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Escalating costs causing Total E&P Canada to shelve Joslyn oilsands project

CALGARY - Total E&P Canada says it's putting its Joslyn oilsands project on hold indefinitely because its economics aren't good enough to move ahead.

President and chief executive Andre Goffart says rising costs for materials and labour, combined with oil prices that are stable at best, are squeezing the project's margins.

The decision means 150 jobs will be cut by the end of this year, but Goffart says some of those workers may be moved to other parts of the company.

Total and the project's minority partners will spend time trying to find ways to drive down costs at Joslyn, but there's no timeline for when it may be revived.

Goffart says the other partners, Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU), Occidental Petroleum and Inpex Canada all agree it's best to be put Joslyn on ice.

The project is 65 kilometres northwest of Fort McMurray, Alta.

The Canadian Press


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