MEG Energy Corp. (“MEG”) is an Alberta company focused on sustainable in situ oil sands development and production in the southern Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta. Current bitumen production averages approximately 90,000 bpd.
For long term success, MEG uses innovation to lower the cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity of bitumen production. Steam generation is the main contributor to GHG emissions, water consumption and the capital/operating costs of bitumen production. The concept eMVAPEX (enhanced Modified VAPour EXtraction involves the application of infill wells and the injection of a condensable gas (ex. propane) in lieu of steam after initial steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operation. It is anticipated that the eMVAPEX process can reduce the company’s steam-oil-ratio (SOR), thereby freeing up steam to apply to new wells and increase overall production. For example, an industry standard SAGD asset with an operating SOR of 3.0 could increase bitumen production by up to 76% with the same steam assets by employing eMVAPEX. The resulting overall GHG emission intensity could be reduced by as much as 43%. In addition, the overall recovery from the reservoir is expected to improve.
To date, the company has implemented the technology on three well pairs and their associated infill wells with encouraging results. MEG’s 2018 capital program allows for the conversion to eMVAPEX of up to seven additional well pairs and associated infills, and the construction of a propane recycling facility to test the commerciality and scalability of the technology.