Devon's thermal heavy oil operations, located in the Athabasca oil sands in northeast Alberta, use an extraction process called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Heat from a steam injection well liquifies very dense bitumen allowing it to migrate to a production well located beneath. Devon's first commercial SAGD facility was Jackfish, which achieved first production in 2007. Since that time, the company has increased its Jackfish operations to include Jackfish 2 and Jackfish 3. Devon has 100% working interest in all Jackfish properties. The company also has a 50 percent interest in the undeveloped Pike leases located adjacent to its Jackfish complex.
Devon's cold-flow heavy oil activities in the Lloydminster area are focused on vertical drilling for multi-zone Cretaceous sandstones. New technologies such as horizontal drilling and enhanced recovery techniques are being piloted to further improve recoveries.