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Book Chapter

Stratigraphic Architecture of a Large-scale Point-bar Complex in the McMurray Formation: Syncrude’s Mildred Lake Mine, Alberta, Canada

By
Thomas R. Nardin
Thomas R. Nardin
Grizzly Oil Sands, Suite 2700, 605-5th Ave. SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 3H5, Canada (e-mail: tom.nardin@grizzlyoil-sands.com)Previous address: Thomas R. Nardin Geoscience Consulting, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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Howard R. Feldman
Howard R. Feldman
ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, PO Box 2189, Houston, Texas, 77252, U.S.A.(e-mail: howard.r.feldman@exxonmobil.com)
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B. Joan Carter
B. Joan Carter
Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., 237-4th Ave. SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 0H6, Canada (e-mail: b.joan.carter@exxonmobil.com)
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Published:
January 01, 2013

Abstract

Canada’s largest bitumen resource is contained within the McMurray Formation, a complex deepening-upward fluvial-estuarine succession typified by abrupt facies changes, inclined stratal geometries, and high-relief unconformities. Within this succession, fluvial-estuarine point-bar reservoirs represent a significant fraction of the resource that can be developed through surface mining and in-situ thermal recovery processes such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). At Syncrude Canada Ltd.’s Mildred Lakemine, closely spaced core-hole data are tied to high-wall exposures of a point-bar succession that is 55m (180 ft) thick and occupies an area of at least 15 km2 (6 mi2). Data are integrated using two 3-D visualization tools: light detection and ranging (LIDAR), a laser technology that produces high-resolution digital terrain models of the outcrop, and LogVu3D, an application that displays large sets of geophysical logs in a 3-D volume. The point-bar model developed here describes sand body dimensions, stratal stacking patterns, lithofacies distributions, and mudstone heterogeneity at a variety of scales. A conceptual model of steam chamber growth in a heterogeneous point bar is presented that has implications for steam chamber definition, resource assessment, reservoir modeling, and development well planning.

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Contents

AAPG Studies in Geology

Heavy-oil and Oil-sand Petroleum Systems in Alberta and Beyond

Frances J. Hein
Frances J. Hein
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Dale Leckie
Dale Leckie
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Steve Larter
Steve Larter
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John R. Suter
John R. Suter
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
64
ISBN electronic:
9781629812649
Publication date:
January 01, 2013

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