Introducing the Lewis Project: 8 facts about Suncor's latest in-situ expansion

Introducing the Lewis Project: 8 facts about Suncor's latest in-situ expansion

Suncor Energy recently filed an application with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) for its Lewis Project, a new 160,000 bbl/day in-situ facility located just east of the company's Base Plant mining operations. Here are 8 interesting facts about the Lewis Project:

1 Lewis will be Suncor's fourth in-situ project, after Firebag, MacKay River and Meadow Creek. Meadow Creek East has already been approved by the AER, while Meadow Creek West is still under review.


2 Suncor expects to receive regulatory approval for Lewis sometime in 2019, start construction in 2024 and begin steaming in 2027. The facility has a project life of up to 40 years.

 
SUNCOR'S SAGD OPERATIONS (BBL/DAY)
 

3 Lewis will be constructed in four 40,000 bbl/day phases, with each Central Processing Facility to be replicated from the Meadow Creek East design. Full field development is expected to include 180 well pads and up to 1,600 well pairs.


4 Parts of the Lewis deposit has an overburden depth of just 100 meters, making it the most shallow in-situ operation in Alberta1. The facility will extract bitumen from the McMurray Formation using steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and will be subject to the AER's Directive 086 for reservoir containment from shallow SAGD facilities.

 
 

5 Lewis will use process-affected water from Suncor's adjacent Base Plant for steam-generation, offsetting fresh water requirements. The SAGD facility will have two 85 MW co-generation plants, generating 175 MW of electricity. About 35% of that power is expected to be sold to Alberta's power grid.


6 Despite being close to Fort McMurray, Lewis will be a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) facility, utilizing Suncor's Firebag airstrip and lodges. Construction workforce is expected to average 580, peaking at 1000 in 2027/2028. The facility is expected to employ 288 full-time staff during normal operation.

 
 

7 Lewis has a capital cost estimate of $6.2 billion.


8 Over the estimated 40 year life of the project, Lewis is expected to pay out $45 billion in provincial royalties and taxes, $10.5 billion in federal taxes, $7.7 billion in carbon taxes and $324 million in municipal property taxes2.


NOTES:
1. TOTAL'S JOSLYN CREEK SAGD FACILITY HAS AN OVERBURDEN DEPTH 90-105 METERS. THE FACILITY CEASED OPERATION IN 2010 AFTER STEAM WAS RELEASED TO THE SURFACE DUE TO FRACTURES IN THE CAPROCK.
2. ALL DOLLAR FIGURES IN 2016 $CAD.
3. ALL GRAPHICS COURTESY SUNCOR ENERGY.

SOURCES:
AER • APPLICATION 1907303
AER • DIRECTIVE 086: RESERVOIR CONTAINMENT APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR STEAM-ASSISTED GRAVITY DRAINAGE PROJECTS IN THE SHALLOW ATHABASCA OIL SANDS AREA
SUNCOR ENERGY • LEWIS
SUNCOR ENERGY • MEADOW CREEK
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