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Case Study

Long Lake commercial project

steam assisted gravity drainage

The Long Lake Project, a cooperative venture between Nexen Inc. and OPTI Canada Inc. in the Athabasca oil sands, is expected to produce 72,000 barrels per day of bitumen from Phase 1, utilizing the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) process.

The Situation

The Long Lake commercial SAGD project facilities include a steam SAGD production field, central production facility and two cogeneration plants which will be operated by Nexen, integrated with an OPTI‑operated upgrading facility designed to significantly reduce reliance on natural gas.

Our Approach

We provided the key project management, engineering, procurement, project control and information technology functions for the SAGD portion of the project. These functions were critical to the success of the facility design and project execution.


The Long Lake facility, the largest SAGD project in operation in Alberta, drew on our specialist resources to utilize synthetic fuel gas, produced from an upgrading process as the main fuel for the SAGD operation, which reduced the SAGD operating costs. Our specialists also provided input to the diluent‑based treating, which greatly reduced the salt content of the oil and made the front‑end desalting in the upgrader more effective. The plant also recovered all of the produced water and wastewater streams to provide high quality treated water to the upgrader.

Colt WorleyParsons was subsequently awarded the Long Lake South Phase 2 project.