Technology - Our Process

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MEG Energy's Central Processing Facility (CPF) utilizes a closed loop process that balances environmental impacts and maximizes efficiency. The CPF contains five key systems:

  • inlet separation
  • oil treatment
  • water treatment
  • steam generation
  • cogeneration

These systems are supported by various storage facilities, utilities and other infrastructure.

1. Inlet separation
The produced bitumen, gas and water stream is transferred by pipeline to the inlet separation system. This system separates the gas vapour from the mixture and sends the remaining products of oil and water to the oil treatment facility. Diluent is added to the oil and water so that it can flow more easily.

2. Oil treatment
The mixture of oil, water and diluent is sent to the oil treatment facility where the oil and diluents are separated from the water through a series of chemical and mechanical processes. The oil and diluent, called dilbit, is sent via pipeline to the tank farm where it is stored and ready for sale. The water is shipped to the water treatment facility for cleaning and recycled back into the process.

3. Water treatment
Approximately 86% of the water used in MEG's operations is recycled. The additional make-up water is supplied from non-drinkable sources located deep under the ground. The water treatment plant purifies the water by putting it through a series of filters, including the main filter known as the Hot Lime Softener. Cleaning the water is important to ensure our equipment operates at optimum efficiency.

4. Steam generation
The treated water from the water treatment plant is sent to the steam generation system. The steam generators are fueled by natural gas and produced gas separated in the inlet system. The conventional steam generators yield 80% steam and 20% water. The 20% water, which is saline, is further treated via the Mechanical Vapour Compressor (MVC) to recycle 78% of it for use as additional steam. The additional steam is then transferred to the well pads with the other steam generated and injected into the reservoir.

5. Cogeneration
Steam is also produced in our cogeneration facilities. These facilities contain two large gas turbines which burn clean natural gas to produce electricity. The waste heat created when producing this electricity is utilized to produce steam. Similarly to the conventional steam generators, the cogeneration facilities yields 80% steam and 20% water and the 20% saline water is also further treated via the MVC and used to produce additional steam. MEG uses the steam and power for its production operations and provides excess electricity back to the Alberta grid.

* Up to date as of May 31, 2021.