Kearl is home to one of Canada’s highest-quality oil sand deposits and largest open-pit mining operations. With regulatory approval to produce up to 345,000 barrels of bitumen per day, it’s estimated that one in every eight barrels of oil in Canada is produced at Kearl. Built in three stages, Kearl was developed with a "design one, build many" approach to its facilities.
We worked on all three stages of Kearl’s development and provided fabrication and modularization for the project. Initially Imperial Oil planned on having the fabrication of the modules done overseas, but as the transportation route was finalized, they realized transporting them through the last leg of the journey was virtually impossible. Instead the modules were cut into smaller pieces and transported to PCL’s industrial fabrication yard, where we reassembled the units into the original shipping configuration and shipped them to site.
To offset any delays associated with module transportation, we worked with Imperial Oil to identify available work fronts that we could execute without the modules to minimize the impacts to the overall schedule.
In the first phase we assembled 134 modules, erected four steam boilers, and constructed a water treatment plant, two ponds, and a 72-kV electrical distribution system. In the second phase, the team assembled 150 modules, erected four steam boilers and constructed a water treatment plant, an electrical distribution system and a 72 KV distribution system. The final scope of the project was a tank farm for which we installed 18 pipe-rack modules, two vapor recovery units (VRUs), 29 pieces of equipment and pipe rack tie-ins.
Kearl represents the next generation of oil sands mining and was built with technological innovations that reduce cost.