Can you trim the environmental footprint in oil sands operations? Cutting operating costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving recovery are all goals that our clients seek. Solvent-Aided Process (SAP) technology utilizes solvents like butane to free the bitumen, and has the potential to decrease the need for steam by 30 per cent and increase the oil extraction by 15 per cent over pure steam processes.
This project was the first ever Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project to use SAP technology. It was also the largest Oil & Gas project that we have worked on in Canada, required over 200 employees, at peak, to execute the project. A local satellite office was opened in Calgary, Alberta, with space devoted to the client allowing them to be embedded in our team. This close proximity created open and immediate communication between all project stakeholders.
The expected production capacity for this major SAGD project is approximately 130,000 barrels per day over three phases with an estimated life span of 40 years. Utilizing SAP, the steam generation technology reduced the production of wastewater, without the use of freshwater, requiring saline to be recycled during production. Sulphur was also removed during the process; additionally the SAP technology reduced the amount of steam required resulting in less natural gas and fewer emissions produced.
We provided the front-end engineering for the central processing facility by leveraging experience from other projects and adding to our team with a few key hires. Due to our extensive experience designing oil processing facilities with total capacity greater than 100,000 barrels per day, as well as sulphur recovery facilities with total capacity in excess of 1,000 tonnes per day, we were able to apply lessons learned from previous projects, incorporating proven processes for the Regulatory Feed Study. Using gas enrichment units, the system was able to achieve provincially regulated sulphur recovery levels.
Our experience combined with local perspective and flexible approach allowed for successful execution of the project which we continue to work on.