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Controversial Redwater upgrader advances

Alberta needs the Redwater upgrader project to succeed to prove its case that CCS technology can clean up the oil-sands

THE ALBERTA government decided five years ago that force-feeding was the way to both profit from processing raw bitumen, while reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from oil-sands operations. Step one was to supply some of the oil-sands volumes collected under its Bitumen Royalty in Kind (Brik) programme as feedstock for commercial upgraders, which convert the bitumen into synthetic crude for further refining into transportation fuels. That, the government argued, would keep more capital investment, jobs and government revenues in Alberta, rather than sending the bitumen to upgraders and refineries in the US. Step two would see Alberta provide financial backing for commercial operators w

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