The chief scientists of Israel's Economy Ministry and Canada's Natural Resources Ministry have approved three new collaborative projects focusing on unconventional energy resources, worth $6.7 million in total.
Tasked with honing industrial practices regarding unconventional fuel extractions – such as those associated with shale oils and gases – the companies selected will work together under the direction of the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Fund (CIIRDF) and the Israeli Industry Center for Research and Development (MATIMOP). The unconventional oil and gas market is expected to rise to $217 million by 2019, and Canada has one of the greatest potentials in the world in this sector, the Economy Ministry said.
"The program for collaboration in the energy sector with Canada represents a true model of cooperation," said Economy Ministry Chief Scientist Avi Hasson. "Companies from both countries will integrate the forces of innovation with entrepreneurship, and develop and export new technologies that deal with environmental challenges associated with gas and oil resources."
The first of the three teams will be exploring how to extract fuels by heating the ground to extremely high temperatures, which could lead to more rapid and accurate shale fuel explorations in both countries, information provided by the Economy Ministry said. The companies collaborating on this issue will be Israel Energy Initiatives Ltd. and FG & Partners Ltd. Following a pilot project implementing the new technology in Israel, the companies would like to establish a Canadian firm to bring the technology to Canada, the ministry added.
The second project will focus on the reuse of high salinity water produced during the extraction of unconventional fuels, the Economy Ministry said. The Israeli firm RWL Water Nirosoft will be working with the Canadian KmX Corporation, both of which are engaged in wastewater reuse. Together, the companies will develop an innovative system for treating and desalinating the saline water produced during the extraction process.
In the third approved project, the Canadian firm Clean Harbors Energy and Industrial Services Corp. and Israel's IDE Technologies. will work on developing a technology that deals with the evaporation and cleaning mechanisms for tools used in oil sands, the ministry said.
The advancement of all of these projects "directly support the energy agreement signed between Canada and Israel in 2012," Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver stressed. Along with then energy and water minister Uzi Landau, Oliver signed an agreement in October 2012 to establish a bilateral research fund for collaborative work on energy research between Israel and Canada. As part of this agreement, Canada committed to investing $5m. over three years, while the Israeli government would be allocating resources based on the specific project needs.
"This collaboration not only will yield more innovative and efficient production methods in both countries, but will also generate experience and knowledge that will contribute greatly to both countries for many years ahead," Hasson said.
Henri Rothschild, president of CIIRDF, stressed that scientific projects of this nature provide "a very effective platform for bilateral cooperation," adding that "research cooperation strengthens our shared leadership in energy and creates opportunities to provide our technology to the world."