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

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    Grant Seekers

    GO

    Math Education

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    Employee Giving

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    Community Impact & Reporting

    GO

Oil Sands

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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.

Fighting Boiler Buildup

Ed Latimer is passionate about gunk, most notably the kind produced by steam boilers used in oil sands recovery

Steam injected into a well using the SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) production method condenses to water and along its path picks up impurities. Continued accumulation leads to fouling in the steam boilers, requiring more frequent boiler outages to clean the tubes.

Latimer is lead principal engineer of the Novel Processes team in out Oil Sands Technology group. To study the problem using boiler feedwater samples, the team created a 1/1000th scale replica that simulates actual boiler conditions. The equipment reduces thousands of feet of tubing to just 22 feet, using 20,000 watts of electrical heat. Thermocouples placed along the pipe length indicate areas where higher temperature may reflect a buildup inside.

“The test unit is designed to accelerate fouling, allowing us to run a test more quickly. We run four gallons of water an hour, about 100 per day. After fouling material has built up, we cut up the pipe, scrape out the deposited material and send it out for chemical analysis.”

What does the future hold for Latimer and his team? “Right now we’re trying to understand what specific impurities in the water are responsible and what the mechanism is for laying deposits down on the wall. Once we achieve that, hopefully in early 2013, we’ll start testing mitigation methods.”