Kazakhstan will squeeze oil from sand and clay
Kazakhstan wants to start extracting oil from sand in 2013, deputy Director of the Scientific-Research Institute of New Chemical Technologies and Materials of Al-Farabi Kazakh State University Valentina Yemelyanova told Tengrinews.kz.
According to her, over 50 fields of oil-bituminous sands (the mixture of oil, bitumen and sand) have been discovered in Kazakhstan. “Black gold” can be chemically produced from this mixture. Canada is currently the most successful in this type of oil production. Development of deposits of oil-bearing sands has made this country one of the major oil countries of the world.
However, according to another Kazakhstan scientist, member of the National Science Academy Nadir Nadirov, the technology of oil extraction from bituminous sands invented in Kazakhstan is more advanced. “Canadians are separating oil and sand by adding steam and hot water. Oil goes up and sand gravitates,” the scientist said. According to him, since Kazakhstan does not have as much water reserves as Canada does, Kazakhstan scientists are using a special reactor. “The separation happens as follows: sand goes down, while oil and bitumen dissolve,” Nadirov described Kazakhstan technology.
The scientist told that it is possible to extract oil not only from sand, but also from clay and that Kazakhstan technology is less hazardous for the environment than the Canadian one, where polluting substances are emitted with steam. According to Nadirov, the oil received from the "reactor” is of quite good quality, as, exposed to temperature and not water, it is much cleaner. Besides, for some of the cases the Kazakhstan technology is twice cheaper than the traditional oil production from wells. According to the scientist, this technology was invented in 1990s but has still not been used because of the lack of investments.
Nadirov told that the project of Kazakhstan state-run program for oil extraction from sand and clay developed by local oil chemists had been submitted to the state authorities, where it was positively evaluated. “Right now the program is in the government. It passed the check. It will be launched starting from the new year,” the scientist said.
Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that Kazakhstan scientists developed a new technology of oil production from coal. The invention allows to synthesize oil from coal by adding hydrogen.
By Arman Baimukhanov