A New Adaptive Antenna for RF Heating of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs

Canada owns the largest heavy oil and bitumen reserves in the world. Unfortunately, extracting these hydrocarbons is difficult due to their high viscosity. Currently, the most popular strategy is to heat the bitumen using steam, but steam injection can be inefficient and is not suitable for all reservoirs. Radio frequency heating offers a flexible and efficient solution, but its implementation has been marred by the dynamic underground environment of the reservoir. Here, the changing electrical properties of the reservoir can lead to uneven heating or equipment damage. This project proposes a reconfigurable antenna system that can adapt to the changing properties of the reservoir, ensuring uniform heating and efficient operation. Acceleware Ltd. can provide computational resources critical to designing this adaptive antenna. In pursuing an internship with Acceleware, the intern can access these tools while providing Acceleware with a researcher experienced in antenna design to help develop prospective heating technology.

Thomas Apperley
Faculty Supervisor: 
John Nielsen