Waren Dowd has spent the last 15 years in venture capital and energy and industrial technology commercialization and is involved in new enhanced oil recovery technologies here in North America as well as the Middle East and Latin America. A founding director of an oilsands technology being deployed in the US, he has been looking for better ways for cleaner, more effective heavy oil production.
Dowd says, “I’d been researching a variety of new chemical in-situ solutions [and] obtained the rights for an environmentally friendly Enhanced Oil Recovery chemical … [it’s] non-toxic and can be recycled, injected directly with steam … essentially an excellent interfacial tension reducer, so it allows the operator to access [and produce] more oil.” What is interesting to heavy oil producers is the opportunity to use much less steam.
Envoy Energy hopes to pilot the technology first in Canada, but they are also sharing discussions with groups in Oman and Venezuela. “We believe this type of simple technology could have profoundly positive effects in heavy oil-producing countries.”
Motivated by the knowledge that current resources could be exploited to greater extents, Dowd saw clearly that environmentally sound ways to advance the production of existing resources, improve drainage in SAGD operations, and reduce the carbon footprint could only be a win-win situation. “There has been some very negative publicity around both the oil sands and fracking … the key will be to find those technologies which are not detrimental to the environment.”
The CEO goes on to say, “Every new technology faces similar obstacles: … funding and finding a great team to execute … But by overcoming skepticism, rallying a team, and understanding where the commercial aspect of technology application is best suited to your industry partner … and industry as a whole, [garner] greater chances of successes. Believe in yourself and your team and never give up.”
“Innovation in the oil sands has had a major impact, not only on the GDP of Canada and the jobs it provides, but also to our standing globally as an oil and gas producer and innovator … I believe these types of technology impacts will continue over the next decade, especially in the area of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) techniques and applications.”
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