The Canadian unit of France’s Total SA said Thursday it will halt its nearly decadelong development of a major oil sands project and lay off at least 100 local staff, a move that highlights the challenges of multibillion-dollar investments in unconventional sources of crude oil. A final investment decision on the roughly nine billion Canadian dollar (US$8.3 billion) project in northern Alberta, known as Joslyn North, has been pushed back indefinitely, the company said. Total received approval from the provincial government in 2011 and had envisioned starting production at the 157,000-barrel-a-day open-pit surface mine by 2020, according to recent filings. “Joslyn is facing the same challenge that most of the industry world-wide [faces],” Total E&P Canada President André Goffart told reporters on a conference call. “”The costs are continuing to inflate when the oil price—and specifically the netbacks for the oil sands—are remaining stable at best, thus squeezing […]