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Nexen advances Long Lake oil sands project

Nexen Inc. has begun steaming on the 12th pad at its Long Lake oil sands project in the southern Athabasca region of Alberta, which it is developing with steam-assisted gravity drainage integrated with a 60,000 b/d upgrader (OGJ Online, Nov. 28, 2011).

Production from the first 11 pads is 34,500 b/d from 90 wells.

Nexen expects to drill a total of 18 wells on the 12th and 13th pads, from which it expects peak flow of 11,000-17,000 b/d. It anticipates production start on the 12th pad this summer and the start of steaming on the 13th pad at midyear, with production beginning there before yearend.

The company also has secured regulatory approvals to develop the 14th and 15th pads, where it projects drilling of 11 wells and peak production of 4,000-7,000 b/d, and the Kinosis 1A area, where it expects to drill 29 wells and achieve peak output of 15,000-25,000 b/d.

The Long Lake upgrader gasifies asphaltines from produced bitumen into synthesis gas, which is used as a fuel and source of hydrogen for a hydrocracker.

Nexen operates the Long Lake and Kinosis 1A areas with a 65% working interest. CNOOC Ltd. holds the remaining interest.


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