ConocoPhillips achieved a significant milestone at its Surmont oil sands project in Canada with the on-schedule start of first steam at phase 2 on May 29.
Surmont uses steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) to recover the bitumen. This technique requires the reservoir to be heated with steam to allow the oil to flow. First steam is a significant step toward production, or first oil, expected by third quarter this year.
Production will ramp-up through 2017, adding approximately 118,000 barrels of oil per day (BOD) gross capacity. Total gross capacity for Surmont 1 and 2 is expected to reach 150,000 BOD.
The Surmont project is located in the Athabasca Region of northeastern Alberta, Canada, approximately 35 miles (63 kilometres) southeast of Fort McMurray. Surmont is operated by ConocoPhillips under a 50/50 joint venture agreement with Total E&P Canada.