Solvent use is one of the key technologies Cenovus is working on to improve the efficiency of its in-situ oil sands recovery and reduce its environmental impact, especially in the area of GHG emissions.

Solvent-aided process, or SAP for short, involves adding a solvent such as propane to the steam that’s injected into the reservoir in SAGD.

Cenovus estimates that on a field-basis, SAP could reduce emissions intensity by about a third compared to SAGD. Cenovus is now planning a SAP operational demonstration project on multiple well pads at its Foster Creek oil sands project.