A row of well heads on a well pad in Foster Creek


We take pride in turning new ideas into opportunities. Our teams are always looking for ways to either improve existing technology or pursue new technology in an effort to enhance the recovery techniques we use to access oil and natural gas. One of our ongoing objectives is to advance technologies that increase production using the smallest amount of water, natural gas, electricity and land. In fact, we have dedicated people working on technology development.

Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)

Cenovus is a leader in the development of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Watch this clip to see how we use steam to separate oil from sand that’s deep underground. More about SAGD

Check out these technologies that enhance SAGD:

Electric submersible pumps
Take the place of natural gas to bring the oil to the surface using less water.

Solvent aided process
Uses the benefit of injecting steam in the SAGD process and combines it with solvents, such as butane, to help bring the oil to the surface.

Flue gas recirculation
Reduces  nitrogen oxide emissions in the SAGD process by recycling exhaust from steam generators.

Blowdown boiler
Enables us to reuse a greater percentage of the water we use to generate steam at our oil sands operations.

Wedge Well™ technology
Involves drilling horizontal wells in the ‘pocket’ region between two SAGD well pairs to recover oil that can’t be recovered as part of the normal SAGD operation.

Other innovative technologies we’re using include:

SkyStrat™ drilling rig
Improves stratigraphic drilling programs in the oil sands by allowing us to access remote exploratory drilling locations year-round while reducing our environmental footprint.

Polymer flooding
Polymer is a gel material that helps improve production in water flood operations.

CO2 enhanced oil recovery
Allows us to continue producing oil from a mature field in an environmentally responsible manner by utilizing and then sequestering CO2.