Austin, Texas-based, privately held CrystaTech has successfully developed a downhole regenerable sulphur removal and recovery process called Downhole Sulphur Recovery (DSR) with Total.

Under a technology development and commercialization agreement between CrystaTech and Total, the companies are working to develop a regenerable process for the continuous removal and recovery of sulphur depositions in sour-gas wellbores. CrystaTech is modifying its patented hydrogen sulphide removal process to develop the new technology for this downhole application.

The new DSR technology relies on the use of physical solvents that absorb and carry the sulphur out of the well bore.

Total is fully involved in all aspects of the technology development effort, and has decided to move to the pilot unit demonstration phase of the project.

CrystaTech chief executive Eric Klasson says, “The technology development partnership with Total has led to significant breakthroughs in managing well bore sulfur deposition. We are excited to work with Total on the demonstration phase of the project.”

Total reports it plans to use the regenerable technology for the production of very large sour-gas reserves, which provides excellent economic and environmental benefits. Existing technologies require producers to either shut-in gas production while injecting disposable solvents to clear blocked wellbores, or inject non-regenerable solvents on a continuous basis or use chemical regeneration processes.

CrystaTech has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy, Gas Technology Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, National Energy Technology Laboratory and the energy sector worldwide to develop solutions for complex sour gas production, processing, and treating issues.

In 2008 Total will invest $1 billion in R&D, and there are more than 4,000 researchers working in 22 research centers worldwide. Total has also created over 600 partnerships with research organizations, universities and large industrial groups. –JAS