Shell starts commercial-scale tailings field demonstration

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 27
-- Shell Canada Energy has commenced its commercial-scale atmospheric fines drying field demonstration for managing tailings from its Muskeg River bitumen mine in the Athabasca area of northern Alberta.

Shell describes atmospheric fines drying as involving the use of a large barge to collect mature fine tailings (MFT) from its tailings pond and then transferring the MFT to a drying area. In the process, it adds flocculants to help bring the fine clay particles in the MFT together before placing the fines on a sloped surface to help speed the release of water from the clay. The released water runs down the sloped surface to a collection area. The company can reuse the collected water in its operations. It dries the remaining deposits further to meet strength and reclamation requirements.

Shell received approval from Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) for the atmospheric fines drying project on Aug. 6.

The company expects the demonstration project to deposit a total of about 250,000 tonnes of fines. Its tailings pond at the Muskeg River mine has an area of about 14 sq km.

“We have been very active in tailings research since we began our operations and believe atmospheric fines drying technology could result in a fine tailings deposit, which releases water and gains strength in weeks rather than decades,” said John Abbott, executive vice-president for Shell’s heavy oil business.

“The issue is not whether we, as an industry, can reclaim tailings,” continued Abbott, “the issue is whether we can do it better and do it faster.”

Shell is working with others in the industry and with research institutes to advance this and other technologies so that it can meet ERCB’s Directive-074.

Shell said that it “will openly share the outcome of this demonstration project with industry players, academia, regulators and others interested in working on tailings solutions.”

The Muskeg River mine and Scotford upgrader are part of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) that currently has a 155,000 b/d bitumen production capacity. Shell Canada Energy is the operator and 60% owner of AOSP. Its partners are Chevron Canada Ltd. 20% and Marathon Oil Sands LP 20%.

Related Articles

The ANWR blitz

02/02/2015 Deception begins with a 58-sec video on the White House web site in which President Barack Obama says he'll ask Congress to make the whole Arctic N...

Chevron’s $35 billion capital budget down 13% from last year

01/30/2015 Chevron Corp. will allocate $35 billion in its capital and exploratory investment program for 2015, including $4 billion of planned expenditures by...

Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips join to explore, appraise Gulf of Mexico leases

01/28/2015 Chevron Corp. subsidiary Chevron USA Inc., BP PLC unit BP Exploration & Production Inc., and ConocoPhillips Co. have pledged to work together t...

Gazprom Neft reviews progress on refinery modernization efforts

01/19/2015 The second phase of JSC Gazprom Neft's program to modernize and upgrade its Russian refineries to improve processing capacities, oil conversion rat...

Chevron makes oil discovery in deepwater gulf Anchor prospect

01/06/2015 Chevron Corp. reported a discovery of oil pay in multiple Lower Tertiary Wilcox sands in its Anchor prospect’s Green Canyon Block 807 Well No. 2, d...

Chevron, ONGC Videsh among firms awarded permits by New Zealand

12/22/2014 New Zealand's government has awarded six onshore permits across the Taranaki, West Coast, and East Coast basins, and nine offshore permits across t...

Canada Briefs

12/12/2014

Chevron, ONGC among companies awarded 15 exploration permits by New Zealand

12/09/2014 New Zealand’s government has awarded six onshore permits across the Taranaki, West Coast, and East Coast basins, and nine offshore permits across t...

CSB releases final report on Chevron Richmond refinery fire

11/17/2014 The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has issued the final regulatory report on its investigation of the August 2012 pipe rupture and ensuing fire at ...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected