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Alta. Oil Extraction Tech Uses No External Water, Receives $10M Grant

By Todd Westcott 07:16AM November 06, 2017

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Alberta’s Acceleware, developer of the RF XL cleantech that allows for heavy oil and bitumen extraction without any external water added, has received funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to scale up its technology.

Acceleware has been awarded a $10 million non-repayable contribution to complete a commercial-scale field test of its RF XL cleantech. The funding is contingent upon the execution of contribution agreements with both SDTC and ERA and a partnership with an oil sands producer to complete the commercial scale field test. Acceleware is in the process of finalizing a partnership with one or more oil sands producers as required to complete this commercial-scale field test in an oil sands reservoir.

“We look forward to working with SDTC, ERA, and our other partners in this vital next step in commercializing our technology,” said Geoff Clark, CEO of Acceleware. “RF XL supports the goals set out by the federal and provincial governments to reduce GHG emissions while creating the economic opportunity to usher in a shale oil style revolution of competitiveness and clean growth for Alberta’s oil industry.”

In June, the company announced a successful 1/20 scale field test. RF XL efficiently mobilizes heavy oil and bitumen by using radio waves to heat the water already present in the reservoir. RF XL requires no chemicals or solvents, no external water, utilizes a smaller surface footprint, and can reduce GHG emissions by 50-100 per cent, compared to steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Acceleware estimates that RF XL has the potential to reduce capital costs by as much as 70 per cent and operating costs by up to 40 per cent when compared to SAGD. The commercial-scale test will utilize electronics developed in partnership with GE.

“SDTC is incredibly proud to support Acceleware,” said Leah Lawrence, president and CEO of SDTC. “Our mission is to help Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs move their ground-breaking technologies to commercialization by bridging the funding gap between research and market entry.”

“ERA helps accelerate promising technologies that will lead to both economic and environmental benefits,” said ERA CEO Steve MacDonald. “It is technologies like this that pave the way for cleaner, more sustainable energy sources.”

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