ConocoPhillips has commenced production from the Surmont 2 in-situ oil sands facility in Alberta, Canada.


The company started construction on the project in 2010, which claimed to be largest single-phase steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project.

ConocoPhillips Canada operates the Surmont field with 50% stake while Total E&P Canada owns the remaining 50% stake.

The Surmont phase 2 project involves the expansion of the Surmont SAGD plant to boost production capacity from the existing 27,000 barrels of bitumen a day to 136,000 barrels of bitumen a day.

Total exploration & production president Arnaud Breuillac said: "This is Total’s fifth startup since the beginning of the year, and it contributes to our upstream growth.

"Surmont will produce substantial reserves, with a long plateau that will generate cash flow for decades to come."

Located approximately 60km south-east of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the Surmont site spread across an area of approximately 567km².

ConocoPhillips chairman and CEO Ryan Lance said: "We’re pleased to see a project of this magnitude move from the capital phase to the production phase, knowing that it will produce for decades to come.

"Achieving this milestone on schedule demonstrates our continued commitment to meet our operational targets."

ConocoPhillips plans to boost production at the project to about 118,000 barrels of oil per day (BOD) gross capacity through 2017, bringing the combined production capacity of Surmont 1 and 2 to 150,000 BOD.

Production start up from the oil sands project follows ConocoPhillips’s plan to reduce workforce by 10% to more than 500 jobs in Houston amid plunging global oil prices.

The company announced it planned earlier this year to cut 1,000 jobs claiming that the energy industry is in a "dramatic downturn," reported Associated Press.

Image: The Surmont phase 2 project production is scheduled to reach approximately 118,000 barrels of oil per day (BOD) through 2017. Photo: courtesy of ConocoPhillips Company.