• Technology to reduce water usage by 30 to 50 percent
TREVOSE, PA, July 12, 2010 -- Recognizing the importance of finding efficient and economical ways to recover heavy oil from the oil sands regions, GE and FilterBoxx Water & Environmental Corp. have teamed up to develop innovative water treatment solutions.
GE and FilterBoxx recently signed an agreement to develop integrated de-oiling and water treatment options for Alberta's oil sands. Specifically, the two companies will work together on heavy oil produced water treatment projects using in-situ thermal methods such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD).
Approximately 80 percent of the oil sands in Alberta cannot be open-pit mined because the bitumen is buried too deep below the surface and therefore must be recovered via in-situ ("in place") methods. In-situ processes use thermal energy, steam or solvents to make bitumen flow so that it can be pumped by a well to the surface.
There are an estimated 98 billion barrels (bbl) of bitumen recoverable by in-situ technologies in the Athabasca region of Alberta alone. Conventional de-oiling and produced water treatment technologies require approximately 0.3 to 0.4 bbls of make-up water for each barrel of bitumen produced. FilterBoxx's de-oiling and GE's patented produced water evaporation technologies achieve significantly higher recoveries of the produced water, resulting in 30 to 50 percent less makeup water required for the SAGD process, depending on reservoir losses and other technical limitations.
"FilterBoxx is very excited to be teaming with GE to offer a complete package to treat produced water from thermal heavy oil operations. FilterBoxx technology allows for de-oiling at high temperatures, which makes it a perfect match with GE's evaporator technology to provide an end-to-end produced water treatment system," said Kevin Slough, CEO of FilterBoxx.
GE and FilterBoxx have gained industry and commercial acceptance of their patented produced water evaporation technology and de-oiling technology in the SAGD market. Working together, they will develop integrated de-oiling and water treatment products that will greatly reduce exposure to the risks commonly associated with SAGD produced water treatment.
"FilterBoxx is an industry leader in developing and implementing technologies for use in produced water de-oiling systems and GE is a leading designer and supplier of produced water treatment technologies including falling film, vertical tube vapor compression evaporation. The two companies combining forces is a natural choice for the heavy oil industry," said Jeff Connelly, vice president of engineered systems -- water and process technologies for GE Power and Water.
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, FilterBoxx Water & Environmental Corp. provides water treatment solutions to the Canadian upstream industry since 2001. The company also serves industrial, municipal, aboriginal and other industrial clients employing proprietary processes and technologies. Through Combo Energy Services, a division of FilterBoxx, the company specializes in turnkey installation rental and operation services for all of its products minimizing site work and cost to the client.
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world's toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions, and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With nearly 85,000 global employees and 2009 revenues of $37 billion, GE Energy www.ge.com/energy is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy -- GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas -- work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.