Hydrogen-Donor Diluent Reduction (HDR)

Lead Proponent:   Husky Oil Operations Limited
Location:  Husky Sunrise Energy Project (Fort McMurray), Alberta
OGCT Contribution: $ 9.4 M
Project Total: $ 24.8 M
Strategic Area:  Oil and Gas Clean Technologies

Project Objectives:

The purpose of this demonstration project is to scale-up Hydrogen-Donor Diluent Reduction (HDR) technology to validate the continuous achievement of product quality, diluent reduction and GHG reduction performance objectives.

This 500 barrel per day demonstration project, located at the 60,000 Barrel per day in-situ Sunrise Oil Sands Limited Partnership Energy Facility operated by Husky Oil Operations Limited situated  north-east of Fort McMurray Alberta, will demonstrate HDR diluent reduction technology around the clock over a 6 month period. Real-time conventional dilbit (diluted bitumen) from Sunrise will feed the demonstration. The diluent will be recycled back into the in-situ facility, and HDR product will be generated.

HDR accomplishes GHG reductions by changing the bitumen molecule to facilitate reducing and replacing the amount and type of diluent required for the transportation of bitumen to refineries by pipeline and by eliminating the need to vaporize undesirable light fractions contained in the diluent out of the diluted bitumen at the refinery.  HDR has the potential to reduce 4.75 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions for every 1 million barrels per day of bitumen processed.

Expected Results:

HDR has implications for the entire oil sands industry, currently facing a bottleneck of pipeline export capacity. If HDR becomes standard practice, reduced diluent volumes would allow for more Canadian product market access with improved product value.  The technology is designed to dovetail with existing in-situ facilities, and it is anticipated that new in-situ facilities would apply this technology. Subject to a successful pilot, Husky would consider HDR for commercial installation along with any expansions of its Sunrise project and any associated long term and expensive pipeline expansions. Assuming HDR is validated through this demonstration, project participants are expected to adopt the technology which would facilitate wide scale acceptance and deployment.

Project Partners:

Alberta Innovates
Alberta Sulphur Research Limited (ASRL)
BP Canada Energy

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