Developing an industry-changing technological solution for heavy oil, Cavitas has been awarded funding by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) which will be dedicated to the fast-track development of their 3rd Thermal Heavy Oil Recovery (THOR) prototype.
THOR acts as a downhole heating device, which allows bypassing fluid to be heated at source as opposed to traditional methods where steam is generated at surface and pumped into the reservoir which can lead to large energy losses.
Although the use of steam in thermal EOR is currently applied throughout the industry, Cavitas’ THOR technology is an industry first. Its smaller equipment footprint yields the potential to unlock previously discounted heavy oil reserves.
THOR is suitable for deployment in wells with the specific goal of utilising thermal properties to enhance production while limiting the build-up of waxes, scales etc. The devices have the ability to heat liquids at source as opposed to traditional methods where this is typically done topside and pumped to the location where inevitably large energy losses occur.
Niki Chambers, Marginal Developments Project Manager at the OGTC, said: “Cavitas’ technology THOR has the potential to increase recovery by 10-20%, representing approximately 74 million barrels that would be unrecoverable otherwise, and we’re looking forward to supporting them through the first stage of their project.”
Steve Johnstone, MD of Cavitas, comments: “As we continue to push the boundaries with our technology, we are exceptionally pleased to have the support of OGTC. THOR is approaching market entry, and with the help of OGTC we can realise this much sooner”.
“With the UK’s OGA predicting that by 2025 42% of daily North Sea production will be heavy oil, we recognise that THOR has the potential to play a very large part in the future of the UKCS. Releasing this technology to the marketplace will help operators to increase recovery of heavier crudes, potentially unlocking some 400 million barrels stranded within marginal developments.”
Key benefits of the innovative technology include: