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Report: Alberta oil sands expected to draw $364 billion in new investment

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Todd Korol/Reuters/File

(Read caption) The Suncor tar sands plant and tailings pond are pictured at their tar sands operation north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in this November 2011 file photo. China has shown great interest in oil sands investment, most recently announcing an agreement to take control of Nexen Inc. for more than $15 billion, according to Consumer Energy Report.

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A new report issued by the Conference Board of Canada suggests that Alberta’s lucrative oil sands region will draw a further $364 billion in investment over the next 25 years, providing an astounding 3.2 million person-years of employment during that time.

The report, titled Fuel for Thought: Benefits of Oil Sands Investment for Canada’s Regions, aims to present a full overview of the financial implications of that country’s largest oil retrieval project, easing worries about its environmental impact while reminding Canadians – the the world at large – just how much is at stake in the oil sands. (Read more: The Facts About Canada’s Oil Sands and Climate Change)

Detailing $17.2 billion in capital expenditures in 2010 alone, the report shows that the oil sands currently hosts more than $35 billion worth of new projects that are under construction, including the much-maligned but still on track Keystone XL pipeline, a project that will be strongly affected by U.S. President Barack Obama winning his bid for re-election. 

While Mitt Romney had indicated that he would immediately approve the final construction and opening of the pipeline that would see oil pumped from Alberta and into the United States, Barack Obama has taken a more cautious approach to the contentious project, with plans to review and decide its fate in early 2013 should be be re-elected.

With $100 billion in cumulative investment already achieved, much of the money to be funneled into oil sands projects over the next quarter century is expected to come from overseas, specifically Europe and Asia(Read more: Why China is Getting Their Feet Wet in the Oil Sands)

China, in particular, has shown great interest in oil sands investment, most recently announcing an agreement to take control of Nexen Inc. for more than $15 billion; if approved by the Canadian government, that investment would represent the largest and most sensitive Chinese investment ever made in a Canadian resource sector.

 Source: Alberta Oil Sands Expected to Draw $364 Billion in New Investment

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