SONIC Nabs New Heavy Oil Upgrading Chemistry
SONIC Technology Solutions Inc. has completed its agreement to purchase the intellectual property and patent rights to an oil upgrading oxidation chemistry by acquiring all of the issued and outstanding shares of Northern
Oil Research Technologies Inc. (NORT), the Alberta based company that developed the chemistry.
Under the terms of agreement, NORT has now met the conditions precedent to "fully demonstrated their process chemistry to SONIC," enabling the agreement to be executed. NORT was able to demonstrate its upgrading process steps utilizing a number of Athabasca and Peace River crude heavy oils and also on international oil samples provided through SONIC. The NORT oxidation chemistry forms part of a complete upgrading process comprising de-asphalting, biological oxidation, chemical oxidation and solvent recovery stages. This results in upgraded oil in terms of increased API density, reduced viscosity, lower sulphur, lower nickel and vanadium and acceptable TAN (total acid number).
The Company has now demonstrated that the NORT process chemistry can enhance SONIC's existing de-asphalting and chemical oxidation Sonoprocess(TM) sufficient to easily meet the requirements for a heavy sour oil (HSO) at an API of 21 or greater on any bitumen or heavy oil starting with an API of 9 or greater. The demonstrations were conducted in Edmonton by NORT and in Vancouver by SONIC independently and showed that API's of 23 to 28 were achievable with better than expected yields (the percentage ratio of the upgraded oil volume to the starting oil volume).
Further collaboration verified that SONIC's Upgrading Sonoprocess(TM) can be utilized compatibly with the NORT process chemistry, enhancing the advantages of using low solvent ratio deasphalting. This is critical to
retaining the process economics of a low temperature, low pressure process with reduced solvent recovery costs and high processing rates. The SONIC Sonoprocess(TM) produces a high quality asphalt product as now confirmed in preliminary evaluation and testing by potential asphalt users and partners.
Under the terms of the NORT agreement there are three further milestones, the first of which involves performance evaluation to meet medium sour oilquality acceptable to SONIC potential clients. The next milestone relates to a successful field pilot plant and SONIC has commenced a preliminary review with a potential engineering partner. The last milestone is dependent on commercial implementation criteria.
Mr. Frederick Boakye, NORT's Chief Scientist, has now joined the SONIC team and is working to ensure successful implementation of these objectives. He will be working closely with the SONIC technical team to integrate the demonstrated advantages of the NORT process with the SONIC high amplitude, low
frequency heavy oil Sonoprocess(TM).
The TSX Venture Exchange has confirmed that it has accepted for filing documentation in relation to the NORT agreement with initial payment of $250,000 plus a further $250,000 as a result of successful demonstration of
the NORT oxidation chemistry. Sonic has issued to the sellers 2,000,000 common shares at a deemed price of $0.25 per share in satisfaction of these payments.