Successful SAGD requires confinement of the steam within the target reservoir, and the easiest way to accomplish this is through the presence of a cap rock. This is a geological layer overlying the target reservoir that, ideally, is continuous and unmarred by sand/silt channels or faulting.
Extensive physical field and laboratory testing and comprehensive technical descriptions indicate the reservoir at Clearwater is overlain by a high-quality cap rock of mudstone. It is continuous and impermeable, with no natural sand channels or faults detected either through 3D seismic or core drilling. The Company’s program of mini-fractures and micro-injectivity tests has further confirmed the cap rock’s quality, which appears comparable to cap rock found at other successful SAGD projects.
This technical evaluation of the cap rock, combined with geo-mechanical simulation, helped to determine the Clearwater Project’s planned maximum operating pressure of 1,000 kPa, which is lower than the norm for deeper SAGD operations. Please click here for more on low-pressure SAGD. The high-quality cap rock at Clearwater combines with the low-pressure operating model to achieve maximum operating safety.