EDMONTON — French oil giant Total has shelved plans for a bitumen upgrader project near Fort Saskatchewan that was recently approved by the Energy Resources Conservation Board.
In a joint venture deal announced Friday, Total E&P Canada said it would form an alliance with Suncor Energy, swapping interests in the Fort Hills and Joslyn North Mine projects.
Total will also take a 49-per-cent share of Suncor's unfinished Voyageur upgrader north of Fort McMurray.
Bitumen from those mines will go to the upgrader.
"This was not our initial plan, but we have been given a fantastic opportunity in this alliance with Suncor," said E&P Canada president Jean-Michel Gires.
"It is a much better deal for us, but we definitely want to thank the people who supported our previous plan for Fort Saskatchewan."
Total now has plenty on its plate for the next six to seven years, said Gires, who hinted that a Total upgrader for the Edmonton region appears to be a very long shot.
"But never say never," he said.