CALGARY, Dec. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. (TSX: ATH) is pleased to announce that MacKay Operating Corp. (MacKay Opco) has received full regulatory approval from Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Environment and Water for the MacKay River commercial oil sands project.
Sveinung Svarte, president and CEO says, "To obtain approval in just over 24-months is an achievement and Athabasca is very pleased with the regulatory process. The company filed the application on December 10, 2009 and MacKay Opco received the final approval on December 23, 2011. To achieve this major milestone, MacKay Opco's Regulatory and Stakeholder Affairs team effectively dealt with all stakeholders to resolve their concerns and get this commercial oil sands project endorsed by the regulators and the Alberta government."
The MacKay River project is a 150,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project with Phase 1 expected to produce 35,000 bbl/d of oil. Construction of the project will begin next month with start-up targeted for 2014.
MacKay Opco is a Calgary-based joint venture between Athabasca (40%) and Cretaceous Oilsands Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of PetroChina (60%). The company was formed to operate the jointly owned MacKay River oil sands leases.
Athabasca is a dynamic company focused on development of oil resource plays in Alberta, Canada. It has accumulated a large, high quality resource base suitable for extraction of extra heavy crude oil (bitumen) and light oil. The company is well financed and, with its excellent assets and talented people, Athabasca is poised to become a major Canadian oil producer. It is traded on the TSX under the symbol ATH.