Cenovus SAGD production hits one billion barrels

Cenovus SAGD production at its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands projects topped 1 billion barrels

Since construction on the Cenovus SAGD facilities began, Foster Creek and Christina Lake have created thousands of jobs and contributed over $25 billion in capital spending to the Canadian economy. Cenovus photo.

Cenovus Energy reports that its steam-assisted gravity drainage production at its Foster Creek and Christina Lake facilities in the Alberta oil sands topped one billion barrels this month.

According to the Calgary-based company, Cenovus is the first company to produce one billion barrels of oil using the SAGD technology.

“This incredible achievement for Cenovus represents over 20 years of hard work, perseverance and innovation by our staff members, both past and present,” said Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus President & Chief Executive Officer.

He added “We can proudly say today that we are an industry leader, that our oil sands projects have made a significant contribution to the Canadian economy, and that Cenovus’s oil is among the most responsibly produced oil on the planet.”

Foster Creek began producing oil as a pilot under a predecessor company in 1997 and in 2001 became the first commercial oil sands project to use SAGD, while Christina Lake began producing oil in 2002.

Since construction of the Cenovus SAGD facilities began, the company says its Foster Creek and Christina Lake operations have created thousands of jobs and contributed over $25 billion in capital spending to the Canadian economy.

As well, Cenovus’s oil sands operations have generated about $3.2 billion in royalty payments to the Government of Alberta.

Since 2004, Cenovus has cut its per-barrel greenhouse gas emissions by about one-third, and today, the carbon emissions from the production of a barrel of Cenovus’s oil are below the average barrel produced globally and are among the lowest in the oil sands industry.

“One of the things that’s been very important to me from day one is to develop these resources responsibly, finding the right balance between generating economic value, protecting the environment and contributing to social well-being,” said Harbir Chhina, Cenovus Executive Vice-President & Chief Technology Officer.

Cenovus says in the past five years, it has established itself as an oil sands industry cost leader by achieving a 70 per cent reduction in sustaining capital costs and a 45 per cent reduction in operating costs.

Chhina said “That’s always been a core part of our business philosophy, and over the coming years, we’ll remain focused on driving more efficiency in our business, strengthening our local communities and continuing our demonstrated track record of reducing our emissions intensity.”

The oil sands major has also invested in local communities.  Since December 2009, Cenovus has done over $2.7 billion in business with local, Indigenous-owned companies.  Also during that time, the company donated over $112 million to local community organizations across its operating areas.

To commemorate its billion-barrel milestone, the company says it is making donations to select communities that have contributed to the success of its Foster Creek and Christina Lake operations.

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