Heat Transfer During Hot Fluid Injection Into an Oil Reservoir
- Arthur G. Spillette (Esso Production Research Co.)
- Document ID
- Petroleum Society of Canada
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 1965
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 213 - 218
- 1965.Petroleum Society of Canada
- 2.1.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.3.4 Scale
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The engineering evaluation of thermal recovery processes depends on theability to predict their behaviour in the field. Such a prediction, whetherbased on physical or mathematical models, requires an accurate accounting ofthe thermal energy utilized by the process. This paper presents a criticalreview of the important contributions to the literature concerning heattransfer during hot fluid injection into an oil reservoir. The heat transfermechanisms, the resulting energy balance equation and the restrictiveassumptions necessary to obtain analytical solutions of the energy balanceequation are discussed. These solutions yield information relative to thethermal efficiency of the process and the temperature distributions within thereservoir and the surrounding impermeable media. However, to date, thepublished techniques have been limited to injection into a linear or radialhomogeneous sand with constant physical properties and have not consideredmultidimensional heat transfer completely. We have applied a recently publishednumerical technique to the solution of the energy balance equation in order toremove these limitations. The accuracy of the numerical method for the case ofone-dimensional fluid flow is demonstrated in the paper by comparing thecalculated thermal efficiency for hot water injection into a water sand to thecorresponding analytical solution. A comparison with published experimentalresults demonstrates the utility of the method and confirms our understandingand analysis of the heat transfer mechanisms.
Predictions of the field behaviour of thermal recovery processes require anaccurate accounting of the energy that is injected into (or generated within)the reservoir. Numerous heat transfer models of the basic thermal processeshave been formulated and solved analytically (c.f. ref. 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 19).Although limited in scope because of necessary restrictive assumptions, thesesolutions have proved useful in the development of interpretative mathematicalmodels of the processes (12, 20, 21). For heat transfer during the forwardunderground combustion process, numerical (3, 4) as well as analyticalsolutions have been obtained.
The following sections discuss the heat transfer mechanisms that take placeduring the injection of hot fluid into an oil reservoir, the energy balanceequation and the assumptions necessary to obtain analytical solutions of theenergy balance equation. All of the analytical solutions that have appeared inthe literature are limited to a consideration of one-dimensional incompressiblefluid flow in a homogeneous sand with constant physical properties. This paperpresents a numerical solution of the energy balance that is not hampered bysuch assumptions, and compares it with published experimental results.
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