There’s new technology on the horizon for Canadian oil sands producers. The idea could mean higher prices for every single barrel they produce.
Partial Upgrading Technology
In today’s market, just 40% of the bitumen that is extracted is fully upgraded to become light synthetic crude. The remainder, though, is diluted and sold as heavy oil. The condensate used to dilute it is not only expensive, but also takes up a good deal of pipeline space.
The idea behind this technology is that the bitumen is upgraded just far enough that diluent will no longer be needed to transfer it from the oil sands to other facilities. This, in turn, would increase pipeline capacity. Full upgrade is next to impossible, as it comes with fairly high capital costs, especially when many U.S. based refineries are already able to process the heavy crude. Partial upgrading, though, is far cheaper, but still very new to the market. Research suggests the process could add $10 – $15 of profit to every single barrel shipped.
The Importance of Oil Sands
The Canadian oil sands represent 13% of the world’s oil reserves, making them a key player if the global economy continues to demand oil at the current rate. At Komax, we offer a number of technologies to support these key players in the oil industry. From lined static mixers to deal with the acids involved in the process to steam heaters to help process bitumen froth, we’re working to develop additional technology to help Canada’s oil sands producers make the mining process a more profitable equation for everyone involved.