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Major oil sands operators needed a reliable technical and economic assessment framework for evaluating innovative new waste heat recovery technologies
One method commonly used in the Canadian oil sands for in situ oil recovery is steam assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD. This procedure involves the injection of high-quality steam, through wells, into reservoir formations to mobilize oil for collection using pumping wells. Steam production requires the consumption of energy, and results in the generation of waste heat which is traditionally lost to the atmosphere.
To address this opportunity, two organizations issued the Waste Heat Challenge to prospective technology developers. The objective of the Challenge was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and increase energy efficiency by identifying clean-tech solutions for capturing waste heat generated during oil sands production. The industry bodies were:
Advisian was engaged by Foresight through its ARCTIC program to provide technical and economic decision support to assess the viability of two proposed technologies which had reached the current stage of the selection process.
Advisian created and implemented an integrated technical and economic analysis process, which used structured steps for decision-making. The analysis included steps and tools commonly used within the decision analysis discipline.
During the framing phase, the project team identified the objectives of the assessment as:
Subsequent to framing, Advisian conducted the following steps:
The assessment showed that both technologies currently under consideration are capable of providing favourable return on investment in a brownfield environment. In addition, the prior selection process employed by COSIA and Foresight was confirmed as a success, as it identified technologies which were shown to be viable by this assessment. Some key outcomes included:
At the end of the assessment, the leading technologies and configurations will progress into full scale piloting phase.