Field Validation for In-situ Upgrading Technology (ISUT™)


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Christina Lake, AB

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NanosTech’s In-Situ Upgrading Technology (ISUT™) is a novel, patented nanocatalyst process that improves upon existing oil recovery methods while simultaneously enhancing the quality of the sales of oil. ISUT™ empowers heavy oil producers to increase both their environmental performance and economic returns.

ISUT™ provides enhanced oil recovery, by both increasing production rates by up to 50%, and producing over 90% total recovery of original oil in place. When combined with Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), ISUT™ reduces water and steam requirements by up to 43% and lowers GHG emissions by up to 30%. Additionally, ISUT™ upgrades oil quality, offering an opportunity for producers to fetch a premium price while making it more transportable, significantly reducing or eliminating the need for costly diluent, further reducing emissions downstream.

This project enables a significant technological leap toward decarbonizing the barrel. It not only enhances the competitiveness of Canadian oil in terms of price and quality but also minimizes its environmental impact.

This transformative technology enhances the efficiency of oil extraction. The ISUT™ process triggers an exothermic reaction in the reservoir, promoting better conductive heat transfer in the near wellbore region and generating lighter components that provide a solvent effect, diluting and helping to further mobilize bitumen. Simultaneously, gases migrate to the upper parts of the steam chamber, creating an insulating blanket, reducing heat loss to the overburden. These combined effects result in a more efficient and productive production process with a lower carbon footprint compared to conventional SAGD technology.

This implementation of ISUT™ stands as a pivotal achievement in advancing Alberta and Canada’s GHG reduction objectives, underpinned by more than 15 years of steadfast research and development. This crucial phase, bolstered by ERA support, validates ISUT’s™ real-world advantages in a SAGD well pair and sets the stage for its seamless integration across the entire heavy oil industry.