Kearl Initial Development

When fully developed, the Kearl oil sands project, jointly owned by Imperial Oil (the operator) and ExxonMobil Canada, will be one of Canada’s largest open-pit mining operations, with regulatory approval for up to 345,000 barrels per day (bpd) of bitumen production. It is estimated that Kearl has the potential to produce about one in every eight barrels of oil in Canada, based on today’s production levels.

The Kearl Initial Development will be one of Canada’s largest open-pit mining operations.The Kearl Initial Development will be one of
Canada’s largest open-pit mining operations.

The Kearl Initial Development project.The Kearl Initial Development project.

The first phase of the project, known as Kearl Initial Development, aims at developing six oil sands leases located 70 kilometers north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The client employed a phased development strategy to leverage learnings gained at every step through their “design one, build many” approach to facility replication. When Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil Canada tendered a contract for the expansion of the Kearl project, PCL was successful in securing a second lump-sum contract with an almost identical project scope.

Building with Confidence

During the first phase, PCL’s scope of work consisted of bulk procurement, fabrication, module assembly, and site construction. This included the assembly of 134 modules, the erection of four steam boilers, and the construction of a water treatment plant, two ponds, and a 72 kV electrical distribution system. Work, which started in the field in January 2010, was completed in April 2013. PCL Industrial Management Inc. secured an agreement to execute work on a utility plant for the Kearl oil sands heavy oil extraction facility under a lump-sum contract. Under this contract delivery method, PCL assumed responsibility for labor productivity and the schedule, while the client was accountable for quantities and camp and travel costs.

One Call Away

PCL’s project sponsorship model is founded on the “one call away” principle, which strengthens communication between the clients and PCL’s staff and executive. Key project staff and senior executives are available to clients 24/7; PCL Industrial​​ believes strongly in the importance of giving clients access to executive authority whenever required.
“Kearl is the largest project Imperial has ever undertaken, and we knew that selecting the right organizations to build it was a critical success factor.” said Chris Allard, Kearl project executive. ”The working relationship at all levels of our two organizations has been a high point.”

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