Calgary-based BitCrude Energy has successfully completed its commercial production demonstration that delivers a cost-effective, ecologically enhanced, and safe bitumen transportation process.
The company’s latest offloading demonstration project was the next critical step in proving the effectiveness of the complete BitCrude transportation process. The demonstration is the latest in a series of environmental, economic and logistical evaluations that combine to conclusively prove the BitCrude transportation process enables producers to sell Canadian bitumen to global markets garnering a global price for their product.
BitCrude Energy is working with Indigenous communities in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to secure joint ownership or participation agreements around the transportation component of the process.
In September 2019, the company successfully shipped in one modified container, the equivalent of 150 bbls of 7.6 API bitumen from an oilsands operator to Asia.
The Alberta government has been monitoring BitCrude's progress on its innovative bitumen transportation process, which will enhance market access opportunities for Alberta, said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage.
Cal Broder, founder and chairman of BitCrude Energy, said this innovative diluent recovery process separates diluent that has been traditionally used to blend with the molasses-like heavy oil, which has enabled it to be transported through Canada's network of pipelines.
“After we remove this diluent, the bitumen can be poured into modified rail containers where it cools down and becomes a semi-solid," he said.
The diluent separated from the bitumen can then be recycled back to the oilsands companies.
The BitCrude product is safe to transport in 20-foot custom shipping containers on standard rail and vessel infrastructure both domestically and internationally. The semi-solid bitumen is designated as a non-hazardous good for transportation purposes.
The product meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements, ensuring safe and efficient export," said BitCrude director Andy Popko.
"By exporting Alberta's heavy oil to Asia, BitCrude will lower the refining GHG on a bbl of bitumen, by over 50 per cent compared to refining in North America,” he said.