Aberdeen firm in oil well industry first in California

An Aberdeen-based oil recovery specialist will test its “industry first” technology in California after striking an agreement with a US company.

The Aberdeen-based oil recovery specialist will test its industry first technology in California after striking an agreement with a US company.
The Aberdeen-based oil recovery specialist will test its industry first technology in California after striking an agreement with a US company.

Santa Maria Energy, located in Santa Barbara County, will utilise a new product developed by Cavitas Energy, a Valor Energy Group company, which is based in Bridge of Don.

The Scots firm’s innovative Thermal Heavy Oil Recovery (Thor) system is expected to be used in an onshore heavy oil well at some point in the final quarter of 2020.

Thor is an in-the-well device powered by electricity that heats passing water as it is injected into a heavy oil reservoir for the purpose of increasing oil production. Traditional methods use steam that is produced at the surface and pumped into the reservoir with notable heat energy losses.

Cavitas’ technology is said to be an industry first that promises to “significantly improve an already successful technique”.

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The well proposed for the test is located in the historic Orcutt field first discovered in 1901 by William Warren Orcutt. It was one of the first giant commercial oil discoveries ever to be produced in California.

Cavitas’ managing director Steve Johnstone said: “We are thrilled to have agreed to conduct a well pilot test with Santa Maria Energy.

“This is the first time our Thor technology will be used in a live well and achieves another milestone towards developing a cost effective and refined device.

“This is a crucial test for Cavitas as we are on the verge of proving the technology which could overcome many of the challenges posed in heavy oil production. Each step of Thor’s development has been eagerly anticipated, however, this next stage is one of the most important and is the realisation of many years of research and development”.

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