Regina, Saskatchewan – The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) is constructing a new oil sands research laboratory, which will include a 3-D scaled physical model for oil sands testing. The lab is being built with the assistance of a $1 million contribution from Oilsands Quest Inc.
The new laboratory and unique-in-Canada model were officially commissioned by Lyle Stewart, Minister of Enterprise and Innovation, along with SRC president and CEO Laurier Schramm and Oilsands Quest CEO Christopher Hopkins.
“We are dedicating this 3-D scaled physical model to further researching Saskatchewan’s oil sands potential,” Schramm said. “Thanks to Oilsands Quest’s contribution, this model will help us refine recovery methods that can be directly applied to Saskatchewan’s oil sands deposits.”
The new lab and model will allow scientists to develop thermal and solvent extraction processes (TSX) to recover bitumen from oil sands, along with testing of bitumen recovery processes under realistic reservoir conditions and the data to enable advanced simulation work and design. The model will be a highly pressurized mini-reservoir, filled with actual reservoir sand and fluids to simulate the Saskatchewan oil sands where energy-efficient TSX techniques may eventually be applied. The model will also have the ability to test high temperatures of up to 250C.
Oilsands Quest will evaluate the recovery and production methods developed with the model for its Axe Lake Discovery in northwest Saskatchewan.