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Kick starting an investment driven oil-sands project, Fort Hills, Suncor Energy’s oil-sands mine had its formal opening on Monday. Clearing dense forest and dumping oily soils in giant trucks and processing it into heavy crude for U.S. refineries has made industry people hopeful. According to analysts, an era of big projects in the freezing wilderness of Canada will see a new dawn through minimized carbon emissions, combined with lower costs.
Unless Syncrude oil-sand operations come back online, Canadian crude supplies will stay a little off track this week. Suncor has said that the maintenance of pipeline shipments facility has been accelerated to alleviate the impact of the same. The crisis at Syncrude facility, which can produce 350,000 bbld has come at a time when Venezuela’s downfall, tensions in Libya and US sanctions on Iran are already pushing up prices.
The oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its Canadian Natural Resources (one of its dirtiest assets), oil sands producer, stake for $3.3 billion. CEO Ben van Beurden has repositioned Shell to focus on cleaner natural gas, shedding carbon-intensive assets such as oil sands.