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Updated June 2023


Rising in situ production volumes over the past two of decades mirror the growing number of bitumen wells (see Figure S3.4). However, the number of producing bitumen wells generally declined due to rising productivity between 2015 and 2020. Since 2021, productivity has stabilized, and producing bitumen wells grew with production again to 11 830 in 2022, (2.9 per cent more than in 2021).

Production by Recovery Method

For 2022, the in situ production volume breakdown as follows:

  • 77 per cent from steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations
  • 13 per cent was from cyclic steam stimulation (CSS)
  • 10 per cent was from primary recovery and nonthermal recovery methods

Compared with 2021 levels of production, in 2022,

  • SAGD production increased by 0.8 per cent to 207.4 thousand cubic metres per day (103 m3/d) or 1305.1 thousand barrels per day (103 bbl/d);
  • CSS production marginally increased to 35.0 103 m3/d (220.1 103 bbl/d); and
  • primary and enhanced oil recovery production increased by 12 per cent to 27.7 103 m3/d (174.4 103 bbl/d).

Figure S3.5 shows in situ bitumen production by recovery method.

Well Productivity

In 2022, the weighted average annual productivity of all in situ bitumen wells slightly decreased to 22.8 cubic metres per day (m3/d). Compared with CSS or primary wells SAGD wells typically have higher output and more consistent production (see Figure S3.6). However, the number of CSS and primary producing wells exceeds that of SAGD wells.

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