Oilsands Analysis

Our Oilsands Analysis Division provides analytical services for the mining, cold production and in-situ production of oil from heavy oil and tar sand reservoirs. Data generated from our heavy oil services is used by geologists, engineers and petro-physicists to calibrate wire line logs, identify potentially productive intervals, estimate reserves and evaluate reservoir quality for description.


  • SAGD Simulation Studies
  • Bitumen extraction and Tailing Ponds analysis
  • Digital colour photography techniques
  • Fluid Saturations
  • Particle (grain) Size Distribution
  • Permeability
  • Porosity
  • X-radiography
  • Heavy Oil Carbonate Core Processing

Additional Services

  • Core handling
  • Core storage (short and long term)
  • Slabbing
  • V-notch sampling

Oilsands Science Centre

AGAT Laboratories' competitive advantage includes two full-service laboratory facilities with over 90,000 square feet of laboratory space dedicated to oilsands operations. Our Oilsands Science Centre consolidates our 30 years of industry innovations and experience to offer highly efficient, technologically advanced laboratories with a client-focused approach.  


WebOILSANDS is a customized, web-based software package designed for oilsands data management. This program has the ability to recognize trends and anomalies and to ensure repeatability and quality of data. This secure online database interacts with our laboratory Oilsands Reporting System (OSRS) to provide real-time project and sample progress reports, photo capture, preliminary analytical results, work flow processing, and standard and custom report generation with data quality reviews.

To login to WebOILSANDS click here.

Services Description

SAGD Simulation Technology for oilsands studies provides total oil analysis for heavy oil and bitumen properties. Industry-leading stimulation recovery tests are conducted in-house at temperatures up to
300 Cº, providing solutions for VAPEX and SAGD applications.

AGAT Laboratories' was the first to engineer the largest lab-scale SAGD simulator to provide important data on parameters such as steam-oil ratios and recovery factors as well as investigating the influence of solvent injection on the overall production potential. Our SAGD simulator replicates all elements in the well system during SAGD, ESSAGD and VAPEX recovery processes. Data produced from this advanced instrumentation provides vital information when making final decisions for performance optimization and increasing economic return. Our SAGD simulator can be completely customized based on project needs.

Tailing Ponds Analysis - Batch Extraction and Process-ability Testing
AGAT Laboratories has an extensive Research and Development Program that enables us to work collaboratively with clients in creating innovative, environmentally-focused solutions for SAGD and mining extraction operations. Our Petrologists, Geologists and Engineers specialize in Tailing Ponds analysis and characterization, helping us provide green studies for our petroleum production clients. Our state-of-the-art instrumentation enables us to offer several analytical services that can be customized to the clients' project needs. These services include the following:

  • API and Specific Gravity
  • Bitumen cleaning and extraction
  • Complete water analysis
  • Dean Stark analysis
  • Froth extraction using a flotation unit
  • Overall mass balance
  • Monitoring and graphing
  • pH adjustment
  • Photography
  • Sand Fines Ratio
  • Settling tests
  • Total suspended solids

Digital Colour Photography: A permanent recovery of the cored interval including hydrocarbon stained intervals. Digital capture of the image facilitates enhancement of the more subtle features in the core.

Fluid Saturations (oil and water): Are determined by Dean Stark distillation. Saturation profile data helps define the presence of hydrocarbons, relative richness and the type of hydrocarbon that may be produced. Saturation data as a fraction of the bulk mass helps identify preferred deposits to be exploited in surface mining operations.

Particle (grain) Size Distribution: Is determined by laser diffraction or by the mechanical sieve shaker method. This data has engineering applications in well completion programs in friable and unconsolidated sediments. It's geological applications include assessing sand heterogeneity and depositional environment interpretation in both consolidated and unconsolidated clastic sediments. For petrophysical applications in various phases of formation, this includes the evaluation effects and understanding of log responses.

A key factor affecting the profitability of waterflooding heavy oil unconsolidated sand reservoirs is the ability to achieve effective sand control completions in response and injection wells. Effective sand control reduces line failures, simplifies individual well operating problems and protects expensive pumping equipment required for high producing rates. Particle size data is used to design an effective gravel flow pack, which is then used to meet these objectives.

Permeability: This can be determined in both the horizontal and vertical directions on cryogenically prepared samples encased in Teflon or lead sleeves. Engineers can use horizontal permeability data to define flow capacity, permeability distribution and profile. Vertical permeability is used to define coning probability and gravity drainage potential.

Porosity:  Is determined at net overburden pressure on cryogenically prepared samples encased in Teflon or lead sleeves. Porosity is an indication of the storage capacity of the reservoir. Core porosities are used to calibrate logs and for reserves calculation.

X-radiography Techniques: These are used to examine the internal character of a core without cutting it. In this process it is possible to obtain two images (0° and 90°) of the same piece of core and display them side-by-side. The process enables detection and evaluation of internal geological structures such as bedding planes, fractures and nodules, lithological changes, porosity distribution (porous areas and tight streaks), areas of mining core and the depth of planar features. This technique is used for identifying sections of core recovered in plastic sleeves and for preservation for future engineering studies, prior to cutting and slabbing.