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The proved remaining reserves of bitumen from oil sands in Canada are estimated as approximately 170 billion barrels (Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, 2007). Including conventional crude oil, the total number of proved remaining reserves in Canada takes second place in the world after Saudi Arabia. From the production perspective, more than 40% of the crude oil production in Canada is from oil sands. Figure 1 shows the index map of the area.

Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. (JACOS), a subsidiary of JAPEX, has been operating the development and production of bitumen resources using an in situ steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) method since 1997 in an area approximately 50 km southwest of Fort McMurray. The oil-sands reservoirs here exist at a depth of approximately 300 m.

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