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Overseas E&P

Canada Oil Sands Project

JAPEX has been participating oil sands development in Alberta, Canada over the past 40 years as a pioneer in oil sands development, since the establishment of Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited (JACOS), a consolidated subsidiary in 1978.

JACOS contributed to establishing the SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) method to extract bitumen (ultra-heavy oil) from the oil sand layer using steam. Test production of bitumen by the SAGD method was succeeded at 3.75 section (DEMO area) of Hangingstone leases in 1999, and commenced its commercial production in 2003. Total production of bitumen at DEMO area was 35 million barrels (*1).

At the area in Hangingstone leases where development was started in 2013, production operation was commenced in August 2017, and currently proceeding with the stable bitumen production operations by around 20,000 barrels per day scale from mid-2018. Produced bitumen is diluted by condensate (ultra-light crude oil) to make diluted bitumen (equivalent to heavy oil) to be sold in the North America region via pipelines.

Outline of Canada Oil Sands Project

Leases Hangingstone (Athabasca region, Alberta)
Project Company Canada Oil Sands Co. Ltd.
(local subsidiary: Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited)
Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited (JACOS)
CNOOC Petroleum North America ULC
Status Bitumen Production by the SAGD method, and sales in North America region

(*1) DEMO area was sold to Greenfire Hangingstone Operating Corporation in August 2018.

(*2) JACOS has partnerships with Suncor, CNOOC Petroleum North America ULC, and Imperial Oil at leases of the yet-to-be-developed areas, Corner and Chard, and their participating ratio differs for each lease.

Hangingstone Interests Map

Production Facilities

Oil Sand Development by the SAGD method

JACOS is a pioneer of the SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) method. In 1992, we started to make efforts for the realization of the method, and succeeded in the test production in 1999 and commenced commercial production in 2003. Today we continue bitumen production operation by the SAGD method at the Hanging stone leases in Alberta, Canada.

The SAGD method uses high-temperature, high-pressure steam to heat the oil sands layer and provide liquidity to the bitumen. Two horizontal wells are drilled, and as heat is applied to the oil sands layer by injecting steam into the upper well, the bitumen contained in the layer begins to flow downward to be recovered in the lower well.

  • Oil Sands Development Utilizing the SAGD Process

    Oil Sands Development by the SAGD method

  • Oil Sands Development Utilizing the SAGD Process