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Magazine Features (membership required)
This October, as the price of the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light crude benchmark continued to hover near two-year lows but the corresponding price of heavy Western Canada Select (WCS) held steady, McCaffrey could enjoy a sense of relative security. Why? Because the narrowed differential is proof that the market access solutions that MEG and others have put in place are working.
Oilsands operations exam 2014
Reaping the rewards of growth
In the oilsands, everything comes down to operational performance. From the capital costs that reflect front-end equipment expectations to the operational costs that reveal ongoing capabilities, the financial health and growth prospects for oilsands producers are fundamentally tied to their own operational performance, as well as the performance of their peers.
There are currently somewhere between 600 and 650 workers at the new WorleyParsonsCord modular fabrication yard in Edmonton’s Aurum Energy Park, and they were out in force to celebrate the official opening of the site in mid-September. Hundreds of workers lined up as caterers grilled steaks and handed out cupcakes. “Sweet Home Alabama” blared over the loudspeakers, while volunteers roamed the crowd selling 50/50 tickets to raise funds for the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
When Brian Fraser and Andrew Mills call their field a growth business, they think big on the wonders-of-the-world scale that gave the oilsands its old nickname of “Disneyland for engineers.” In this case, using a unique manufacturing and fabrication tool.
MRO spending in the oilsands now equals or exceeds annual investment for new capital projects. The magnitude of oilsands MRO is unique to this sector of Canada's energy industry and as facilities continue to proliferate and expand, MRO requirements will continue to increase. In Oilsands Review's annual special section, we examine MRO challenges and opportunities, highlighting leaders in cost and safety performance.
Kerry Margetts is fairly new to the oilsands, but he is no stranger to industrial maintenance, repair and operations (MRO). And after years spent managing MRO in the company’s downstream business, Margetts is transferring lessons in hard-learned low costing to Shell Canada’s bitumen production and upgrading facilities. He calls it low-hanging fruit, but the savings are expected to be in the millions.
In the oilsands, capital cost figures get a lot of attention. And they should. The industry is epitomized by large upfront project investment followed by decades of steady production—the coveted “wall of cash flow.” However, as the sector matures and expands operators are increasingly recognizing that bigger-than-necessary pieces of those walls are being eaten by maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) spending. There is a substantial prize on the table for those who can rein costs in, but it is a formidable challenge.
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In a recently completed University of Calgary PhD thesis, civil engineer Alnoor Halari has built a SAGD replication model that walks a user through the questions to consider. He bases the model on comments from more than 140 industry members who responded to a survey questionnaire he developed.
Oilsands Data (membership required)

Oilsands Budgets and Capital Expenditures

Capital Expenditure Breakdown

2014 Q1 Q2 Q3
2013 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2012 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2011 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Capital Budget Revisions

Oilsands Projects

Oilsands Production

Production by Company

2014 Q1 Q2 Q3
2013 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2012 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2011 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Production by Project

2014 Q1 Q2 Q3
2013 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2012 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2011 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Oilsands Sales

Sales by Company

2014 Q1 Q2 Q3
2013 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2012 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2011 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Sales by Project

2014 Q1 Q2 Q3
2013 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2012 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2011 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Oilsands Operating Costs

2014 Q1 Q2 Q3
2013 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2012 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
2011 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4

Alberta Oilsands Land Sale Summaries

Oilsands Reserves

In Situ Reserves

Mining Reserves

Oilsands Emissions

Oilsands Mines

Tonnes Mined


Bitumen and Synthetic

Natural Gas

Oilsands In Situ

Alberta Commercial Schemes

Water Production Rates

Steam Injection Rates

Wells Producing or Injecting

Steam Oil Ratio

Water Steam Ratio

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News Updates (membership required)
December 17, 2014
MEG Energy Corp. today announced a reduction to its 2015 capital program to $305 million from the original $1.2 billion budget it declared earlier this month, (DOB, Dec. 5, 2014).
December 16, 2014
Pengrowth Energy Corporation has started steam operations at its Lindbergh thermal project representing construction completion and commissioning — the last major milestone before first oil.
Editor’s Blog
It has been more than two years since the companies representing almost 90 percent of Canadas oilsands production launched their joint effort to accelerate environmental performance improvement, and on the surface it may not seem like much has been achieved. But it has. And more importantly, it will. It has been hard to know what [...]
Oilsands Prices
Close Last Trade Day Implied
Net Energy Syncrude Closing Price* ($1.25) USD/BBL $96.59
Net Energy WCS Closing Price* ($21.75) USD/BBL $76.09
Flint Hills Segregated Condensate $112.19 CAD/BBL
NYMEX WTI June 2013 $97.84 USD/BBL
North Sea Brent Blend $107.41 USD/BBL
Canadian Par Average (40 API) $91.06 CAD/BBL
AECO/NGX Spot Price $9.35 CAD/GJ

* Expressed as a basis to WTI