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Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)

It wasn’t that long ago that drilling in the oil sands was thought to be impossible. The oil in the oil sands can at times be as hard as a hockey puck and it’s embedded in tonnes of sand deep underground. We have to use a drilling method to get the oil out of the ground. It’s called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD – pronounced SAG-DEE).

We don’t mine or use large-scale excavation of the land. We don’t have big trucks. And we don’t have tailings ponds. We drill. The SAGD process uses natural gas to heat water into steam, which helps us get the oil out of the oil sands. We’re a leader in the development of SAGD. We currently have two producing SAGD projects in the oil sands – Christina Lake and Foster Creek – as well as several emerging projects.

Watch the two-minute video to get a snapshot of how SAGD works.