Not Your Ordinary Toy

Not your ordinary remote control toy

It may look simple in the video, but moving a module — which is like a big block of Lego — can sometimes be more complicated than you think. In this case, it took a year to devise and implement a plan to move the first module to site, but it saved PetroChina Canada $4 million and brought experts together from across the organization.

The roads leading into site are narrow with lots of tight turns, and aren’t designed for transporting modules through. By using a self-propelled module transporter (SPMT) — and not widening roads — PetroChina Canada saved millions and didn’t have to impact the surrounding bush.

The SPMT can handle massive loads through tricky terrain. It has 18 axles which are individually steerable. Each axle has four wheels, which move up and down, allowing for better navigation of the narrow, twisty and unlevel ground. And it moves very slowly at 5 km/hr. It took 45 minutes for the SPMT to move three kilometres with one person walking behind the transporter guiding it via remote control (the video is at about triple speed).

PetroChina Canada was established in 2010 as a joint venture between Athabasca Oil Corp. and PetroChina Company Limited. PetroChina Canada is making bold strides in its aspirations to produce 400,000 bbl/d with minimal environmental impact.

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