Heavy oil and bitumen are found in many places worldwide, with the largest deposits in the world being in Canada (Alberta), Venezuela and the former Soviet Union. Other countries having such deposits include U.S.A., Russia, Cuba, Indonesia, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, Jordan, Madagascar, Colombia, Albania, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Nigeria and Argentina. The main methods for extraction are generally mining and in situ. Within the insitu methods are the following processes: ? Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) ? Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) ? The Vapour Extraction Process (VAPEX) ? Toe to Heel Air Injection (THAI) ? Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS) The recovered bitumen may be upgraded at the plant site or diluted and sent through pipelines for production of synthetic crude. Bitumen and Heavy Oil are deficient in hydrogen, compared to typical crude oils. Upgrading is the process that changes bitumen into synthetic crude oil. There are four main steps to the upgrading process: Thermal Conversion, Catalytic Conversion, Distillation and Hydro treating. Different companies use these processes in different ways and at different stages in the transformation of bitumen/ heavy oil into synthetic crude but the basic principles behind this transformation remain the same. The state of the art of the industry worldwide will be described in this Best Practice Keynote.
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