion (US$7.9 billion) oil sands mine in Northern Alberta.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans reinstated the key permit late Thursday, four months after the department had it revoked because of an incomplete environmental review of Imperial's Kearl oil sands project.
Canada's federal Cabinet reinstated the water permit based on an updated environmental review from a joint panel that was organized last month. In a statement Thursday, the government said the federal cabinet concluded the project's greenhouse gas emissions would not pose a significant adverse environmental effect.
The C$8-billion project near Fort McMurray, Alberta, has been the subject of a heated legal battle over the past few months with environmental groups saying the project will destroy huge tracts of forest in Alberta's northern regions, and that the province's massive oil sands projects are a growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
The permit is central to Imperial's plans to drain a vast stretch of northern Alberta bog land in preparation for its vast, open-pit mine.
The Kearl oil sands area is estimated to contain 4.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil.
The project is targeted to produce 100,000 barrels a day in 2011, eventually ramping up to more than 300,000 barrels a day.
Imperial Oil is a Canada-based integrated oil company, but Exxon Mobil Corp. has a 69.6 percent interest in the company. Calls to Imperial Oil for comment about the reissued permit were not immediately returned.
Alberta is home to vast reserves of oil sands, a tar-like bitumen that is extracted using mining techniques. Industry officials estimate the region could yield as much as 175 billion barrels of oil, making Canada second only to Saudi Arabia in crude oil reserves.


Updated : 2021-02-25 16:32 GMT+08:00