Noncondensable Gas Distribution in SAGD Chambers
- Jian-Yang Yuan (Osum Oil Sands Corp.) | Joyce Chen (Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) | Gerry Pierce (Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) | Brian Wiwchar (Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) | Hart Golbeck (Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) | Xinkui Wang (Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) | Gilles Beaulieu (Alberta Innovates Technology Futures) | Shauna Cameron (Alberta Innovates Technology Futures)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 11 - 20
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.3.9 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, 5.1.9 Four-Dimensional and Four-Component Seismic
- steam chamber, noncondensible gas, SAGD
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 901 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
This paper summarizes a set of SAGD experiments conducted live under an X-ray scanner. These experiments were specifically designed for mapping noncondensable gas distribution and their movement in an active steam chamber during SAGD.
Many researches over the past 3 decades have shown that noncondensable gases may have critical impacts on SAGD performance. Some may be positive and others may be negative, depending on reservoir and operating conditions. To better use the positives, avoid the negatives, and for better SAGD performance predictions, it is crucial to understand how these gases behave in a steam chamber. It is arguable that noncondensable gases tend to accumulate at the steam front where steam condenses. However, this assertion has only been supported by numerical simulations. Field observation data have been too sparse. Meaningful tracking of gas production is not a normal practice in the field.
The first experiment was conducted in an aluminum vessel packed with 4 darcy sands at 1.0 MPa. The second experiment was conducted in a scalable system consisting of a titanium pressure vessel and a PEEK cell, allowing the SAGD experiment to run at 2.1 MPa. Both experiments used bitumen fully saturated with methane at reservoir conditions and were run live under the X-ray scanner. X-ray images were taken at given time intervals. Temperature profiles were obtained directly from thermocouples. Density profiles were computed from the X-ray images. Methane in the free gas phase were calculated and mapped. After each experiment, samples from the opened cell were also tested for additional observation and confirmation.
These experiments confirmed the assertion that noncondensable gas tends to concentrate along the steam front. It was also demonstrated that the steam temperature zone does not coincide with the oil-depleted zone, indicating that in a SAGD reservoir with nontrivial presence of noncondensable gases, temperature measurements at observation wells alone would not reflect the boundary of the steam chamber. The more representative measure of a steam chamber should be the mapping of the oil-depleted zone. A more comprehensive monitoring of gas production plus 4D seismic would be needed to determine the oil-depleted zone in the field operation.
|File Size||853 KB||Number of Pages||10|
Batycky, J. 1997. AnAssessment of In Situ Oil Sands Recovery Processes. J Can Pet Technol(DAS) 36 (9): 15-19. JCPT Paper No. 97-09-DAS. doi:10.2118/97-09-DAS.
Boyle, T.B., Gittins, S.D., and Chakrabarty, C. 2003. The Evolution of SAGD Technology atEast Senlac. J Can Pet Technol 42 (1). JCPT Paper No.03-01-06. doi: 10.2118/03-01-06.
Buckingham, E. 1914. OnPhysically Similar Systems; Illustrations of the Use of DimensionalEquations. Phys. Rev. 4 (4): 345-376. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.4.345.
Butler, R. 1997. Steam and GasPush (SAGP). Paper PETSOC 97-137 presented at the Annual Technical Meeting,Calgary, 8-11 June, doi: 10.2118/97-137.
Butler, R. 1998. SAGD Comes ofAGE! J Can Pet Technol 37 (7): 9. JCPT Paper No.98-07-DA. doi: 10.2118/98-07-DA.
Butler, R.M. 2004. TheBehaviour of Non-Condensible Gas in SAGD--A Rationalization. J Can PetTechnol 43 (1): 28-34. JCPT Paper No. 04-01-02. doi:10.2118/04-01-02.
Butler, R.M., Jiang, Q., and Yee, C.T. 1999. Steam and Gas Push (SAGP)--3; RecentTheoretical Developments and Laboratory Results. Paper 99-23 presented atthe Petroleum Society's 50th Annual Technical Meeting, Calgary, 14-18 June.doi: 10.2118/99-23.
Canas, C., Kantzas, A., and Edmunds, N. 2009. Investigation of Gas Flow inSAGD. Paper CIPC 2009-194 presented at the Canadian International PetroleumConference, Calgary, 16-18 June. doi: 10.2118/2009-194.
Canbolat, S., Akin, S., and Kovscek, A.R. 2002. A Study of Steam-Assisted GravityDrainage Performance in the Presence of Noncondensable Gases. Paper SPE75130 presented at the SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 13-17April. doi: 10.2118/75130-MS.
Canbolat, S., Akin, S., and Polikar, M. 2004. Evaluation of SAGD Performance in thePresence of Non-Condensable Gases. Paper CIPC 2004-222 presented at theCanadian International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, 8-11 June. doi:10.2118/2004-222.
