Shell Will Increase Americas Heavy Oil Output 60% Through 2020 on Projects

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, plans to raise its production of heavy crude by 60 percent through 2020 in the Americas by expanding projects and new developments.

Shell produced about 170,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day last year in the Americas, said John Abbott, executive vice president for heavy oil, in a presentation yesterday on the company’s website. The company can add at least 100,000 barrels a day in heavy crude over the next decade, said Marvin Odum, director of exploration and production in the Americas.

“The resource numbers are huge -- billions of barrels,” Odum said in a presentation on Sept. 28.

The Hague-based company is examining plans to develop the Carmon Creek project in Canada’s Peace River area, adding 80,000 barrels a day. At the same time, Shell and partners Chevron Corp. and Marathon Oil Corp. plan to expand capacity by about 85,000 barrels a day at their Athabasca Oil Sands Project.

Carmon Creek will be developed in two phases to tap about 1.5 billion barrels of resources, according to Abbott’s presentation. He didn’t provide a timeframe.

Shell last month completed the first phase of its Jackpine Mine project in northern Alberta, adding 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day to the existing 155,000 barrels a day output at the Muskeg River Mine at Athabasca. The development brought 3.4 billion barrels of resources in production, according to Abbott.

Upgrade Phases

The project will be upgraded with a “debottlenecking” in three phases over 10 years, according to Abbott. The first phase will add 35,000 barrels a day of capacity at a cost of about $2 billion, the next will add 15,000 barrels and the third 35,000 barrels a day.

In the longer term, Shell plans to expand the Muskeg River and Jackpine Mines and build the Pierre River Mine in Alberta, which can access an additional 3.4 billion barrels of resources, according to Abbott.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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