ATHABASCA, Alta. — Truckers whose daily bread comes from running the oilfields will be pleased to know that Shell is boosting capital expenditures for its Athabasca Oil Sands project by 33 per cent.
That brings their total spending on the capital project from $3.6 billion to $5.2 billion and will require a lot of additional hauling.
The upgrades will result in modifications to the Scotford upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan, continued construction of the Albian Sands Muskeg River site and extraction plant and the hydrogen manufacturing unit.
The Muskeg River site will receive about an additional $900 million in spending in 2002 alone.
Neil Camarta, senior vice-president of Shell’s oilsands project says that they are able to increase their activity there because a labor shortage problem seems to be working itself out.
“We’ve been having a pretty big challenge through the last year or so because there’s been other major projects going on here in Alberta at the same time,” says Camarta. “We’ve been hard pressed to get the people we need,” he adds while talking to local media.
However, Camarta says he’s seeing a turnaround in Shell’s labor challenge now that they’re one of the only major projects underway in Northern Alberta.
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