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Sturgeon Refinery Produces Its First Gallon Of Diesel – Kind of

The Sturgeon Upgrader is a 50/50 joint venture between North West Refining and Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL), developed in partnership with the Alberta authorities.

The province will provide seventy five% of the project’s feedstock by its bitumen royalty-in-variety program (BRIK). The remaining 25% will come from CNRL, mostly from its in-situ operations in Chilly Lake. The provincial government (aka Alberta taxpayers) has dedicated to paying $26 billion in tolls to course of the bitumen over the 30 12 months life of the undertaking.

The public-personal partnership was the brainchild of Alberta’s former Computer authorities underneath the guidance of Premier Ed Stelmach.

Previous to the 2008 oil value crash, nearly a dozen upgraders had been deliberate for construction or growth north of Edmonton and close to Fort McMurray. Put up-2008, solely two of these tasks ever saw the light of day – CNRL’s Horizon Upgrader and OPTI/Nexen’s now defunct Long Lake Upgrader. The remainder were cancelled indefinitely. Sturgeon was intended to assist rescue some jobs within the Edmonton space and “value-add” bitumen produced from oil sands in-situ services right into a ultimate product. Reaction Vessel Series At peak construction, the challenge employed over 8,000 workers.

GREENER, However PRICIER, Know-how
Sturgeon has more fancy pots and pans than traditional bitumen upgraders, which has possible contributed to its excessive worth tag.

The upgrader uses an LC Finer, 1 petroleum engineering journal similar to Shell’s Scotford Upgrader, utilizing hydrogen-addition (hydroconversion) instead of cokers to improve the bitumen, producing the next yield and avoiding the formation of coke material.

The facility also includes a gasifier, burning heavy by-products to offset natural gasoline consumption. Gasifiers had been widespread concept when pure gasoline prices were hovering close to $15/GJ, however economically questionable at fuel prices lower than $2.

Sturgeon features a carbon capture and sequestration plant (CCS), the place CO₂ product is shipped to previous oil fields for enhanced oil restoration via the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line. In response to operator NW Refining, the CCS facility will have the capacity to sequester 1.2 million t/CO₂ annually, lowering the carbon depth of its diesel product by about 30%. Although the company did not provide a breakdown of capital costs, Shell’s similarly dimension Quest CCS plant value over $1 billion to construct.

At nearly $190,000 per flowing barrel, the facility is by far probably the most costly refinery every built.

FUTURE PLANS
The unique concept included plans to assemble three phases, every with a bitumen processing capability of 50,000 1 petroleum engineering journal bbl/day. Premier Rachel Notley, former head of Alberta’s opposition social gathering, was against the venture at the time, calling it a nasty deal for taxpayers. The NDP authorities is unlikely to enter into an identical deal for the opposite two phases. Nevertheless, Notley says she strongly supports the thought of upgrading and refining 1 petroleum engineering journal more bitumen in-home, quite than exporting heavy crude.

This week’s first gallon of diesel was produced from synthetic crude oil feedstock (bitumen that has already been upgraded). The company says a number of extra units nonetheless should be commissioned earlier than the refinery is absolutely operational.