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First-phase STP-McKay expansion planned

Southern Pacific Resource Corp., Calgary, plans to expand its STP-McKay thermal oil sands project west of Fort McMurray, Alta., to boost first-phase development to a design capacity of 18,000 b/d of bitumen.

The company plans to expand the central process facility now under construction by as much as 6,000 b/d based on a steam-oil ratio of 2.8. The project uses steam-assisted gravity drainage (OGJ Online, July 19, 2011).

After 3 months of engineering design work, the company has decided to proceed with the first-phase expansion before proceeding with the second phase.

It will add steam generation capacity to convert an incremental 16,400 b/d of treated water to steam, raising the total to 50,400 b/d of water. An additional cogeneration turbine will be required. The rest of the facility expansion will be limited to piping modifications and small equipment additions.

SPRC will add the first-phase expansion approval to its application for a second phase, which it submitted last November and will modify to lower second-phase capacity to 18,000 b/d of bitumen from the proposed 24,000 b/d, leaving total capacity of both phases at 36,000 b/d.

The second phase will have a separate facility on the east side of the McKay River about 5 km east of the first-phase site.

SPRC expects to commission the first-phase central processing facility soon and to begin delivering steam to well pairs by the end of June. Wellbores will be steamed for 3-4 months before production starts.

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