The BRRTM Process is based on the employment of in situ microbial activity combined with the use of bio-surfactants to break down/mobilise heavy oil and to also remove the impurities from that oil prior to recovery.
Research into such Biosurfactant applications has been advanced by Professor Ibrahim Banat during the past 30 years, both in the Middle East and in Europe. Professor Banat commenced work on developing bio-surfactant solutions for the oil industry in Kuwait in the 1980s. A field investigation on oil sludge mobilisation and oil recovery in the late 1980s in relation to his early work on bio-surfactants resulted in the recovery of 91% of oil trapped within oil sludge into a suitable re-sellable crude oil. This research was interrupted by the invasion of Kuwait and ensuing war and relocation of Professor Banat to Northern Ireland.
For the past 20 years Professor Banat has continued to work on bio-surfactant types, characteristics, availability and production technologies, and their use by oil and other industries. He has substantial accumulated knowledge on, and numerous publications in relation to potential application in enhanced oil recovery from “exhausted” oil wells. In addition, he has isolated strains of bio-surfactant producing cultures that can be cost-effectively applied to a range of "exhausted " oil wells, in a range of environmental and crude oil conditions. It is the flexibility of these bio-surfactants that form the basis of the BRRTM Process that represents the key to their commercially viable application.
Heavy crude oil exists in “exhausted” oil wells in a range of states, where the presence or absence of certain elements (such as sulphur) can have a significant impact on the capacity to recover that oil cost-effectively. By adapting to various states of the heavy crude oil, the BRRTM Process will be able to recover heavy crude without the need for further expensive refining over and above the recovery of conventional crude.
Each component of the BRRTM Process holds a competitive advantage over other heavy oil recovery methods, but collectively the combination of the BRRTM Process features gives EER a significant advantage over each of its major competitors.