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Key facts

key facts
Location: Alberta, Canada
Category: Oil Sands
Owners: Shell 60%, Chevron 20%, Marathon 20%
Muskeg River Mine: start-up 2003; 155,000 b/d capacity
Jackpine Mine: start-up 2010: 100,000 b/d capacity

Current developments

The current production capacity of AOSP is 255,000 b/d of synthetic crude. Shell has regulatory approvals in place for a 115, 000 b/d expansion of Muskeg River Mine and an additional 100,000 b/d from the first phase of Jackpine Mine. In addition, Shell has received conditional approval for a 100,000 b/d expansion of the Jackpine mine and submitted a regulatory application for a 200,000 b/d development of the Pierre River Mine.  

Shell has existing licences for 290,000 b/d of synthetic crude production at the Scotford Upgrader. We have taken final investment decision on the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage project, which would capture 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year from the Scotford Upgrader and store it permanently underground.

In June 2013, Shell Canada celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the AOSP.


The Calgary Research Centre undertakes research and technology, providing laboratory and technical services to Shell in Canada.

The centre employs more than 200 scientists, technologists and engineers and their work includes limiting the environmental footprint of our operations through, for example, reduced water use and fewer greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s oil sands developments.

Environment and society

Fostering and supporting Aboriginal businesses remains a focus for Shell. In just the last 10 years, we have invested over $1 billion with Aboriginal contractors across the region.

Fuels produced from oil sands bitumen emit 4-18% more carbon dioxide (CO2) than the average barrel of crude consumed in the US on a life-cycle – or well-to-wheels – basis. We are working to reduce this gap by improving our energy efficiency and plan to have our Quest carbon capture and storage project in operation by 2015.

When we extract oil from the oil sands a mixture of water, coarse sand, silt and clay particles, and a little oil is left behind. We carefully manage this mixture, known as tailings. The tailings dry over time and the remaining solids become the foundation for the future landscape.

Our Scotford Upgrader reuses water from a water treatment plant, cutting its water use by up to 15%.


A significant portion of the output of the Scotford Upgrader is sold to the Scotford Refinery. The balance of the synthetic crude is sold to the general marketplace (predominantly PADD II in the USA).