The heavy oil deposits of the Lloydminster area of Alberta and Saskatchewanrepresent a vast resource (3.5 billion cubic metres or 20 billion barrels) ofgreat importance to Canada. Unlike the oil sands of Alberta, these oils aremobile at reservoir conditions, and thus more easily recoverable. However, these pose problems of their own: the reservoir quality is inferior, the oilrecovery technology is yet to be proven for the great majority of the fields, and as yet facilities for upgrading of the produced oil are non-existent. It isbelieved that variations of steam injection and wet ins itu combustion andimmiscible carbon dioxide flooding will help produce a sizable fraction ofheavy oil in Saskatchewan. However, a great deal of laboratory research andfield-testing will be needed in order to double the present heavy oilproduction over the next ten years, which was the goal set in 1980. Developmentof enhanced oil recovery is a slow process, which cannot be speeded up simplyby infusion of capital. It is clear that the present pace of EOR activity in Saskatchewan, while encouraging, is too slow to meet SEM 's 1982projections.


The heavy oil deposits of the Lloydminster area have an ever-increasingimportance in Canada's energy picture. The in-place oil is estimated at about3.5 million cu metres (20 million barrels) - possibly three times as much.Unlike the oil sands of Alberta, the oil in these reservoirs is mobile at theprevailing conditions. The primary recovery is 5 to 10% of the in-place oil, with an additional few percent by waterflooding. As a result, unlike the oilsands of Alberta, fluid injectivity and productivity and inter-wellcommunication are not problems in the Lloydminster reservoirs. In recent years, both the success in the Lloydminster pilots and the limited success in the oilsands projects have served to underscore the importance of the Lloydminsterdeposits. It is certain that with increased field activity and laboratoryresearch, very large volumes of oil can be produced from thesereservoirs.Canada Os conventional oil reserves are about 1.2 million cu metres (8 billionbarrels); the current oil production is about 200 000 cu rn/day, while theconsumption is 260 000 cu m/day. The impact on the Canadian economy is about $12 billion per year - some three times the actual cost of the imported oil. The Lloydminster heavy oil is playing a vital role in reducing this deficit.


Numerous fine papers by Vigrass (e.g. Ref. 1 and, others have discussed thegeology and the basic characteristics of the Lloydminster area reservoirs.These reservoirs are usually small In size, and have been described as "island(If sand in a sea of shale". The oil gravity varies from a high of 22–23 API(Wainwright Taber N.) to 14–16 API (Bonnyville) to 9 AP (Onion Lake). Thein-place oil viscosity varies from 150 to 4 000 mPa.s, with 2 000 average.

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