Two companies have teamed up to provide water treatment and de-oiling options for Canada’s oil sands.
GE, Trevose, Pa., and FilterBoxx Water & Environmental Corp.,
in Calgary, Canada, have signed an agreement to develop efficient ways to recover
heavy oil from the Canadian oil sands regions. The companies will work together
on heavy oil produced-water treatment projects using in-situ thermal methods such
as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD).
Approximately 80 percent of the oil sands in Alberta cannot be
open-pit mined because the bitumen is buried too deep below the surface and therefore
must be recovered via in-place, or in situ, methods. In situ processes use thermal
energy, steam or solvents to make bitumen flow so that it can be pumped by a well
to the surface.
There are an estimated 98 billion barrels of bitumen recoverable
by in situ technologies in the Athabasca region of Alberta alone. Conventional de-oiling
and produced-water treatment technologies require approximately 0.3 to 0.4 bbls
of make-up water for each barrel of bitumen produced. FilterBoxx’s de-oiling and
GE’s produced-water evaporation technologies achieve high recoveries of the produced
water, resulting in 30 percent to 50 percent less make-up water required for the
SAGD process, depending on reservoir losses and other technical limitations.
According to Kevin Slough, FilterBoxx’s CEO, by coupling his firm’s
technology for de-oiling at high temperatures with GE’s evaporator technology, the
result is an end-to-end produced-water treatment system.
Oil Sands' Water Treated In Situ
October 4, 2010