Imperial to develop Aspen SA-SAGD project

Imperial Oil Ltd. expects production to begin in 2020 from its Aspen oil sands development 45 km northeast of Fort McMurray, Alta., where it will use thermal recovery with water consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions as much as 25% lower than those of standard steam-assisted methods.

Imperial Oil Ltd. expects production to begin in 2020 from its Aspen oil sands development 45 km northeast of Fort McMurray, Alta., where it will use thermal recovery with water consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions as much as 25% lower than those of standard steam-assisted methods.

Production will reach 75,000 b/d of bitumen and can be doubled with later development, Imperial said in an announcement of its final investment decision.

The $2.6-billion (Can.) project will use solvent-assisted, steam-assisted gravity drainage (SA-SAGD), in which light hydrocarbons such as propane and butane are injected with steam to mobilize bitumen. Construction is to begin this quarter.

Imperial has tested the process for 7 years at its Cold Lake thermal project 170 km southeast of Fort McMurray, which produces 160,000 b/d of bitumen. It proposes an expansion of Cold Lake that would use SA-SAGD (OGJ Online, Aug. 29, 2018).

Imperial’s Aspen application calls for 370 well pairs drilled from 50 pads for both phases.

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