Creating Long-Range Strategic Scheduling Solutions for the Fort Hills Energy Oil Sands Project

CIM Edmonton 2008
Lydell Melnyk,
Abstract The paper addresses the application of XPAC AutoScheduler at the Fort Hills Energy Oil Sands Project to complete fast turn around ‘what if’ scenario testing of different mine schedules.

Traditional scheduling approaches involve engineers making a “best guess” at the required mining sequence, loading this sequence into a scheduling package and testing the results to determine if the schedule meets corporate objectives. This process is iterative and can be very time consuming. Auto-scheduling techniques, on the other hand, are based on the engineer pre defining the mining rules and constraints of the deposit. The software then automatically selects a sequence of mining which the schedule should try and achieve, based off specified corporate objectives. Under this system the engineer is able to adjust the objectives and rules to evaluate numerous scheduling scenarios quickly and easily.

An XPAC AutoScheduler model was built, documented, and implemented by Runge and Petro-Canada Oil Sands Inc. personnel in a month. It is currently being used by Petro-Canada Oil Sands Inc. to run multiple schedule scenarios, most taking less than ten minutes configure and ten minutes to schedule. The results of each schedule are tabulated with supporting graphs on; the bitumen grade profile, strip ratio, ore inventories and mined tonnage. In addition to this, the block model may be animated to show the progression of the resources mining the schedules.

Keywords: Strategic Solutions, XPAC AutoScheduler, Scenario Testing
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