Construction is underway at Narrows Lake, Cenovus’s next major oil sands development. It’s expected to have a total gross capacity of 130,000 barrels per day, three phases and a project life of up to 40 years.
Located 120 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray, Narrows Lake will use the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology used at our other two oil sands projects (Christina Lake and Foster Creek). SAGD is an enhanced oil recovery process that uses steam to separate oil from sand that’s deep underground.
In addition to SAGD, Narrows Lake is expected to be the industry’s first project to demonstrate solvent aided process (SAP), using butane, on a commercial scale. SAP is a modification of SAGD that involves injecting a solvent together with the steam. By using SAP we’re able to:
- Use less steam per barrel of oil produced, which results in using less water
- Burn less natural gas per barrel of oil produced, which results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions
- Increase oil recovery from the reservoir