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Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited
Industry Oil and gas industry
Founded 1978
Headquarters Calgary, Canada
Area served
Key people
Toshiyuki (Toshi) Hirata, President
Products Heavy crude oil
Parent JAPEX (Japan Petroleum Exploration Company Limited)
Website www.jacos.com

Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited (JACOS) is an oil sands extraction company. It is the operator of the Hangingstone oil sands project. JACOS is a subsidiary of JAPEX (Japan Petroleum Exploration Company Limited), which owns 86% share in the company. Minor shareholders are Inpex (5%), Mitsui (4%), and Japanese financial institutions (3%).[1]


JACOS started oil sands activities in the Athabasca area in 1978 on leases held by Petro-Canada, Canadian Occidental (Nexen) and Imperial Oil to form the PCEJ group.[2] It was the first Asian-owned oil company to exploit the Athabasca oil sands.[1] JACOS and its partners experimented with a cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) pilot project on the Hangingstone Lease from 1984 to 1994.[3]

In 1992, JACOS parent company JAPEX participated in the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) pilot experiments at the underground test facility (UTF) site.[4] With the positive results from the UTF project, JACOS decided to further pursue SAGD technology at the Hangingstone site. A 3-phase demonstration project was designed and constructed with the first phase becoming operational in 1999.[1]


The JACOS Hangingstone SAGD facilities are located on Lease OSL70, approximately 50 kilometres (31 mi) southwest of Fort McMurray and 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of the community of Anzac. It currently operates 15  horizontal well pairs and the production is approximately 8,000-8,500 barrels of bitumen per day.[3][5]

JACOS (75%) and Nexen (25%) are pursuing development plans for the larger portion of the Hangingstone lease. An extensive 3-D seismic program was conducted over part of the prospective bitumen area in 2002. Additional exploration core-hole drilling and a 3-D seismic survey began in the winters of 2007 and 2008 to further delineate and define the size and extent of the bitumen resource. The company plans to drill more than 100 delineation wells.[1] This is the first step for setting up a commercial venture with capacity of up to 35,000 barrels per day (5,600 m3/d).[6] The potential start-up of the new facilities would be by 2014.

JACOS together with N-Solv is currently working on a demonstration plant, to be operational in 2008. The pilot plant will use N-Solv in-situ extraction technology. This technology uses solvents to extract bitumen from in-situ oil sand reserves.[7][8] The plant would have a peak capacity of about 2,000 barrels per day (320 m3/d) of bitumen production. Total pilot plant construction costs are expected to be about US$45 million.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Company plans more than 100 oilsands wells". The Vancouver Sun. 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  2. ^ "Long focus brings good yield for JACOS!". Alberta Chamber of Resources. Retrieved 2008-03-15. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. Hangingstone demo project 2005" (PDF). Energy resources conservation board. 2006-03-07. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  4. ^ Wayne Patton, Ian Gates, Tom Harding, Mark Lowey, Ron Schlenker (November 2006). "Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD): A Unique Alberta Success Story with Implications for Future Investment in Energy Innovation. Paper No. 20 of the Alberta Energy Futures Project" (PDF). Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE). Retrieved 2008-03-15. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Alberta Oil Sands Industry Update" (PDF). Alberta Employment, Immigration and Industry. December 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  6. ^ Ashok Dutta (2007-04-12). "Japan Canada Oil Sands presses ahead". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  7. ^ a b "Enbridge, Hatch Invest in N-Solve to Build Oil Sands Pilot Plan". Downstream Today. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  8. ^ "Pair plan N-Solv oil sands pilot". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2008-03-15.