Processing operations at Petroteq Energy’s oil sands plant at Asphalt Ridge (the "POSP") has been restarted. Petroteq Energy Inc. ("Petroteq" or the "Company") (TSXV:PQE)(OTC PINK:PQEFF)(FSE:PQCF), is an integrated oil company focused on the development and implementation of its proprietary oil-extraction technologies.
Petroteq primarily operates as a clean technology company focused on the development, implementation and licensing of a patented, environmentally safe and sustainable technology for the extraction and reclamation of heavy oil and bitumen from oil sands and mineable oil deposits. The versatile technology can be applied to both water-wet deposits and oil-wet deposits - outputting high-quality oil and clean sand.
One concern articulated in the CO dealt with the processing of offsite oil sands ore, which had not been specifically addressed in the Company's existing Notice of Intent ("NOI") filed with the DOGM. Following a conference with the DOGM on 21 May 2021, Petroteq received notice from DOGM on 25 May 2021 that DOGM was modifying the CO such that operations could immediately recommence at the site. The modified CO allows for processing and testing operations at the POSP to take place until a future date, utilizing both local and offsite oil sands ore. Operation of the POSP will be subject to Petroteq submitting an updated NOI, satisfactory to DOGM, covering sources of ore to be processed, mineral processing methods and facilities, management and handling of clean sand tailings, and a mine reclamation plan.
The POSP was able to integrate a trial solids processing unit into the process stream during the time that processing operations were on hold, and that unit is now undergoing testing. With this trial, the collection of test data, to better inform the design of the Company's proposed first 5,000 barrels per day ("BPD") commercial production train, is now essentially complete. Until now, the Company's primary focus has been on data collection (testing of different oil sands ores, solvent concentrations and mix tank residence times) and not sustained commercial production from the POSP. The Company can now move to a focus on sustained production. A third party engineering firm has been engaged to review and certify the commerciality of Petroteq's Clean Oil Recovery Technology ("CORT").
A truckload of cleaned sand has now been collected by a nearby drilling fluids company for evaluation and testing. The initial evaluation of the sand was positive and indications are that they will collect additional sand tailings for further evaluation, processing and possible sale.
George Stapleton, Petroteq COO, commented: "DOGM's decision to modify the CO so as to allow POSP operations to resume pending the submission of an updated, revised NOI is very much appreciated. Data gathering for the design of a 5,000 BPD commercial production train should be completed shortly, which will allow for a shift to production operations."
Petroteq believes that its technology can produce a relatively sweet heavy crude oil from deposits of oil sands at Asphalt Ridge without requiring the use of water, and therefore without generating wastewater which would otherwise require the use of other treatment or disposal facilities which could be harmful to the environment. Petroteq's process is intended to be a more environmentally friendly extraction technology that leaves clean residual sand that can be returned to the environment, without the use of tailings ponds or further remediation.