BP confirmed that operations have started at the Sunrise Phase 1 in-situ oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, with the start of steam generation. Husky Energy is the operator of Sunrise, a 50/50 joint venture with BP.
Sunrise is being developed using steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), oil well technology which warms the underground bitumen (heavy oil) layers until warm enough to flow. Oil production is expected in the first quarter of 2015.
'Sunrise first steam is a landmark for us in 2014, our sixth major project start-up this year, our very first in-situ oil sands operations and a long-life asset which should give us steady production for decades,' said Lamar Mckay, chief executive, BP Upstream. 'SAGD at Sunrise adds to our expertise in unconventional hydrocarbons including tight oil and gas, leveraging our technology lead in seismic interpretation and our management of giant reservoirs.'
'First steam at Sunrise marks a key step towards building BP's in-situ oil sands production in Canada,' said Stephen Willis, BP Canada President and Chairman. 'Husky and BP have partnered to create an energy business that integrates our upstream position in the oil sands with our downstream refining capacity in the US.'
The long term plan for Sunrise involves three phases of development growing production capacity to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd); the field is expected to be in production for over 50 years. This first phase is designed for 60,000 bpd (gross) bitumen capacity in two processing plants, expected to be reached over the next 18-24 months. The second plant of this first phase is due to start up around the middle of 2015.