New petrolithium method mitigates drilling risk for O&G producers
MRO MagazineEngineering Industry Energy Mining & Resources
Vancouver – A newly released independent engineering report from SigmaCubed Engineering detailing production rates in Utah’s Lisbon Valley. The study is examining what could mark an evolution in the oil and gas industry: Lithium from oil wells.
Commissioned by MGX Minerals, the report isn’t solely measuring oil and gas production rates. In fact, the report is zeroed in on barrels of water per day (“BWPD”).
The water in question is MGX’s ace in the hole, as the company owns a proprietary technology dubbed “Petrolithium,” which as it sounds, derives the valuable mineral lithium from the excess brine water produced from conventional oil and gas wells.
By targeting brine-laden oilfields, MGX intends to hedge its drilling risks by deriving value not only from oil and gas, as well as lithium, which has been a sizzling commodity for the last couple of years. The idea is that no matter what petroleum production each well yields, there will always be lithium to produce regardless of the hydrocarbons. In essence, it eliminates the risk of a dry hole, as every well will produce brine water, whether there’s oil or not.
The proprietary engineering report has zeroed in on various wellbore configurations, designed to optimize hydrocarbon-bearing oil and gas, and mineral-bearing brine production from traditional wells.
These configurations also included 1500′, 3000′, and 5000′ leg horizontal wells, all of which could be in play for MGX as it embarks on bringing its petrolithium methods into the USA, after completing testing on brines in Canada’s Alberta oilfields.
MGX controls 110,000 acres of oil and gas leases that are currently being unitized, as well as an additional 118,000 acres of largely overlying mineral claims within the Paradox Basin, and near the Lisbon Valley oilfield located 40 miles southeast of Moab, Utah.
The region was specifically selected for the rollout of the petrolithium program due to its high lithium-brine yields.
Brine content in the Lisbon Valley oilfield has been historically recorded as high as 730 ppm lithium, while the USGS has noted the Paradox Basin as having one of the largest undeveloped oil and gas fields in the United States.
Including the company’s portfolio in Canada, MGX has acquired more than 1.7 million acres of brine-bearing formations to date.
Combining the value of oil and gas, and also lithium, makes the entire project more enticing to MGX and its investors who firmly believe in the future of petrolithium.
In preparation of drilling and production, MGX has engaged the internationally recognized Ryder Scott Company to prepare an independent resource evaluation for oil, gas, and water at the Lisbon Valley, Utah Petrolithium project. The final report is expected within the next 30 days.
Since early in 2016, MGX has had a major focus on this revolutionary lithium-extraction method.
Unlike the two main current lithium production methods, petrolithium comes with the advantages of speed, and expansiveness.
The world’s most prominent lithium production method is that of solar evaporation. While the method looks to shortcut energy costs on removing the water from lithium-bearing brines by utilizing massive ponds set outside under the sun, the method takes upwards of 18 months to produce lithium, and can have mineral losses as high as 60%.
What MGX’s petrolithium method proposes is a turnaround time of less than a day, and with near 100% mineral retention.
MGX is already currently manufacturing small commercial plants capable of handling 750 BWPD for rapid extraction of lithium and other valuable minerals from the brine.
Once implemented, the clean-tech process is designed to separate minerals, heavy metals, as well as hydrocarbons from what was once considered wastewater brines pumped to the surface during traditional oil and gas operations.
Since filing an extensive and comprehensive US Provisional Patent for a modern industrial process specifically designed for highly-mineralized oilfield brines to concentrate lithium and other valuable minerals, MGX is setting itself up to possibly make a major impact for oil producers across North America.
Water handling has become a major cost factor for producers in every state and province in production, and for MGX to offer the ability to derive value from the water before it’s injected or disposed of could be one of the biggest game changers the industry has seen in decades.
MGX has already received third-party verification on its rapid lithium extraction process from the Saskatchewan Resources Council in Canada. It works.
Now as the company and its partners implement further optimization on the process, all signs point to a impactful petrolithium rollout in 2017.
Source: MGX Minerals Inc.