Commercial SAGD project launched at Primrose, Alta.

Alberta Energy Co. Ltd., Calgary, has launched field operations at a $230 million project that is the company's first commercial use of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology to tap heavy oil.The first phase of the Foster Creek thermal recovery project is expected to recover 140 million bbl of 9.5-10.5° gravity bitumen. The hydrocarbon has a viscosity of 300,000-500,000 centistokes at 12° C. in the reservoir at about 500 m true vertical depth. Application of steam hikes the temperature to 250° C. and reduces viscosity to around 3,500 centistokes.Production is to begin in early 2002 at around 20,000 b/d. Later expansions could build total daily output to 100,0...

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