Unconventional reservoirs of oil and gas represent a huge additional global source of fossil fuels. However, there is much still to be done to improve techniques for their processing to make recovery and refining of these particular energy sources more cost-effective. Brief but readable, Heavy and Extra-heavy Oil Upgrading Technologies provide readers with a strategy for future production (the up-stream) and upgrading (the down-stream). The book provides the reader with an understandable overview of the chemistry and engineering behind the latest developments and technologies in the industry as well as the various environmental regulations.

Clear and rigorous, Heavy and Extra-heavy Oil Upgrading Technologies will prove tool for those scientists and engineers already engaged in fossil fuel science and technology as well as scientists, non-scientists, engineers, and non-engineers who wish to gain a general overview or update of the science and technology of unconventional fossil fuels in general and upgrading technologies in particular. The use of microorganisms and a number of physical methods, such as ultrasound, median microwave, cold plasma, electrokinetic and monocrystalline intermetallics, etc., will be discussed for the first time.

Key Features

  • Overview of the chemistry, engineering, and technology of oil sands
  • Microorganisms and a number of physical methods such as ultrasound, median microwave, cold plasma, electrokinetic and monocrystalline intermetallics
  • Evolving and new environmental regulations regarding oil sands production processes



Production engineers, Reservoir Engineers, Petroleum Process Engineers, Geologists and Research and development engineers

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1. Refining Heavy Oil and Extra-heavy Oil
    • 1.1 History
    • 1.2 Definition of the Feedstocks
    • 1.3 Refining Heavy Oil and Extra-heavy Oil
    • References
  • Chapter 2. Thermal Cracking
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 Thermal Cracking Processes
    • 2.3 Coking Processes
    • References
  • Chapter 3. Catalytic Cracking
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Process Types
    • 3.3 Process Parameters
    • 3.4 Catalysts and Catalyst Treatment
    • 3.5 Process Options
    • References
  • Chapter 4. Hydrotreating and Desulfurization
    • 4.1 Introduction
    • 4.2 Process Types
    • 4.3 Process Variables
    • 4.4 Catalyst Technology
    • 4.5 Process Options
    • References
  • Chapter 5. Hydrocracking
    • 5.1 Introduction
    • 5.2 Process Types
    • 5.3 Catalyst Technology
    • 5.4 Processes Options
    • References
  • Chapter 6. Solvent Processes
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Process Options
    • References
  • Chapter 7. Heavy Feedstock Refining—The Future
    • 7.1 Introduction
    • 7.2 Refinery Configurations
    • 7.3 The Future Refinery
    • References
  • Glossary


No. of pages:
© 2013
Gulf Professional Publishing
Electronic ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the author

James Speight

Dr. Speight is currently editor of the journal Petroleum Science and Technology (formerly Fuel Science and Technology International) and editor of the journal Energy Sources. He is recognized as a world leader in the areas of fuels characterization and development. Dr. Speight is also Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Fuels Engineering at the University of Utah. James Speight is also a Consultant, Author and Lecturer on energy and environmental issues. He has a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, both from University of Manchester. James has worked for various corporations and research facilities including Exxon, Alberta Research Council and the University of Manchester. With more than 45 years of experience, he has authored more than 400 publications--including over 50 books--reports and presentations, taught more than 70 courses, and is the Editor on many journals including the Founding Editor of Petroleum Science and Technology.


"Written in plain language, this slim book explains the different processes for refining heavy feedstocks, highlighting recent improvements in thermal cracking, catalytic cracking, catalytic hydrotreating, hydrocracking, and solvent processes."--Research and Reference Book News, August 2013