Offshore Eastern Canada
Statoil Canada Ltd. engages in oil production and pursues hydrocarbon exploration and development projects. It focuses on Alberta's oilsands and offshore East Coast Canada and also explores for oil in Canada's Beaufort Sea. The Company is committed to producing oil in a responsible manner, employing technology to sustainably reduce the impact of its activities.
Statoil Canada is part of Statoil ASA, headquartered in Stavanger, Norway. Beginning with oil and gas production operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf 40 years ago, Statoil has grown to become an international energy company with 21,000 employees worldwide and operations in 36 countries.
In the Leismer, Alberta area, Statoil Canada is operating a demonstration project to recover a heavy oil called bitumen from oil sands. At Leismer these oil sands reservoirs, which cover a wide area but are only about 40 meters thick, are located 300 to 500 meters below the earth's surface, too deep to be recovered using open-pit mining techniques. The Company is therefore utilizing the proven steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) in-situ oil extraction technology. This technology has the advantage of making fewer demands on the environment than open-pit mining techniques, which take up large areas of land and require considerable surface water resources.
In lieu of a large open-pit mine, the SAGD technology comprises a number of well pads 150 by 250 meters in size, each well pad producing bitumen from a different part of the reservoirs. Each well pad consists of six to eight production wells, which are drilled vertically down into the oil sands reservoirs and then horizontally through the reservoirs. Because the bitumen is too thick to flow unassisted into the production wells, it is heated in place by steam, which is injected into the bitumen through injection wells drilled down from the well pads. Each production well has a steam injection well positioned about five meters above it. The bitumen and condensed steam, together called emulsion, then flow by gravity into the production wells.
Steam is produced by heating treated groundwater at the Central Processing Facility at the Leismer project and is then sent by pipelines several kilometers long to each well pad, where it is injected into the ground at a temperature of approximately 220° C. The Central Processing Facility also receives and processes the emulsion produced at each well pad. Processing entails separation of the water from the bitumen, thinning of the bitumen using light oil, treatment of the water to remove minerals, and conversion of the treated water to steam for re-use in the injection wells. The thinned bitumen, which constitutes the final product at Leismer, is sent by pipeline to an upgrader.
Approximately 90% of the groundwater used at Leismer can be re-used following treatment at the Central Processing Facility. The unusable portion of the treated groundwater is injected into a zone of brackish water in the vicinity of the facility.
In mid-2012 the Leismer demonstration project was producing 20,000 barrels of oil per day, a rate of production which Statoil Canada intends to double.
Statoil Canada is looking into the possibility of carbon capture of carbon dioxide emissions from the water-to-steam conversion process at the Central Processing Facility at Leismer. It is also testing the concept of solvent co-injection to determine whether injecting steam with condensate, a very light hydrocarbon, can significantly reduce the amount of steam and water used in the SAGD process.
At its Heavy Oil Technology Centre in Calgary, Statoil continues to research heavy oil and the heavy oil extraction process in order to develop production methods which are more energy-efficient than the SAGD technology currently in use.
Leismer is being developed in consultation with local communities and environmental groups. In addition, Statoil Canada is working with Portage College, which serves residents of the region, to provide a training program for those looking for careers in the oil and gas industry. The Company also works with regional authorities to support a local opportunity centre where suppliers in the region can compete for contracts for goods and services supplied to the Leismer project.
Statoil Canada holds additional lands with bitumen resources at Corner, Thornbury and Hangingstone in Alberta and plans to develop them as SAGD projects.
In 2010 Statoil Canada formed a joint venture with Thailand-based PTT Exploration and Production to further its oilsands development activities.
Statoil Canada is active in the Flemish Pass Basin, the Jeanne d'Arc Basin and the Orphan Basin. These three significant oil-bearing basins are situated up to 500 kilometers in an easterly direction from St. John's, Newfoundland.
