Shifting sands

The recent US$15-billion oil sands deal between ConocoPhillips and EnCana has reinvigorated the debate over the viability of such projects in Canada's Athabasca region.

Under the deal, bitumen extracted from EnCana's existing operations in Alberta will be shipped to the US for refining. EnCana is to contribute US$7.5 billion to the refining venture, while ConocoPhillips will invest US$7.5 billion in the oil sands business over the next decade. The aim is to increase heavy-oil processing capacity

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