The IETP has contributed to some of the largest economic and technical successes in enhanced oil recovery through its support of the first field wide polymer flood in Canada. Additionally, the IETP also funded the first Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage project in a carbonate rock formation in Alberta, with the potential to tap into an additional 300 billion barrels of bitumen, see the project listing for technologies and the resources they support.

Project 01-023

Taber S, alkali-surfactant-polymer flood, also known as the Taber S,ASP or alkali-surfactant-polymer flood it uses enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to recover more oil from wells that were considered depleted. Polymer flooding is a type of EOR that has been used for the past four decades.

Funding from IETP has supported the first field wide alkali-surfactant-polymer flood (ASP) in Canada. The Taber S, ASP has projected incremental royalties of more than $60 million.

IETP funding directly supported;

  • Polymer improvements
  • Enhanced additives
  • Injection scheme development
  • Continued growth in the technology
  • And improvement to water treatment technologies

In 2011, A preliminary report was commissioned about IETP projects using polymers (PDF, 904 KB). The report shows that the anticipated incremental recovery from polymer flooding would amount to around an additional 45,000 barrels per day of production over the next 20 years. That is a reserve addition of around 300 million barrels of oil.

Project 02 – 034

Also known as the Christina Lake Air Re-Pressurization project, this project solves an issue that is unique to Alberta's bitumen producing regions. Gas over bitumen is when natural gas pools are found above bitumen reservoirs, complicating the development of the resources.

IETP funding was used to support the Cenovus Energy Christina Lake Air Re-Pressurization project which utilizes air injection to safely and effectively manage the pressures within the gas zone overlying an active Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) bitumen recovery project.

Through this and other active projects Gas over Bitumen projects, it was determined that gas and bitumen recovery operations schemes (SAGD) can co-exist be effectively operated in communication with an overlying gas zone as long as the system is in close pressure balance. Alberta Energy commissioned an Audit (PDF, 10 MB) of the process. Technology that allows for improved performance multiple resources from a single areas translates to more royalties for Albertans.