Proposed in situ oil sands developmentLewis is a proposed multi-stage in situ project. Wholly owned by Suncor, the Lewis project is located in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, approximately 25 kilometres northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta and approximately 18 kilometres southeast of Fort McKay. The total project area is estimated to cover 24,000 hectares or 240 square kilometres; disturbed land area is predicted to be 2,500 hectares or 25 square kilometres.
The project will be developed in stages, with anticipated production up to a total of 160,000 barrels per day of bitumen during its estimated 25 to 40-year operational life.
Suncor continues to innovate and is exploring new technologies to develop the Lewis resource. The primary option at this time is steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) supported by the cogeneration of electricity.
An application for Lewis is expected to be submitted to the Alberta Energy Regulator in 2017.
Detailed information about our project can be found below.
The figure below identifies the location of the project and the area that has been studied.
The process works as follows:
- Two horizontal, parallel wells are drilled one on top of the other into the oil sands reservoir.
- The upper well introduces steam into the reservoir.
- The steam heats and softens the bitumen, which then flows by gravity down to the lower well.
- The bitumen and water are pumped to the surface and transported to processing facilities to be separated.
- The bitumen is refined into products such as gasoline and diesel or sent directly to the sales market.
Suncor will provide stakeholders with opportunities to participate in an open and transparent consultation process that facilitates engagement, participation and input into the proposed Lewis project. Information about the project, including upcoming open houses and other updates, will be posted in local newspapers, through community bulletins and by other means.
An important part of this will be updating existing traditional land use and traditional environmental knowledge by consulting with Aboriginal communities.
We will work closely with Aboriginal communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo throughout this process, seeking to build effective, long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.
Suncor is exploring new processes and technologies to enhance environmental performance by:
- reducing the amount of water and natural gas used
- limiting greenhouse gas emissions levels and air contaminants
- reducing the time it takes to reclaim disturbed lands
Suncor will work to incorporate the latest information and technology developments into the Lewis project to minimize our impact on the environment.
The Lewis application to the Alberta Energy Regulator will include a conservation and reclamation plan. We are committed to ultimately returning all lands disturbed by our oil sands mining and in situ operations to a self-sustaining boreal forest ecosystem native to the area.
Suncor’s investment in the Lewis project could benefit nearby communities through:
- employment opportunities
- promotion of economic growth and business development
- valuable revenues for governments
- education and training
- community investment