ERCB approves Gemini oil sands project

Koch Oil Sands Operating ULC has received conditional approval to build and operate the Gemini thermal oil sands project near Beaverdam in the Cold Lake area of Alberta.

The province’s Energy Resources Conservation Board approved a two-stage recovery scheme based on steam-assisted gravity drainage to produce as much as 10,000 b/d of bitumen.

The first stage includes drilling of a SAGD well pair and two observation wells and construction of a processing facility and related pipelines, leading to production of 1,200 b/d.

The second stage includes drilling of as many as 23 additional well pairs from five pads and construction of pipelines and a second-stage processing facility, as well as drilling of at least 15 observation wells.

The conditions set special requirements for groundwater monitoring and for a plan to mitigate potential effects on surface water near two of the drilling pads.

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