Nsolv began field operations with the launch of its pilot plant at Suncor’s Dover lease in February 2014. The pilot concluded in May 2017, marking the end of a highly successful project that proved Nsolv to be a game-changer for the industry 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. Due to its low-pressure operations, Nsolv provides access to otherwise inaccessible shallow resources and, because of the significantly lower greenhouse gas intensity, allows for up to 800,000 barrels per day greater oil production under Alberta’s 100 mega-ton carbon cap.
Suncor Pilot Plant
The Suncor pilot plant, also known as B.E.S.T. (Bitumen Extraction Solvent Technology), 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 pilot facility, comprising a 300 metre horizontal well pair and a surface plant for processing produced hydrocarbons. After three years, the pilot plant produced more than 130,000 barrels of oil, while meeting all of the following key performance indicators:
- Comparable extraction rate to SAGD extraction rates at 40° - 60°C
- Oil Quality:
- Upgrade in-situ bitumen from approximately 8 °API to 13-14 °API
- Nickel and vanadium less than 125 ppm
- Carbon residue at approximately 5%
- Approximate GHG emissions reduction of 80%, relative to SAGD
- Zero water consumption