Acceleware Announces New Technology for Crude-by-Rail and Update on RF XL Commercialization Advancements
CALGARY, Alberta – March 13, 2019 – Acceleware Ltd. (TSX-V: AXE) (“Acceleware” or the “Company”), a leading developer of radio frequency (RF) heating technology to facilitate cost-effective and environmentally-friendly extraction of heavy oil and bitumen, is pleased to announce the filing of a patent application on the use of RF XL in shipping bitumen by rail, and an update on the commercialization of its RF XL enhanced oil recovery method. The update includes new information on: (i) the design and production of a prototype silicon carbide (“SiC”) RF generator with partner GE Global Research (“GE”); (ii) incremental intellectual property development for RF XL; and (iii) ongoing work on the commercial-scale field test of the RF XL technology with partner Prosper Petroleum Ltd. (“Prosper”), as announced on July 17, 2018.
New Application for RF Heating to Increase Safety and Profitability of Crude-by-Rail
Acceleware has filed a provisional patent application for a new use case pertaining to its proprietary RF heating technology. The new submission contemplates using the same RF XL generator platform, designed and developed with GE, to heat cooled bitumen within rail cars at the destination terminal. This would enable undiluted (neat) bitumen to be shipped safely in rail cars and then heated with RF energy at the destination, providing producers with the opportunity to lower costs, enhance profitability and significantly improve the safety of transporting bitumen by rail. In addition, this application could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions through higher efficiency heating, higher volume of bitumen in each train, and the potential use of renewable electricity.
Prototype Silicon Carbide RF Generator Module Completes Factory-Acceptance Testing
GE and Acceleware have jointly completed the assembly and factory-acceptance testing for the initial module of the RF XL prototype, SiC RF generator. GE is now working on the assembly of all eight modules which together will comprise the full 2 MW generator to be used in the commercial-scale test. GE and Acceleware expect to complete assembly and testing of this generator in April, 2019. The generator is specifically designed to be used in a wide variety of oil bearing reservoirs including oil sands, heavy oil, and potentially difficult-to-produce deposits such as carbonates. The 2 MW generator is extendable by design, allowing two or three generators to be combined as needed based on the properties of a given reservoir, resulting in total maximum power of 4 or 6 MW, respectively.
Incremental Intellectual Property Development for RF XL Further Extends Applicability
Consistent with the Company’s strategy for the long-term commercialization of its innovative technologies, Acceleware has continued to develop intellectual property for the RF XL platform, and has recently been awarded a second patent. Claims from the new patent detail an antenna for RF heating applications that can intrinsically match the impedance across a wide variety of materials including air, sand, hydrocarbon formation materials, and water, thereby maximizing power. In addition, the claim details that the antenna is also capable of functioning at very high temperatures.
The antenna’s broad applicability range, combined with inherent design flexibilities, eliminates the need for matching circuits, which are both complex and expensive when used in high-power applications. Eliminating matching circuits is very significant as it can result in greater efficiencies, lower capital and operating costs, as well as increased operating range. This innovation could also provide the potential for utilization in entirely new applications, such as industrial processing.
Acceleware now has two patents granted, 13 patents pending, and has another nine applications in progress. The Company views intellectual property development as critical to the ongoing success of its commercialization plan and its ability to deliver value for shareholders.
Field Test of RF XL Advances with Engineering Design Completion and Regulatory Submission
Complementing the test agreement with Prosper, Acceleware has signed a $2 million project funding agreement with a major oil sands producer and was awarded $10 million in non-repayable funding under contribution agreements with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (“SDTC”) and Emissions Reduction Alberta (“ERA”) for the commercial-scale test. Progress payments received to date under all three agreements have contributed to material advancements in the project.
Design and engineering work is substantially complete for the commercial-scale test of RF XL. Acceleware and engineering partner, Scovan Engineering, have completed the front-end engineering design for the surface facilities required for the test, while the Company’s drilling and completions consultants, including Codeco-Vanoco Engineering Inc., have substantially completed designs for the proprietary RF XL heater wells, along with the industry standard producer wells.
Acceleware continues to await the necessary regulatory approvals to proceed with the commercial-scale test of RF XL. To date, the Company has provided all required information and materials to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) that has been requested for the Experimental Scheme application submitted by Prosper for the pilot test.
Acceleware will continue to provide updates as milestones are met and the commercial-scale test progresses.
Acceleware (www.acceleware.com) is an innovator of clean-tech oil and gas technologies comprised of two business units: Radio Frequency (RF) Enhanced Oil Recovery; and Seismic Imaging Software and Software Acceleration Services.
Acceleware is developing RF XL and Modular RF, its patented and patent-pending low-cost, low-carbon production technologies for heavy oil and oil sands that are materially different from any heavy oil recovery technique used today. They are designed to have significantly lower operating and capital costs, will use no water, require no solvent, have a small physical footprint, can be redeployed from site to site, and can be adapted to a multitude of reservoir types, while expected to greatly reduce and eventually eliminate production greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). With Acceleware’s RF technologies, tailings ponds are not required.
Our seismic imaging software solutions are state of the art for high fidelity imaging, providing the most accurate and advanced imaging available for oil exploration in complex geologies. Acceleware’s professional services team accelerates computationally intense applications for clients to speed up product design, analyze data and help them make better business decisions.
Acceleware is a public company listed on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange under the trading symbol “AXE”.
This press release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information generally means information about an issuer’s business, capital, or operations that is prospective in nature, and includes disclosure about the issuer’s prospective financial performance or financial position.
The forward-looking information in this press release can be identified by the term “expect” and derivatives thereof, and includes information about the commencement of the commercial-scale test of RF XL, the expectations for future intellectual property development, RF XL technology development, and the commercial availability of RF XL technology. Acceleware assumes that the current research and development effort including the commercial-scale test plans will result in commercial-ready products, and that Acceleware will conclude the necessary agreements related to the commercial-scale test of RF XL.
Actual results may vary from the forward-looking information in this press release due to certain material risk factors. These risk factors are described in detail in Acceleware’s continuous disclosure documents, which are filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Acceleware assumes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking information in this press release, unless it is required to do so under Canadian securities legislation.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described in this release in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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For further information:
Geoff Clark, CEO
Tel: +1 (403) 249-9099
435 10th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB, T2G 0W3 Canada
+1 (403) 249-9099