Edmunds, N. 2007. Effect ofSolution Gas on 1D Steam Rise in Oil Sands. J Can Pet Technol 46 (1): 56-62. JCPT Paper No. 07-01-07. doi: 10.2118/07-01-07.
Edmunds, N. R., Haston, J.A., and Best, D.A. 1988. Analysis andImplementation of the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage Process at the AOSTRAUTF. Proc., UNITAR Fourth International Conference on Heavy Crude andTar Sands, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 7-12 August.
Gillis, K.A., Palmgren, C., and Thimm, H.F. 2000. Simulation of Gas Production inSAGD. Paper SPE 65500 presented at the SPE/CIM International Conference onHorizontal Well Technology, Calgary, 6-8 November. doi: 10.2118/65500-MS.
Gittins, S. D., Edmunds, N.R., and Mukherjee, N.J. 1992. NumericalSimulation of the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage Process at the UndergroundTest Facility. Paper presented at the IEA Collaborative Project on Enhanced OilRecovery Workshop and Symposium, Banff, Alberta, Canada, 27-30 September.
Good, W.K. 1997. Reservoir Blunting in the SAGD Process. Paper presented atthe CMG Annual General Meeting, Calgary, 21-22 May.
Ito, Y., Ichikawa, M., and Hirata, T. 2001. The Effect of Gas Injection on OilRecovery During SAGD Projects. J Can Pet Technol 40(1). JCPT Paper No. 01-01-03. doi: 10.2118/01-01-03.
Jiang, Q., Butler, R., and Yee, C.T. 1998. Steam and Gas Push (SAGP)--2:Mechanism Analysis and Physical Model Testing. Paper 98-43 presented at thePetroleum Society's 49th Annual Technical Meeting, Calgary, 8-10 June.
Jiang, Q., Butler, R., and Yee, C.T. 2000. Steam and Gas Push (SAGP)--4:Recent Theoretical Developments and Laboratory Results Using Layered Models.Paper 2000-51 presented at the Petroleum Society's 51st Annual TechnicalMeeting (CIPC), Calgary, 6-8 June.
Kisman, K.E. and Yeung, K.C. 1995. Numerical Study of the SAGD Processin the Burnt Lake Oil Sands Lease. Paper SPE 30276 presented at the SPEInternational Heavy Oil Symposium, Calgary, 19-21 June. doi:10.2118/30276-MS.
McFarlane, R. and Yuan, J.-Y. 2002. Summary of Results of Examination of theUTF SAGD Database (FRED). Internal report, Alberta Research Council, Edmonton,Alberta (March 2002).
Pujol, L. and Boberg, T.C. 1972. Scaling Accuracy of Laboratory SteamFlooding Models. Paper SPE 4191 presented at the SPE California RegionalMeeting, Bakersfield, California, USA, 8-10 November. doi: 10.2118/4191-MS.
Shen, C. and Batycky, J. 1996. Some Observations of MobilityEnhancement of Heavy Oils Flowing Through Sand Pack Under Solution GasDrive. Paper PETSOC 96-27 presented at the Annual Technical Meeting,Calgary, 10-12 June. doi: 10.2118/96-27.
Thimm, H.F. 2000. A GeneralTheory of Gas Production in SAGD Operations. Paper CIPC 2000-17 presentedat the Canadian International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, 4-8 June. doi:10.2118/2000-017.
Yee, C.-T. and Spargo, P. 2001. Wind-down of a mature SAGD chamber at theDover Project (formally UTF). Paper presented at the Petroleum Society of CIM's8th Horizontal Well Conference, Calgary, 7-9 November.
Yee, C.T. and Stroich, A. 2004. Flue Gas Injection Into a Mature SAGDSteam Chamber at the Dover Project (Formally UTF). J Can Pet Technol 43 (1): 54-61. JCPT Paper No. 04-01-06. doi: 10.2118/04-01-06.
Yuan, J.-Y., Law, D., and Nasr, T. N. 2002. Impacts of Gas in SAGD, Part II:History Match of Lab Scale Tests. Report No. 0102-10, AERI/ARC Core Industry(AACI) Research Program, Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, Alberta.
Yuan, J.-Y., Law, D.H.S., and Nasr, T.N. 2006. Impact of Gas on SAGD: HistoryMatching of Lab Scale Tests. J Can Pet Technol 45 (1):27-32. JCPT Paper No. 06-01-01. doi: 10.2118/06-01-01.
Yuan, J.-Y., Nasr, T.N., and Law, D. 1999. A Numerical Study of the Effectsof Initial Gas Oil Ratio on Thermal Gravity Drainage Operation. Report No.9899-10, AERI/ARC Core Industry (AACI) Research Program, Alberta ResearchCouncil, Edmonton, Alberta.
Yuan, J.-Y., Nasr, T.N., and Law, D. 2003. Impacts of Initial Gas-to-Oil Ratio(GOR) on SAGD Operations. J Can Pet Technol 42 (1):48-52. JCPT Paper No. 03-01-04. doi: 10.2118/03-01-04.