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Petroleum News: Oil sands boost Canadian proved reserves

Vol. 12, No. 22  Week of June 03, 2007

Alberta oil sands operators contributed another 1.79 billion barrels to Canada’s proved reserves in 2006, with only 68 million barrels resulting from acquisitions.

The greatest gains came from in-situ deposits, which rose by 1.12 billion barrels to 3.2 billion barrels, while mining operations added 659 million barrels to reach 7.53 billion barrels.

Proved oil sands reserves apply only to developed projects.

The largest reserve holders in the mining sector at the end of 2006 were Canadian Natural Resources, 1.85 billion barrels: Suncor Energy, 1.51 billion; and Shell Canada, 1.13 billion, with Shell adding 418 million barrels last year, mostly from expansion of its Athabasca project.

Western Oil Sands has largest percentage increase

Western Oil Sands, seen as one of the ripest targets for a foreign takeover, recorded the largest percentage increase — 142 percent to 450 million barrels. It is a 20 percent partner in Athabasca.

Suncor leads the in-situ reserve-holders at 903 million barrels, followed by Encino at 800 million barrels and Imperial Oil at 741 million, but Imperial was the clear production leader at 46 million barrels from its Cold Lake complex, trailed by EnCana at 17.4 million and Suncor at 12 million.

Suncor added 340 million barrels of proved in-situ reserves in 2006 and EnCana booked 226 million, while positive reserve revisions by Nexen and Petro-Canada contributed to more than 50 percent of the 1.1 billion barrel gain.

In-situ production last year totaled 88 million barrels and mining accounted for 191 million barrels.

—Gary Park and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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