Husky Energy increases thermal production at Rush Lake

Husky Energy Inc. said its Rush Lake heavy oil thermal project in Saskatchewan exceeded nameplate capacity of 10,000 b/d a month after startup of production (OGJ Online, July 17, 2015).

The company said heavy oil thermals typically reach full production about 4-8 weeks after start of oil production.

“Heavy oil thermal projects represent low-risk, bite-sized investments, with much higher recovery rates than conventional technologies,” said Asim Ghosh, Husky chief executive officer.

Husky also has identified four midterm thermal growth opportunities, each at 10,000 b/d, which remain subject to final regulatory and company approvals. Rush Lake 2 is in the 2018-19 timeframe; Lloyd Thermal 1 and Lloyd Thermal 2 in 2019-20; and Lloyd Thermal 3 in 2020-21.

The company said reusing proven designs in a standardized, modular approach to construction has reduced engineering costs by more than two-thirds. As a result of construction efficiencies, projects can generally progress from sanction to first oil in less than 30 months.

Husky also said its Sunrise oil sands project in Alberta is producing up to 11,000 b/d of bitumen compared with 5,500 b/d at the end of June (OGJ Online, July 6, 2015) and 6,000 b/d in late July.

Production volumes at Sunrise are increased at a “controlled pace” as industry experience has shown that steady ramp-ups “allow ideal steam chambers to form, yielding better long-term results and helping to protect well integrity,” Husky said.

The company also said the Tucker oil sands project near Cold Lake in Alberta has used 3D seismic surveys to improve well placement and tap new reservoirs (OGJ Online, Aug. 22, 2006). All wells are steaming, and production is averaging about 14,000 b/d compared with 6,000 b/d in 2010.

Through an analysis of 3D seismic surveys on the Tucker lease, Husky has identified a new reservoir. The Colony formation has similar characteristics to heavy oil reservoirs in the Lloydminster region and is suitable for development using thermal technology. Steaming is expected in first-quarter 2016, with first production in the second quarter. Production of about 20,000 b/d is expected in 2017.

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