Enhanced Modified Vapour Extraction (eM-VAPEX) Recovery Technology

Enhanced modified vapour extraction (eM-VAPEX) recovery technology has been shown to reduce water use and increase well performance. Vista performed the front-end engineering design (FEED) and detailed engineering (DE) for a new solvent-based in-situ recovery technology at a commercial SAGD facility. The installed technology included new facilities to process solvent for recovery and recompression into 13 injector wells, which generated production from 24 existing producer wells.

Project Summary

eM-VAPEX illustrationVista provided FEED and DE for the pilot project of an innovative heavy oil recovery technology that could be deployed at multiple well pads. The technology uses a solvent vapor delivered into typical injection wells from the beginning of the reservoir lifecycle.

Vista’s engineering design allowed the client to efficiently strip out the solvent from the production stream at the well pad and recompress it to return the solvent back to the reservoir.

The results from the pilot facility indicate increased bitumen rates and a lower cumulative steam-to-oil ratio. This resulted in reduced water usage as well as lower costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The client has been pleased with the results and is now awaiting appropriate market conditions to expand its use of the eM-VAPEX recovery technology.

Success Factors

Having worked with the client for several years, Vista attributes the success of its ongoing relationship to several factors. Most importantly, Vista was able to establish a dedicated team who shared a long-term vision and took a collaborative approach to perfect the design and reduce engineering costs.

Additional success factors included:

  • Flexibility of Vista’s engineering team and balancing resources across multiple projects
  • Direct award with Vista/owner alignment on project drivers
  • Modularization optimization
  • Standardized equipment selection
  • Cost/schedule certainty based on Vista’s wealth of experience in heavy oil

eM-VAPEX Equipment & Technology

The eM-VPAEX design included the installation of a solvent storage bullet, loading facilities, injection pumps and all the solvent recovery equipment needed to make the process self-sustaining with very little make-up solvent.

Engineering Applications

The engineering capabilities demonstrated in this eM-VAPEX project showed that Vista has the ability to service companies that need support in both the heavy oil and natural gas processing industrial spaces.

in situ heavy oilIn-Situ Heavy Oil
gas processingGas Processing

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