Total's Alberta oilsands writeoff is a wake-up call - not a cheap shot - 2020-08-05
The news broke in the last, ostensibly lazy week of July, and it sent a shockwave through the oilpatch: French fossil fuel giant Total was designating $9.3 billion in Alberta crude investments as stranded assets.
Citing high production costs and forecasting declining demand for oil, Total said it was writing off its $7.3-billion stake in the Fort Hills bitumen mine, a massive development capable of processing 14,500 tonnes of oil sand per hour.
Total also dropped its 50 per cent share in the Surmont bitumen recovery project, a joint effort with ConocoPhillips Canada that was busy doubling its output as recently as 2016. For good measure, Total dropped its membership in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.