JR Technologies, LLC
Heavy Oil and Gas Recovery 

The unique ability of RF energy to preferentially heat the target, organic compounds such as petroleum, over the host, rock or other inorganic materials, opens up many new applications of this technology in oil and gas extraction:


1) enhance liquid mobility by reducing viscosity


2) desorb gas held in micro-pores within tight formations


3) induce micro-fracturing in a rock formation necessary to extract oil or gas in economically recoverable quantities and,


4) fractionate crude oil within the formation enabling sequenced recovery of lighter or heavier product fractions at the wellhead.

 

No water, chemicals, proppants, or hydrofracking methods are required with JRT’s extraction technology.  In comparison to current technologies, RF reduces resource use, waste generation, environmental risks, stakeholder opposition, and cost.

 

The elimination of water alone as a prerequisite to hydrofracking opens the potential for extraction of extensive unconventional reserves in many arid climates of the world where production is currently not economically viable due to the scarcity and value of water as a vital life-sustaining resource. The combined benefits of RF to both the extraction and recovery process pose substantial economic, environmental and competitive advantages to the petroleum and energy industries globally.


The recent shift in focus to development of unconventional oil and gas reserves globally creates an enormous global market potential for JRT’s RF technology. The economic, environmental and social benefits provided by JRT’s RF technology over conventional extraction methods also satisfy the demands of the investment, regulatory and public communities for more sustainable technologies in meeting global energy demands, a vital component to the commercial marketability of the technology.      

Testing at JRT has demonstrated that conventional slotted liners as used in SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) designs may be employed as an antenna element to use in combination or as a replacement for steam. RF can achieve temperatures of 350 degrees Celsius (C) over a large volume of a formation as required for kerogen pyrolysis in oil shale to recover high quality oil and gas by pyrolysis and desorption. Temperature control can be precisely maintained to optimize recovery of preferred gas and oil product streams through visbreaking in situ. The standardization of this process could reduce or eliminate components of the refining process, enabling product distribution near the wellhead. The implications to commercial improvements in product extraction and distribution are potentially enormous.


JRT’s technology achieves deep formation electromagnetic wave energy penetration and can be focused within specific volumes. It is superior to steam because it does not have uplift and is capable of transferring heat in very low permeability formations at depths which make steam difficult to apply. Specific radio frequencies are chosen at a given site to: allow breakage of the capillary bonding holding oil in the water/rock matrix, selectively heat hydrocarbons, reduce oil viscosity, and autogentically create pressure drive from light end hydrocarbon gases and water vapor toward recovery wells.


When used to extract gas from shale, radio frequency waves create heat penetration within shales resulting in volumetric microporosity and subsequent release of gas through desorption mechanisms such as through the expected weakening or destruction of Van der Waals bonding between rock and gas molecules by radio frequency energy. Microporosity results from the thermal expansion of connate water which leads to microfracturing. RF induced chemical bond breaking liberates both gas and oil. The intricate network of microfracturing resulting from liberation of connate water thereby eliminates the use of proppants used in conventional hydrofracturing methods currently. Radio frequency energy typically modifies the chemical structure of the oil, making it lighter and easier to transport and refine. Oil from organically rich shale has been produced from kerogen conversion at precisely 350 C using RF energy. The gravity API of the resultant oil from kerogen using RF was approximately 49.

When applied to heavy oil extraction, in-situ radio frequency energy reduces the viscosity of the oil by electrodynamic forces, heat, and visbreaking for better oil quality. Lowering the viscosity and pour point of the produced oil significantly simplifies and reduces the cost of transport and refining.


Reducing the viscosity of conventional heavy oil in a reservoir with a focused pattern of RF energy provides a means for stimulating greater oil production. Currently, horizontal wells and SAGD have proven useful for removing heavy oil from unconsolidated sands. The presence of bottom water, however, can lead to breakthrough, lowering productivity.  Breakthrough occurs when the mobility of the bottom water is greater than that of the oil. Heating reduces the viscosity of heavy oil, increasing its mobility, thereby decreasing the dominance of the bottom water and preventing breakthrough. RF offers advantages over steam because directional transmission preferentially heats the heavy oil reservoirs without wasting energy on heating the bottom water. The opposite is true for steam as it follows the path of least resistance and channels energy to the bottom water. RF is also useful for starting the flow of heavy oil prior to SAGD operations and for cleaning produced sand.


RF energy may operate at the resonant frequency of heavy oil molecules to provide improved energy absorption (less power for a given temperature), improve oil quality through visbreaking, and achieve a higher H/C ratio by introducing a downhole catalyst or solvent. The thermal and selective vibration energy of RF may be applied to tight formations such as Marcellus shale for desorption of gas from the rock volume (which is significant in coal bed methane) with induced microporosity to achieve more economic and environmentally safe gas recovery without the need for hydrofracking or gas fracking.


