Shell moves ahead with Peace River in situ expansion

Shell Canada Ltd. will proceed with its wholly owned, 80,000 b/d Peace River in situ expansion of the Carmon Creek project in Alberta.

Shell submitted its regulatory application for Carmon Creek in 2010 (OGJ Online, Jan. 25, 2010) and received approval from the Alberta Energy Regulator in April.

Shell’s Peace River complex is licensed to produce 12,500 b/d of crude bitumen using thermal techniques. The company initiated development of its Peace River leases in the 1970s and expanded the in situ project in 1985 to its current operating capacity.

Shell said for the startup of Phases 1 and 2, Carmon Creek will produce from 13 well pads. An interfield pipeline system will transport steam to the wells and produce bitumen, water, and natural gas.

Cogeneration units are expected to produce an average of as much as 630 Mw/year of electricity, of which about 500 Mw is expected to be sold to the northwest Alberta power grid.

Shell is taking a well manufacturing approach to drill and complete the wells using the Sirius Well Manufacturing Services joint venture.

To minimize surface disturbance, about 48 wells will be closely spaced on each well pad, Shell said. Each well pad will have a life of 10-15 years and as pads come to the end of their life, the well pad equipment will be refurbished and reused on new pads and the land will be reclaimed to minimize project footprint.

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