Convergent Bitumen Recovery

CIM Montreal 2007
Howard Keele, Jim Decker,
Abstract This topic defines a new mining and process concept for recovery of raw bitumen from the Athabasca Oil Sands. This process is viewed as a supplemental bitumen recovery process using existing infrastructure for water, power and access. The recovery process is at the concept stage, having had small bench scale tests, an energy balance and some preliminary cost analyses completed. The results of these exercises have been quite positive.

The process utilizes drilling and blasting of pre-stripped oil sand, followed by injection of hot water into the blasted oil sand muck pile in a staged sequence, and skimming raw bitumen from an overlying shallow hot water pond. Overburden is placed back onto the spent oil sands after drainage and transfer of the hot water pond.

The next step is a field pilot test, which is being designed and planned for execution in 2007-2008. This field test is being conducted in two phases: test bed; and full scale.
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