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Overview: The Peace River Complex is located about 40 kilometres northeast of the town of Peace River and produces bitumen through thermal recovery methods. 

Location: The Shell Peace River Complex is located in northern Alberta, about 40 km northeast of Peace River.

Employees: The Peace River Complex employs about 100 people.

Capacity: The plant is currently licensed to produce 12,500 barrels (2,000 cubic metres) of bitumen per day annual average. Bitumen is a form of crude oil that’s so heavy it has to be heated, diluted or processed with lighter hydrocarbons in order to flow through pipelines

Products: Bitumen


The bitumen is blended with locally supplied condensates for pipeline injection. The bitumen blend stream is marketed to refiners with heavy oil refining capabilities and is a preferred feedstock for producing asphalt.


The oil sands beneath our Peace River leases contain several billion barrels of bitumen in place. We currently use both cold and thermal recovery techniques to extract bitumen from these leases. Cold production can be used on areas of the reservoir where the bitumen is mobile enough to be pumped to the surface unaided by steam. Shell operates one cold production facility on its leases called the Cliffdale battery.

Shell began producing bitumen from its Peace River oil sands leases in 1979 with the Peace River In Situ Pilot project (PRISP). The Peace River Complex, which began operations in 1986, produces bitumen using thermal recovery methods. In thermal or enhanced oil recovery, steam-generated heat and pressure warm the bitumen to allow it to be pumped to surface.

Contact Us

To contact the Peace River Complex call (780) 624-6800.

If you need to report an emergency call 9-1-1 and (780) 624-3547.

We welcome your comments and feed back. Please contact our Shell Helps team for general information about Shell Canada at the information below. We are committed to providing our customers with superior customer service.

Customer Service

By phone: 1-800-661-1600 Monday to Friday 6:00am - 6:00pm MST

By e-mail: generalpublicenquiries-ca@shell.com

In October 2013, Shell announced it was proceeding to construct the Carmon Creek Project on its Peace River heavy oil leases.  The Carmon Creek Project will use state-of-the-art technology to produce 80,000-barrels of bitumen using vertical steam drive wells.

In January 2010, Shell submitted a regulatory application for the Carmon Creek Project. The project received ERCB regulatory approval in April 2013. A copy of the regulatory 2010 regulatory application is available on the Carmon Creek Public Documents page. (Some enhancements were made to the project from the regulatory application that are designed to maximize the environmental performance of the project.)  Shell has now taken a decision to proceed with the project.

A Public Information Document provides more information on the proposed project.

Shell produces bitumen from its Peace River oil sands leases using both cold and thermal production techniques. The recovery method used depends on how mobile the bitumen. Cold or primary recovery methods can be used in areas of the reservoir where the bitumen is less viscous or thick and doesn’t require heating by steam to make it fluid enough to be pumped to the surface. 

The Cliffdale Battery is a bitumen production facility located southeast of Shell’s thermal Peace River Complex. This cold production facility started up in 2007. It employs about 22 workers and has capacity to produce about 27,000 barrels per day of bitumen.  The facility is operated and owned 100 per cent by Shell. At the beginning of 2008 there were approximately 75 producing wells in the Cilffdale area of Shell’s Peace River leases.

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