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Athabasca to seek regulatory nod for projects in 2011

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Athabasca Oil Sands Corp (ATH-T) expects to file regulatory application for the first phase of Hangingstone and Dover West projects in the second half of 2011.

First steam from Hangingstone is expected by late 2013, and at Dover by the end of 2014.

The company expects to commission the first phase of the projects as a 12,000 barrels-per-day steam-assisted gravity drainage demonstration project.

SAGD technology -- which pumps steam to liquefy and extract underground reserves of tar-like bitumen -- preserves more of the region's landscape, but burning natural gas to produce steam generates significant amounts of greenhouse gases.

The company, which operates in Athabasca region of northern Alberta, also expects to start second-phase development at Hangingstone at 25,000 barrels-per-day, in 2016.

The company expects subsequent phases at Dover West to be sized between 25,000 and 35,000 barrels per day.

"The currently identified contingent resource base supports the development of a project of more than 70,000 barrels a day," Chief Executive Sveinung Svarte said, referring to the Hangingstone project.

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