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ConocoPhillips has received $2.5 MM in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) for the company's $10 MM non-condensable gas (NCG) co-injection pilot for thief zone management at Surmont, a 50/50 joint venture with Total E&P Canada, operated by ConocoPhillips.

The pilot will inject methane with steam into the SAGD reservoir, which has the potential to mitigate “thief zones”. These are areas above or below the oil zones where heat and pressure can be lost, resulting in a need for more steam to be injected to recover bitumen.

This pilot builds on past work in NCG injection by expanding the application to the full well life.

The funding from ERA is a valuable contribution to our pilot. If successful, we plan to accelerate the commercial deployment of this technology, which will significantly reduce greenhouse gas intensity and facilitate continued development of our oil sands resources in an efficient manner.

Khoa Dao, vice president, ConocoPhillips Canada

GHG emission reductions will be achieved through expected steam-oil ratio (SOR) reductions of at least 15 percent. This reduction would make a significant contribution to keeping Alberta oil sands emissions under the province’s 100 MT emissions limit.

Commercialization of this technology also has the potential to provide economic benefit to Albertans. Once fully deployed, production from current and future oil sands in situ development could potentially increase, thereby increasing tax and royalty revenue and providing economic benefits locally.

ConocoPhillips has a proven track record in technology development and delivering results from leveraged technology funding.

  • With a $7 MM grant from Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, the predecessor of the ERA, ConocoPhillips implemented a $14 MM, five-year systematic energy efficiency program that reduced CO2e emissions by approximately 500,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to removing about 98,000 cars from the road.
  • ConocoPhillips is a founding member of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), an alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands through collaborative action and innovation.
  • To date, COSIA has shared 981 distinct environmental technologies and innovations that cost over $1.4 billion to develop.
  • This year, the finalists in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a joint industry project led by ConocoPhillips, along with six other COSIA members and NRG Energy, were announced. This competition seeks to inspire the brightest minds in the world to reimagine what can be done to convert carbon dioxide emissions into valuable products.