While analysts have speculated that low oil prices might motivate Imperial Oil to postpone production at their recently completed Nabiye Cold Lake facility, the Calgary Herald reports that Imperial will begin injecting steam into the new wells within a few days.
Imperial spokesman Pius Rolheiser stated in a recent interview that delayed production is “certainly not in [Imperial’s] plans,” and explained that because the project is slated to run for more than 30 years “it’s not significantly affected by short-term crude prices.”
The Nabiye facility uses cyclic steam stimulation technology to heat up bitumen so that it can be pumped to the surface. The project is expected to have a production of capacity of 40,000 barrels per day by the end of the year, increasing Imperial’s production at Cold Lake to over 200,000 barrels per day.
Imperial’s Cold Lake facilities make up the largest thermal in-situ heavy oil operation in the world.