TECHNOLOGY: Low Emissions Oil Sands Technology Pilot Hits Major Milestone – Energy News for the Canadian Oil & Gas Industry


A key milestone has been arrived at for a to start with of its kind pilot challenge that could drastically decrease greenhouse gasoline emissions and contemporary drinking water use from oil advancement in Canada and about the world.  The pilot, which works by using radio frequency technology, is now up and running and producing oil.  “It’s like a microwave oven, but we place it underground,” suggests Geoff Clark, CEO of Calgary-based Acceleware, which owns the undertaking.  

“We’re working with radio frequency electricity to heat the h2o that’s already present in the oil bearing formation, and we make the oil with a producer well…We are constantly heating. We’re little by little ramping up the energy that we’re placing into the ground from the procedure and we’re rather happy with the efficiency to day.” 

The pilot task is situated at Marwayne, Alberta, near Lloydminster on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border.  

Acceleware has been advancing its engineering toward area tests considering that 2010. In Oct 2020 the business received regulatory acceptance to move forward, and a month later on declared the backing of influential Indigenous chief Jim Boucher as a result of the creation of the joint undertaking Acceleware | Kisâstwêw. 

Kisâstwêw is Cree for “heat,” which suitable now is the driving force at the rear of about 1.4 million barrels for every day of in situ oil sands creation, by way of large-scale surface area steam era and reservoir injection. 

Acceleware’s know-how — named RF XL — eliminates the require for steam era and injection, ensuing in substantially fewer land use, elimination of fresh drinking water prerequisites, and the opportunity to primarily decarbonize heavy oil and oil sands at production. 


Rendering of the RF XL area pilot job. Image courtesy Acceleware

Energy is converted to electromagnetic energy at the surface and is then sent to the oil spend zone by way of radio-frequency heating lines. That electricity seeks out by natural means-occurring water molecules from within just the oil-bearing formation and heats them to produce a steam chamber. 

The pilot task is also supported by Sustainable Improvement Technological know-how Canada, Emissions Reduction Alberta, Alberta Innovates, Broadview Electricity, and a few key oil sands associates together with Cenovus Vitality and Suncor Vitality. 

Construction began in August 2021, and at the beginning of March this yr the RF XL process was run up. It’s been managing consistently due to the fact then, Clark says, and realized to start with oil at the commencing of April. 

Preliminary outcomes from the Marwayne venture are encouraging, says Boucher, who is president of Saa Dene Group. Boucher served as Chief of the Fort McKay Very first Nation for extra than 30 many years between 1986 and 2019 and has been regarded for exceptional achievements” in organization and local community leadership. 

It’s obtained a large amount of good elements to it. It is pretty clean up and it is genuinely a good environmental footprint and final result with regard to the engineering getting utilized. It’s got a great deal of appealing options,” says Boucher.  

There’s no liquid required to extract oil. It will certainly be incredibly fantastic in phrases of carbon reduction and the total of cash which is necessary.” 

If established successful, the pilot venture will mark a earth initially for electrification of reduced-to-zero emission major oil and oil sands creation. The initial heating section is predicted to final roughly six months.  

The technology’s prospective is not just in Alberta, Clark suggests.  

“We very first obtained into this since of some men and women who had been involved in California who required to consider of an environmentally improved way to develop this large oil than creating steam making use of normal gasoline and pumping that steam underground,” he claims. 

It’s definitely one thing that could be used in Alberta for the two hefty oil and oilsands, and it could of course be utilized in Saskatchewan for their significant oil. But we have a large amount of curiosity from worldwide players as perfectly, significantly people today in California, the weighty oil functions all over Bakersfield, and Central The us, Columbia, and the Center East as properly, in Oman and Kuwait. 

It has a great deal of global attraction.” 

And the environment will proceed to need oil very long into the long term. Even as more renewable energy arrives online, world-wide oil desire is predicted to increase to 103 million barrels per day in 2030, up from 96.6 million barrels per day in 2019, in accordance to the Global Energy Agency.  

In 2050, the IEA expects the earth will nevertheless eat 103 million barrels of oil for each day. 


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