Sensitivity Analysis for Solar-Generated Steam for Enhanced Oil Recovery
- R. Roig (Texas Tech University) | A. Agarwal (Stanford University) | A. R. Kovscek (Stanford University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Western Regional Meeting, 22-26 April, Garden Grove, California, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2018. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4 Improved and Enhanced Recovery, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 5 Reservoir Desciption & Dynamics, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 7.2.1 Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Assessment, 7 Management and Information, 7.2 Risk Management and Decision-Making, 0.2.2 Geomechanics, 5.7 Reserves Evaluation, 5.4 Improved and Enhanced Recovery, 4.6 Natural Gas, 0.2 Wellbore Design
- Economic analysis, Reservoir simulation, Sensitivity analysis, Solar steam, Geomechanics
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Increasing regulations on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and fluctuations in the price of natural gas are driving innovation for crude-oil production methods. Solar-generated steam has the promise to reduce by up to 80% of GHG emissions in areas of abundant solar insolation. There are cyclic fluctuations in the steam injection rate associated with sunlight hours and seasonal variations that create the risk of temperature and pressure fluctuations along the wellbore. This paper analyzes the recovery efficiency of the steam injection process for solar-generated steam supplemented with conventional steam.
The viability of solar thermal enhanced oil recovery (TEOR) was evaluated using data from the San Joaquin Valley in California as input to a commercial reservoir simulator. The efficiency was quantified through reservoir simulation using a layered homogeneous 3D grid and corresponding economic analysis. Reservoir simulations with variable steam rate, quality, and temperature of diurnal and nocturnal steam injection were conducted. Various injection schedules and reservoir responses were analyzed, including the geomechanical response for continuous variable rate injection. The economic analysis was based on the operating expenses, mainly heating, lifting, and maintenance costs per unit of oil extracted.
This research shows that reducing the dependency on conventional steam using a minimum nocturnal steam rate contributes to better energy efficiency. Also, reducing the steam quality by up to 50% percent in both diurnal and nocturnal injection presented a promising cost-effective solution despite reducing somewhat the amount of oil recovered. We also discovered that reducing the nocturnal steam temperature provided substantial economic benefits with only a minor impact on the cumulative oil recovered. The geomechanical reservoir deformation triggered by steam pressure and temperature variations was within reasonable limits and did not present causes for concern. This economic analysis was done assuming an already paid out capital expense, both for solar and conventional steam. We compute the Net Present Value (NPV) of the profits using multiple price scenarios to compare the different cases. The maintenance cost and efficiency degradation for the solar generated steam is not considered in the absence of any available long term industry data. An optimal injection schedule and conventional steam contribution can be engineered based on the field operating and economic requirements.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||16|
Agarwal A, Kovscek A.R. Solar-generated Steam for Heavy-oil Recovery: a Coupled Geomechanical and Reservoir Modeling and Reservoir Modeling Analysis. SPE 165329, presented at the SPE Western Regional & AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Joint Technical Conference held in Monterey, California, USA, 19-25 April; 2013.
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