Ivanhoe Energy upgrades heavy oil bottoms

By OGJ editors
Houston, Mar. 16 -- Ivanhoe Energy Inc. has upgraded vacuum tower bottoms (VTBs) derived from heavy oil at its heavy-oil upgrading demonstration facility in California.

VTBs are the heaviest, most viscous component of crude oil, often less than 7º gravity. Canada's Athabasca bitumen typically contains 45-55% VTBs, with the rest lighter fractions of oil. California raw heavy crude contains about 33% VTBs, Ivanhoe said.

In the demonstration, Ivanhoe's heavy oil upgrading technology, operating in what the company calls its "high-yield" configuration, converted VTBs with viscosity of about 300,000 cp at 140º F. into a product of 1,300 cp at the same temperature.

After processing, the upgraded VTBs could be blended with lighter fractions separated by earlier processing to yield a product with viscosity low enough to flow in a pipeline without the need for diluent or heating, Ivanhoe said. It said the overall product blended yield from the demonstration run would exceed 90%.

In January, Ivanhoe ran whole California heavy crude through its 1,000 b/d demonstration facility in Belridge heavy oil field near Bakersfield (OGJ, Apr. 11, 2005, p. 24).

"The most recent run was a significant step forward in that the feedstock processed was dramatically heavier and more viscous (i.e. a solid rather than a liquid at room temperature) than the whole heavy crude run in January," Ivanhoe said. The recent test also was significant because it used a process configuration intended for specific commercial applications—those aimed mainly at viscosity reduction and maximizing liquid volume yields, the company said.

Next steps will be processing VTBs in a "high-quality" configuration and conducting extended runs. The high-quality configuration adds recycle operations and will be used where both high product quality and maximum byproduct energy are needed.

Ivanhoe said equipment additions and upgrades needed for the next steps will require 4-6 weeks.

It said data from the demonstration runs will enable it to start site-specific design and engineering for commercial 10,000-15,000 b/d plants.

Related Articles

ExxonMobil replaces 103% of 2013 production

02/21/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. replaced 103% of its oil and natural gas production last year with additions to reserves, mostly of crude oil and other liquids.

Hydraulic fracturing stuck in New York policy vacuum

02/01/2014 Persistent institutional indecisiveness by elected officials in New York State has placed the state in the position of not having a statewide polic...

Contact hails Kakwa Montney tight gas-liquids well results

10/16/2013 Contact Exploration Inc., Calgary, said completion of its fourth operated horizontal Middle Montney formation tight gas-liquids well extends the sc...

Watching Government: BC Premier's energy stance

10/14/2013 British Columbia will not budge on its requirements proposed heavy oil export projects must meet, Premier Christy Clark said on Oct. 4. But that do...

Cyclic steam, gas enhance Bohai heavy oil production

10/07/2013

This article presents preliminary results of stimulation principles and offshore oilfield testing of cyclic steam and gas stimulation.

Understanding the science behind induced seismicity

10/01/2013 For several decades in the US, earthquakes occurred at a steady rate of 21 events per year. Beginning in 2001, this rate began to increase and peak...

Wyoming delegation asks Jewell to exempt state from BLM fracing rules

08/20/2013 Wyoming’s congressional delegation asked US Sec. of the Interior Sally Jewell to exempt the state and others that already regulate hydraulic fractu...

Sunshine signs oil sands JV, slows West Ells work

08/20/2013 Sunshine Oilsands Ltd., Calgary, signed a framework agreement with an undisclosed international third party to pursue a joint venture involving its...

Promise vs. obstructionism

08/12/2013 North America's energy transformation has progressed on two important fronts outside the US, where revulsion toward nongaseous hydrocarbons increas...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected