Application of Intelligent-Well Technology to an SAGD Producer: Firebag Field Trial
- Chris Carpenter (JPT Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2015
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 125 - 127
- 2015. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 97 since 2007
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This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper SPE 170153, “Application of Intelligent-Well Technology to an SAGD Producer: Firebag Field Trial,” by Richard M. Stahl and Jennifer D. Smith, Suncor Energy; Scott Hobbs, Halliburton; and Colin M. Clarke, Baker Hughes, prepared for the 2014 SPE Heavy Oil Conference—Canada, Calgary, 10–12 June. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
An even temperature conformance along the length of the horizontal well is key in maximizing steam-assisted- gravity-drainage (SAGD) production rates. When temperature logs are run in SAGD producers, temperature variations of greater than 50°C between the hottest and coldest spots are commonly observed. The authors theorize that this temperature distribution is related to an inflow distribution and that production rates could be improved if this temperature variance was narrowed.
The Firebag project in northeastern Alberta uses SAGD to recover bitumen from the McMurray formation. SAGD uses stacked horizontal-well pairs, with the top well (injector) located 4 to 6 m above the bottom well (producer). Steam is injected into the top well, warming the bitumen and decreasing its viscosity to a point at which it will flow by gravity to the bottom well. The bottom well typically uses artificial lift to draw fluid into the wellbore and push it up to the surface facilities.
Firebag production wells are designed to promote even temperature conformance to maximize bitumen-production rates. The standard Firebag mechanical-lift design is shown in Fig. 1. Temperature conformance is measured by fiber-optic temperature logging while the production well is shut down for an electrical-submersible-pump (ESP) change.
A temperature survey was performed on a typical well, indicating that the coolest temperature (150°C) is located near the heel of the well (approximately 700 m) with a maximum value of 210°C near the midpoint of the well (approximately 1050 m). Field history at Firebag suggests that well conformance and bitumen-production rates could be improved through well design.
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