Cenovus was part of the Canadian Pacific Company ‘Pan-Canadian Petroleum’ which was spun off several years ago.
This is a SAGD (pronounced sag-dee) project near Christina Lake, Alberta (map follows).
Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage is the ‘other bitumen sands mining method’. Most people are familiar with physically scooping up bitumen sands and transporting them by dump truck for upgrading.
With SAGD, steam is produced by natural gas … and conducted several hundred feet underground to a discrete stratum of bitumen-sand conglomerate stranded below the non-bitumen surface strata. The steam is vented into the bitumen through perforated horizontal pipes.
The steam liquefies the bitumen.
Below (this is the ‘gravity’ part) the steam pipes … are return pipes which carry the mix of water and liquefied bitumen to the surface for processing.
This particular project is being expanded in modular stages. It is predicted to produce 278,000 barrels per day when fully expanded.
The whole world currently uses about 90,000,000 barrels of oil every day.