Development of chemical additives to improve the efficiency of solvent-aided thermal bitumen recovery processes – Year two

AlbCurrent commercial recovery method of Alberta’s oil sands is Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) which requires large amounts of steam. This means that large amounts of natural gas are burned to produce steam resulting in significant greenhouse gas emissions. Solvent injection is one initiative gaining interest to overcome the aforementioned limitations.
Certain reservoir conditions, including heterogeneous geology and the presence of undesirable reservoir fluids (which may include excess water and natural gas), lead to inefficient and uneconomic recovery of bitumen using the current commercial recovery methods. This project will concentrate on the development of additives to these traditional processes that will improve the efficiency of hydrocarbon recovery by minimizing the effects of the undesirable geology, water and natural gas. Additives will be designed and simulated in the laboratory. It’s anticipated that the outcome of this project will help industry to produce bitumen at a lower cost and minimize environmental impact.

Faculty Supervisor:

Hassan Hassanzadeh


Bahareh Azinfar


Cenovus Energy Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological


Oil and gas




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