A new heavy oil battery, capable of processing 500 m3/d oil, 500 m3/d water and 75 103 m3/d gas, was shop built in controlled environments through the summer of 1993. The battery was transported to the Cactus Lake West site, set on piles, field erected, electrified, and was operational within two weeks. This method of design and construction provides the benefits of reduced cost, minimized project time, and increased flexibility for component relocation and site abandonment. It is also an alternative method of constructing facilities for remote sites.

The battery was built at 12-17-036-28 W3M to process production from 18 horizontal wells that were drilled in the McLaren channel in sections 17 and 18 off five surface locations. Oil from the McLaren reservoir has a gravity of 12< API with a 3500 cp viscosity at 25<C. Expected peak production rate is 600 m3/d of oil with an expected recoverable reserve of 800 000 m3 and a 10 year economic operating life.

Technical design and project management focused on pre-building all components, tanks, and piping in controlled environments and designing electrical requirements, i.e. cable trays, pre-wired buildings and pre-cut cable lengths, to allow for minimal field erection and electrification time, thus saving time and money. The buildings and piping modules were bolted flange-to-flange on site, thus minimizing onsite welding and labour costs.


ELAN Energy Inc. developed two sections of McLaren channel sand during the spring and early summer of 1993. Eighteen horizontal wells were drilled from 5 surface locations through Sections 17 and 18. Twp 36 Rge 28 W3M, near Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan. The reservoir oil has a gravity of 12< API and a viscosity of 3500 cp at 25<C. The anticipated peak production rate is 600 m3/d of oil with an expected recoverable reserves of 800 000 m3 over a ten year life.

Construction of a flowline system and battery would eliminate effluent trucking costs and minimize oil treating and water disposal costs. The battery layout is shown in Figure 1. Construction cost, construction time, process performance, operating efficiency, and salvage value were the critical factors in determining the success of the project, This paper discusses the modular battery design and its relationship to the critical factors of cost, time, performance, efficiency, and salvage.

(i) Construction Cost

The final cost of the facility was ﹩ 3,500,000.

This cost includes all construction costs and associated costs such as land acquisition, access, and cathodic protection.

Shop construction costs can be estimated at ﹩22/inch weld. Summer on-site construction costs are approximately ﹩32/inch weld, including subsistence. Winter on-site construction costs increase to ﹩40/inch weld. On site fabrication costs are 45% higher than shop construction in the summer and 82% higher in the winter. Additional trucking and setting costs offset some of the savings from shop fabrication.

The labour component of module construction and electrical costs was ﹩752,000.

The cost savings that resulted from the module construction method can be estimated as follows:

  • #List of figures available in full paper.

The savings would have reached ﹩ 545,000 for a winter on-site construction project.

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