Proposed Diluent Recovery Unit
Cenovus Energy is evaluating the potential to build a diluent recovery unit (DRU) at its Bruderheim oil transloading facility, northeast of Edmonton. The Bruderheim Energy Terminal currently has capacity to load and ship approximately 100,000 barrels of oil per day. We’re in the process of increasing capacity to 120,000 bbls/d. Cenovus currently ships dilbit (diluted bitumen) produced at its oil sands operations in northern Alberta through the Bruderheim Terminal. Dilbit consists of approximately 70 percent raw bitumen blended with approximately 30 percent diluent (a light hydrocarbon), which is added to reduce the viscosity or thickness of the bitumen so that it will flow in a pipeline. With the addition of a DRU to remove the diluent prior to rail loading, Cenovus has the opportunity to significantly increase its overall capacity to ship valuable bitumen to market, while also eliminating the cost of transporting the diluent to and from the company’s end markets.
A DRU is a relatively simple distillation unit that uses heat to separate dilbit essentially into its core components - undiluted bitumen and diluent. At this proposed facility, we would be producing a new product that we will call Lamont HeavyTM, which is an undiluted heavy crude oil. Lamont HeavyTM would be transported via rail car to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, while the diluent removed in the DRU process would be shipped directly back to Cenovus’s oil sands operations for reuse.