Imperial is advancing a field trial of its Enhanced Bitumen Recovery Technology (EBRT) to validate the method and prepare it for commercial use.

The process uses a recovery solution to dilute and mobilize bitumen in the reservoir, reducing the amount of steam needed as much as 90% compared to current methods. Alternatives to steam are key to increasing energy efficiency and reducing water use from oil sands operations. Based on Imperial’s research, it is expected the technology could reduce GHG emissions intensity from in-situ oil sands extraction facilities by approximately 60% compared to conventional SAGD production methods.

EBRT can be applied at both existing and new build sites in place of conventional in-situ facilities. The technology operates at lower pressures and may enable recovery from reservoirs not previously considered viable. It is also expected to reduce initial capital and operating costs by approximately 50%.