​Wood SAGD CPF designs

Image: Wood

This article is part of the Spring 2018 edition of the Journal of the Canadian Heavy Oil Association.

Wood is a global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets.

We operate in more than 60 countries, employing approximately 55,000 people, with revenues of around $10 billion.

SAGD central processing facility (CPF) and well pads developed by Wood can best be defined as efficient, proven and repeatable designs, resultant from extensive industry experience and strategic application of template-based design and execution models.

Our interrelated design and execution strategies result in projects with predictability in safety, environmental compliance, quality, cost and schedule.

Our template-based design and execution models have been executed and optimized over numerous generations of CPF and well pad developments. They feature enhanced constructability and fit for purpose equipment selection resulting in a competitive CAPEX per flowing barrel.

Intelligent layouts are a key feature in our designs which seek to minimize each development’s footprint, while adhering to strict technical safety, operability, maintainability and construction execution requirements and strategies.

Further, our experience in executing projects from concept to first steam permits us to provide detailed and effective planning for all project development phases, with strong change control processes ensuring efficient delivery throughout.

Intelligent Design Elements

Wood’s intelligent designs utilize significant strategic modularization, as well as design aspects which focus on reducing or eliminating seasonal construction constraints, construction, operation and maintenance synergies, and suitable commonality of equipment sizes/types.

These design aspects, reinforced through template and copy scope methodologies, process improvements, data centric execution, and a standardized execution strategy have a direct and beneficial effect on CAPEX.

Standardized Design and Execution Strategies

Since 2004, Wood has been continuously developing its reference libraries of template design and execution strategies for CPFs and well pads of varying design and capacity. These templates cover SAGD facility design aspects including a component’s field or shop fabrication, facility rack module/package design, a major facility expansion or greenfield SAGD design development and execution, as required. In each project instance, these various templates are selected, validated and/or tailored (as required) to precisely align with any and all particular project design requirements and opportunities.

The investments made in these template designs and execution plans provides Wood with readily accessible information to efficiently prepare all deliverables to execute future projects. The value these standardized design and execution strategies provide results in a demonstrated significant reduction in the engineering hours required in SAGD facility design and development.


A comprehensive set of proven principles for the modularization of pipe racks and equipment packages drive the Wood designs. This allows for simplicity in design as well as fabrication and construction execution, with a favourable knock-on effect in the repeatability and flexibility of the contracting strategies employed. The result of these modularization and associated execution strategies are a significant shift of construction hours from the field into the shop, supporting schedule and cost predictability and certainty.

Seasonal Constraint Reductions

We have developed numerous design aspects for field fabricated buildings, tanks and other such items which reduce or eliminate the additional timing or cost associated with winter construction. Specifically, the quantities of or requirements for concrete are generally reduced in our designs versus typical major foundation designs.

Furthermore, where elimination of field fabricated building foundation concrete is not economically or technically feasible, we regularly ensure that the order of construction for these buildings occurs in a manner whereby the completed building itself, (complete with all internal process equipment already installed) is employed as a ‘hoarding structure’ thus eliminating the requirements for any temporary scaffolding and hoarding.

Lower CAPEX through Template and Copy Scope

Wood relies heavily on our extensive catalog of design and execution templates which take advantage of proven design and execution models developed with continuous improvements, optimizations and subsequent refinements over numerous completed developments.

Wood’s project execution model takes the best possible advantage of contracting and modularization strategies and techniques as well as an inherent flexibility to allow alignment with market condition opportunities that ultimately result in maximized capital cost efficiency.

We have gathered extensive experience with this approach from engineering through procurement to fabrication and construction of numerous SAGD CPF and well pad projects.

Process Improvements

Continuous feedback is embedded within the development process of our CPF and well pad design templates. This leads to fit-for-purpose alignment with each project’s specific process design conditions and requirements. Templates undergo regular review and application of potential process design improvements and potential new equipment technologies.

Wood has proven experience in the design of SAGD facilities which include integrated cogeneration power plants improving the emissions profile.

Data Centric Execution

Wood is a globally recognized leader in data-centric project execution.

With a focus on our clients’ operational information requirements, we capture data at its point of origin – engineering, vendor, construction, etc. - and maintain a single information record which is developed throughout the project lifecycle. Design tools utilize automation and rules-based data creation wherever possible.

Together this results in less errors, improved quality, a more efficient design process, and allows Wood to utilize accurate design replication, regardless of project size. Our proven data-centric execution strategies ensure project alignment, from day one, with all subsequent design, execution, client handover and operational requirements.

Capture and management of project data in a data-centric manner as outlined here has a direct effect on the ease and accuracy by which future projects or project phases may be undertaken in a copy scope or Design One-Build Many manner.

Wood is a global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets. We operate in more than 60 countries, employing around 55,000 people, with revenues of around $10 billion. We provide performance-driven solutions throughout the asset life-cycle, from concept to decommissioning across a broad range of industrial markets including the upstream, midstream and downstream oil & gas, chemicals, environment and infrastructure, power & process, clean energy, mining and general industrial sectors. We strive to be the best technical services company to work with, work for and invest in.

Advocacy & Opinion

U.S. & International


Special Report