* Aspen project would be two 40,000 bpd phases
* Next equipment for Kearl to be built in Edmonton
CALGARY, Alberta, July 11 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd is planning a large, steam-assisted oil sands project near its C$28 billion ($27 billion) Kearl mining development in northern Alberta, which is set to start producing later this year, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
The Aspen development, located south of Kearl, is one of a number of initiatives that the company, the Canadian affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corp, has in the planning stages as it looks to double its production by the end of this decade.
“It’s land that we acquired a long time ago. It will probably come in two 40,000 barrel a day stages in the decade of 2020 and beyond,” Imperial CEO Bruce March told reporters after speaking to the TD Securities Energy Conference.
The C$10.9 billion first phase of Kearl is expected to start pumping 110,000 barrels a day of bitumen from the oil sands in the fourth quarter of this year.
After high-profile disputes with regulators and residents that caused delays in moving the huge pieces of equipment for Kearl along highways in Idaho and Montana, the company is now doing final assembly of about 20 modules in Edmonton. That should be completed by the end of this month, March said.
Imperial has secured shop space in Edmonton for fabrication of the equipment for the next phases of Kearl, rather than importing from Asia, to avoid similar hold-ups, he said. Kearl is designed to eventually produce 345,000 bpd.