In situ or underground oil sands extraction is inherently easier on the environment than surface mining. This is due to the much smaller area of ground disturbance, the lower volume of water required, the absence of large settling ponds for mine tailings and the much smaller land reclamation challenge.
Grizzly is going beyond the standard SAGD development model to achieve even better environmental management. There are three main areas:
Downsized footprint – Grizzly’s approach of developing projects in 5,000-8,000 barrel-per-day increments results in a small footprint for our plant facilities. Our unique ARMS facility design results in an approximately 50 percent smaller plant site than for a standard SAGD facility with comparable production. The ARMS plant’s modular nature also makes it easy to dismantle and remove when production starts to wind down. The ARMS facility’s on-site power avoids the need for a large electrical right-of-way and overhead power lines through the forest;
Water sourcing – Grizzly is sourcing 100 percent of the water needed for steam generation and plant operation from provincially approved deep underground sources. Potable water withdrawals will be only for the needs of plant personnel.
Water handling – Grizzly’s ARMS plants are designed to achieve a water recycling ratio of well over 90 percent of the steam injected into the reservoir. This matches the provincial regulatory requirement for plants using potable water, while Grizzly is using non-potable water. The ARMS plant is designed using best-in-class technology for SAGD operations, including state-of-the-art evaporator systems that have lower chemical and energy requirements than older systems.
In addition to the built-in environmental advantages of its operating model, Grizzly is committed to environmental management excellence in all aspects of its oil sands project planning, construction and operations. Whatever we do, Grizzly operates under the principle of managing the environment with care.