The process for extracting bitumen from oilsand has long been a major area for research and development work at Syncrude. Through this work, many new enabling technologies have been developed - the Tailings Oil Recovery (TOR) vessels, the Inclined Plate Settler (IPS), the Naphtha Recovery Unit (NRU), and the Clark Warm Water Extraction (CWWE) process are a few. These developments have resulted in improved naphtha and bitumen recovery, reduced energy costs and improved environmental performance.

This paper focuses on another enabling technology in the Extraction area - oilsand hydrotransport. This paper discusses the research and development activities since 1989 that have culminated in the construction and startup of the Extraction Auxiliary Production System (EAPS) in 1993.

Learnings from the operation and testing of EAPS have provided important data for the design of hydrotransport - based, bitumen - production systems. These learnings will also serve as a base for development of technology for application on remote lease(s). However, this is not the only new technology required for remote application. This paper will also focus on other new enabling technologies required for off-lease development.

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