​Radio frequency oilsands tech granted new patent

Image: Acceleware

A new patent has been granted to the developers of a technology that is expected to improve the economics and environmental footprint of oilsands operations by using radio waves to mobilize bitumen.

Acceleware says the patent, granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office, is a key part of its growing base of intellectual property.

It covers the core elements of its Modular RF technology, as well as claims relating to its RF XL technology. Modular RF is targeted for commercial availability in 2022, while RF XL is expected to be available in 2020.

In November 2017, Acceleware received $10 million in combined funding from Ottawa and the Province of Alberta to advance its technology. The company, which reported successful completion a 1/20 scale field test of its RF XL technology last year, said it would proceed with field testing on a commercial scale.

Acceleware says the new patent consists of 29 claims related to the distributed operation of the Modular RF technology where multiple RF generators are integrated into a pipe string downhole. Meanwhile, it says the elements of the patent which are relevant to RF XL include scalability and the ability to operate without chokes, which will increase efficiency.