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StatoilHydro, Four Universities Collaborate on Heavy Oil/Oil Sands Research

StatoilHydro is collaborating with three Canadian universities and one in Norway to develop more environment-friendly ways of recovering heavy oil and oil sands. To that end, StatoilHydro will support PhD students at Canada’s University of Calgary, University of Alberta and Vancouver Island University, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

The Canadian universities will collaborate with the NTNU within their respective parts of the value chain for heavy oil production, with the University of Calgary specializing in recovery methods. The University of Alberta focuses on emulsion stabilization mechanisms for such oils, while Vancouver Island University deals with environmental monitoring of their production.

Torbjørn Digernes, rector of the NTNU, believes that heavy oil will be important in tomorrow’s global energy scenarios but that the energy companies must deal with the consequent challenges.


Henry Gibson

The Canadians have already invented and built the answer. Use existing types of CANDU reactors that can be built in less than four years. They can produce all the heat that is needed for extraction and some for refining. With them, it is cheaper to even provide the hydrogen by electrolysis than the same energy from gasoline. Nuclear heat can lower the cost of steam methane reforming for hydrogen, and the natural gas once used for recovery can be used for hydrogen upgrading of the bitumen. Nuclear heat can even replace most heat required for refining and producing ethanol from biological sources. ..HG..

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