Updated May 2022
Rising in situ production volumes over the last couple of decades mirror a growing count of bitumen wells. However, since 2015, the number of producing bitumen wells has generally been on a downward trend. In 2021, there were 11 492 producing bitumen wells (2.8 per cent more than in 2020). See Figure S3.4.
Production by Recovery Method
For 2021, the in situ production volume breakdown as follows:
- 78 per cent from steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations
- 13 per cent was from cyclic steam stimulation (CSS)
- 9 per cent was from primary recovery and nonthermal recovery methods
Compared with 2020 levels of production, in 2021,
- SAGD production increased by 14.5 per cent to 205.8 thousand cubic metres per day (103 m3/d) or 1295.1 thousand barrels per day (103 bbl/d);
- CSS production growth was relatively minor, growing to 34.1 103 m3/d (214.6 103 bbl/d); and
- primary and nonthermal production grew by 5.6 per cent to 24.8 103 m3/d (156.1 103 bbl/d).
Figure S3.5 shows in situ bitumen production by recovery method.
In 2021, the average annual productivity of all in situ bitumen wells increased by 9 per cent to 23 cubic metres per day (m3/d) (see Figure S3.6). SAGD wells are typically larger in output and have a more consistent production compared with CSS or primary wells.