Canada's largest oil and gas producer, Suncor Energy, said on Monday it plans to submit an application to regulators for a new thermal oilsands project later this year, which could eventually produce up 160,000 barrels per day.
If it goes ahead, the Lewis project, 15.5 miles northeast of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, will be developed in stages and produce for an estimated 25-40 years.
Suncor said construction could begin in 2024, with first steam being pumped into the reservoir in 2027.
The Calgary-based company also said it is exploring new technologies to develop the Lewis resource, such as using solvents or electromagnetic heating instead of steam for bitumen extraction.
Canada's oil sands are home to the world's third-largest crude reserves but carry massive operating costs due to their remote location and energy-intensive production methods. Around 20 major oilsands projects have been cancelled or deferred since the global oil price crash began in mid-2014.
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