In-Situ Dilation Affects Solvent-Assisted Steam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Performance: The Case of a Shallow Athabasca-Type Oil-Sands Reservoir
- Yousef Abbasi (University of Alberta) | Rick J Chalaturnyk (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- May 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 418 - 432
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Coupled Simulation, Geomechanics, Oil Sands, SOLVENT SAGD, SA-SAGD
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 164 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
It is generally accepted that solvent/steam injection in heavy-oil/bitumen reservoirs outperforms steam-only injection in terms of oil-recovery rate, ultimate oil recovery, and steam/oil ratio (SOR). Important parameters in the design of solvent-assisted steamassisted-gravity-drainage (SA-SAGD) are solvent selection, injection strategy, and solvent retention in situ. The role of geomechanics in optimal application of SA-SAGD, however, remains largely unexplored.
Recent studies suggest that solvent transport, solvent-dilution effect, and the temperature distribution around the edge of the steam chamber have major control over SA-SAGD performance. In SA-SAGD, elevated temperature and solvent concentrations within a few meters of the steam-chamber edge reduce the virginoil viscosity, causing oil drainage. However, this is the same region where geomechanically induced volume changes alter porosity, permeability, and relative permeability profiles. These alterations could improve the convective-heat transfer and solvent dispersion into the cold bitumen zone, and could also enhance the drainage rate. Consequently, the solvent/oil-phase behavior, steam-chamber growth, and solvent retention and distribution will be affected. This chain of events could have an effect on optimal solvent selection and solvent/steam-injection scenarios. These geomechanical considerations are of particular interest for bitumen deposits, both oil sands and carbonates, where chemical, thermal, and fluid pressures can impose significant volume changes within the reservoir, especially in shallower, lower-confining-stress settings.
The role of geomechanics in SA-SAGD was explored numerically by use of a sequentially coupled modeling approach with STARS (CMG 2015a) and FLAC (Itasca 2016). A 2D shallow-depth homogeneous-oil-sands-reservoir geomodel, with properties similar to the Underground Test Facility (UTF) Phase A project, was constructed (Edmunds et al. 1994). Studies were conducted at two scales: the edge of the steam chamber and the reservoir scale including underburden and overburden. The results of these numerical studies revealed that geomechanics considerations directly affect the optimal solvent-type selection and injection strategy during a high-pressure SA-SAGD process. These studies provide valuable direction for further detailed mechanistic studies (both numerically and experimentally) and provide valuable input to the challenges of optimizing SA-SAGD processes in oil sands.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||15|
Agar, J. R. 1984. Geotechnical Behavior of Oil Sands at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures. PhD dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (Spring 1984).
Ardali, M., Barrufet, M., and Mamora, D. D. 2012. Laboratory Testing of Addition of Solvents to Steam to Improve SAGD Process. Presented at the SPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada, Calgary, 12–14 June. SPE-146993-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/146993-MS.
Ardali, M., Mamora, D. D., and Barrufet, M. 2010. A Comparative Simulation Study of Addition of Solvents to Steam in SAGD Process. Presented at the Canadian Unconventional Resources and International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, 19–21 October. SPE-138170-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/138170-MS.
Azad, A. and Chalaturnyk, R. J. 2011. Numerical Study of SAGD: Geomechanical-Flow Coupling for Athabasca Oil Sands Reservoirs. Presented at 45th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, San Francisco, 26–29 June. ARMA-11-414.
Bao, X., Deng, H., Zhong, H. et al. 2013. Coupled Geomechanical and Thermal Simulation of SAGD Process. Presented at SPE Heavy Oil Conference-Canada, Calgary, 11–13 June. SPE-165423-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/165423-MS.
Butler, R. M. 1994. Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage: Concept, Development, Performance And Future. J Can Pet Technol 33 (2): 44–50. PETSOC-94-02-05. https://doi.org/10.2118/94-02-05.
Computer Modelling Group (CMG). 2015a. STARS User Manual. Version 2015.10. Calgary: CMG.
Computer Modelling Group (CMG). 2015b. WINPROP User Manual. Version 2015.10. Calgary: CMG.
Chalaturnyk, R. J. 1996. Geomechanics of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage Process in Heavy Oil Reservoirs. PhD dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Chalaturnyk, R. J. and Li, P. 2001. When Is It Important to Consider Geomechanics In SAGD Operations? Oral presentation given at the Canadian International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, 12–14 June.
Collins, P. M. 2007. Geomechanical Effects on the SAGD Process. SPE Res Eval & Eng 10 (4): 367–375. SPE-97905-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/97905-PA.
Collins, P. M., Carlson, M. E., Walters, D. A. et al. 2002. Geomechanical and Thermal Reservoir Simulation Demonstrate SAGD Enhancement Due to Shear Dilation. Presented at the SPE/ISRM Rock Mechanics Conference, Irving, Texas, 20–23 October. SPE-78237-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/78237-MS.
