In Situ Methods used in the Oil Sands. In Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS), high-pressure, high temperature (350°C) steam is injected into a vertical wellbore in the oil sands deposit, which is fractured by the stream pressure. As the steam soaks through the oil sands, the bitumen melts and flows to a producing well,
In-situ extraction has a much smaller footprint than oil sands mining, uses less water and does not produce a tailings stream. Only 20% of Alberta’s bitumen reserves are close enough to the surface to be mined.
Insitu: Oil Sands Mining Goes Underground. The resource potential for in situ oil sands extraction is huge. Surface mining is only feasible for the shallow oil sands deposits found north of Fort McMurray, which means that 80 percent of the resource is too deep for mining and requires in situ (Latin for “in place”) recovery methods.
Oil sands mines are massive in size and very expensive to build, making it accessible to only the largest of energy companies with deep pockets. Thermal in-situ extraction of bitumen was first pioneered by Imperial Oil in the 1980s, but recovery rates were painfully low.
Oil sands deposits that are greater than 75 meters below the ground surface are usually extracted without removing the overlying rock and dirt. This is known as in situ oil sands mining.  Oil sands deposits are usually split into two types of deposits.
DOW OIL, GAS & MINING HAS YOUR SOLUTIONS FOR INSITU OIL SANDS PRODUCTION. Dow offers an array of solutions for in-situ oil sands applications including Steam Flooding, Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) and Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). With our chemical knowledge and history in the oil and gas industry, we can work with you to determine the best solution for your needs.
What is ‘Oil Sands’. Bitumen is too thick to flow on its own, so extraction methods are necessary. Oil sands are found primarily in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River regions of northern Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, and in areas of Venezuela, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Bitumen is extracted and processed using two methods, mining and in situ.
There are two different methods of producing oil from oilsands: open-pit mining and in situ (latin, meaning “in place”) technology. Bitumen close to the surface is mined. Bitumen deep within the ground is produced in situ using specialized extraction techniques. About 80 percent of oilsands reserves
Oil is recovered using two main methods: mining and in situ. The method employed depends on how deep the oil sands reserves are deposited. 80 per cent of the oil sands reserves are too deep to be mined, so will be recovered through in situ methods. 20 per cent of the oil sands reserves are close enough to the surface to be mined.