After evaluating development alternatives, Cavalier submitted a development application to the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development in early November 2012.
This initial Hoole development is designed for the production of 10,000 barrels of bitumen per day, and construction is scheduled to begin in Q4 2014 following regulatory approvals. Start-up is expected in Q4 2016, with full production capacity anticipated to be reached by the end of 2017. The project is projected to recover an estimated 13.8 million cubic metres (86.8 million barrels) of bitumen from the Grand Rapids A reservoir over its 30-year production life.
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The project includes typical SAGD infrastructure as follows:
- Central processing facility for steam generation, water treatment, gas and liquids separation
- Injection and producer well pairs
- Source water wells and disposal wells
- Corridors made up of roads, underground pipelines, above ground pipelines and power lines
- Temporary construction camp and permanent operations camp
- Observation wells
- Borrow sites
A Positive Place for Business
The Project and the entire Hoole property are located within the Municipal District of Opportunity, No. 17. The MD and community of Wabasca-Desmarais are home to many businesses and services that support the oil and gas industry. Cavalier’s experience in the community is that it is home to vibrant, positive and energetic people. Cavalier looks forward to employing local services and personnel for the Project and creating benefits for the local community.
Bigstone Cree Nation
From the inception of the Project, and during the associated exploration work Cavalier recognized the potential to impact the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of Bigstone Cree Nation. As a result we sought to include Bigstone in all aspects of Project planning and development and met with the Bigstone Government Industry Relations (GIR) in 2010, and Bigstone’s leadership in 2011, before a project scope was determined.
Due to early communication efforts, Bigstone was able to participate in a variety of environmental field studies (wildlife, water quality, aquatics, vegetation, soils, historical resources) conducted from 2010 to 2012. Participation in these field studies assisted in the identification of environmental considerations associated with the Project.
Engagement with local trappers occurred during exploration activities and has continued during the development planning stages. Cavalier will continue to share information and seek input as the Project proceeds.
Environmental studies were completed to gather information for the Project design team and to assess the potential impacts associated with the Project. Key environmental considerations include the following:
- All major surface facilities required for the Project will be located a minimum of 100 meters from any mapped watercourse;
- Crossing of water courses with defined bed and bank and the potential for fish habitat have been eliminated;
- Low NOx burners on the drum boilers used for steam generation will emit less NOx (26 g/GJ) than the applicable emissions limits in the National Emission Guidelines for Commercial/Industrial Boilers and Heaters (CCME 1998) (40 g/GJ);
- A vapour recovery system will be incorporated to reduce vented emissions and the potential for odours;
- Air and noise modeling indicates the Project meets applicable standards.
The technology Cavalier has selected for steam generation is a drum boiler and evaporator treatment process. This system has significant environmental benefits when compared to alternative technologies such as warm lime softening. These benefits include less water disposal, smaller surface disturbance, no solids to landfill, less chemical use, less trucking and minimized make up water demand. This technology also allows the Project to eliminate process water ponds and the potential risk they present for migrating waterfowl.
The Wabasca region provides habitat for a number of wildlife species. An extensive review was conducted for sensitive wildlife areas that may occur in the vicinity of our Project. Cavalier understands that caribou conservation is a shared responsibility between industry and government and we are committed to addressing caribou management as part of a long term management of landscape during the lifetime of the Project. Our detailed strategy on how we will mitigate the risks can be found within our application.