Dong, L. 2012. Effect of Vapor-Liquid Phase Behavior of Steam-Light Hydrocarbon Systems on Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage Process for Bitumen Recovery. Fuel 95 (May): 159–168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2011.10.044.
Du, J. and Wong, R. C. K. 2009. Coupled Geomechanics Reservoir Simulation of UTF Phase A Project Using a Full Permeability Tensor. J Can Pet Technol 48 (7): 66–73. PETSOC-09-07-66. https://doi.org/10.2118/09-07-66.
Dusseault, M. B. 1977. The Geotechnical Characteristics of Athabasca Oil Sands. PhD dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Dusseault, M. B. and Morgenstern, N. R. 1979. Locked Sands. Q. J. Eng. Geol. 12 (2): 117–131. https://dx.doi.org/10.1144/GSL.QJEG.1979.012.02.05.
Edmunds, N. R., Kovalsky, J. A., Gittins, S. D. et al. 1994. Review of Phase A Steam-Assisted Gravity-Drainage Test. SPE Res Eng 9 (2):119–124. SPE-21529-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/21529-PA.
Edmunds, N., Moini, B., and Peterson, J. 2010. Advanced Solvent-Additive Processes by Genetic Optimization. J Can Pet Technol 49 (9):34–41. SPE-140659-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/140659-PA.
Fung, L. S., Buchanan, L., and Wan, R. G. 1994. Coupled Geomechanical Thermal Simulation for Deforming Heavy-Oil Reservoirs. J Can Pet Technol 33 (4): 22–28. PETSOC-94-04-03. https://doi.org/10.2118/94-04-03.
Gates, I. D. and Chakrabarty, N. 2006. Design of Steam and Solvent Injection Strategy in Expanding-Solvent Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage. Presented at the Canadian international Petroleum Conference, Calgary, 13–15 June. PETSOC-2006-023. https://doi.org/10.2118/2006-023.
Govind, P. A., Das, S. K., Srinivasan, S. et al. 2008. Expanding Solvent SAGD in Heavy Oil Reservoirs. Presented at the International Thermal Operations and Heavy Oil Symposium, Calgary, 20–23 October. SPE-117571-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/117571-MS.
Gupta, S. C. and Gittins, S. 2011. A Semi-Analytical Approach for Estimating Optimal Solvent Use in a Solvent Aided SAGD Process. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 30 October–2 November. SPE-146671-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/146671-MS.
Gupta, S., Gittins, S., and Picherack, P. 2004. Insights Into Some Key Issues with Solvent Aided Process. J Can Pet Technol 43 (2): 54–61. PETSOC-04-02-05. https://doi.org/10.2118/04-02-05.
Hamoud, M. T. 2013. Influence of Geomechanical Processes on Relative Permeability. Master’s thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (Fall 2012).
Hamza, S. M. F. 2012. Shear-Enhanced Permeability and Poroelastic Deformation in Unconsolidated Sands. Master’s thesis, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (August 2012).
Huang, H., Wattenbarger, R. C., Gai, X. et al. 2010. Using a Fully-Coupled Flow and Geomechanical Simulator to Model Injection into Heavy-Oil Reservoirs. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Florence, Italy, 19–22 September. SPE-135091-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/135091-MS.
Itasca. 2016. User Manual for FLAC 2D. Minnesota: Itasca Consulting Group Inc.
Ito, Y., Hirata, T., and Ichikawa, M. 2001. The Growth of the Steam Chamber During the Early Period of the UTF Phase B and Hangingstone Phase I Projects. J Can Pet Technol 40 (9): 29–36. PETSOC-01-09-02. https://doi.org/10.2118/01-09-02.
Keshavarz, M., Okuno, R., and Babadagli, T. 2014. Efficient Oil Displacement Near the Chamber Edge in ES-SAGD. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 118 (June): 99–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2014.04.007.
Keshavarz, M., Okuno, R., and Babadagli, T. 2013. Optimal Application Conditions for Steam-Solvent Coinjection. Presented at SPE Heavy Oil Conference-Canada, Calgary, 11–13 June. SPE-165471-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/165471-MS.
Keshavarz, M., Okuno, R., and Babadagli, T. 2014. A Semi-Analytical Solution to Optimize Single-Component Solvent Coinjection with Steam During SAGD. Fuel 144 (15 March): 400–414. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2014.12.030.
Khan, H. A. 2009. Shear Induced Relative Permeability Change in Unconsolidated Sands. Master’s thesis, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (December 2009).
Li, P. and Chalaturnyk, R. J. 2006. Permeability Variations Associated With Shearing and Isotropic Unloading During SAGD Process. J Can Pet Technol 45 (1): 54–61. PETSOC-06-01-05. https://doi.org/10.2118/06-01-05.
Li, P. and Chalaturnyk, R. J. 2009. History Match of the UTF Phase A Project with Coupled Reservoir Geomechanical Simulation. J Can Pet Technol 48 (1): 29–35. PETSOC-09-01-29. https://doi.org/10.2118/09-01-29.
