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Fractal Systems’ Enhanced JetShear ready for commercial deployment

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World Pipelines,

Fractal Systems Inc. (Fractal), a privately-owned technology company engaged in the business of developing proprietary partial upgrading technology solutions for producers and midstream companies, announced it has successfully completed the large scale demonstration of its Enhanced JetShear technology with a major oilsands producer proving its ability to dramatically lower the viscosity of bitumen, improve netbacks, increase bitumen volumes shipped in existing pipelines and improve overall greenhouse gas performance. Fractal is now focused on deploying the technology on a commercial scale, adjacent to steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) facilities and pipeline terminals.

Since the mid 2000s, Fractal has been advancing the development of its proprietary and patented JetShear technology to provide heavy oil and bitumen producers cost-effective solutions to improve margins, de-bottle infrastructure and provide flexibility associated with the transportation of heavy oil. During 2013, Fractal entered into technology and testing agreements with a large Canadian oilsands producer, and in May of 2014, the parties commenced testing diluted bitumen at Fractal’s 1000 bpd JetShear demonstration facility located near Provost, Alberta (the facility), using commercial-scale JetShear components.

On 16 February 2015, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) awarded Fractal and its producing partner funding in the amount of CAN$3.7 million to conduct field trials of the newly developed Enhanced JetShear and Acid Reduction Process™ (ARP™) technologies. Building on the successful demonstration of the JetShear technology platform that concluded in April of 2015, Fractal commenced engineering for a retrofit and expansion of the JetShear facility. Construction on the retrofit was completed in the first half of 2016, and the facility operated from late August 2016 through August 2017.

During the operating periods, the facility processed over 225 000 bbls of partially diluted bitumen that was trucked to the site from Fractal’s producing partner’s SAGD projects. The facility achieved up to 53% diluent displacement, reduced the TAN by at least 60% to below industry thresholds while maintaining the olefinic content of the crude below the detection limit (0.50% by weight).

“We are very pleased with the successful outcome of this demonstration and by the performance of the facility,” said Ed Veith, President and COO of Fractal. “Improving the overall economic and environmental sustainability of bitumen production is vitally important to the industry, provincial and federal governments and other stakeholders. Broad application of innovative technology solutions, like the JetShear technology platform, supports Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan by reducing overall GHG emissions, and will allow the industry to continuously improve and ultimately benefit all Canadians.”

The key objectives for the large scale demonstration that were met or exceeded, include: ensuring facility operability and throughput expectations with no recordable safety or environmental incidents; meeting processing objectives using Enhanced JetShear while maintaining 100% volumetric yield and reaching pipeline transportation specifications for viscosity and density with a 50% or greater reduction in required diluent; and achieving ambitious product quality targets (olefin content, acidity, diluent displacement and product stability).

Fractal is now supporting site-specific engineering and other studies, which will be used in both the regulatory process and a sanctioning decision for the construction of a commercial-scale facility.

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