JRT’s technology has a low environmental impact and is more sustainable from an environmental, economic, and social perspective than alternative tight source extraction technologies. It does not alter air quality. Because it does not use water or chemicals, it eliminates or minimizes the potential for contamination or depletion of aquifers. Its land surface impact footprint is confined to the disturbance represented by conventional boreholes alone.


JRT’s technology also has valuable and unique environmental remediation applications. Traditional thermal remediation methods require substantial infrastructure and energy to heat the host (soil and bedrock) in order to transmit heat to the target (contaminants) and extract it from the subsurface for disposal. RF heating requires minimal infrastructure and preferentially heats the target (organic contaminants) over the host, both improving heating efficiency and rendering thermal treatment feasible in crystalline bedrock where traditional thermal methods have failed.  Most importantly, RF can be tuned in frequency, power and direction to enable thermal treatment within a full spectrum of low to high temperature remedial applications. These include: 1) low temperature in situ (in the subsurface) transformation of contaminants by thermal degradation into harmless byproducts thereby eliminating generation and management of a waste stream; 2) catalyze the efficiency and effectiveness of other in situ treatment technologies such as bioremediation or oxidation; and 3) cost-effectively enhance thermal recovery of oil from contaminated soil or groundwater.


Environmental remediation applications represent a growing, but currently a secondary business segment for JRT.

 


 

Business Objectives



JRT’s near-term business objectives are to expand commercial application of its RF technology to enhance numerous oil and gas extraction processes (e.g., recovery of gas from shale, recovery and in-situ physically upgrading heavy oil through visbreaking, hydroprocessing, aquathermolysis, cracking and catalysts) and environmental remediation (e.g., oil spill cleanups, solvent remediation in fractured bedrock, and others). Expanded commercial application of RF technology in the energy and remediation industries is expected to be profitable, demonstrate commercial viability and drive increased market demand through successive successful applications. Expanded application in a variety of extraction and remedial scenarios is expected to demonstrate where the economic, environmental and social advantages of the technology maximize its return on investment in both the current and future marketplace. Concurrently, JRT will expand and update its patents and intellectual property protections and ultimately build a leasing business to meet the increased demand for its technology.

The company is seeking a strategic equity partner to infuse its business with the necessary capital to achieve these objectives.

 

Technology Demonstrations to Date


Oil and Gas Extraction from Kerogen in Oil Shale


The viability of the company’s technology has been demonstrated with oil shale; it was intensively tested in a four-year, multi-million dollar commercial scale, pilot program on Texaco oil shale property outside Vernal, Utah. It was a Badger, Raytheon, and Texaco joint venture, known as the “BART Program.” This program was partly instigated and technically overseen by Ray Kasevich of JRT while he was Technical Director at Raytheon. Ray Kasevich provided several key RF patents for this program.


The BART program demonstrated:

  • Energy efficiency. It demonstrated a nearly 5 to 1 energy returned on energy invested (EROI) ratio. This is superior to the EROIs of many of the alternative technologies currently being applied to tight sources of oil and gas.
  • High product quality potential. Very high quality, low sulfur content oil was extracted which was similar to high quality Arabian crude without any significant added refining.
  • Technological scalability. The Utah project employed a full scale commercial design. Radio frequency antennas were positioned in boreholes at shale depths of up to 200 feet with commercial radio frequency generators transmitting 50,000 watts of energy or less to the downhole antenna to demonstrate and achieve optimum oil recovery temperature at 350 degrees Celsius. Gas production (methane) was continuously produced and quantified during the oil recovery period.
  • Safe energy delivery. The energy delivery was compliant with the FCC’s published guidelines.
  • Minimal environment impact. The footprint of its land surface impact was confined to the disturbance represented by the boreholes. No aquifer contamination or adverse impacts to air quality were generated.


This program, which was conducted in the early 1980’s, would have continued to be funded had oil prices not dropped dramatically.

 

The early pilot designs used in the BART program can now be augmented with new designs developed by JRT that improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of commercial application. The design, testing and operation of a large scale (10,000 bbls per day) commercial production system is anticipated to achieve significant economic return. In summary:

  • RF requires less energy, fewer boreholes and significantly less infrastructure than current conventional extraction methods;
  • RF can enable economically viable recovery in unconventional formations without the use of water, substantially reducing the cost and environmental impact of extraction;
  • JRT’s improved RF generator and antenna design substantially enhance the capabilities of proto-type equipment making commercialization economically viable; and
  • The wide spectrum of energy transmission achievable through improvements in RF technology and design enable in-formation visbreaking and selective extraction of products at the wellhead, potentially eliminating added refining and distribution costs.