Field testing will “commence immediately” on a new field test of RF heating for in situ oilsands extraction, partners Acceleware and Prosper Petroleum announced on Monday.
Acceleware has been developing its RF XL heating technology for years, advancing it towards a field test. Prosper Petroleum, which recently received regulatory approval for its Rigel SAGD project north of Fort McMurray, was selected after “a multi-faceted partner selection process in which several major, mid-size and smaller operator candidates were assessed,” Acceleware said.
The field test has up to $10 million in financial support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Emissions Reduction Alberta.
Acceleware believes that RF XL technology has the potential to save the industry billions by reducing both capital and operating costs, while offering major environmental benefits including GHG emissions and land use reductions, as well as no requirement for external water or solvents.
Under the terms of the agreement, Prosper will provide Acceleware with access to specific Rigel leases, engineering and geological support and services, and assistance with obtaining regulatory approvals.
In exchange, Acceleware will grant Prosper the right to purchase RF XL systems at a preferential rate for use on Prosper lands for a period of twenty years following the completion of the test.
Acceleware will also receive the proceeds from the sale of any bitumen produced during the test. Subsequent to the test, Acceleware and Prosper may elect to continue operation of the RF XL system to increase production from the well, sharing equally in the proceeds of the sale of the bitumen.
"We believe that RF XL could be a game changer," Prosper CEO Brad Gardiner said in a statement.
"Testing the technology at Rigel is strategic for Prosper because a successful deployment would allow us to transition quickly to a broader commercial development at this site, and potentially help us achieve our goal of 40,000 bbl/day of production with far lower costs and environmental impact. Our planned cogeneration facility could provide power for RF XL systems, we could eliminate the need to source additional external water and we could leverage the existing water treatment capacity of the SAGD facility within the existing footprint."