Suncor unveils plans to expand SAGD production, but not until 2020
Suncor Energy announced plans to file for regulatory approval of the Lewis project sometime this year.
Lewis is an in-situ property located about halfway between Fort McMurray and Fort McKay, on the east side of the Athabasca River.
Lewis will use SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) to extract bitumen in place, but the company says it is exploring options to use solvents or electromagnetic heating to reduce steam loads.
Suncor says the facility could eventually produce up to 160,000 bbl/day. No timeline was given for an expected sanction date but the company hinted construction could begin in 2024 with first-oil coming online by 2027.
Lewis would likely be after the Meadow Creek East project, which already received approval in March. Meadow Creek is a Petro-Canada legacy property, owned jointly with Nexen. Suncor also says it plans to file paperwork for Meadow Creek West sometime this year. Each phase of development will likely have an estimated capacity of 40,000 bbl/day. Meadow Creek is located 20 km SW of Anzac, just south of Fort McMurray. If everything goes according to plan, first oil could be as early as 2023.
CEO Steve Williams says he hopes to use the concept of replicating modules to save capital costs while bringing 30,000 to 40,000 bbl/day online every 12 to 18 months. The CEO warned not to expect any new construction spending before 2020 at the earliest.
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