Oil Recovery Costs at $10 to $15/bbl for Closed-Loop Oil Sands
Nevtah Capital Management and its joint venture partner Black Sand Energy announced the completion of an independent engineering study which focused on their patented, closed-loop oil sands extraction process. The report was recently completed by a qualified engineer with over 20 years of experience in the petroleum industry. This evaluation was generated by Nevtah/Black Sand in response to the requests of several potential joint venture groups currently evaluating this unique extraction process for possible partnerships in developing their respective oil sands leases.
The joint venture partners' independent engineer met with members of the company's research, development and operational teams and observed the mobile extraction unit in operation, as well as recent improvements in system design. He analyzed the principles of system operations for efficiencies, as well as its scalability and increased processing throughput potentials. "The system appears to be quite effective in removing hydrocarbons from a variety of soils. This conclusion is confirmed from tests wherein over 98.5% of hydrocarbons are removed by applying the selected solvent-hexane. Further, the system is able to retain and recycle more than 99% of the solvent," he stated.
"The system as designed may be scalable to much higher throughput, but to what extent can only be estimated after further analysis. In addition, computer simulation and modeling is recommended as a means of suggesting improvements to facilitate scalability," he concluded. In terms of system economics and processing costs, the consultant concluded that based upon mining extraction costs per yard and from actual current costs of fuel, solvent, and electricity, the total costs of processing range from $ 10.00 USD to $ 15.00 USD per barrel of oil recovered. "At this stage of systems development, the economics are quite good," he added in his report.
The joint venture partners' patented, closed-loop extraction process was featured in a 2007 report issued by the U.S. Department of Energy and the offices of Petroleum Reserves, Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves, titled "Secure Fuels From Domestic Resources, The Continuing Evolution of America's Oil Shale & Tar Sands Industries" and available in full on Nevtah's website: www.nevtahoilsands.com.
The joint venture partners are continuing further field tests of its mobile unit in Oklahoma in anticipation of an operations move to Asphalt Ridge, Utah in early spring. An engineering and design team has been assembled to scale up the extraction process to the commercial production stage.