Canadian Manufacturing

Alberta Innovates gives $5M to Acceleware for oilsands technology

Acceleware's RF XL process uses electromagnetic energy to heat an underground oil-bearing reservoir to mobilize the heavy oil and allow it to flow into a well to be pumped to surface.

March 17, 2021  The Canadian Press

A company investigating the use of radio frequency energy as a cleaner and cheaper way to produce heavy oil from the oilsands says it has the means to proceed with a commercial pilot project.

Calgary-based Acceleware Ltd. says a recent commitment of $5 million from Alberta Innovates, a provincial research agency, brings its direct funding to $19 million and fully funds its proposed pilot.

Its other funders include Suncor Energy Inc. and an unnamed second oilsands producer with up to $2 million each, $5.25 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and $5 million from Emissions Reduction Alberta.

The company says a test site at Marwayne in east central Alberta has been cleared, long-lead equipment and materials have been ordered and service company partners selected.

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Acceleware’s RF XL process uses electromagnetic energy to heat an underground oil-bearing reservoir to mobilize the heavy oil and allow it to flow into a well to be pumped to surface, thus eliminating the need for injecting steam as is currently used extensively in the oilsands.

The company says it expects construction at the site to be complete by June, followed by about six months of reservoir heating.

“With this funding from Alberta Innovates, Acceleware has secured all of the resources we need to complete the commercial demonstration of RF XL at Marwayne,” said CEO Geoff Clark in a news release.