Operational Excellence Effort Optimizes Oil Production


Context and Challenge

  • SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) Operation requires treated water to produce the steam for oil extraction

  • During a new phase of construction at one of the fastest growing SAGD Operations in Alberta, steam water treatment became a bottleneck to production

  • Operators and Engineers were challenged as to how they could overcome this bottleneck

  • This challenge was given to the Operational Excellence Production and Optimization Team, supported by Evolve as part of a comprehensive Operational Excellence program



  • The team, consisting of operators, maintenance techs and process engineers, applied a structured 10-step problem solving process to build capability and create sustainable change

  • The team used an Ishikawa root cause process to get to the root of what was restricting the treatment of water

  • Relevant Key Performance Indicators were identified and analyzed for variation and optimization

  • The team developed an action plan and implemented improved maintenance practices to reduce breakdowns, improved chemical addition techniques and optimized input flows

  • These changes were rolled out over multiple shifts over months to ensure they were sustainable

  • The team developed an operating playbook to ensure consistent response by operators to varying input and output indicators

Evolve’s coaching has helped my people to address real business issues in a way that has added value while building their capability and confidence. I appreciate Evolve’s ability to coach me and my senior team as well as employees at the shop-floor level—and link those interventions to drive business improvement.
— President and CEO LNG company