Cold Lake Oil Sands Project

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Canada Oil & Gas Fields

Imperial Oil & Gas Fields

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Summary Information

  • Operator: Imperial Oil
  • Country: Canada
  • Location: northeastern Alberta
  • Production start:
  • Partners:
  • Type: Oil / Gas
  • Estimated Reserves:
  • Production Volume: 150,000 bpd


  • Cold Lake operations is the largest and longest-running thermal in-situ heavy oil operation in the world.
  • The leases at Cold Lake cover about 780 square kilometers of oil sands
  • The development includes five steam generation and bitumen production plants, Dene, Leming, Maskwa, Mahihkan and Mahkeses
  • Cold Lake bitumen is located more than 400 metres below the surface out of the ground
  • It is extracted by injecting steam into the oil sands to thin the heavy bitumen and enable it to flow to the surface through wellbores. (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage SAGD)
  • The latest investment, the Nabiye expansion, included the development of a new steam generation and bitumen-processing plant, field production pads and associated facilities
  • Oil is transported on the Cold Lake Pipeline System to Edmonton & Hardisty


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  • 1999 - Permission granted for Mahkeses project
  • 2003 - Mahkeses project completed
  • 2012 - Imperial Oil makes FID for Nabiye expansion project
  • 2015 - Expansion project completed



  1. Imperial marks official start-up of new Mahkeses facility at Cold Lake
  2. Imperial Oil Sanctions Cold Lake Expansion Project
  3. ExxonMobil Announces Cold Lake Project Expansion Starts Production on Schedule

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