Produced water evaporator technology to help Canadian oil sands project recycle up to 97 percent of produced water

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FORT MCMURRAY, AB, Canada, Sept. 20, 2011 -- Grizzly Oil Sands ULC has selected GE's produced water evaporation technology for its Algar Lake project near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Phase 1 of the Algar Lake Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project will produce 5,000-6,000 barrels per day of bitumen and, by using GE's produced water evaporation process, will recycle up to 97 percent of the produced water.

Today's announcement reinforces GE's commitment to improve water reuse, a key commitment of ecomagination, a business strategy to create new value for customers, investors and society by solving energy, efficiency and water challenges.

Grizzly's Algar Lake is one of three recent projects, including Harvest Black Gold, to choose GE's patented evaporative technology to treat and recycle its SAGD wastewater, assisting this producer to minimize water consumption and comply with the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) regulations and directives pertaining to water use. Coupled with GE's proprietary contaminant reduction system, the technology can produce a high-quality distillate suitable for use as feedwater to high-pressure drum boilers.

"Our selection of GE technology is the result of their experience and application of the technology in the oil sands," said Ryan Chase, director of projects at Grizzly Oil Sands. "The team at GE has supported our Advanced, Relocatable, Modularized, Standardized (ARMS) design."

As projects in Alberta's oil sands continue to grow, so does the potential for production activities to produce large quantities of wastewater. Developers of oil sands resources are increasingly turning to GE's evaporative and zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) technologies to address this critical issue.

Until recently, SAGD produced water could not be recycled as boiler feedwater because conventional treatment technologies were unable to produce the necessary water quality. GE's patented evaporation process and contaminant reduction system is the only commercially proven method currently in use that achieves complete water recycling. It dramatically reduces freshwater requirements and also offers lower total capital and operating costs.

"For more than 15 years GE has been helping oil sands operators manage water resources and optimize plant performance, and our patented produced water evaporation technology is the only process capable of recycling 97 percent or more of de-oiled produced water," said Jeff Connelly, vice president, engineered systems -- water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. "By Grizzly using GE technology at the Algar Lake SAGD project, it will help conserve the region's freshwater supply and will greatly reduce wastewater discharge."

In addition to GE's produced water evaporation system, GE also is providing the Algar Lake SAGD project with system design, equipment, instruments and controls, training and site support. GE will deliver equipment to the site in the first half of 2012, with installation and commissioning scheduled for the second half of 2012.

Grizzly Oil Sands was formed in early 2006 to explore for and bring bitumen into production using thermal technologies. Grizzly holds one of the largest oil sand lease positions in Alberta among independent development-stage oil sands companies with more than 700,000 net acres of oil sands leases and permits.

GE's produced water evaporator has achieved the distinction of ecomagination-qualification. GE's ecomagination is a corporate-wide initiative to aggressively commercialize new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.

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