The Surmont oil sands field, located some 60 kilometers from Fort McMurray, Canada, came on stream in late 2007. To recover subsurface bitumen, recovered steam and diluent are injected in an innovative technique known as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) that requires less water and has a smaller environmental impact.
Surmont was one of the first oil sands projects to deploy a SAGD pilot and then launch industrial-scale production. It is also one of the largest fields in the Athabasca region scheduled to be fully developed using this technique.
Development of Phase 2 was launched in June 2010 to lift output from 27,000 to 136,000 barrels per day. Phase 2 production will begin in 2015.
Phase 3 is under review and is expected to increase production to 283,000 b/d in three successive stages of 45,000 b/d each. The launch of these studies confirms the industrial success of SAGD technology in producing the Athabasca oil sands, as well as Total’s worldwide expertise in the recovery of extra-heavy oils.
The environmental management approach taken by Total and its partner complies with specifications designed to ensure responsible development of Canada’s oil sand resources.