BlueTech® Research Predicts Market Growth in the Alberta Oil Sands

Demand for more advanced water treatment methods creates market opportunity for technology providers

A recent BlueTech® Research market intelligence report on water treatment in the Alberta Oil Sands shows that new regulations, gaps in innovation, and the industry’s needs for more efficient water treatment methods will create a market opportunity for water technology providers.

In the Alberta Oil Sands, production of bitumen, which is dependent on water treatment, is projected to double between 2010 and 2020. The industry is shifting from Once-Through Steam Generators to steam-based extraction using drum boilers that require higher quality water feeds.

According to Tyler Algeo, senior research analyst at BlueTech® Research, this drives a need for advanced water treatment to treat the feed water to a higher standard and opens up a market opportunity for treatment technologies. “The large growth forecasts, the need for high quality water, and the growing public concern regarding the environmental impact of oil sands operations create a strong market entry point for water technology providers,” he notes.

Unlike other oil and gas sectors where produced water management is largely outsourced, oil companies in the Albert Oil Sands manage water in-house. Bitumen extraction in the oil sands is dependent on water treatment. A halt to produced water treatment means a halt to oil production.

As such, oil companies are often averse to unproven water treatment technologies, requiring extensive piloting of up to 10 years before a technology is considered. This can be a significant barrier to commercialization, especially for small water technology companies.

“While the extensive piloting required by the oil companies is a barrier, once a technology becomes accepted, the opportunity is huge and set to increase substantially with the growing need for high quality boiler feed water,” Algeo adds.

Learn more about this BlueTech® Insight Report and archived Insight Reports at:

About BlueTech® Research

BlueTech Research, an O2 Environmental company, is an independent market intelligence firm focused exclusively on the water technology industry. The firm provides actionable insights to a global client base on innovative and disruptive technologies, market direction, market opportunities, and access to intelligence on the companies innovating in the water space.

About the Author

Paul O'Callaghan is the founder and CEO of O2 Environmental, a leading consultancy providing expertise and analysis on water technology market opportunities. Paul also founded BlueTech® Research, a subsidiary of O2 Environmental, which provides intelligence services to clients to identify key opportunities and trends in the global water industry. Paul holds a bachelor’s in biochemistry and a master’s degree in water resource management. He authored and addressed numerous papers on emerging treatment technologies, guest lectured at Harvard Business School, presented on the Discovery Channel, and delivered keynotes at numerous international events, including the Singapore International Water Week TechXchange Workshop.