HTL Process

Ivanhoe Energy uses technologically innovative methods to significantly improve the development of heavy oil and other oil and gas assets. Primary among these is Ivanhoe's proprietary, patented heavy oil upgrading process called "HTL", or "Heavy-to-Light".

HTL is an upgrading process that can be located in the heavy oil field, completely integrated with upstream field operations. The HTL process converts heavy oil to lighter, more valuable product that can be transported by pipeline without the need for light blend oils. In addition, coke and gas by-products from the upgrading process is converted in-situ to steam or power, and this energy is available to the operator to develop the field. HTL facilities can be economically applied in scales as low as 10,000 to 20,000 barrels per day.

HTL is based on the time-tested concept of thermal cracking and carbon rejection.

  • The key innovation is speed - HTL incorporates ultra short processing times compared with significantly longer times for conventional technologies such as delayed coking.
  • Added advantage over coking technologies - it converts by-product coke to on-site energy, instead of incurring the costs of accumulating and managing large stockpiles of low value coke.
  • Does not require diluent, catalysts, hydrogen or natural gas.
  • The net result is relatively small scale, low cost facilities that can be field located where energy and other heat integration benefits are maximized.

HTL is a close analogue to Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC), a very common processing unit found in most refineries worldwide. FCC's circulate catalyst to produce transport fuels mainly from vacuum gas oils, while HTL circulates common sand as a heat transfer agent to convert heavy oil, including pure vacuum residues, to upgraded light oil. While HTL is an innovative, patented and proprietary technology, the fundamental engineering, equipment and materials handling aspects underlying HTL are well understood by fluid solid systems engineers.

Ivanhoe Energy's HTL process represents the application of a commercially proven technology to a new feedstock, and incorporates the benefits of a development process that spans over 25 years.

For additional information on HTL please contact:
Dr. Michael Silverman +1-713-830-4200