FluidOil, a small U.K.-based owner of heavy oil upgrading technology, says it has an “incentive agreement” for a 50,000-bbl/d plant with an unnamed Canadian partner.

In Canada, “customer testing for our Canadian partner continues. The results so far have been encouraging and, subject to continued progress, are likely to lead to the starting of engineering for the Canadian commercial demonstration plant (CDP) later this year,” FluidOil said today in an update.

It added: “We have signed an incentive agreement for a 50,000[-bbl/d] operating facility with the same partner.”

Reached by email this morning, a U.K.-based spokesman for FluidOil declined to elaborate on the incentive agreement.

“We cannot disclose details of the incentive agreement, nor our oilsands partner at this stage, but suffice to say that the agreement aligns the interests of each party in order to progress to construction as soon as possible,” said Ian Middleton, a media spokesman.

He said the “encouraging” results FluidOil was referring to relate to the testing data from its feedstock test facility in San Antonio, Texas.

“We’ve made excellent progress in matching the theoretical and observed results which gives us greater confidence that we understand well the reaction kinetics,” Middleton said.

“We intend to issue a press release in Q2 with further details of the test results and will update on commercial progress as and when we are in position to do so.”

FluidOil, which already had its own partial upgrading process, acquired Calgary-based Ivanhoe Energy Inc.’s partial upgrading technology when the latter ran into financial trouble after oil prices crashed in 2015 (DOB, March 23, 2017).