An oil sands project
Foster Creek is one of our two producing oil sands projects. It is located about 330 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, Alberta on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range — an active Canadian military base. The oil at Foster Creek sits about 450 metres below the surface — so deep that we have to use technology, called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), to drill and pump the oil to the surface.
Foster Creek began as a pilot project in 1996 and started commercial production in 2001 as the industry’s first commercial project to use SAGD technology. It is one of the most efficient SAGD facilities in the industry because of our low steam to oil (SOR) ratio. A low SOR 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. Foster Creek is part of our 50/50 joint venture with ConocoPhillips. In 2016, production averaged more than 70,000 barrels of oil per day net.