Proposed Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) Oil Sands Development
Meadow Creek is a joint venture between Suncor and Nexen Energy ULC with Suncor as the operator.
Current plans for this joint venture include two independent in situ projects: Meadow Creek East and Meadow Creek West. Meadow Creek East will be developed in two stages with anticipated production of nominally 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) up to approximately 80,000 bpd. Meadow Creek West will be developed in one stage with an anticipated production of 40,000 barrels (bpd). Both of these facilities will be operational for 40 or more years.
Project facilities for both projects will include central processing plants, cogeneration, well pads, electrical power lines, storage tanks, pipelines and access roads. Other infrastructure that may be constructed to support the projects includes borrow pits, laydown yards and lodges.
Meadow Creek East is located about 45 km south of the city of Fort McMurray and 20 km southwest of Anzac.
Meadow Creek West is located about 40 km south of Fort McMurray and approximately 35 km southwest of the town of Anzac.
Click the map below to view larger (PDF, 1 pp., 333 KB).
Meadow Creek East:
Suncor received approval in March 2017 from the Alberta Energy Regulator for Meadow Creek East.
Following approval by Suncor's Board of Directors, planned construction of the first stage of Meadow Creek East could be over three to four years with first oil anticipated as early as 2023.
Meadow Creek West:
Suncor submitted an application to the Alberta Energy Regulator for Meadow Creek West in October 2017. Following approval, we currently estimate construction could begin in 2023 with expected first oil as early as 2025.
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 provides stakeholders with opportunities to participate in an open and transparent consultation process that facilitates engagement, participation and input into both the Meadow Creek projects. We will provide regular updates to stakeholders as the projects progress.
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 local 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 continues to explore and assess 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
Depending on the results of these assessments, Suncor may work to incorporate the latest information and technology developments into the Meadow Creek East and West projects to minimize our impact on the environment.
Conceptual reclamation plans for both Meadow Creek East and West are outlined within our applications. Suncor is committed to ultimately returning all lands disturbed by our oil sands mining and in situ operations to a self-sustaining boreal forest ecosystem.
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 both of the Meadow Creek projects will benefit nearby communities through:
- employment opportunities
- promotion of economic growth and contracting opportunities
- valuable revenues for governments
- education and training
- community investment