In situ bitumen production in the Athabasca Oil Sands Area in Northern Alberta, Canada, is well-positioned to make inroads into traditional markets for Canadian crude oil in Canada and in particular in the U.S. The development of the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology has lowered supply costs and has made Athabasca bitumen competitive with other North American supply sources of heavy crudes and bitumens.

As part of a larger SAGD commercialization study, this paper examines potential markets for Athabasca bitumen, determines transportation options and costs to markets, and determines bitumen netback prices at the Athabasca Oil Sands Area resulting from sales to various markets.

The paper also examines how the current lack of pipeline infrastructure, out of the Athabasca Oil Sands Area, limits the market opportunity of Athabasca bitumen.

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