In the oil and gas industry, there is a shift from steam-assisted gravity drainage (SADG) for oil expression processes to a solvent-based, more environmentally friendly approach. 

What Is SAGD (Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage)?

SAGD (also called steam flooding process) is a drilling technique used to extract crude oil that is otherwise burdensome to access. It was once the most efficient means of recovering oil reserves that were difficult to retrieve. This process uses steam to extract oil and requires two horizontal wells. It allows for one drilling pad to explore a broad area underground. A steam generator pushes steam through pipelines into the two wells, condenses, and heats the oil (reducing viscosity) allowing it to flow to the bottom of the well. The oil then travels through a pipe, from the well to a treatment plant. Invented by an engineer (Roger Butler) in the 1970s, it was first used in a pilot project at the Cold Lake oil sands. The drawback of SAGD is that it consumes large quantities of natural gas and water, resulting in a high level of greenhouse gas emissions.   

What is Solvent Extraction?

Solvent extraction involves the use of solvents for the extraction of oil from oil sands. A solvent (butane or propane) is injected with the steam, reducing the amount of steam required to change oil viscosity. The solvent is then recovered in the extraction operation and reused. This process uses less water and produces less emissions (ranging from 35% to 90% less) and may eventually eliminate, the need for steam generation. As reducing greenhouse gas emissions and practicing good water stewardship are vitally important, solvent extraction methods are game-changing technologies.

Gaspro Compression Corp. is a pioneer of compressor solutions for propane and butane solvent pilot projects. We are leaders in adapting to industry innovations and a leading provider of compressor packages across Canada. Working with our clients, our highly experienced team develops packages best fit for each application, efficient in design, and affordable. We continuously improve and innovate our products to meet the changing demands of the industry and the critical need for reduced emissions. Our excellent service, friendliness, and robust design set us apart. Contact us for all your compressor, vapour recovery, and emission control system needs.