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

La Jolla Conference: Mexican energy reform a 'telenovela,' panelist says

06/01/2015 Energy reform in Mexico is a telenovela wherein stories of intrigue and suspense will arise, but in the end, everything will turn out okay, opined ...

Court greenlights Chevron's Richmond refinery project

05/25/2015 A California superior court has cleared the way for Chevron Corp. to proceed without further delay in executing its long-planned, $1-billion projec...

Marathon Petroleum settles federal Clean Air Act allegations

05/20/2015 Marathon Petroleum Corp. agreed to pay a $2.9 million fine, retire 5.5 billion sulfur credits worth $200,000, and spend more than $2.8 million to i...

EnLink Midstream enters Permian basin through acquisitions

04/01/2015 EnLink Midstream made two acquisitions early this year to give it a position in the Permian basin. An EnLink subsidiary said it would buy LPC Crude...

Johnson to succeed Kirkland as Chevron executive VP, upstream

03/31/2015 Chevron Corp. has appointed James W. Johnson to succeed George L. Kirkland as executive vice-president, upstream. Kirkland, who also serves as vice...

Chevron to sell Caltex Australia interest

03/27/2015 Chevron Global Energy Inc. has entered an underwriting agreement for the sale of its 50% interest in Caltex Australia Ltd. to what it described as ...

Chevron, Shell among most active bidders in gulf lease sale

03/23/2015 Chevron Corp., ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and Statoil ASA mostly led the way as Gulf of Mexico central planning area Lease Sale 235 d...

Chevron, Shell among most active bidders in central gulf sale

03/18/2015 Chevron Corp., ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and Statoil ASA mostly led the way as Gulf of Mexico central planning area Lease Sale 235 d...
White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

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
Available Webcasts


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

When Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors

register:WEBCAST


Driving Growth and Efficiency with Deep Insights into Operational Data

Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Capitalizing on today’s momentum in Oil & Gas requires operational excellence based on a clear view of what your business data is telling you. Which is why nearly half* of oil and gas companies have deployed SAP HANA or have it on their roadmap.

Join SAP and Red Hat to learn more about using data to drive process improvements and identify new opportunities with the SAP HANA platform running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This webinar will also show how your choice of infrastructure impacts the performance of core business applications and your ability to achieve data-driven insights quickly and reliably.

*48% use SAP, http://go.sap.com/solution/industry/oil-gas.html

register:WEBCAST


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

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