Canada’s oil sands industry is seeking ways to maximise the role of water recycling to protect local fresh water supplies, as here has been significant opposition to the oilsands developments across Alberta due to concerns over polluted groundwater.
GS Engineering & Construction (GS E&C) has selected GE to supply the produced water evaporation and zero liquid discharge (ZLD) system for the Blackgold Oil Sands project, located near Conklin, Alberta.
The Blackgold Oil Sands project will utilise drum boilers to drive the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process for extracting bitumen. GE’s integrated evaporator and ZLD system enables the facility to cost-effectively produce 10,000 bpd of bitumen and maximise recycled water use, thereby preserving Alberta’s fresh water sources.
Bitumen is heavy, viscous oil that requires energy and water-intensive treatment to separate the oil from the sand where it is found. Canada’s oil sands deposits are second in the world only to Saudi Arabia but some estimates show that extracting oil from sand is far more carbon inefficient than conventional methods. By reducing the amount of water required to extract oil the industry can go some ay towards proving that it is trying to clean up its act whilst cutting costs simultaneously.
The Blackgold Oil Sands project will include a new, proprietary ZLD process that integrates crystallisation and solidification technologies. The solidification process involves mixing a solidifying reagent with the crystalliser waste slurry to produce a solid waste that is suitable for transport and disposal in a landfill. Solidification of SAGD crystalliser waste results in reduced capital and operating costs compared to drying, which is the only other commercially accepted technology for this application.
“The Blackgold Oil Sands project is a great example of how new technology combined with extensive practical experience in oil fields around the world can achieve societal benefits,” said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.
Read the article online at: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/drilling-and-production/29062011/blackgold_-project_selects_ge_to_aid_water_preservation_in_oilsands/