We hold nearly 1.1 million net acres of land in the oil sands, which represents an estimated 16 billion net barrels of resources as of year- end 2012. We currently have working interests in four major oil sands assets, as well as four additional undeveloped leases. Add it all up, and we hold one of the largest land and resource positions in the region.
We have a 50 percent stake in the Foster Creek, Christina Lake and Narrows Lake assets, which are operated by Cenovus. Our operated facility, Surmont (a 50/50 co-venture with Total E&P Canada), recently began construction on a second-phase expansion, which is expected to start producing oil in 2015. Production from these assets has grown by an average of 23 percent annually over the past three years to 93 MBD in 2012, second among SAGD producers in Canada. And we’re anticipating even more growth – we expect oil sands production to double by 2017, with a further doubling from 2017 to 2026, totalling a 14 percent compounded annual growth rate over the next 10 years.
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.
While Surmont first began producing oil in 2007, our development of the lease was far from over. Construction is already underway on a second-phase expansion, which will raise the facility’s regulatory production capacity from 27,000 to 136,000 barrels of bitumen per day. We anticipate this second phase will begin producing oil in 2015. Future expansions are progressing too.
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.