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Proposed Extraction Process May Have Economic, Environmental Benefits

Date:
September 24, 2008
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
A researcher from the University of Alberta has proposed an experimental electrical heating process to draw oil from largely untapped deposits, which could yield major rewards for oil production and be more environmentally sound than current extractions processes.

Fossils encased in an Estonian oil shale.
Credit: Mark A. Wilson, Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

A researcher from the University of Alberta has proposed an experimental electrical heating process to draw oil from largely untapped deposits, which could yield major rewards for oil production and be more environmentally sound than current extractions processes.

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The process could boost worldwide oil supplies in the future and lead to lower prices for gasoline, diesel, and home heating oil, the researchers suggest.

According to Tayfun Babadagli, a professor at the University of Alberta's School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, an electrical heating process could be used to draw the oil resources of smaller or difficult-to-extract oil deposits, for which current processes—such as steam assisted gravity drainage or SAGD—are impractical and environmentally unsound.

"Steam is costly," said Babadagli. "It requires an abundant water supply, use of infrastructure and the reclamation or recovery of the water used."

While steam works for larger oil deposits, the return on use of steam-assisted drainage is cost-prohibitive for shallow and heterogeneous deposits and ineffective for processing oil shale, says the researcher.

While the process would require the development of currently undeveloped infrastructure and resources, the benefit from this type of extraction could lead to the recovery of vast unexplored oil deposits. Developing these resources would boost oil production and possibly lead to lower fuels prices for consumers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hascakir et al. Experimental and Numerical Simulation of Oil Recovery from Oil Shales by Electrical Heating. Energy & Fuels, Print: November 19, 2008 DOI: 10.1021/ef800389v

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Proposed Extraction Process May Have Economic, Environmental Benefits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922090847.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2008, September 24). Proposed Extraction Process May Have Economic, Environmental Benefits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922090847.htm
University of Alberta. "Proposed Extraction Process May Have Economic, Environmental Benefits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922090847.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

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