Over 80 Rotork CP, GP, and RC200 pneumatic actuators have been installed on well pads in Alberta, Canada where they will be part of an in situ steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oil sand extraction project.
SAGD technology is used to extract bitumen oil from 800 metres below the surface of the earth. This process is a form of steam stimulation in which two horizontal wells drilled into an oil reservoir, one a few metres above the other. High-pressure steam is continuously injected into the upper wellbore to heat the oil and reduce its viscosity. The heated oil then drains into the lower wellbore where it can be pumped out. The water and oil are taken to a separation facility, where the water is then taken, recycled, and re-converted into steam so the process can begin again. This process significantly reduces the impact on the environment, when compared to historic methods.
The actuators control the flow of steam and bitumen oil in these two wells. The levels of precision offered by the CP, GP, and RC200 pneumatic actuators a critical as the exact temperature must be maintained at all times to ensure that the steam condenses at the right point and facilitate the flow to the separation facility. The pneumatic actuators were also favoured as they also perform vital Emergency Shutdown (ESD) function.
The well pads follow a new zero-base design (ZBD) and are located in Northern Alberta. It is expected that this project will create a 15 to 20% reduction in the surface footprint for the well pads and a 35 to 55% reduction in the overall well pad cost.