11/14/2014 06:04 EST | Updated 01/14/2015 05:59 EST

Cenovus gets OK from Alberta regulators for Telephone Lake oilsands project

CALGARY - Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) says it has received approval from Alberta regulators to proceed with its 100 per cent owned Telephone Lake thermal oilsands project northeast of Fort McMurray.

Initial production capacity at the steam-assisted gravity drainage project is for 90,000 barrels per day to be developed in two, 45,000 barrel per day phases.

Telephone Lake is expected to eventually have total production capacity in excess of 300,000 barrels per day, with a project life of more than 40 years.

"We're pleased to have received regulatory approval for Telephone Lake as it has the potential to be another cornerstone asset within our portfolio," president and CEO Brian Ferguson said in a release issued after markets closed on Friday.

"We're excited about the opportunity that this high quality asset provides for us to create future value."

The company said it expects to make a decision on timing of development sometime next year.