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Oil sands radio frequency tech gets $10 million funding boost from governments

radio frequency

Radio Frequency vs. SAGD Source: Acceleware

New technology has potential to reduce GHG emissions 50-100%, replace SAGD

Acceleware Ltd. announced it has received a $10 million non-repayable contribution to complete a commercial-scale field test of its ground-breaking clean energy technology – which uses radio frequency waves to generate heat – for bitumen and heavy oil extraction.

The contribution is contingent on the company being able to partner with an oil sands producer for a commercial field test, according to a press release.

The funding is from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) in accordance with their mandates to bring clean technologies to market that are economically viable and reduce GHG emissions.

“We are extremely appreciative of the vote of confidence SDTC and ERA is giving our RF XL technology. Today’s announcement is confirmation that RF XL is a potential game-changer for Alberta’s oil industry,” said Geoff Clark, CEO of Acceleware.

According to Acceleware, RF XL is a “revolutionary” low-cost, low-carbon radio frequency (RF) enhanced oil recovery for both situ oil sands and heavy oil production. In March we reported when Acceleware successfully completed a field test that proved the technology concept and its potential to replace steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) in the oil sands.

“We are excited to continue our validation of the massive potential of radio frequency XL. While it is certainly a lower cost, lower emissions alternative to SAGD, we expect it may play an even bigger role as a clean and efficient way to access 90 per cent of oil sands deposits in Alberta that have not been commercially accessible to date,” said Mike Tourigny, VP commercialization for RF Heating.

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 percent and operating costs by up to 40 percent when compared to SAGD.

If successful, RF XL will allow Alberta oil to compete even in today’s low oil price environment, as it is commercially viable one well at a time allowing both large and small operators to explore new deposits, and produce them profitably and cleanly. The commercial-scale test will utilize electronics developed in partnership with GE.

“SDTC is incredibly proud to support Acceleware. 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,” said said Lawrence, President and CEO of SDTC.

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