Williams sees potential in Alberta oil sands offgases

09 June 2009 04:47  [Source: ICIS news]

KANANASKIS (ICIS news)--Offgases from Alberta’s oil sands processing could provide considerable volumes of olefins and natural gas liquids (NGLs), Williams Energy Canada regional vice president David Chappell said late on Monday.

Volumes as high as 11,000 bbl/day of ethane and ethylene and 1.4m lbs/year of propylene could be available for further processing should current oil sands extraction projects push through, said Chappell at the annual petrochemical meeting of the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI).

Existing oil sands extraction could currently supply 40,000bbl/day of ethane and ethylene and 600m lbs/year of propylene.

The gas gathering and processing group is the only company extracting and fractionating olefins and NGLs mixes from Alberta’s significant oil sands deposits.

Williams Energy plans to build a 420km 12” pipeline to carry coking offgases from Fort McMurray to Redwater, north of Edmonton, in the Canadian province.

It currently extracts NGLs from offgases produced by oil sands processor Suncor, which yields 15,000 bbl/day of propylene and 175m lbs/year of polymer grade propylene.

The ‘Boreal’ C$340m ($304m) high pressure pipeline is scheduled for start-up in the second quarter of 2012, Chappell said.

The pipeline investment is being made alongside plans to develop more offgas liquids storage capacity and a plant to upgrade C4s from the offgas streams.

Propylene extracted for the old sands offgases now is sent by rail car to the US Gulf Coast.

The CERI annual petrochemical meeting runs through Tuesday.

($1 = C$1.12)

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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