We’ve been operating in Alberta’s oil sands for more than two decades. All of our oil sands projects use a drilling method called steam-assisted gravity drainage or SAGD for short. We have no mining assets, no tailings ponds and no megaprojects.
We have four producing oil sands projects — Christina Lake, Foster Creek, Sunrise and Tucker – as well as regulatory approval for future oil sands development projects, including our 100 percent-owned Narrows Lake and Telephone Lake assets.
We use a repeatable, manufacturing approach to build these projects, and we develop them in phases — allowing us to learn and adapt from one phase to the next. Each successive phase benefits from improved technology that results in operational efficiencies and a reduced environmental footprint.
Our 100 percent-owned Christina Lake project is one of our four operating oil sands projects and is located approximately 120 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray. The oil at Christina Lake is about 375 metres underground.
Construction of our pilot project at Christina Lake began in 2000 and first production occurred two years later.
Today, Christina Lake is one of the most efficient SAGD facilities in the industry. It has a low steam to oil ratio (SOR), which means it uses less water and natural gas and creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions to produce a barrel of oil than other oil sands facilities of the same size. In 2019, the project had an average SOR of 2.0 This means we used approximately two barrels of steam to produce one barrel of oil.
Our 100 percent-owned Foster Creek asset is one of our four producing oil sands projects in northeastern Alberta. It is located about 330 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range — an active Canadian military base. The oil at Foster Creek sits about 450 metres below the surface.
Foster Creek began as a pilot project in 1997 and in 2001 became the first commercial oil sands project to use SAGD technology.
The Sunrise project is 50 percent-owned with BP Canada, operated by Cenovus, and is one of our four oil sands projects in northeastern Alberta. Sunrise is about 60 kilometres northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The reservoir at Sunrise sits about 200 metres below the surface.
Our 100 percent-owned Tucker asset is one of our four oil sands projects in northeastern Alberta and achieved first oil in 2006. Tucker is about 30 kilometres northwest of Cold Lake, Alberta. The reservoir at Tucker sits about 450 metres below the surface.