Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands (MARIOS)

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Overview

In 2009, InnoTech Alberta launched a new industry-directed consortium, Materials and Reliability in Oil Sands (MARIOS), to tackle industry-wide maintenance and reliability issues.

The goal of MARIOS is to develop knowledge and validate technologies to significantly reduce downtime, and improve operational reliability and productivity in the oil sands industry.

The consortium links oil sands producers, materials and equipment suppliers, fabricators, and technology providers to collaboratively solve industry-wide problems.

Program Focus

  • Wear Resistant Overlays: Evaluate the abrasive wear, impact, and corrosion resistance of tungsten carbide metal matrix composite (WC-MMC) overlays for mining and extraction applications.
  • Welding: Compare existing oil sands end user welding specifications and develop streamlined industry-wide welding practices. Evaluate high-productivity wire-feed welding processes and automation/mechanization technologies for adoption.
  • Slurry Pipeline Systems: Evaluate the wear performance of materials for slurry transport applications through concurrent trials in field-scale pipelines and the Pilot-Scale Slurry Flow Loop.
  • Corrosion in In-Situ Operations: Assess materials performance for thermal recovery processes, including brackish and recycled water environments, stress-corrosion cracking, and integrity management.

Member Benefits

  • Access to confidential research results and innovative technologies
  • Provides a means to significantly leverage R&D investment
  • Provides an opportunity to network and learn from the experience of other members
  • End users benefit by setting research priorities and providing R&D direction
  • Supplier members benefit by directly working with end users, and having the opportunity to implement R&D into the field

“The expertise in MARIOS staff is invaluable, for one year’s membership of $150,000 (the cost of an engineer on staff) you have access to the equivalent of 12 knowledgeable engineers when you need their expertise.”

Jim Mitchell, Suncor Energy

MARIOS Members (2017-2018)

  • Producers: Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Imperial Oil Resources Limited, Shell Chemicals Americas Inc., Suncor Energy Inc. and Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Suppliers: Arcelormittal USA LLC, Black Cat Blades Ltd, Bradken Canada Ltd, C. G. Industrial Specialties Ltd, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Corrosion & Abrasion (CASL), Fuller Industrial, H.C. Starck Canada Inc, Imperial Oil Resources Limited, Indurate Alloys, Iracore International Inc, Kennametal Inc, Manluk Mining Inc., Oerlikon Metco (Canada) Inc, Penticton Foundry Ltd, PIP360 Inc, Rosen IPS Canada Ltd, RTD Quality Services Inc, Shell Global Solutions Canada Inc, Suncor Energy Oil Sands, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Trimay Pipe Products, Willbros Canada Inc.
  • Government: InnoTech Alberta Inc.

“In 2010, McCoy / Inotec estimated that approximately $450,000 and $600,000 in increased sales was directly or indirectly attributable to their involvement in the MARIOS Consortium.”

Jay Spate, McCoy Coatings & Hydraulics

Program Structure

MARIOS is grouped into two strategic areas:

  • Mining and Extraction (MARIOS-M): focused on oil sands mining, extraction, and upgrading operations
  • Thermal Recovery (MARIOS-T): focused on oil sands thermal recovery or in-situ operations

Both MARIOS-M and MARIOS-T are guided by an industrial Program Steering Committee (PSC) comprised of oil sands producers. Materials and equipment suppliers, fabricators, applicators, and engineering firms provide manufacturing and fabrication expertise at the project level. InnoTech manages the research activities and overall program management.