The Upper Devonian Grosmont Formation, located in the West Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit, contains an estimated 406 billion barrels of bitumen. The reservoir is a heavily karsted and fractured, bitumen-saturated carbonate. Initial thermal horizontal well development is currently underway in this resource. These horizontal wells have similar logistics, well construction and materials challenges to those in the McMurray Formation.

Laricina has been actively developing the Grosmont Formation. Production from the pilot began in 2011 and many lessons have been learned. The next phase of development is a 10,700 bbl/day commercial project scheduled for first steam in 2014. The Grosmont, despite many drilling challenges such as severe lost circulation, also provides many opportunities not typically achievable in clastic oil sands developments. Carbonate rock is typically a good candidate for open-hole completions due to its geomechanical properties. This paper will discuss the geomechanical investigation evaluating borehole stability during drilling and completion, steam injection and production operations.

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