Petroteq is a clean technology company focused on the growth, implementation, and licensing of original, environmentally safe, and sustainable technologies for extracting and reclamation of oil from sands and extractable oil deposits. They can use diverse technologies for oil-wet deposits and water-wet-deposits, resulting in high-quality oil and clean sand.
Over the years, Petroteq has held that its technology can extract a relatively sweet, heavy crude oil from oil sand deposits at Asphalt Ridge without generating wastewater, which requires disposal or treatment facilities that might be harmful to the environment. Their process is designed to be friendly to the environment. It uses extraction technology that leaves clean sand residuals that can quickly and efficiently be returned to the environment without any remediation.
Petroteq announced that they had recommenced oil production from their oil sands plant at Asphalt Ridge (the POSP) just as scheduled. The company had received its mining permit earlier this month as expected, and since then, the POSP has been started and its processing ore. The POSP had already produced over 150 barrels of net oil by the close of business on January 22, 2021.
They are currently looking into optimizing the plant operating parameters to cater to oil product specifications and optimize solvent usage recovery. The optimization process is expected to last for several weeks, after which they will resume their original continuous production. They intend to begin with a single, 12-hour shift targeting 250 barrels per day and scaling to a second shift if there is a need to increase production.
According to George Stapleton, Petroteq’s Chief Operations Officer, they have brought the POSP online and in stages since commencing operations on January 11, 2021. They started by commissioning the plant’s front end then moving from ore crushing to mixing and extraction of bitumen. All improvements are working as desired, with the plant showing the capability of operating continuously. However, the two-shift operation will commence when they complete fine-tuning the different plant systems, informing the decision to increase production.
George lauds the entire construction and design team for their hard work throughout the nine months they had shut down the system. To him, it’s a great accomplishment considering the ease with which they restarted the plants.
Such an announcement is an excellent boost to environmental conservation efforts considering that wastewater has a significant environmental impact. The water used in the oil sand extraction is also used for surface mining to separate bitumen components from the extracted oil sand. The water is transformed to steam to allow for easy separation of sand and bitumen. Ideally, the water is supposed to be recycled, but only small volumes find their way back to the environment. The water toxicity makes it hard to freely release the water to the natural cycle, thus being stored in tailing ponds.
The increased water volume in these ponds further contributes negatively to the environment. Additionally, the high water volume required to extract the bitumen is another problem for the natural ecosystem. It can result in water withdrawals that put marine life at risk.
Restarting a new oil production plant that doesn’t require environmentally harmful wastewater is a big step for Petrotech and our environment.