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Teamwork Plus Technology Equals Reduced Emissions, Reduced Energy Usage, and Improved Productivity for an Oil Production Facility
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Suncor Energy Inc. developed a long term plan to expand production from its oil sands operation north of Fort McMurray, Alberta up to 500,000 to 550,000 barrels/day in 2010-2012, while reducing the per barrel energy usage, emissions, and long term production cost target to under C$10 per barrel. Current production has been increased to 225,000 barrels/day through the application of advanced technologies and an ongoing series of expansion projects. This paper is limited to the integration of an advanced control system project into the existing Steepbank Mine and Extraction Process Plant. The Extraction Process separates the raw oil called bitumen from the mined ore and is the largest energy user on the site. A control system and energy audit was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2000 to form the basis for the ongoing energy reduction and production improvement Advanced Control Project. The project consists of initiatives ranging from simple operating procedures to integrating the new control system into major process modifications. When performance of the new Extraction control system controls was evaluated against the original 2000 baseline, the overall production gain was 9% to 12% valued at C$44 million/year with an additional C$8.7 million/year reduction in hot process water. The Advanced Control Project is part of a greater Extraction production improvement and energy reduction program returning a total 2001 production increase of C$104 million/year when evaluated against the 2000 baseline. At the end of 2002 the Extraction Unit team effort returned an additional production increase of C$140 million/year while reducing hot process water energy usage an additional C$2.5 million/year.
Booker, G.; Robinson, J. (2003). Teamwork Plus Technology Equals Reduced Emissions, Reduced Energy Usage, and Improved Productivity for an Oil Production Facility. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from