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Imperial Oil Ltd. is ready to start selling crude oil from its $12.9-billion Kearl oil sands project in norther Alberta, Canada to third parties, CEO Rich Kruger said.

Production from the first phase of Kearl started last spring and is now between 80,000 and 110,000, barrels a day of heavy crude.

Exxon Mobil owns 69.6 per cent of Imperial and both are partners in Kearl, the Globe and Mail said.

Phase one of the Kearl project was over budget. Extra work was needed “to break down large steel modules after plans to move them along northern U.S. highways on the way to the project site was met with public opposition,” the paper said.

The next phase, which will double production capacity, is expected to be complete in 2015 at a cost of $8.9-billion. Equipment will be fabricated in Edmonton to avoid transport problems from South Korea, the CEO said.