This article discusses the cutting-edge technologies and the rising value of light crude oils that have ushered in an era of new investment in Alberta’s oil sand extraction, with the major players embarking on ambitious programs that will more than double production in the next century. More recently, new extraction techniques and a rise in the price of light crude oils have made it more economical to extract the bitumen from sand and upgrade it into a light crude oil. Syncrude has undertaken a $6 billion (Canadian) project, Syncrude 21, to improve environmental performance and energy efficiency, while increasing product yield and quality. Syncrude expects to double its annual production to 155 million barrels by 2007, in part by opening its third mine at Mildred Lake. Suncor Energy also intends to increase its future production in its Project Millennium. The $2.2 billion (Canadian) endeavor is expected to boost oil sand production to 210,000 barrels per day by 2002, increasing current production by nearly two and a half times.

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