Imperial Oil's Cold Lake Operations maintains a large collection of environmental data in support of its field activities. The scope of environmental data collected is extensive -- for example it includes over 700 groundwater monitoring wells. Analytical data derived from air, water and soil samples is supplemented with survey data, high resolution topographic data and aerial and satellite imagery. These data are used to support on-going environmental management and reclamation activities and are required for regulatory reporting. As Cold Lake Operations continues to expand, Imperial Oil identified the need for a comprehensive system to help manage the variety and scope of environmental data and to provide easy access to the data for environmental advisors. Cold Lake Operations engaged ExxonMobil's computing organization to develop the Environmental Data Management System to address these growing data management and integration requirements.
Imperial Oil Limited, ExxonMobil's majority owned Canadian affiliate, operates its Cold Lake production project in the boreal forest of northeastern Alberta. Cold Lake is the largest in-situ oil sands project in Canada, covering approximately 780 square kilometers and producing approximately 150,000 barrels of bitumen per day. Operations include more than 4000 active wells drilled from some 200 multi-well pads (Figure 1), 4 plants that generate steam and process bitumen, and a 170- megawatt cogeneration unit. In-situ production of the oil sands is accomplished via cyclic steam stimulation (CSS). CSS is a three-stage process in which high-pressure "wet" steam is injected into the reservoir, allowed to soak and then produced -- all from the same wellbore. This cycle is repeated many times (upwards of 15 cycles) with the same well.