– Sifting a green future: upstream service experts tell of deal with energy trading and tanker group Astra, By James Brewer –
Around 5% of the crude oil produced in the world goes to waste. Anyone who could capture all that output would be the second largest oil producer on the planet, in command of a gigantic resource.
Waste gushes forth throughout the life of oil and natural gas wells – some of the most contaminated matter being released by the controversial method of ‘fracking’ which is hydraulic fracturing of rock through high pressure injection of a mixture of sand, water and chemicals.
With the price of oil riding high, service companies are keen to deploy the latest technologies, backed by special storage centres, to recover some oil, and convert a wide variety of oil and other industrial spoil into useable “green” products.
Two of the junior companies planning a growing part in this under-serviced sector have been presenting their strategies to investors in London and other European financial centres. One of the companies, Cancen Oil Canada, says that it has agreements in place with Astra Energy Canada Midstream Services, part of the Transcor Astra Group that is involved substantially in global energy and ocean shipping markets.
The second company presenting was Global Green Matrix Corp, an Alberta-based firm which provides technologies it says are environmentally sound and profitable, to convert waste. Both companies are listed on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange.
The emphasis is on onshore rather than offshore, because cashflows from oilfield waste processing are more stable than cash flows from oilfield services related to drilling and completions, Cancen founder Keith Talbot said in London.
Cancen offers specialised services to upstream oil and natural gas companies in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, helping treat and sell crude oil, and handle by-products associated with oil and gas development and production.
So far, Cancen has six facilities. The company says that it has agreed with the Astra subsidiary to build or acquire additional processing, terminal, storage, custom treating, and blending facilites in western Canada. This will enable Cancen to market the crude oil produced from all of its facilities worldwide through Astra Energy Canada.
Cancen has agreed to build at least five new facilities by October 2014, deciding with Astra the location, size and scope of the storage tanks, related blending facilities, pipeline connections and other equipment.
Astra trades physical crude oil, petroleum products and associated commodities. It partners with refiners, wholesale distributors, ship terminal operators and producers. It manages storage worldwide, charters some 500 petroleum and chemical tankers a year, and operates a fleet of time chartered tankers and barges. It is involved in ethanol, biodiesel, liquefied petroleum gas, coal, natural gas, wind energy, and other fuel.
Global Green Matrix has been assembling advanced technologies to deal with oilfield and municipal waste. Steven Rosenthal, a director, said that the company’s research “concluded that the next new major industry will be taking waste and turning it into new products that include new biomass fuels that will run power plants to produce electricity, but without the air pollution produced by burning fossil fuels.” Previously unavailable revenues would come from separating water and oil from heavy oil, mining, industrial waste water treatment, oil upgrading and Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage.