Southern Pacific Resource Corp., Calgary, has begun converting the first of 12 well pairs at its STP-McKay thermal oil sands project west of Fort McMurray, Alta., from steam circulation to bitumen production.
Steaming at the steam-assisted gravity drainage project began in July after the company decided to expand first-phase design capacity of the development to 18,000 b/d of bitumen (OGJ Online, May 11, 2012).
A second phase will increase total capacity to 36,000 b/d.
Additional well pairs will be converted to production over the next several weeks, and steam injection volumes will increase. Each well pair is expected to take 12-18 months to reach peak production rates.