Joslyn Creek Steam-assisted Gravity Drainage: Geologic Considerations Related to a Surface Steam Release Incident, Athabasca Oil Sands Area, Northeastern Alberta, Canada
Frances J. Hein, Brent Fairgrieve, 2013. "Joslyn Creek Steam-assisted Gravity Drainage: Geologic Considerations Related to a Surface Steam Release Incident, Athabasca Oil Sands Area, Northeastern Alberta, Canada", Heavy-oil and Oil-sand Petroleum Systems in Alberta and Beyond, Frances J. Hein, Dale Leckie, Steve Larter, John R. Suter
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On May 18, 2006, a surface steam release incident occurred at the Total E&P Canada Ltd. (referred to here as “Total”) Joslyn Creek steam-assisted gravity drainage operation in northeastern Alberta, approximately 60 km (37 mi) north of Fort McMurray. No injuries or loss of life, consequences to wildlife, and public impacts occurred. The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) staff conducted a nearly 3-yr multidisciplinary investigation into the conditions that resulted in the incident. This analysis included independent geologic and engineering investigation as well as an extensive review of the material of Total submitted to the ERCB. The report of Total included detailed seismic imaging and extensive monitoring and modeling programs and has been released to the public on the ERCB Web site. This chapter gives the highlights of some of the main engineering factors, with detailed emphasis on geologic considerations related to this incident. Given ongoing caprock integrity concerns associated with the hydraulic fracturing in the subsurface to initiate production, these findings will have relevance to other shallow in-situ thermal and non-thermal operations around the world, including in-situ bitumen and extra-heavy-oil deposits and unconventional commodities such as tight oil development.