Cleaner Fossil Fuels

ISUT™ In Situ Upgrading Technology

A turn-key, on-site oil extraction and upgrading process that improves operating margins and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Market Challenge

More. Faster. Cleaner

Bitumen recovery rates are modest, water use and emissions are high, and transportation and refining costs are additional - it’s time to upgrade oil recovery technologies. With ISUT, you can extract the oil the world still needs - faster, more economically, and with reduced emissions.

Fewer emissions, more oil

Next-gen oil recovery

ISUT brings a technology to market that petroleum producers have been seeking for decades - an on-site oil extraction and upgrading process that saves time and money and improves environmental outcomes. ISUT entirely eliminates the energy- and emissions-heavy step of surface upgrading.

ISUT™ benefits

  • Reduced emissions. ISUT cuts GHG emissions by 30%.
  • Improved oil recovery.  In-reservoir solvent vapours increase total oil recovery--up to 90%.
  • Enhanced oil quality. In-reservoir catalysis increases heavy crude’s API gravity.
  • Reduced diluent. Higher quality crude requires less diluent to meet pipeline specs.
  • Better economics. ISUT increases volume & quality of sales oil, reduces steam & diluent input costs. 
  • Bolt-on benefits. When used as EOR at brownfield operations, ISUT improves recovery (up to 90%) & NPV.

How ISUT™ works

Step 2

Catalysis

Once in the reservoir, the catalyst particles permanently attach to the sand grains surrounding the injection well, creating a fixed bed reactor. With the catalyst in place, the injection of hydrogen with steam enables an upgrading reaction in the reservoir, resulting in increased oil quality, production rate and total oil recovery, while reducing steam usage by up to 30%.

Step 1

Injection

ISUT utilizes a compact catalyst preparation module, called a CatSKID, to combine vacuum residue (VR) with hydrogen and nano-catalyst particles before injecting the mixture into the reservoir.

Step 3

In-Situ Upgrading

As VR is continually reinjected into the reservoir as a heat and catalyst carrier, it’s gradually upgraded into lighter, higher-value oil. This in-situ process reduces emissions and improves energy efficiency versus surface upgrading. Eliminating diluent saves significant transportation costs and increases pipeline capacity.

Step 1

Injection

ISUT utilizes a compact catalyst preparation module, called a CatSKID, to combine vacuum residue (VR) with hydrogen and nano-catalyst particles before injecting the mixture into the reservoir.

Step 2

Catalysis

Once in the reservoir, the catalyst particles permanently attach to the sand grains surrounding the injection well, creating a fixed bed reactor. With the catalyst in place, the injection of hydrogen with steam enables an upgrading reaction in the reservoir, resulting in increased oil quality, production rate and total oil recovery, while reducing steam usage by up to 30%.

Step 3

In-Situ Upgrading

As VR is continually reinjected into the reservoir as a heat and catalyst carrier, it’s gradually upgraded into lighter, higher-value oil. This in-situ process reduces emissions and improves energy efficiency versus surface upgrading. Eliminating diluent saves significant transportation costs and increases pipeline capacity.

Getting started with Isut

Is ISUT right for my company?

What key challenges does ISUT solve?

ISUT reduces GHG emissions and water use, extracts more oil (up to 90%), and saves producers money in transportation costs.

When is catalyst injected?

Catalyst is injected at the start of ISUT implementation. It takes a number of weeks to fully dose a well, depending on well length and reservoir characteristics. Once catalyst has been placed, the CatSkid can be removed. The ISUT process continues with a simple heater and pump skid that circulates hot vacuum residue and hydrogen into the reservoir for the life of the well.

What is ISUT used for?

The ISUT process upgrades oil in a reservoir below ground, as opposed to in an above-ground upgrader or refinery. ISUT may initially be deployed as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at brownfield operations with minor surface facility improvements, re-using significant capital investments while improving recovery and NPV of the resource.

What is a catalyst?

A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change. For ISUT, we’ve designed a highly reactive nanocatalyst that’s mixed with heavy crude oil and pumped down a well-bore into a reservoir. Once there, the nanocatalyst permanently attaches to the sand grains and creates a reactor bed around the well-bore.

Do you have any local branches?

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Is the service available globally?

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