ETX Systems

Press Release

Date: June 02, 2009

Positive Results from the IYQ Upgrading Pilot Set the Stage for ETX Systems

CALGARY, AB – For the past decade ETX Systems of Calgary, AB has been developing its proprietary IYQ Upgrading concept. Based on fundamentals the company claims a 6% liquid yield advantage over existing benchmarks, when processing a conventional residuum from the Athabasca region of Alberta. Liquid product qualities are also increased, with claims that over 7% more of the native hydrogen in a barrel of feed is routed to the liquid products. Today ETX Systems is pleased to announce that the results from its pilot facility confirm these claims.

“The pilot scale is a necessary development step, expected by all players in our industry.”, explains Dr. Wayne Brown, Chief Technology Officer for ETX Systems. “Because of this emphasis closure of our pilot program has been a top priority for us over the past year. It is really exciting to see the whole program come together as planned.”

“As with all aspects of our development we have been diligent in vetting the results from the pilot program. A report has been issued by an independent third party confirming that the definitive nature of the results.”

ETX Systems embarked on the D1 pilot demonstration of its IYQ Upgrading technology over two years ago, with the main objectives to provide additional support for its primary claims on yield and quality. The program was executed at the National Center for Upgrading Technology (NCUT) located in Devon, AB. NCUT provides critical infrastructure and expertise that provides a cost effective platform for testing upgrading concepts.

“We selected NCUT after screening a number of other potential locations, on both sides of the border. We felt that the combination of facility and personnel at NCUT could not be matched.”, explains Brown. “The organization at NCUT understands development, and the unique nature of each project. Right from the initiation of the project, they have worked to accommodate our needs. This has been very enabling.”

New upgrading technologies are evaluated against three benchmarks: liquid yield, liquid quality, and capital intensity. Many approaches have demonstrated improvements on two of the three metrics, but assigning all three to a given technology has proven elusive. Previous studies carried out by ETX Systems, and vetted by independent third parties have shown that IYQ Upgrading provides a significant capital advantage when compared to traditional upgrading flowsheets by enabling the elimination of discrete processing units.

As explained by Dr. Brown, “When the capital advantage is coupled with the positive results from the pilot plant, it appears that the IYQ Upgrading technology may set a new benchmark for upgrading. There is no compromise.”

“ETX Systems is about one thing: IYQ Upgrading. In that regard we are exclusively leveraged on the success of our technology. The results from our pilot program set us up well to proceed to the next step of our development; namely, the field demonstration of the technology at a scale at which operability can be established. Having passed through the pilot demonstration phase of our development process is truly exciting for us.”

To demonstrate operability, a scale of 2,000 barrels per day is currently being contemplated. Work on this project has already commenced, and land has been purchased in support of this activity. In parallel, a supporting development program has been undertaken to deliver the required design data for the IYQ Upgrading reactor. A dedicated execution team comprised of specialized industry experts is being formulated to carry out this activity, which will be led by ETX Systems.

The made-in-Alberta IYQ Upgrading concept has gained significant momentum since its inception in 2000. The venture that evolved into ETX Systems was conceived by the company’s CEO, Gerard Monaghan, and Wayne Brown, and was originally financed through a small group of angel investors. Through technical disclosures at conferences and journals, and through public interviews, interest in the concept grew. Out of this initial exposure business relationships were developed with some of the most significant producers of heavy oil and bitumen in Alberta. An enabling event was when the Albert Government, through the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), selected the IYQ Upgrading technology from a pool of over a hundred technologies as one that may help the Province meet its resource development objectives. Through AERI’s Hydrocarbon Upgrading Demonstration Program (HUDP) the Alberta government has supported some of the development activities associated with IYQ Upgrading.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the strategies that we have adopted within ETX Systems.”, says Brown. “As a smaller sized company we rely on forging solid relationships with third parties that are interested in the longer term perspective of what we have been developing. This strategy, coupled with rigorous development and review protocols have enabled us to create something of real value where nothing existed before. We are currently in the middle of negotiating long term agreements that would allow us to meet our ultimate vision. With the momentum that we have built, we fully expect to transition into the next phase of our development, building upon the solid platform that exists today. ”

The company’s CEO, Gerard Monaghan, is equally optimistic. “Ten years ago I had a vision of rearranging the upgrading landscape. With the background that I had developed in upgrading I felt that there was an opportunity to take a first principles approach, and package the significant advances in the field that had been introduced since the 1980s into a new benchmark technology. The recent success of our pilot facility indicate that the vision may be realized sooner than anticipated.”

ETX Systems Inc.is a fit-for-purpose private entity based in Calgary, AB, whose sole mandate is to commercialize its patented IYQ Upgrading technology. The process claims to deliver revolutionary yields and qualities relative to delayed coking, for significantly less cost per barrel. The increased production of high quality liquids leads to reduced environmental impact, leveraged through both the upstream and downstream scope.  For more information contact Gerard Monaghan, CEO of ETX Systems Inc. (gerard.monaghan@etxsystems.com).

  IYQ Upgrader Logo