The course will start with a review of the discovery and subsequent initial trials to extract the bitumen from the oil sands. The sedimentology, depositional environments, stratigraphy and geochemistry of the deposits will then be outlined, with an emphasis on what is unique in the basin. Discussion will also outline issues with top gas, bottom water, cap rock integrity, disposal zones, and isolated infrastructures. An overview will then be presented concerning how in situ pads are drilled and developed along with the technologies used, which major companies are presently active, and government regulations that are applied. Also presented will be some of the mistakes and far-fetched concepts proposed over the past 60 years, including blow outs, well failures, sterilised resource and near misses such as ‘atomic bomb production’. Finally, potential future extraction technologies will be outlined, with their upsides and challenges discussed.
- Present a concise geological overview of the in situ siliciclastic bitumen deposits in the Athabasca area
- Discuss the development technologies used
- Highlight some of the challenges and issues with the current reservoir and technology developments
- Outline future technologies which can significantly enhance production efficiency
- Course participants will be able review company reports and government filings to determine their activities and challenges
- Understand the interactions between geoscience, petroleum engineering, geography, local communities, and regulations in the current and future developments
Completing the course will allow the student to understand the complex and challenging Canadian success story of oilsands in situ development.
Who should attend:
Attendees who are new to the exploration and development of in situ oilsands. This could include members of the CSPG, APEGA, CHOA, SPE, GAC, MAC, IAH along with new geoscientists, managers, and technicians.