GE and FilterBoxx Sign Landmark Agreement to Advance Water Treatment Solutions for Oil Sands

Posted: Monday 16th August 2010

Recognizing the importance of finding efficient and economical ways to recover heavy oil from the oil sands regions, GE (NYSE: 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.




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