Continuous Ground Monitoring
Highly sensitive real-time monitoring of the Clearwater reservoir will provide comprehensive data on the steam’s progression through the reservoir. Our monitoring program comprises an extensive array of tiltmeters and satellite radar reflectors placed on the ground and observation wells drilled into the reservoir, along with standard data provided by the SAGD wells themselves.
The tiltmeters are an innovation as applied to the Alberta oil sands. A tiltmeter is exactly what it sounds like: an instrument to detect any change in the elevation or angle of the ground. At Clearwater, approximately 155 tiltmeters will help us monitor what is going on in the underground well pairs and will provide real-time information on the development of the steam chamber.
AOS’s tiltmeters are incredibly sensitive – they can pick up the minute changes in the shape of the ground in response to the varying tidal pulls of the moon’s phases. What that means for our operations is that we expect it to provide our staff with advance warning of any excess underground pressure soon enough to remove a well from operation well in advance of any risk of surface steam breaches.
The tiltmeter array at the Clearwater Project will be in continuous operation. More on the technicalities of how AOS will monitor its steam chambers can be found by clicking here.