Total takes $1.65 bn loss on a tar sands project as margins "disappear".

Bloomberg: “Total ….will book a $1.65 billion loss in the first quarter on the canceled Voyageur Upgrader project in Canada’s oil sands after selling its stake to Suncor Energy. More than $5 billion of investment in Voyageur over the next five years is “no longer justified from a strategic and economic point of view,” the Paris-based company said in a statement.” “The explorer will sell its 49 percent stake in the project to venture partner Suncor for $500 million. Oil sands are beset by rising labor costs and a shortage of workers as well as a discount for the price of Canadian heavy crude as U.S. oil output exceeds expectations. Suncor yesterday canceled the Voyageur venture after Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams said in December the profit margin for processing Alberta bitumen was “disappearing.”