Cenovus in the oil sands
We have two major producing steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD, pronounced SAG-DEE) projects in the oil sands – Foster Creek and Christina Lake – as well as several projects that are in various stages of development. Each project is built in phases, so we can apply what we learn from one phase to the next.
- The oil on all of our approximately 1.6 million net acres of land leases in the oil sands (including 0. 5 million net acres of land that we have the exclusive rights to lease) is deep under the ground, so all our projects are drilled.
- Instead of removing the earth to get to the oil, we have to drill hundreds of metres below the ground and use specialized technology like SAGD to bring the oil to the surface.
- Since the oil is extremely thick, steam softens the oil so it can flow through the sand and be pumped to the surface. Once the oil reaches the surface, it is transported via pipeline to a refinery where it becomes fuel for cars, buses and planes, and petroleum by products used in the making of plastics, synthetics, and other materials.