Integrated process and motor controls help extract oil from Grizzly Oil Sands

steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology lowered Canadian oil sands production costs using Rockwell Automation's PlantPAx process automation system, motor controls, and variable frequency drives.


An integrated process and motor control system will help Grizzly produce more than 5,000 barrels of oil per day at the first phase of its Algar Lake Project. The solution supports steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), an enhanced oil-recovery technology for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen.

“SAGD production has recently surpassed all other methods of in-situ oil sands recovery. We continue to look for ways to advance our ideas and optimize our efforts to recover bitumen from the one trillion barrels of oil in the Athabasca Oil Sands deposit,” said Brian Harrison, vice president, engineering, Grizzly Oil Sands. Grizzly developed a unique facilities model, Advanced Relocatable Modular Standard development, to reduce costs, risks and environmental footprint associated with in-situ thermal development. “For our unique Grizzly facility model we needed an advanced, integrated process and motor control system that would monitor multiple SAGD sites from one central location, now and as we expand.”

Grizzly Oil Sands has awarded a order for more than $4 million to Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), and its Global Solutions team, which will use the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx process automation system to integrate process and motor controls.

A shadow control room, built on a virtualized computing environment, will be developed at Grizzly’s Calgary, Alberta headquarters to monitor and control current and future oil sites across Northern Alberta, according to Harrison. The company wanted open-architecture systems. The project also includes project management and engineering services, low- and medium-voltage motor control centers, and a Rockwell Automation PowerFlex 7000 medium-voltage variable frequency drive.

Terry Gebert, vice president and general manager, Rockwell Automation Global Solutions. “It includes architecture, software and power control in one solution, utilizing a major process automation system designed to improve plantwide optimization and reduce extraction costs. Our experience, oil and gas domain expertise, and global resources will help Grizzly Oil Sands run a profitable and sustainable operation.”

Endress+Hauser, part of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork, provided instrumentation to go with asset management software. Grizzly expects to reduce integration costs throughout engineering, commissioning and startup, said Gebert. 

Rockwell Automation Inc. 

Grizzly Oil Sands

- Edited by Chris Vavra and Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, 

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.