Through Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd., Statoil Canada has a 5% non-operated interest in the Hibernia oil field, located 315 kilometers east-southeast of St. John's. Hibernia is located in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin and is the oldest and largest operating oil field offshore of Canada. It also uses the world's largest oil platform, which is positioned on the sea bed utilizing a long-term gravity-anchored oil production and storage platform specially designed to withstand the impact of icebergs. First oil was produced in 1997. Hibernia provides a significant source of employment for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to a great degree procurement of goods and services comes from suppliers in the province.
Located 350 kilometers east-southaest of St. John's in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin, Terra Nova is an oil field in which Statoil Canada has a 15 per cent, non-operated interest. Terra Nova is the second-largest field in production offshore of Canada. Oil is produced through the Terra Nova Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel (FPSO).
As an exploration company, Statoil Canada operates four Significant Discovery Licences and seven Exploration Licences in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin and the Flemish Pass Basin. These licences cover a total of more than 11,000 square kilometers. The Company is also a partner in four non-operated Exploration Licences in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin and the Orphan Basin.
Statoil Canada's Mizzen deepwater discovery in the Flemish Pass Basin in 2009 was the event which demonstated the prospective nature of this basin. The Mizzen exploration well, in which the Company has a 65% partnership interest and is operator, is located approximately 500 kilometers offshore of Newfoundland in 1,100 meters of water. Mizzen was the Company's first operated exploration well offshore of Canada.
The Hebron oil field development project is located approximately 350 kilometers southeast of St. John's in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin. Statoil Canada has a 9.7% non-operated interest in the field. Oil will be produced through the Hebron platform, a gravity-based structure designed to withstand iceberg impact. First oil production is expected in 2017.
Like the larger Hibernia field, the Hibernia South Extension is a oil field in which Statoil Canada has a 5 per cent, non-operated interest. The Hibernia South Extension is currently under development. Through a subsea tie-back arrangement, oil production will be routed to the Hibernia platform. Production is expected to begin in 2015.
In August 2013 the Company and its partner announced that their exploration well in the Bay du Nord prospect, in the Flemish Pass Basin, made a discovery with between 300 and 600 million barrels of oil recoverable. This announcement followed the June announcement of the Harpoon oil discovery in the Flemish Pass Basin. Statoil Canada, with a 65% partnership interest, is the operator of the two discoveries. Both discoveries were made using Seadrill's West Aquarius deepwater drilling rig. This rig can operate in harsh environments at up to 3,000 meters in water depth.
Through a farm-out arrangement, Statoil Canada has taken a 40 per cent equity interest in an exploration license held by Chevron Corporation in the Beaufort Sea. The two companies plan on conducting a 3-D seismic exploration program on a block covering 2,060 square kilometers in water depths of 800 to 1,800 metres.
As part of the Canadian business landscape, Statoil Canada also participates in Canada's cultural life in the areas of arts and culture, health and sports, and education and science.
At the Calgary Stampede, a tradition now celebrating its 100th anniversary, the Company is sponsoring the Western Oasis section of the Western Showcase for a three-year sponsorship period. The Western Showcase, a key part of the annual Stampede, showcases the western heritage of volunteer participants in areas such as art, entertainment, cooking and crafts.
The Western Oasis, a cultural area distinct from the rest of the Stampede, features soothing décor, water features, live entertainment and exhibits of fine art to give visitors a view of Calgary's old western lifestyle.
The Beckie Scott Youth Ambassador Program, Ski Fit North is a program which promotes cross-country skiing in schools in remote Aboriginal and Metis communities of Northern Alberta. Statoil Canada supports this program through Cross Country Canada and is a National Training Centre and National Junior Team sponsor, providing the team with enhanced coaching and training, and the opportunity for joining competition overseas.
Cross-country skiing is an easily accessible and relatively inexpensive physical activity well-suited to Northern Alberta and its long winters. During the 2013/14 season, Ski Fit North was involved with 4,250 children aged 6 to 14.