Clean technology for recovering heavy oil

The Government of Canada is providing financial support to Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd. in the development of the WHITESANDS project.

This project involves, among other things, the implementation of a new oil sands recovery process called THAIMD (Toe-to-hell Air Injection). This technology combines a vertical air injection well and a horizontal production well. While the wells will be preheated with steam, the injection of air will cause combustion
spontaneous whose heat will reduce the viscosity of the oil. It will therefore flow, according to the principle of gravity, to the horizontal production well. This process should allow the recovery of 70% to 80% of the oil originally present, while allowing partial recovery of the crude oil in situ.

Canada's oil sands are a strategic source of energy in North America. However, current technology for in situ production requires the consumption of a large volume of natural gas, fresh water or solvent for hydrocarbons. In the context of THAIMD technology, all the heat required is produced in the tank instead of being introduced into it by steam generated on the surface using natural gas,
expensive process and, in addition, produces carbon dioxide.

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Petrobank acquired the intellectual property rights to the THAIMD technology in 2003 and received regulatory approval in 2004 to implement a pilot project to develop this technology and test it in the field.

- Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd., Head Office, 2600, 240 - 4th Avenue
SW, Calgary, Alberta - Canada T2P 4H4 - tel: +1 (403) 750 4400, fax:
+1 (403) 266 5794 -
- Christiane Fox, Office of the Honorable David L. Emerson, Minister of
Industry - tel: +1 (613) 995 9001
Editor: Elodie Pinot, OTTAWA,

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