This news article talks as though the Scotford upgrader expansion just started up but perhaps means the upgrader now operates on its own source bitumen crude instead of purchased feed.
The Scotford upgrader & expansion which has two LC Finer reactors (more expensive option) instead of Coker, is adjacent to the Shell Edmonton Refinery. A Scotford Upgrader 2 is planned to expand in 4 phases and raise capacity from todays 255,000 BPD (with expansion 98 MBD online) to 400,000 bpd eventually.
The Scotford Upgrader expansion actually came online in Dec 2007 on purchased feedstock soon after the Nov fire in original upgrader. This was about the same time that Marathon acquired its 20% interest in the Upgrader thru its purchase of the Western Oil Sands in Dec 2007 which would help supply new coking operations like Detroit Refinerys new 28MBD coker in EPC stage. (The Shell Scotford Upgrader is now 60% owned by Shell, 20% Marathon and 20% Chevron.).
Shell once talked about Scrapping or down-sizing its plans for a Scotford Upgrader (2) near Edmonton which would take capacity to 400MBD & re-routing the Bitumen crude to Deer Park &/or Martinez. Shell Deer Park runs Mexico Mayan crude but supply was recently 2008 cut by 15% due Pemex production problems.
Some of this was likely negotiation strategy or leverage against Pemex crude cuts but slumping crude production is real issue and will likely continue until Mexico opens exploration up to foreign investors who have the needed technology. And if the New Pemex Grassroots refinery goes into construction – eventually its crude demands could prompt additional round cuts to Refinery JV’s in US.
(More on Shell Scotford upgrader/Edmonton Refinery see past Scotford news items posted/emailed Upgrader/Coker news- July 2008 & Oct 2007) Regards