ConocoPhillips holds approximately 0.9 million net acres of land in the Athabasca Region of northeastern Alberta. The significant bitumen deposits on these lands are estimated to contain approximately 14 billion net barrels of resources, making ConocoPhillips the holder of one of the largest land and resource positions in the region. ConocoPhillips’ bitumen resources in Canada are produced using SAGD technology. SAGD involves injection of steam into the reservoir, effectively liquefying the heavy bitumen, which then is recovered and pumped to the surface forfurther processing.
ConocoPhillips’ net bitumen production from the Surmont operations and FCCL Partnership has grown by an average of 23 percent annually over the past four years. This resulted in production of 151 MBD in 2015, ranking it second among SAGD producers in Canada. ConocoPhillips has a number of ongoing development projects and further opportunities in these assets.
Surmont is a SAGD bitumen recovery facility that is operated by ConocoPhillips under a 50/50 joint venture agreement with Total E&P Canada. That means we co-own the development, but the facility itself is staffed and run by ConocoPhillips Canada employees and contractors.
Commercial production from Surmont 1 began in 2007. In 2010, ConocoPhillips commenced construction of Surmont 2, and achieved first production in the third quarter of 2015. Following startup, Surmont’s total gross production capacity is estimated to be 150 MBD. The Surmont lease has the potential for significant additional future expansions. Over the life of this multidecade project, Surmont will provide many social and economic benefits to the area.
Besides our operated facility, we also own 50 percent of some upstream oil sands assets. These include Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake as well as other properties located in the eastern Athabasca region. Altogether, we refer to these assets as the “FCCL Partnership.” The partnership, which is operated by Cenovus , is advancing expansion plans that are expected to increase total gross production capacity to approximately 740,000 barrels of bitumen per day.
We also have four additional land holdings in the Athabasca region. Thornbury, Saleski, Crow Lake and McMillan Lake contain substantial bitumen resources that are being evaluated using 2-D and 3-D seismic surveys and well data. If we move forward with developments in these areas, we expect to access the resources using SAGD technology.