Thinking about those oil sands (bitumen) assets in Saskatchewan - I'm wondering if the Multi Drain process would work? It was originally designed for those tar sands lying at shallow depths - too deep for surface strip mining and too shallow for conventional SAGD horizontal well pairs and high pressure steam?
The basic idea is to drill a central producer and then drill slant horizontal wells in to the central well from the outside on a hexagonal pattern. 6- 12 of these slant spokes form the injectors from the periphery while the central well is the collector and producer. Repeat the pattern across the field in a honeycomb pattern set up.
The Saskatchewan Research council has one third the patent on this system. Whoever took over the Joslyn Creek project would have another third. (The other third may be in Private hands now?) I was involved in the the initial drilling and start up of that project and involved in drilling the first two pilot slant wells and the central producer. (Two "spokes" of the wagon wheel and the "Hub.") We drilled the slant/horizontals using an electrified wire strung through the trees for ranging purposes for most of the directionals and then a live wire dangled down the central vertical for final approach targetting. Very "Rube Goldberg" but worked like a damn!
But it was to use "low pressure steam" and cheap boilers - not high pressure and expensive ones. But it may be that the seal is too poor even for such a system. I'm reminded of attempts at steam assist in Albania and the turning of a small patch of the oilfield into a mini "Yellowstone" for a while... Quite exciting so I am told!