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SPE Vision 20/20: Exploring the Future of Heavy Oil Workshop

27 – 28 January 2015

Lloydminster, Alberta/Saskatchewan, Canada | Lloydminster Exhibition

Technical Agenda

Tuesday, 27 January, 0800–0930

Session 1: Setting the Stage. What Technological Hurdles Have We Overcome? What Hurdles do We Face by the Year 2020?

Session Chairperson: Mike McIntosh, Weatherford

To be able to move forward we must consider the technological successes and failures that have occurred to date.  Only then can we look towards the year 2020 for the hurdles that need to be overcome for heavy oil to remain successful.  This session will provide an overview of current and past practices with an outlook to the year 2020.

Confirmed presenters to date:

  • Ron Sawatzky, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures


Session 2: The Industry Story, the Regulatory and Political Environment.

Session Chairpersons: Colin Baillargeon, Baker Hughes and Mike McIntosh, Weatherford

As society puts pressure on regulatory and political regimes in relation to how natural resource industries operate and conduct their businesses, the landscape for the heavy oil industry in the year 2020 will likely look different than it is today.  Adjusting to these social pressures will be an important key to an overall successful business strategy.  This session will look at how societal pressures on the regulatory and political environment will have an impact on the heavy oil industry and how the industry will need to prepare.   

Confirmed presenters to date:

  • Richard Graham and Wayne Arnold, Distinct Resources
  • Darrel Howell, Armada Industrial Services
  • Wayne King, Grit Industries
  • Tim McMillan, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)


Session 3: Knowledge Transfer. The Role of the Operator, Advanced Education, and Government.

Session Chairpersons: Mark Bacon, Nalco Champion and Denis Blaquiere, Oil Lift Technology   

With the constant evolution and growth of the Canadian Heavy Oil Industries and the growing strain to find and retain new and experienced employees knowledge transfer is becoming more important than ever.  To maintain the growth of the industries in the era of the “Baby Boomers” moving onto retirement it is crucial that we share knowledge between peers.  The Collages & Universities must stay up to date with the latest technologies of the industry while the young professionals of our generation have to show a strong initiative and willingness to take the torch.  Ever evolving standards and regulations set forth by the governments must be clearly communicated to the industries so that all aspects of the business are conducted safely.

Confirmed presenters to date:

  • Darcy Spady, Sanjel
  • Alice Wainwright-Stewart, Lakeland College
  • Greg Zinter, Applus RDT


Session 4: The Future Market. Price, Customer, Transportation, and Canadian Upgraders.

Session Chairpersons: Mansour Osman, Cenovus Energy and Christopher Penny, Cenovus Energy

As oil prices continue to fluctuate, as we develop and implement more energy and cost efficient extraction means and as the insatiable global thirst for oil only continues to grow the resulting economic, social and political landscape has unlocked oil reserves originally considered economically unfeasible. For Alberta, a landlocked province with the third highest oil reserves in the world, there exists a series of challenges in reaching this global market, the largest of which is a projected lack of safe, low-cost transportation method. Transporting this oil to the global consumer is paramount; as in order to maintain these heavy oil projects a delicate balance between cost-effective transportation, the world-wide consumer demand and the global trade price is required.         

Wednesday, 28 January, 0800–0930

Session 5: CHOPS.  Current CHOPS Challenges and Future Opportunities.

Session Chairpersons: David Glover, Devon Energy and Keith Richardson, Husky Energy

The land base between Cold Lake and Lone Rock has had approximately 50,000 CHOPS wells drilled since 1988.  The larger pools have been discovered and exploited.  It is anticipated future CHOPS drills will have challenging economics due to smaller reserve potential, rising costs, and increased regulatory regulations.

Confirmed presenters to date:

  • Rob Morgan, Crew Energy
  • Paul Zorgdrager, Husky Energy


Session 6: Post CHOPS, What's Outside of the Box?

Session Chairpersons: Denis Blaquiere, Oil Lift Technology and Ron Sawatzky, Alberta Innovates–Technology Futures

Over the past thirty years, the cold production process or CHOPS (cold heavy oil production with sand) has been the recovery technology of choice for most heavy oil fields in the Lloydminster area. Recovery factors for this process usually fall within a range of 5 – 15% of the original oil in place (OOIP), leaving behind significant oil volumes and reservoirs that are highly depleted. In order to recover additional heavy oil following CHOPS, some of the remaining oil needs to be re-mobilized and a drive needs to be re-established. This session focuses on EOR processes that have been proposed to address this challenge.

Confirmed presenter to date:

  • Jose Alvarez, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures


Session 7: Water/Polymer/Chemical Flooding. Success's to Date, Opportunities, and Challenges.

Session Chairpersons: Hart Golbeck, Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures and Mansour Osman, Cenovus Energy

In challenging heavy oil reservoirs in western Canada where the oil viscosity is not too high, waterflooding has proven over the course of several decades to be a viable commercial recovery technology. More recently, polymer flooding has achieved commercial success in a few fields while chemical flooding processes are being explored. This session focuses on successes to date, challenges and opportunities for these EOR processes.

Confirmed presenter to date:

  • Kehinde Adetona, Weatherford Stimulation Group
  • Jen Bai, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures
  • Fred Wassmuth, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures


Session 8: Thermal Recovery. Success’s to Date, Opportunities, Challenges.  Pushing the Traditional Boundaries.

Session Chairperson: Darrel Hardes, Husky Energy

Traditionally, Thermal SAGD oil production has been viewed as something where the vast majority of success is focused on Northern Alberta.  The common practice is large scale facilities with high production volumes.  This session will focus on how views of thermal production have changed and the impact of this change from both regulatory and development perspectives.

Confirmed presenters to date:

  • Karl Miller, Husky Energy
  • Rob Parsons, Serafina
  • Larry Webber, Minister of the Economy, Saskatchewan Government