Cenovus seeks approval for Narrows Lake oil sands project

Guntis Moritis
OGJ Production Editor

HOUSTON, Feb. 5 -- Cenovus FCCL Ltd., submitted an application to obtain Alberta environmental approval for its proposed $2.2 billion Narrows Lake oil sands project about 10 km east of Conklin, Alberta.

Cenovus plans to use either steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) or solvent aided SAGD (SAP) to produce the bitumen from the Narrow Lake's oil sands. Cenovus FCCL is a subsidiary of Cenovus Energy Inc, a company spun off from Encana Corp. in November 2009.

A project summary says construction could start in January 2013 with bitumen production starting in January 2017. The company expects the project to have a 130,000 b/d capacity and be constructed in two or three phases, with the first phase having a 40,000 b/d production capacity. Expected project life is 40 years.

The company notes that the infrastructure requirements for the project include a central processing facility, well pads, roads, electrical power line, salt caverns for butane storage, wells for water source and disposal, storage tanks for diluted bitumen and diluent, as well as pipelines for fuel gas supply, diluted bitumen sales, diluent supply, fresh water supply, brackish water supply, and water disposal.

Cenovus adds that it is studying the option of pipelines or rail for solvent transport.

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