An oil sands project
Christina Lake is one of our two producing oil sands projects, and is located approximately 150 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray, in northeast Alberta. The oil at Christina Lake is about 375 metres underground. It’s so deep that we have to use specialized technology to drill and pump the oil to the surface. The technology we use is called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD).
Construction of our pilot project at Christina Lake began in 2000 and first production occurred two years later. The project is expected to operate for more than 30 years. Christina Lake is part of our 50/50 joint venture with ConocoPhillips.
We currently have five phases (A-E) producing at Christina Lake and construction is continuing on phase F. We’re anticipating phase F will start producing oil in the second half of 2016. Due to the significant decrease in crude oil prices starting in late 2014, construction of phase G is currently on hold.
Today, our Christina Lake project is one of the most efficient SAGD facilities in the industry. It has a low steam to oil ratio (SOR), which means it uses less water and natural gas and creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions to produce a barrel of oil than other oil sands facilities of the same size. In 2015, the project had an average SOR of 1.7. This means we used approximately 1.7 barrels of steam to produce one barrel of oil.
In late 2015, we completed an optimization project at our Christina Lake facility that increased our ability to make steam and improved oil treating. In 2015, Christina Lake had an approximate average daily production of 150,000 gross barrels of oil per day.