Li, P., Chalaturnyk, R. J., and Polikar, M. 2004. Issues with Reservoir Geomechanical Simulations of the SAGD Process. J Can Pet Technol 43 (5): 30–40. PETSOC-04-05-02. https://doi.org/10.2118/04-05-02.
Li, W. and Mamora, D. D. 2010. Experimental Investigation of Solvent Co-Injection in Vapor and Liquid Phase to Enhance SAGD performance. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Florence, Italy, 19–22 September. SPE-133277-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/133277-MS.
Li, W., Mamora, D. D., and Li, Y. 2011. Solvent-Type and -Ratio Impacts on Solvent-Aided SAGD Process. SPE Res Eval & Eng 14 (3): 320–331. SPE-130802-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/130802-PA.
MATLAB, Release 2015b. Natick, Massachusetts: The MathWorks, Inc. Mehrotra, A. K. and Svrcek., W. Y. 1987. Corresponding States Method for Calculating Bitumen Viscosity. J Can Pet Technol 26 (5): 60–66. PETSOC-87-05-06. https://doi.org/10.2118/87-05-06.
Mohebati, M. H., Maini, B. B., and Harding, T. G. 2010. Optimization of Hydrocarbon Additives with Steam in SAGD for Three Major Canadian Oil Sands Deposits. Presented at the Canadian Unconventional Resources and International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, 19–21 October. SPE-138151-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/138151-MS.
Nasr, T. N., Beaulieu, G., Golbeck, H. et al. 2003. Novel Expanding Solvent-SAGD Process ES-SAGD. J Can Pet Technol 42 (1): 13–16. PETSOC-03-01-TN. https://doi.org/10.2118/03-01-TN.
Oldakowski, K. 1994. Absolute Permeability of Oil Sands. Master’s thesis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (Spring 1994).
Redford, D. A. and McKay, A. S. 1980. Hydrocarbon-Steam Processes for Recovery of Bitumen from Oil Sands. Presented at the SPE/DOE Enhanced Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, 20–23 April. SPE-8823-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/8823-MS.
Settari, A. 1992. Physics and Modeling of Thermal Flow and Soil Mechanics in Unconsolidated Porous Media. SPE Prod Eng 7 (1): 47–55. SPE-18420-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/18420-PA.
Settari, A. and Mourits, F. M. 1998. A Coupled Reservoir and Geomechanical Simulation System. SPE J. 3 (3): 219–226. SPE-50939-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/50939-PA.
Sharma, J. and Gates, I. D. 2010. Dynamics of Steam-Solvent Coupling at the Edge of an ES-SAGD Chamber. Presented at the SPE Oil and Gas India Conference and Exhibition, Mumbai, 20–22 January. SPE-128045-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/128045-MS.
Sharma, J. and Gates, I. D. 2011. Convention at the Edge of a Steam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Steam Chamber. SPE J. 16 (3): 503–512. SPE-142432-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/142432-PA.
Shu, W. R. and Hartman, K. J. 1988. Effect of Solvent on Steam Recovery of Heavy Oil. SPE Res Eval & Eng 3 (2): 457–465. SPE-14223-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/14223-PA.
Tortike, W. S. 1991. Numerical Simulation of Thermal Multiphase Fluid Flow in an Elasto-Plastic Deforming Oil Reservoir. PhD dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
Touhidi-Baghini, A. 1998. Absolute Permeability of McMurray Formation Oil Sands at Low Confining Stresses. PhD dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Vaziri, H. H. 1989. A New Constitutive Stress Strain Model For Describing The Geomechanical Behavior Of Oil Sands. Presented at the Annual Technical Meeting, Banff, Canada, 28–31 May. PETSOC-89-40-67. https://doi.org/10.2118/89-40-67.
Yale, D. P., Mayer, T., and Wang, J. 2010. Geomechanics of Oil Sands Under Injection. Presented at the 44th US Rock Mechanics Symposium and 5th US-Canada Rock Mechancis Symposium, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27–30 June. ARMA-10-257.
Yazdani, A. J., Alvestad, J., Kjoensvik, D. et al. 2011. A Parametric Simulation Study for Solvent Co-Injection Process in Bitumen Deposits. Presented at the Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference, Calgary, 15–17 November. SPE-148804-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/148804-MS.
Yin, S., Towler, B. F., Dusseault, M. B. et al. 2009. Numerical Experiments on Oil Sands Shear Dilation and Permeability Enhancement in a Multiphase Thermoporoelastoplasticity Framework. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 69 (3–4): 219–226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2009.08.017.
Zandi Ahmadian, S., Renard, G., Nauroy, J. F. et al. 2010. Numerical Modelling of Geomechanical Effects During Steam Injection in SAGD Heavy Oil Recovery. Presented at the SPE EOR Conference at Oil & Gas West Asia, Muscat, Oman, 11–13 April. SPE-129250-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/129250-MS.