Integrated motor and process control solution put to work on oil sands project

30 August 2011

Grizzly Oil Sands, a Canadian, independent oil sands company is to use the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx process automation system to help it produce more than 5,000 barrels of oil per day at the first phase of its Algar Lake Project.

The solution supports steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), an enhanced oil-recovery technology for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen.

“SAGD production has recently surpassed all other methods of in-situ oil sands recovery. We continue to look for ways to advance our ideas and optimise our efforts to recover bitumen from the one trillion barrels of oil in the Athabasca Oil Sands deposit,” said Brian Harrison, vice president, Engineering, Grizzly Oil Sands.

Grizzly has developed a facilities model – Advanced Relocatable Modular Standard development – to reduce costs, risks and environmental footprint associated with in-situ thermal development. “For our Grizzly facility model we needed an advanced, integrated process and motor control system that would monitor multiple SAGD sites from one central location, now and as we expand,” said Harrison.

A shadow control room, built on a virtualised computing environment, will be developed at Grizzly’s headquarters to monitor and control its current and future oil sites across northern Alberta. “This open architecture is an important reason Rockwell Automation won the order,” said Harrison.

The project also includes project management and engineering services, low- and medium-voltage motor control centers, and a PowerFlex 7000 medium-voltage variable frequency drive.

“This is a major win for us in the oil sands market, and an important win for our PlantPAx and the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture platform,” said Terry Gebert, vice president and general manager, Rockwell Automation Global Solutions. “It includes architecture, software and power control in one solution, utilising a major process automation system designed to improve plantwide optimisation and reduce extraction costs. Our experience, oil and gas domain expertise, and global resources will help Grizzly Oil Sands run a profitable and sustainable operation.”

Endress+Hauser, a global provider of process field instrumentation and plant-asset management solutions, as a member of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork framework will provide instrumentation to complement the asset management solution.

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