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Introduction

The Hangingstone steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operation of Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited (JACOS) is approximately 50 km south-southwest of Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada. JACOS started the operation in 1997 and has produced bitumen since 1999. The oil-sands reservoirs in Hangingstone occur in the Lower Cretaceous McMurray formation and are approximately 300 m in depth. The sedimentary environments are fluvial to upper estuarine channel fill, and the oil-sands reservoirs correspond to vertically stacked incised valley fill with very complex vertical and horizontal distribution.

A time-lapse seismic survey was conducted to monitor the steam movement. Identical processing was used for the 2002 baseline survey and the 2006 monitoring survey. A related chapter by Nakayama et al. in this book investigates differences between the data sets in the reservoir zone and shows significant difference in the seismic response around the production areas where steam was injected. Figure 1 shows seismic sections from both surveys. The large difference in the seismic response and time delay are interpreted as effects of steam injection.

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