ConocoPhillips
  • Who We Are
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    Who We Are

    We work in a truly integrated way to find and produce oil and natural gas globally. Technical capabilities, asset quality and scale, and financial strength set us apart - we are unmatched among independent exploration and production companies.

    Our Company

    The world’s largest independent exploration and production company. GO

    SPIRIT Magazine

    Each SPIRIT Performance Award tells a story – read them all in the new spirit Magazine. GO

    Fact Sheets

    Explore company assets, operations, and locations. GO

    Our Legacy

    A long and proud history of finding and producing oil and gas. GO

  • What We Do
  • Sustainable Development
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    Sustainable Development

    Sustainable Development is about conducting our business to promote economic growth, a healthy environment and vibrant communities, now and into the future.

    Our Approach

    Integrating sustainable development into our work. GO

    Safety & Health

    Striving to work each day without injury, illness or incidents. GO

    People & Society

    Addressing social and stakeholder issues. GO

    Common Questions

    Answering common questions. GO

    Environment

    Minimizing environmental footprint and supporting stewardship. GO

    Other Resources

    Measuring key performance metrics and reporting indices. GO

  • In Communities
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    In Communities

    We do more than create jobs and pay taxes in the communities where we operate. We listen. Our dedication as a community partner is evidenced in the local events we sponsor. It is also apparent in the conversations held between our local community liaisons and stakeholders.

    Water & Biodiversity Stewardship

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    Local Community Giving

    GO

    Grant Seekers

    GO

    Math Education

    GO

    Employee Giving

    GO

    Community Impact & Reporting

    GO

Oil Sands

Oil sands are naturally occurring geologic formations that contain a mixture of water, sand and thick, heavy oil that can be found in many parts of the world. The largest oil sands reserves are located in Canada. As global energy demand grows, Canada’s oil sands are emerging as one of the largest and most reliable long-term energy sources in the world.​

Recovery

This resource requires special extraction methods to get it out of the ground and into a state where it is fluid enough for transportation by pipeline. Extracted oil sands crude can then be refined into gasoline and other hydrocarbon products.

Getting Oil Sands Out of the Ground

Oil sands are recovered using two methods, depending on the depth of the reserves.

Surface mining is used when bitumen is within 250 feet of the surface.

In-situ recovery techniques are used to extract deep deposits of bitumen without removing the soil and materials above it. While approximately 20% of the total oil sands’ recoverable reserves are close enough to the surface to be recovered through surface mining, the vast majority of oil sands deposits average depths of 1,300 feet below the surface. These deposits can only be recovered using in-situ recovery techniques, such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD).

SAGD

SAGD involves injecting steam underground through a horizontal well to liquefy the bitumen and pump it to the surface for further processing.

A pair of horizontal wells is drilled from a central well pad. In a nearby plant, steam generators transform water into steam, which then travels through above-ground pipelines to the wells. The steam heats the bitumen until it reaches a temperature where it can drain to the producing bottom well. Steam injection and oil production happen continuously and simultaneously.

The resulting oil and condensed steam mixture (emulsion) is then piped from the producing well to a nearby plant, where it is separated and treated. The water is recycled for generating new steam, and our heavy oil is blended with synthetic crude oil and shipped by pipeline to the United States for refining.