Proposed Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) Oil Sands Development
Meadow Creek is a joint venture project between Suncor Energy and Nexen Energy ULC with Suncor as the operator. The project was formerly a Petro-Canada project and received approval from the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) in 2003.
As a result of the current economic environment, Suncor has deferred the Meadow Creek development; however, we will continue with the regulatory and early stakeholder consultation work as scheduled.
The project is located about 45 kilometres (km) south of the city of Fort McMurray and approximately 20 km southwest of Anzac.
Current plans include Meadow Creek East which will be developed in two stages with anticipated production of nominally 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) at each stage up to approximately 80,000 bpd and Meadow Creek West with an anticipated production of 40,000 barrels (bpd). These facilities will be operational for 40 or more years.
Project facilities will include a central processing plant, cogeneration, well pads, electrical power lines, storage tanks, pipelines and access roads. Other infrastructure that may be constructed to support the project includes a laydown yard and lodges.
The project is located about 45 kilometres (km) south of the city of Fort McMurray.
Prior to the 2009 merger between Suncor and Petro-Canada, Petro-Canada was the majority owner of Meadow Creek. They completed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the project in 2001 and received approval from the Energy and Utilities Board in 2003. The project was not pursued at that time.
Suncor submitted the updated application for Meadow Creek East to provincial regulators in 2015 and is planning to submit an application for Meadow Creek West in 2017. Following approval, planned construction of the first stage of Meadow Creek East will be over three to four years with first oil anticipated in 2023 and in 2026 for Meadow Creek West.
SAGD involves removing bitumen (a thick form of crude oil) from the ground by injecting steam into an oil sands reservoir and pumping the oil and water mixture to the surface. How it works:
- 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 is committed to developing and maintaining positive, meaningful relationships with stakeholders.
Suncor has provided stakeholders with opportunities to participate in an open and transparent consultation process that facilitates engagement, participation and input into the Meadow Creek project. We will provide regular updates to stakeholders as the project progresses.
We are committed to listening and communicating directly and openly with Aboriginal communities about events, issues and ideas.
An important part of this was updating the existing traditional land use and ecological knowledge by consulting with Aboriginal stakeholders.
We have and will continue to work closely with Aboriginal communities throughout this process seeking to:
- ensure we listen and communicate with Aboriginal peoples directly and openly about events, issues and ideas
- 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 Meadow Creek project to minimize our impact on the environment.
Suncor works with government, industry and community groups to develop a coordinated, long-term approach to address social and economic effects of oil sands development.
Suncor’s investment in the Meadow Creek project will benefit nearby communities through:
- employment opportunities
- promotion of economic growth and contracting opportunities
- valuable revenues for governments
- education and training
- community investment