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The effects and costs of climate change and other environmental factors are hastening a global energy transition in which the drive for the cleanest possible fuels is gaining momentum. It is becoming clear that environmental responsibility, sound economics and breakthrough technologies must be applied to the production of heavy oil and oil sands for both combustion and non-combustion uses.

A zero-carbon means of producing heavy oil and the oil sands could play a vital role in helping to advance Alberta’s position as an environmental, social and governance (ESG) leader in clean energy transition. To that end, this white paper provides a techno-economic analysis of the potential impact of deploying of a local solar energy array to support a 5,000 bbl per day pad-based RF XL heavy oil project in three different geographies. The goal is to demonstrate scenarios where transformative technologies and ideas could quickly and efficiently modernize the heavy oil and oil sands industry.

The oil industry is seeking innovative methods to produce oil sands and heavy oil deposits at a profit, and with significantly less environmental impact than steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), cyclic steam stimulation (CSS), or surface mining. To address this need, Acceleware Ltd. is developing a unique radio frequency (RF) heating technology, called RF XL, which is a materially new approach to mobilize heavy oil and bitumen that uses radio waves rather than steam.

The viscosity of heavy oil and bituminous oil sands is so high that it renders conventional production impossible at original reservoir conditions. There are several ways of reducing the oil viscosity, but the most popular and effective involves injection of heat into the reservoir, most often using steam. It is well known that viscosity reduction follows an exponential trend versus the temperature.

Accelerate your clean energy future: learn how RF XL can work for you.