Field Upgrading Ltd.

March 20, 2013 11:00 ET

Field Upgrading Receives Provincial Funding for Novel Upgrading Technology

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 20, 2013) - Field Upgrading has been selected by Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) to receive $500,000 in funding toward the commercialization of a new upgrading technology that could see more of Alberta's bitumen upgraded in the province.

"Compared to conventional oil sands upgraders in use today, the Molten Sodium Upgrading technology we're testing has the potential to cut capital costs significantly," says Neil Camarta, president and chief executive officer. "Moreover, we're looking to cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than half and eliminate sulphur emissions completely. And since we'll be using fewer 'pots and pans', we can accomplish all of this from a much smaller footprint."

In addition to the environmental benefits, the scalability of the technology is also noteworthy. Since the upgrading process can be sized to the need at hand, it may be cost-effective even for smaller SAGD oil sands producers. Those operators will no longer have to make a choice between building expensive and complex upgrader facilities, or losing potential profits by blending their raw bitumen with expensive diluent for shipping to a third-party upgrader.

Molten Sodium Upgrading was developed by Ceramatec, an advanced ceramics materials technology company based in Salt Lake City. Field Upgrading has partnered with Ceramatec to commercialize Molten Sodium Upgrading for use in Alberta's oil sands.

Bench-scale testing of the new technology on oil sands bitumen is currently underway at Ceramatec's facilities in Salt Lake City. Pilot testing is planned to commence this year at the Natural Resources Canada research centre in Devon, Alberta.

About Field Upgrading

Field Upgrading is a privately owned company leading the commercialization of the patented Molten Sodium Upgrading process for use in Alberta's oil sands. This scalable, cost-effective process uses a reaction between molten sodium and bitumen to reduce sulphur, heavy metals and other impurities to very low levels - while also resulting in a relatively high product yield. The resultant upgraded product is light enough to be shipped to market without a diluent, and the sodium is recovered using a proprietary technology and recycled back to the upgrading process.

About Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions

Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) is the lead agency for energy and environmental research in Alberta. It is a catalyst to promote the development of innovative, integrated ways to convert Alberta's natural resources into market-ready, environmentally responsible energy and the sustainable management of Alberta's water resources. AI-EES brings together decision makers from government, industry and the resource community, as well as research and technology organizations, to develop solutions for the biggest challenges facing Alberta's energy and environment sectors.

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