Aspen is a proposed in situ oil sands development project about 45 kilometres northeast of Fort McMurray, AB, on the Muskeg leases.
Imperial initiated this project in early 2012 and applied for regulatory approval in late 2013. In October 2015 we submitted a project update to the Alberta Energy Regulator outlining proposed use of Solvent-Assisted, Steam-Assisted Gravity drainage (SA-SAGD) in the Aspen project. SA-SAGD has the potential to capture a 33-percent capital efficiency gain and achieve a 25-percent reduction greenhouse gas intensity and unit operating costs compared to existing SAGD technologies.
Also amended was the plan to build the central processing facilities as two phases versus three, and an electrical cogeneration facility with an output of 60 megawatts to supply both phases.
Subject to timely receipt of regulatory approvals and favourable business and market conditions, a final investment decision could come as early as 2017. Development of the lease, 100-percent held by Imperial, would be phased over the expected 40-year life of the project.
- Read the Project Overview June 2014
- Discover SA-SAGD in the Oil sands innovation section
SAGD Environment & Regulatory Manager
Stakeholder Relations Advisor
Cold Lake expansion (formerly ‘Midzaghe’)
We are evaluating potential expansion in the Grand Rapids formation at our Cold Lake operations, involving SA-SAGD recovery of bitumen. Public consultations and environmental assessment work have been underway since early 2015. In early 2016, we submitted regulatory applications for a potential development that would include a steam-generation and bitumen-processing plant with wellpads and other facilities to support production of about 50,000 barrels per day.
Learn more about our Cold Lake expansion.
Corner and Clyden
Imperial is assessing potential development on its Corner and Clyden oil sands leases, located south of Fort McMurray Alberta. Delineation work for both lease holdings is ongoing.
Natural gas and tight oil
The Horn River region of British Columbia is northeast of Fort Nelson. Our 205,000 net acres represent one of the industry’s largest acreage positions in the area for ‘shale gas’ or ‘tight gas,’ typically developed through multiple wells and hydraulic fracturing.
Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada (50-50 interest) suspended operation of the Horn River horizontal well production pilot in May 2015. The successful pilot began in August 2012 and ran its planned course – assessing productivity and cost improvements to help determine potential long-term plans.
Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada have been acquiring exploration acreage in the liquids-rich portion of the Montney play in the Simonette area of northwestern Alberta. Current plans for this acreage are to evaluate the resource potential with an eight-well exploration drilling program.
Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada jointly (50-50 interest) hold 540,000 net acres in the liquids-rich Montney/Duvernay area straddling the northern BC/Alberta border. This includes about 104,000 net acres in the Duvernay shale and additional acreage in other areas of Alberta. The position is partly the result of ExxonMobil Canada’s acquisition of Celtic Exploration Ltd., in October 2012. Evaluation of this acreage is ongoing.
Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada have an extensive land holding in southern Alberta’s Cardium tight oil formation. ExxonMobil Canada has been operating conventional resources in the Harmattan area since the 1960s. Imperial currently operates a successful commercial project with 40 producing wells and a current volume of about 3,000 bpd.
Imperial is always reviewing potential opportunities in promising but technically challenging frontier areas such as deep-sea offshore locations and Canada’s Arctic. As with all of our operations, we approach frontier opportunities with a strong commitment to environmental protection, safety and innovation.
In Q2 of 2015 Imperial and its joint venture partners decided, after careful review, to defer the proposed Beaufort Sea exploration drilling program located about 180 kilometres northwest of Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. The joint venture will continue to maintain a presence in the north, including maintaining an office in Inuvik, executing a multi-year program to collect critical ice data, and continuing to work with communities to define business, employment and training opportunities for northerners.
Imperial remains committed to the Arctic as an important future source of energy. In addition to ongoing engagement with the ExxonMobil Arctic technology research initiatives, we will continue to work closely with government and academic institutions to share expertise in the offshore Arctic.
Mackenzie Gas Project
The Mackenzie gas project joint-venture participants have announced that they have decided not to proceed with the project at this time and are dissolving the joint venture.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
WCC LNG Project
Imperial Oil Resources and ExxonMobil Canada are in the early stages of assessing the economic potential of an onshore LNG plant project at Prince Rupert’s Tuck Inlet on British Columbia’s West Coast. The WCC LNG Project is at an early stage of definition, and no investment decisions have been made at this time.
After filing a project description in December 2014, the WCC LNG Project is proceeding through the pre- application phase of the environmental assessment process, which includes public and Aboriginal engagement, Environmental Assessment Office working group participation and ongoing studies. A final investment decision, not anticipated in the near term, will ultimately be based on a number of factors, including satisfactory government and regulatory approvals, economic competitiveness, future market conditions and LNG sales agreements.
In 2013, the National Energy Board approved an ExxonMobil Canada and Imperial Oil Resources application to export up to 30 million tonnes per year of LNG from Canada’s west coast.
Visit the WCC LNG project website.