GE’s Evaporation, Crystallization and Solidification Technologies Will Enable the Blackgold Oil Sands Project to Comply with Environmental Regulations and Reduce Operating Costs.
As Canada’s oil sands industry seeks to maximize the role of water recycling to protect local fresh water supplies, GS Engineering & Construction (GS E&C) has selected GE (NYSE: GE) to supply the produced water evaporation and zero liquid discharge (ZLD) system for the Blackgold Oil Sands project, located near Conklin, Alberta.
The Blackgold Oil Sands project will utilize drum boilers to drive the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process for extracting bitumen. GE’s integrated evaporator and ZLD system enables the facility to cost-effectively produce 10,000 barrels per day of bitumen and maximize recycled water use, thereby preserving Alberta’s fresh water sources.
Bitumen is heavy, viscous oil that requires energy and water-intensive treatment to separate the oil from the sand where it is found. Canada’s oil sands deposits are second in the world only to Saudi Arabia. GE leads the way in supplying produced water evaporation and ZLD systems in Alberta, with more than 14 projects underway since 1999 that use GE’s technologies, including three new projects initiated since just last fall.
The Blackgold Oil Sands project will include a new, proprietary ZLD process that integrates crystallization and solidification technologies. The solidification process involves mixing a solidifying reagent with the crystallizer waste slurry to produce a solid waste that is suitable for transport and disposal in a landfill. Solidification of SAGD crystallizer waste results in reduced capital and operating costs compared to drying, which is the only other commercially accepted technology for this application. GE’s continued investment in new technologies, such as solidification, through research, development, pilot testing and commercialization, demonstrates GE’s technical expertise and commitment to the oil sands industry.
The GE equipment will be delivered to the site as a series of pre-fabricated equipment modules complete with piping, wiring and controls. This enables speedy installation and significantly lowers total installed costs. Commercial operation of the Blackgold Oil Sands facility is scheduled for third quarter 2012.
“The Blackgold Oil Sands project is a great example of how new technology combined with extensive practical experience in oil fields around the world can achieve societal benefits,” said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “The oil sands are a vital energy source for Canada and the world. GE is working with our customers to develop technologies that meet operational challenges and reduce their environmental footprint.”
GE also is providing complete system design, training and site support. GE’s agreement is with South Korea-based GS E&C, the builder of the 10,000-barrels-per-day facility that will be operated by Harvest Operations Corp. (Harvest). A subsidiary of the Korean National Oil Corp. (KNOC), Harvest is an operator in Canada’s energy industry offering stakeholders exposure to an integrated structure with upstream (exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas) and downstream (refining and marketing of distillate, gasoline and fuel oil) segments. Harvest’s upstream oil and gas production is weighted approximately 70 percent to crude oil and liquids and 30 percent to natural gas and is complemented by the company’s long‐life refining and marketing business. KNOC is a state-owned oil and gas company engaged in the exploration and production of oil and gas along with storing petroleum resources.
GE’s produced water evaporator has achieved the distinction of ecomagination-certification. GE’s ecomagination is a corporate-wide initiative designed to aggressively commercialize new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. Since inception in 2005, more than 90 ecomagination-approved products have been brought to market with revenues reaching $18 billion in 2009. With $5 billion invested in R&D in its first five years, GE committed to doubling its ecomagination investment and to collaborate with partners to accelerate a new era of energy innovation. The company will invest $10 billion in R&D over five years and double operational energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.
GE (NYSE: GE) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.ge.com.
GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy www.ge.com/energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, 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; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.