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Heavy Oil and Oil Sands

Heavy Oil and Sands

Advisian has over 30 years' experience in processing heavy oil and construction of over 3,000 oil sands extraction, bitumen production, and upgrading projects. Having developed most types of heavy oil and oil sand facilities from mining to thermal in-situ recovery to cold production to steam/polymer/gas injection allows us to provide our customers with niche specialist skills for all project phases to optimize delivery and operations while always driving innovation.

Heavy Oil

Our customers benefit from our innovative approach to designs, project delivery and execution. We are in the forefront of helping break the barriers to change and have been recognized by the industry for the next generation of low-cost solutions, evaluating new technologies, designing pilots and patenting new process configurations by adopting best practices from across other chemical industries into the heavy oil sector.

Our engineering and project execution team has been highly successful in delivering challenging projects from conceptual to construction phases. Through our innovations, Advisian delivers low-cost solutions including central processing, field and cogeneration facilities without compromising operations, safety and regulatory requirements. Such industry leading solutions provide sustainable growth for our customers. Some of our key strengths in the heavy oil field are process simulations, conceptual studies and design, plant layout optimization, equipment sizing and package vendor relations, modularization, fabrication and construction.

In-situ Bitumen Production

Advisian has designed integrated thermal recovery facilities for heavy oil containing hydrogen sulfide, high paraffin content, asphaltenes, salt, sand, and other inorganic contaminants.  In addition, we specialize in Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS), Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), and Vapor Solvent Extraction (VAPEX), together with a variety of other thermal recovery processes.

We are at the forefront of new technology, having participated in numerous research and development and pilot plant projects, including field-scale upgraders. Some of our achievements include:

  • Designing and installing the first ever Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) water treatment system for a thermal heavy oil project
  • Developing and patenting a produced water treating process that eliminates the need for lime softeners
  • Assisting in the development of a small scale gasifier for use in thermal heavy oil operations
  • Utilizing a combination of desalination RO and MVC that resulted in near 100% water reuse system in a large Middle East steam injection project
  • Increasing WLS system performance to 20% above its design capacity

Oil Sands Mining

Over 30 years of direct involvement in the design and construction of over 3,000 oil sands related projects including bitumen production, extraction, upgrading, hydrotreating, environmental, utilities, and offsite and tailing management.

We offer our customers the trusted expertise for their mineable oil sand greenfield and brownfield projects executed from our oil sand design centers located in Calgary and Edmonton.

We have helped our customers develop and install new technologies including hydro-transport, thickened tailing and centrifugation, paraffinic froth treatment and mechanically stabilized earth. Advisian's integrated environmental subject matter experts deliver practical solutions for different mining development, tailings pond, and land reclamation projects. Our teams work with owner's technical, project management and operations teams to minimize installation costs.

Bitumen Upgrading

Advisian experience covers both partial and full bitumen upgrading.  Areas of expertise include concept and technology selection, cost estimating, project economics evaluation and pre-FEED activities. Concept selection includes carbon rejection and hydrogen addition options, as well as knowledge of various proprietary technologies and licensed processes.   

Along with Worley, we have over 27 years of direct involvement in the conceptual design and construction of Bitumen Upgrading related projects including:

  • Vacuum distillation
  • Fluid coking
  • LCFiner
  • Gas oil (Naphtha/LGO/HGO) hydrotreating
  • Hydrogen production
  • Environmental (amine, sour water, produced gas recovery, sulphur production)
  • Utilities (BFW, steam generation, cooling water, process affected water heat belt, etc.)
  • Off Site (pipe rack, tank farm, flare, etc.)

We have helped our customers develop and install new technologies including reactor stretch, major unit capacity increase, etc. Our teams work with owner project management and operations to minimize installation costs for fit-for-purpose solutions.


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