Ecopetrol (BVC:ECOPETROL, NYSE:EC, TSX:ECP) has won, for the third time, the Accenture Innovation Prize for its EcoDiDesh technology for removing moisture from heavy crude oil products in a more efficient manner than traditional methods. Launched in 2012, this award represents Accenture’s third competition, and is offered to the most innovative projects in Colombia by those companies committed to innovation as an engine of development in competition, economic, and social development. This year, Ecopetrol won in the Energy Resource category.
Over 120 companies competed, and Ecopetrol was among nominees such as Codensa, Fluvia, Independence, y Pacific Exploration & Production. In 2012 Ecopetrol won in the Energy Resources category with their “strategy for control of hydrocarbon powering,” and in 2014 in the Social Responsibility category with its “Diaspora” program that used old oil pipelines to create artificial reefs.
The patented EcoDiDesh technology was developed at Ecopetrol’s Colombian Petroleum Institute, reduces costs in dehydrating crude oil, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the costs in transporting crude oil, and increases the capacity of treatment facilities (such as that pictured above) without requiring additional investment. The technology has saved Ecopetrol over $100 million USD annually.
“It’s a new concept that doesn’t have antecedents in the industry,” said Andrés Eduardo Mantilla, Ecopetrol’s vice president of innovation & technology. “The process combines the use of dilutions and gravity separation, reducing the amount of water present in the crude oil without using thermal, electrical, or mechanical treatments. This guarantees obtaining high quality dehydrated crudes that can be transported under technical specifications.”