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APOP Project

The approved 2,000 barrels per day (bpd) Advanced Productivity Optimization Pilot (APOP) Project (AER Approval No. 12138B) represents the first development on VCI’s TriStar Leases, which consist of eleven contiguous oil sands leases plus another lease covering more than 25,788 hectares.  The APOP Project is located approximately 14 km south of Fort McMurray and approximately 4 km east of Highway 63.

The TriStar leases contain some of Alberta’s highest quality oil sand resource amounting to more than 4 billion barrels of recoverable bitumen. The APOP Project will quantify the well productivity of the rich TriStar oil sand reservoir and establish reliable operability of the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) in situ extraction process. It will also affirm the performance and effectiveness of VCI’s unique Condensibles-Steam In Situ Recovery process (CSIR™) for the recovery of shallow thermal resources in the TriStar area. The APOP Project intends to demonstrate reliable reservoir containment of the injected condensible hydrocarbon (CHC) and steam, to confirm the expected productivity of the bitumen bearing McMurray Formation in the TriStar oil sands leases, to showcase operational availability of the integration of in situ bitumen production with on-site bitumen emulsion customization technology (CSIR /ADC) for industry and other interested parties. The APOP Project also allows testing the potential of locally processing third-party bitumen effectively using available processing capacity of the ADC unit during the early circulation and ramp up phase of the three well pairs.

The APOP Project will be constructed and operated as a temporary project, where the Central Processing Facility (CPF) will be located adjacent to the well pad to eliminate the need for a standalone service road and utility corridor. The APOP Project will also showcase integration of wellhead emulsion with VCI’s proprietary technology Accelerated DeContamination (ADC™) which removes asphaltenes and produces decontaminated oil (DCO), a lower viscosity oil product that can be transported by pipeline

The APOP Project schedule anticipates timely construction of surface and subsurface facilities subject to financing support by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.


VCI is passionate about the future of the oil sands and its support for value added production in Alberta. To date it has invested significantly in the province. In keeping with its long-term vision for the industry and its commitment to Alberta, VCI will:


  • Carry out its business and operations with openness, honesty and integrity.

  • Meet or exceed regulatory requirements governing the approval and operations of its projects.

  • Work with governments, regulatory agencies, other operators, communities and stakeholders in a spirit of cooperation to address issues or concerns when they arise.

  • Consult with First Nations, Métis and other Aboriginal peoples affected by its operations in a timely and respectful manner.

  • Seek to understand and collaborate on initiatives designed to improve the quality of life in the communities where it operates.

  • Seek to understand and to minimize impacts of its operations on the environment through collaboration and commitment to innovation.

  • Protect the health and safety of its workers and people living in communities where it operates.


VCI’s commitment to timely, continuous and open consultation with potentially affected First Nations and other Aboriginal peoples will be achieved through its Aboriginal Consultation Plan. Broader-based consultation will be carried out under a Community and Stakeholder Engagement Program, which will serve as a foundation for building respectful and positive relationships to help shape and guide the longer-term commercial development of VCI’s TriStar Leases. The cornerstone of the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Program is to always say what we mean and have an open attitude when listening to what communities and stakeholders are saying to us.

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