Operations

Nsolv began field operations with the launch of its pilot plant at Suncor’s Dover lease in January 2014. In early 2017, Nsolv began shutting down the plant, marking the end of a highly successful project that has proven Nsolv to be a game-changing technology with both economic and environmental advantages. Over the course of its three-year operation, the plant met or exceeded all key performance indicators.
Nsolv is ready for commercial implementation and continues to look for a variety of partnerships for developing heavy oil reserves.  Because it operates at low pressure, Nsolv provides access to otherwise inaccessible shallow resources and because of the much lower greenhouse gas intensity, allows up to 800,000 barrels per day greater oil production under Alberta’s 100 mega-ton carbon cap.

B.E.S.T. Pilot Plant

The B.E.S.T. (Bitumen Extraction Solvent Technology) Pilot Plant demonstrated Nsolv’s technology at field-scale in advance of full commercialization. Suncor’s Dover lease in the Athabasca region was the host site for the 250-300 barrel-per-day facility, comprising a 300-m horizontal well pair and a surface plant for processing produced hydrocarbons. After three years, the pilot plant produced more than 125,000 barrels of oil, while meeting all of the following key performance indicators.

  • Extraction Rate: comparable to SAGD extraction rates at 40° - 60°C with zero water usage
  • Oil Quality:
    • Upgrade in-situ bitumen from roughly 8 °API to 13-14 °API
    • Nickel and vanadium less than 125 ppm
    • Carbon residue at ~5%
  •  GHG Emissions: Reduction of 75-80% relative to SAGD
  • No water consumption/waterless start up   
Key suppliers for the BEST Pilot Plant include:
  • TRACERCO
    • Provider of nucleonic instrumentation
    • ProfilerTM used to facilitate the separation of oil and water
  • OSIsoft
    • Provider of data management system
    • PI SystemTM used for the capture, distribution and analysis of plant data