CONOCOPHILLIPS delivered first oil at its Surmont 2 oil sands facility in Canada, marking a significant milestone for the megaproject, the company said.

Located 63 kilometres south east of Fort McMurray in the Athabasca region of Alberta Canada, construction of the facility began in 2010 and according to ConocoPhillips it is the largest single-phase team-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project ever undertaken.

Production is expected to ramp-up through 2017, adding about 118,000 barrels of oil per day gross capacity.

Total gross capacity for Surmont 1 and 2 is expected to reach 150,000 barrels of oil per day.

Earlier this year, ConocoPhillips announced first steam, the initial step towards production.

Since that milestone, steam has successfully heated the reservoir to a point where the well pairs can be converted to a SAGD configuration and allows the oil to flow.

Production was declared once the inspected product was successfully routed to sales tanks. ConocoPhillips chairman and chief executive Ryan Lance said the oil sands are an important part of the company’s portfolio.

“We’re pleased to see a project of this magnitude move from the capital phase to the production phase, knowing that it will produce for decades to come. Achieving this milestone on schedule demonstrates our continued commitment to meet our operational targets,” he said.

ConocoPhillips Canada president Ken Lueers attributes the project’s accomplishment to the hard work of the men and women who built the megaproject.

Total president exploration and production Arnaud Breuillac said this is Total’s firth startup since the beginning of the year.

“Surmont will produce substantial reserves, with a long plateau that will generate cash flow for decades to come,” Mr Breuillac said.

The Surmont project is a joint venture between ConocoPhillips (50%, operator) and Total (50%).