Thickness of fluid is measured in viscosity (movability of fluid particles). The lower the viscosity, the thinner the fluid, and the more moveable it is. With crude oil, the lower the viscosity, the easier it is to extract and transport.
The best way to lower the viscosity is with heat. The higher the temperature, the lower the viscosity.
Viscosity is measured in “API gravity”: heavy oil has a low API; light oil has a high API. Heating methods of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) are designed to raise the API gravity of the oil, making it lighter, thinner and easier to extract.
Our technology, Environmental ThermoChemical Treatment (ETCT), is a system of pumping two chemical compositions down into the well in two concentric tubes, with no depth limit. The chemicals react deep in the formation, generating temperatures of up to 500°C (900°F), lowering viscosity by degrees, and pockets of pressure strong enough to create fissures in the rock. All the chemicals and some of the crude oil converts into gases, resulting in artificial gas-lifting, helping to push the oil out and up, resulting in an immediate, many-fold increase in production.
ETCT is efficient: energy losses are negligible (with steam-heating or hydrofracking, it costs a million bucks to just to prepare all that water).
Furthermore, the intense heat cleans the productive layer of asphaltenes, tars, resins and paraffin many meters in all directions, and usually lowers the water-to-oil ratio (WOR). All this preserves the integrity of the well, extending its productive lifetime. This is how we get more oil out of the ground than any other method. We can even achieve hydro- or thermal cracking of heavy oil directly in-situ.
The reactions occur deep in the well; very few compound by-products escape above ground. These are safe, common, mostly non-toxic gases (N2, CO2, H2). The amount of CO2 is remarkably low (think carbon credits).
The process is controlled, regulated, safe, fully automated, and can be performed by any experienced oilfield worker. We provide all know-how, instructions and support associated with our technology.
A team of 3 workers with one mobile unit can treat and maintain up to 100 wells per year.
ETCT can be used on all types of rock formations (including offshore), in any type of well (horizontal, vertical or injection/production wells), at any depth and for any type of oil. It’s also the perfect solution for deposits where extraction is too costly, deep or difficult to reach, as in the Arctic, or for shale oil deposits.
Costs per common, vertical well (chemicals, work-team, technical equipment, etc.) will usually not exceed USD 50,000 – 100,000 for the first well (subsequent wells will be even more economical, as logistics are streamlined). Compare this to the millions of dollars needed for other methods such as hydrofracture and steam heating.