New Insights Into Steam/Solvent-Coinjection-Process Mechanism
- Raman K. Jha (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Mridul Kumar (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Ian Benson (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | Edward Hanzlik (Chevron Energy Technology Company)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- July 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 867 - 877
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.9 Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage, 5.4.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 617 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
We present results of a detailed investigation of thesteam/solvent-coinjection-process mechanism by use of a numerical model withhomogeneous reservoir properties and various solvents. We describe condensationof steam/solvent mixture near the chamber boundary. We present a compositepicture of the important phenomena occurring in the different regions of thereservoir and their implications for oil recovery. We compare performances ofvarious solvents and explain the reasons for the observed differences. Animproved understanding of the process mechanism will help with selecting thebest solvent and developing the best operating strategy for a given reservoir.Results indicate that as the temperature drops near the chamber boundary, steamstarts condensing first because its mole fraction in the injected steam/solventmixture (and hence its partial pressure and the corresponding saturationtemperature) is much higher than the solvent's. As temperature declines towardthe chamber boundary and steam continues to condense, the vapor phase becomesincreasingly richer in solvent. At the chamber boundary where the temperaturebecomes equal to the condensation temperature of both steam and solvent attheir respective partial pressures, both condense simultaneously. Thus,contrary to steam-only injection, where condensation occurs at the injectedsteam temperature, condensation of steam/solvent mixture is accompanied by areduction in temperature in the condensation zone and the farther regions.However, there is little change in temperature in the central region of thesteam chamber. The condensed steam/solvent mixture drains outside the chamber,leading to the formation of a mobile liquid stream (drainage region) whereheated oil, condensed solvent, and water flow together to the production well.The condensed solvent mixes with the heated oil and further reduces itsviscosity. The additional reduction in viscosity by solvent more than offsetsthe effect of reduced temperature near the chamber boundary. As the steamchamber expands laterally because of continued injection and as temperature inthe hitherto drainage region increases, a part of the condensed solvent mixedwith oil evaporates. This lowers the residual oil saturation (ROS) in the steamchamber. Therefore, ultimate oil recovery with the steam/solvent-coinjectionprocess is higher than that in steam-only injection. The higher the solventconcentration in oil at a location, the greater is the reduction in the ROSthere. Our explanation is corroborated by the experimental results reported inthe literature, which show smaller ROS in the steam chamber after asteam/solvent-coinjection process. A lighter solvent has a lower viscosity, ahigher volatility, and a higher molar concentration of solvent in the drainageregion.Thus, a lighter solvent causes a greater reduction in the viscosity ofthe heated oil and also leads to a lower ROS. Therefore, the lightestcondensable solvent (butane, under the conditions investigated) provides themost favorable results in terms of enhancements in oil rate and oil recovery.This is different from the prior claims in the literature.
|File Size||931 KB||Number of Pages||11|
Aherne, A. L. and Maini, B. 2008. Fluid Movement in the SAGD Process: AReview of the Dover Project. J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. 47 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/08-01-31.
Ardali, M., Barrufet, M. A. and Mamora, D. D. 2012. A Critical Review ofHybrid Steam/Solvent Processes to Recover Heavy Oil. Paper SPE 159257 presentedat SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 8-10October. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/159257-MS.
Ardali, M., Mamora, M. and Barrufet, M. 2011. Experimental Study ofCo-injection of Potential Solvents with Steam to Enhance SAGD Process. PaperSPE 144598 presented at SPE Western North American Regional Meeting, Anchorage,Alaska, 7-11 May. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/144598-MS.
Birrell, G. E. 2001. Heat Transfer Ahead of SAGD Steam Chamber, a Study ofThermocouple Data From Phase B of the Underground Test Facility (DoverProject). Paper SPE 71503 presented at SPE Annual Technical Conference andExhibition, New Orleans, Louisiana, 30 September-3 October. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/71503-MS.
Boak, J. and Palmgren, C. 2004. Preliminary Numerical Analysis for a NapthaCo-Injection Test During SAGD. Paper SPE 2004-001 presented at CanadianInternational Petroleum Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 1-8 June. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/2004-001.
Boone, T. J., Wattenbarger, C., Clingman, S., et al. 2011. An IntegratedTechnology Development Plan for Solvent-based Recovery of Heavy Oil. Paper SPE150706 presented at SPE Heavy Oil Conference and Exhibition, Kuwait City,Kuwait, 12-14 December. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/150706-MS.
Bracho, L. G. and Oquendo, O. A. 1991. Steam-Solvent Injection, WellLSJ-4057, Tia Juana Field, Western Venezuela. Paper SPE 21530 presented at theSPE International Thermal Operations Symposium, Bakersfield, California, 7-8February. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/21530-MS.
Butler, R. M. 1994. Steam-assisted Gravity Drainage: Concept, Development,Performance and Future. J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. 33 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/94-02-05.
