E-T Energy Ltd., Calgary, indicated it will refile an application for commercial-scale production of bitumen in Alberta based on a proprietary electrical heating system.
The provincial Energy Resources Conservation Board returned an application filed in July 2009 saying the company hadn’t demonstrated that the system, ET-DSP (for electrothermal dynamic stripping process), can obtain or sustain commercial bitumen production rates. The ERCB cited a lack of production data.
E-T said the application didn’t include results of a crucial field test that remains in progress. It said the test, which it calls Step 3, won’t establish the recovery factor and energy-oil ratio required to produce bitumen until later this year or early next year.
The returned application was for a 10,000 b/d project.
“In light of the recent decision by the ERCB, the timing of the Step 3 results, and weak capital markets, management will be considering other alternatives, including a smaller project building upon the existing Step 3 field test surface assets,” E-T said in a statement.
The company holds acreage in the Athabasca oil sands region adjacent to Fort McMurray. The ET-DSP system, based on a grid of production and electrode wells, has been used by the environmental industry for remediation of contaminated sites.
E-T wants to apply the technology to recovery of bitumen from Lower Cretaceous McMurray formation zones too deep to be mined, more than about 75 m, and too shallow to be produced by steam-assisted gravity drainage, less than about 150 m.