Albian Sands

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CNRL Albian Village and Jack Pine Mine, north east of Fort McMurray, Alberta Canada

Albian Sands Energy Inc. is the operator of the Muskeg River Mine and Jack Pine Mine, an oil sands mining project located 75 kilometres (47 mi) north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. It is a joint venture between Shell Canada (10%), CNRL (70%) and Chevron Canada (20%). The company's legal headquarters are located in the Shell Tower in Calgary, Alberta. Albian Sands got its name from the Albian Boreal Sea which, during the Albian stage of the Cretaceous (over 100 million years ago), moved over the McMurray sands and deposited a blanket of marine shale on its floor which trapped the hydrocarbons of the McMurray Formation. The oil sands resources of the Muskeg River Mine are a legacy of the Albian Sea.[1]

At full production, Albian Sands can produce 340,000 barrels per day (54,000 m3/d) of crude bitumen, a naturally occurring semi-solid form of crude oil. The mine product, diluted bitumen or dilbit, is sent to be upgraded at the Scotford Upgrader in Fort Saskatchewan. The Muskeg River Mine stands on a Shell Canada lease containing more than 5 billion barrels (790,000,000 m3) of mineable bitumen, of which it is expected to recover 1,650 million barrels (262,000,000 m3) of bitumen over the next 30 years. The Muskeg River Mine, Jack Pine Mine and the Scotford Upgrader together comprise the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP).[2]

A proposed future mine expansion would increase production by 100,000 bbl/day.[3][4][5] The 100,000 barrels per day (16,000 m3/d) (incremental) expansion project received regulatory approval in late 2006.[6]

At the mine site, the 175 megawatt MRM Cogeneration plant owned 70% by ATCO Power and 30% by SaskPower supplies process steam and electricity to the mine. 50% of the electricity produced is surplus to mine needs and is sold into the Alberta power grid.[7][8] The Corridor Pipeline which transports diluted bitumen from the Muskeg River Mine to the Scotford Upgrader is owned by Inter Pipeline Ltd.. To accommodate its workforce, the project has built a 2460-room "village" with service and recreation facilities.[9]

The project is using satellite based imaging to ensure transparent reporting of its land use.[10]


  1. ^ "About Us". The Athabasca Oil Sands Project. 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  2. ^ "Albian Sands". The Athabasca Oil Sands Project. 2008. Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  3. ^ "Application for Approval of the Muskeg River Mine Expansion Project" (PDF). 2005. p. 571.
  4. ^ Canada's Oil Sands – Opportunities and Challenges to 2015: An Update (PDF) (Report). National Energy Board. June 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2008.
  5. ^ "Muskeg River Mine Expansion (MRME) – Albian Oil Sand Project". 2005. Archived from the original on 19 April 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  6. ^ "Muskeg River Mine Receives Regulatory Approval"[permanent dead link] 21 December 2006
  7. ^ "Athabasca Oil Sands Project". 2007. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008.
  8. ^ "MRM Cogeneration Station" Sask Power International accessed 7 February 2008 Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Top Projects Alberta Construction Magazine (November 2007)". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  10. ^ Dean, Andy M.; Hughes, Simon; Gibbons, Wade; Tsui, Olivier; Syed, Aneeqa; Dow, Duncan; Boivin, Thomas (2007). "Mine development and reclamation: Monitoring sustainable development using satellite imagery" (PDF). European Space Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 December 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°18′N 111°30′W / 57.3°N 111.5°W / 57.3; -111.5 (Albian Sands)