Chien, M. C. H., Lee, S. T. and Chen, W. H. 1985. A New Fully ImplicitCompositional Simulator. Paper SPE 13385 presented at the SPE ReservoirSimulation Symposium, Dallas, Texas, 10-13 February. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/13385-MS.
Deng, X., Huang, H., Zhao, L., et al. 2010. Simulating the ES-SAGD Processwith Solvent Mixture in Athabasca Reservoirs. J. Cdn. Pet. Tech.49 (1): 38-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/132488-PA.
Dong, L. 2012. Effect of Vapor-Liquid Phase Behavior of Steam-LightHydrocarbon Systems on Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage Process for BitumenRecovery. Fuel 95 (May): 159-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2011.10.044.
Edmunds, N., Moini, B. and Peterson, J. 2009. Advanced Solvent-AdditiveProcesses via Genetic Optimization. Paper SPE 2009-115 presented at CanadianInternational Petroleum Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 16-8 June. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/2009-115.
Gates, I. D. 2007. Oil Phase Viscosity Behavior in Expanding-SolventSteam-Assisted Gravity Drainage. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 59(1-2): 123-134. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2007.03.006.
Gupta, S., Gittins, S. and Picherack, P. 2005. Field Implementation ofSolvent Aided Process. J Cdn. Pet. Tech. 44 (11). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/05-11-TN1.
Gupta, S. C. and Gittins, S. D. 2006. Christina Lake Solvent Aided ProcessPilot. J Cdn. Pet. Tech. 45 (9). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/06-09-TN.
Hong, K. C. and Hsueh, L. 1987. Comparison of K-Value Calculation Methods inCompositional Steamflood Simulation. SPE Res Eval & Eng 2 (2): 249-257. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/12750-PA.
Ito, Y. and Suzuki, S. 1999. Numerical Simulation of the SAGD Process in theHangingstone Oil Sands Reservoir. J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. 38(9). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/99-09-02.
Ivory, J., Frauenfeld T. and Jossy, C. 2010. Thermal Solvent Reflux andThermal Solvent Hybrid Experiments. J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. 49(2): 23-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/133202-PA.
Jimenez, J. 2008. The Field Performance of SAGD Projects in Canada. PaperSPE 12860 presented at International Petroleum Technology Conference, KualaLumpur, Malaysia, 3-5 December. http://dx.doi.org/10.2523/12860-MS.
Leaute, R. P. and Carey, B. S. 2007. Liquid Addition to Steam for EnhancingRecovery (LASER) of Bitumen with CSS: Results from the First Pilot Cycle. J.Cdn. Pet. Tech. 46 (9). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/07-09-01.
Li, W., Mamora, D. D. and Li, Y. 2011. Solvent-Type and -Ratio Impacts onSolvent-Aided SAGD Process. SPE Res Eval & Eng 14 (3):320-331. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/130802-PA.
McCormack, M. E. 2009. Design of Steam-Hexane Injection Wells For GravityDrainage Systems. J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. 48 (1). http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/09-01-22.
Mohebatti, M. H., Maini, B. B. and Harding, T. G. 2012. Numerical-SimulationInvestigation of the Effect of Heavy-Oil Viscosity on the Performance ofHydrocarbon Additives in SAGD. SPE Res Eval & Eng 15(2): 165-181. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/138151-PA.
Nasr, T. N., Beaulieu, G., Golbeck, H., et al. 2003. Novel ExpandingSolvent-SAGD Process "ES-SAGD." J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. 42 (1).http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/03-01-TN.
Nasr, T. N. and Ayodele, O. R. 2005. Thermal Techniques for the Recovery ofHeavy Oil and Bitumen. Paper SPE 97488 presented at SPE International ImprovedOil Recovery Conference in Asia Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5-6 December.http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/97488-MS.
Nasr, T. N. and Ayodele, O. R. 2006. New Hybrid Steam-Solvent Processes forthe Recovery of Heavy Oil and Bitumen. Paper SPE 101717 presented at Abu DhabiInternational Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 5-8November. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/101717-MS.
NIST. 2011. NIST Chemistry WebBook, http://webbook.nist.gov/chemistry.
Orr, B. 2009. ES-SAGD; Past, Present and Future. Paper SPE 129518-STUpresented at SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans,Louisiana, 4-7 October.
Reid, R. C., Prausnitz, J. M. and Poling B. E. 1986. The Properties ofGases and Liquids, fourth edition. New York City, New York:McGraw-Hill.
Sharma, J., Moore, R.G. and Mehta, R. 2012. Effect of Methane Co-injectionin SAGD-Analytical and Simulation Study. SPE J. 17 (3):687-704. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/148917-PA.
Sharma, J. and Gates, I. D. 2011. Convection at the Edge of aSteam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Steam Chamber. SPE J. 16(3): 503-512. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/142432-PA.
Yuan, J. Y., Law, D. H. S. and Nasr, T. N. 2006. Impacts of Gas on SAGD:History Matching of Lab Scale Tests. J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. 45(1): 503-512. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/06-01-01.