Existing and proposed oil sands projects
1) Operating Projects: 2.085 M bbl/d
* Mining – 1.210 M bbl/d
* in-situ – 0.875 M bbl/d
2) Under Construction: 0.785 M bbl/d
* Mining – 0.290 M bbl/d
* in-situ – 0.495 M bbl/d
3) Projects with Regulatory Approval 1.946 M bbl/d
* Mining – 1.040 M bbl/d
* in-situ – 0.906 M bbl/d
4) Projects Under Regulatory Review: 1.169 M bbl/d
* Mining – 0.420 M bbl/d
* in-situ – 0.689 M bbl/d
5) Projects Announced / Disclosed: 2.993 M bbl/d
* Mining – 0.530 M bbl/d
* In-situ – 2.463 M bbl/d
Excelsior Energy has a new insitu oisand technology. It is a method that will recover 65 per cent of the frozen molasses-like oil, about twice the recovery rate of the industry standard — steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Excelsior’s method will use virtually no water, and just 20 per cent of the energy needed by its SAGD neighbours.
“We think combustion overhead gravity drainage (COGD) is an evolution for this business, an advance over SAGD,” said Robert Bailey, vice-president of engineering for the company.
To understand COGD, think of a bathtub-shaped area with plumbing on the inside. Injection wells are drilled down the centre of the deposit and primed with steam to loosen the bitumen. After that, air is pumped down and ignition begins.
The first of this new class of project is Petrobank Energy’s Whitesands THAI (toe-to-heel air injection) pilot, which is now being tested in different types of bitumen, and on the verge of commercial acceptance. THAI uses a moving wall of combustion to melt the bitumen, while COGD is top down.
“Petrobank has helped us, and what they have done has taken a lot of risk out of these projects. I would have a much harder sell if THAI didn’t exist,” said Bailey.