Oil sands contain a mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen, an extra-heavy oil that is too thick to be pumped without first being diluted or heated. In Canada, Chevron is using its vast resources of technology and expertise to help bring this energy source to market.
Chevron Canada has a 20 percent nonoperated interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project and a 60 percent operated interest in its Ells River heavy oil leases.
Athabasca Oil Sands Project
Chevron holds a 20 per cent nonoperated working interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Oil sands are mined from both the Muskeg River and the Jackpine mines. Bitumen that is extracted from the oil sands is transported by pipeline to the Scotford Upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta, where it is upgraded into synthetic oil using hydroprocessing technology. In 2013, average total daily production increased to 236,000 barrels (43,000 net) of synthetic oil.
AOSP is progressing the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project - the first CCS project in the Canadian oil sands. This innovative project, approved in 2012 by the AOSP co-venturers, will capture more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide annually from AOSP’s Scotford Upgrader, transport it approximately 50 miles (80 km) by pipeline and then permanently store it more than one mile (2 km) underground. This will reduce direct emissions from the upgrader by as much as 35 percent—equivalent to taking 175,000 cars off the roads annually. Construction is under way, and the first injection is expected in 2015.
Chevron Canada holds a 60 per cent operated interest in heavy oil leases covering more than 85,000 acres (344 sq. km) in the Athabasca region of northern Alberta. In 2009, the company completed the initial phase of appraisal activities on its Ells River leases. At the end of 2009, proved reserves had not been recognized for this project. Potential production would occur through the utilization of steam-assisted gravity drainage, an industry-proven in situ technology that uses steam and horizontal drilling to extract bitumen.