Strong Cap Rock
Our underground oil sands reservoir at the Clearwater Project is overlain by a thick formation of mudstone that forms a strong and impermeable “cap rock” over the bitumen-bearing sands. That’s important for successful SAGD-based bitumen extraction. It’s also a major contributor to the overall safety of the Clearwater Project. We have studied the cap rock extensively, confirming it to be continuous and impermeable, and easily able to withstand the planned operating pressure of 1,000 kPa – plus a safety margin.
For a graphical image of the subsurface at Clearwater including the cap rock, please click here.
The strong cap rock is combined with our low-pressure operating model to keep the steam down in the reservoir, where it belongs, without disturbing the ground above. For more on the technicalities of the cap rock, please click here.