The Hydrotransport System transfers oil sands slurry from the OPP to the Extraction Plant. It also serves as process equipment by helping to ablate the oil sands and liberate the bitumen. Designing a Hydrotransport pipeline is challenging, as the pipeline operating condition varies with the quantity and quality of the mined ore and the condition of the hot process water.

Perfectal designs Hydrotransport pipelines, evaluates feasibility, troubleshoots and debottlenecks projects. We employ the most up-to-date methods in oil sands slurry pipeline hydraulics design to calculate the frictional gradients and velocity-independent lump pressure losses.

Unlike our competitors, who design Hydrotransport Systems based solely on hydraulics, our comprehensive design method also includes evaluation of the slurry conditioning process. We developed an in-house oil sands slurry conditioning model which optimizes the design of Hydrotransport System to maximum bitumen recovery.

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An Ore Preparation Plant (OPP) consists of a dry side and a wet side. The mined oil sands ore is crushed on the dry side and transferred by conveyors to the slurry preparation area on the wet side, where it is mixed with hot water and caustic and fed to the Hydrotransport System.

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The Extraction Plant separates the oil sands slurry from the Hydrotransport pipelines into three streams: froth, fine tailings and coarse tailings. The plant consists of three separation units: the Primary Separation Cell, Flotation Circuit and De-aerator. Separation of froth from fines and sands is a complicated process involving fundamental concepts from gravity separation to surface sciences.

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Tailings, a by-product of oil sands mining operations, are transported to the tailings pond for storage and recovery of process water. The coarse solids in tailings settle rapidly and separate from the water. The fine solids however, remain in suspension creating a layer known as Mature Fine Tailings which take centuries to solidify.

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