Our process team initiated a research project at the Alberta Research Council, now Alberta Innovates, with the objective of developing a way to reduce the requirement for diluent at heavy oil/bitumen well sites.
A 1.5 bbl/day pilot plant was designed, built and tested at the Alberta Research Council's facilities in Nisku and Devon to establish the parameters for a field partial upgrader utilizing a visbreaking process.
Subsequently, thermally cracked oil was processed in a 200 bbl/day #2 diesel plant.
Current activites involve the construction and testing of a 2000 bbl/day demonstration plant.
This will lead to 10,000 bbl/day modular commercial units.
Armed with the basic research, engineering designs evolved over several years to fine tune a practical and economical plant.
These designs were then put into a complete set of drawings suitable for fabrication.
A local Alberta fabricator was able to provide a fixed cost to fabricate the plant within the skid limits.
With this information we were able to establish that it was economical to build and operate a field unit of 1200 - 2000 bbls/day.
The design is scaleable to suit larger volumes of 10,000 bbls/day or more at central locations.