Both Heavy Oil and Oil & Gas upgrading share almost identical benefits, and are only listed separately as there are a number of avenues to market, and it may in fact be more logical to segment the market as “Upstream O&G” and “Downstream O&G”.
The sheer volume of available Heavy Oil, presents significant opportunities for Catawater to both reduce costs and increase the value of Heavy Oil.
Some specific problems faced when processing heavy crude oil;
Heavy crude have higher viscosities, some have higher salt content, several have high naphthenic acid content, higher sulfur and nitrogen, higher chlorides and higher fouling tendencies due to the increased likelihood of asphaltene precipitation. Making them all more difficult to both transport and distill than lighter crude blends.
Catawater can impact many of the specific problems with Heavy Oils. Its ability to do so is already evident in testing on bituminous Oil Sands as mentioned above.
Some of the specific impacts are;
- Reduced viscosity
- Controls corrosion
- Mitigates H2S
- Mitigates inorganic scale deposition
- Ionically demulsifies water-in-oil emulsions
The Downstream sector has been traditionally in charge of petroleum refining. However, with the increasing production of heavy crude oils, the upstream sector has entered into the upgrading area in order to increase the value of the produced oil.
Thus, nowadays both sectors are looking for better alternatives to upgrade and refine heavy petroleum.