Terasen Pipelines has started preliminary investigations into a proposed $800 million expansion program to the Corridor pipeline system which pipes oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada.

The proposed expansion will support majority owner Shell’s plans to significantly increase production to 300,000 barrels a day by 2010 from the Athabasca Project. Currently the Corridor pipeline’s capacity is 260,000 barrels per day.

The project will include building a new 42-inch diluted bitumen line and upgrading existing pump stations along the existing pipeline system from the Muskeg River Mine north of Fort McMurray to the Scotford Upgrader in the Edmonton region. The work will increase dilbit capacity to approximately 500,000 barrels per day by 2009.

Terasen will file an application for the Corridor Pipeline Expansion Project with the Alberta Energy Utilities Board and Alberta Environment in the fall of 2005. Construction is expected to begin in late 2006.

The Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) is a joint venture among Shell Canada Limited (60%), Chevron Canada Limited (20%) and Western Oil Sands L.P. (20%). In September 2004, Shell Canada announced its intention to expand the project’s mining and upgrading facilities to about 300,000 barrels a day by 2010 as a step toward the objective of eventually achieving daily production levels in excess of 500,000 barrels per day.