ConocoPhillips Canada, as operator of its Surmont joint venture with Total E&P Canada, will deploy its Non-Condensable Gas (NCG) injection technology at 12 SAGD well pairs to validate the technology at commercial scale. NCG injection has the potential to mitigate “thief zones” – areas above or below the oil zones where energy and pressure can be lost, resulting in a need for more steam to be injected to recover bitumen. The project builds on past work in NCG injection by expanding the application to the full well life.

NCG injection at the proposed scale could reduce GHG emissions by up to 15% in reservoirs affected by thief zones. Initial commercial deployment would occur at existing and new Surmont sites. The technology could be available for other SAGD operators to deploy as early as 2021.

In addition to reducing GHG emissions, the technology could reduce operating costs for SAGD facilities by up to 20%.