Development of Advanced In-Situ Recovery Technologies for Oil San

In-situ recovery methods for oils sands are applied to reservoirs containing bitumen that are too deep for mining. To date there has been only one commercially viable in-situ recovery method, Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), involving high pressure steam injection and bitumen production using horizontal well pairs located near the base of oil sands formations. While SAGD has enabled conversion of significant resources to reserves (about 170 billion barrels), SAGD has many economic and environmental limitations. SAGD capital and operating costs are high making many projects uneconomic at current low oil prices. Water usage and carbon emissions are also high in SAGD making the process environmentally unsustainable. The Accelerate Cluster projects are aimed at finding new recovery methods that reduce costs of delivering energy to the formations and that also reduce water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Faculty Supervisor:

ZhangXing Chen


Min Yang


Nexen Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological


Oil and gas


University of Calgary



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