The Potential for Surface Mining a Heavy-Oil Reservoir: The Example of the Ratqa Lower Fars in the State of Kuwait
- Hassan A. AlKaaoud (Kuwait Oil Company) | Bharat Singh (Kuwait Oil Company) | David Marston (Golder Associates) | James McQuaid (Golder Associates) | John Devon (Golder Associates) | Martin Preene (Golder Associates) | John Hornbrook (DeGolyer and MacNaughton) | Gary Pope (University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- August 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 757 - 771
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Kuwait, Ratqa Lower Fars Reservoir (RQLF), Heavy oil, Surface mining, Oil sands
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 136 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Surface mining of hydrocarbon deposits is not a new technique, but its application has been mainly limited to the excavation of oil sands in the Athabasca Basin of Alberta, Canada, where the mining method has proved to be commercially successful, although in a narrow set of geological and environmental conditions. This paper discusses the scope for a broader application of a surface-mining approach and builds on the results of a conceptual study that examined the possibility of surface mining the viscous crude oil of the Ratqa Lower Fars (RQLF) reservoir in northern Kuwait. The study findings indicate that a large rate of crude oil might be profitably and sustainably produced for many decades through a surface-mining approach.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||15|
Ahmad, K., Ferdous, H., Llerena, J. et al. 2012. Thermal Recovery Potential of Shallow Sandstone Reservoir for Optimized Unconventional Development Strategy in Kuwait. Presented at the SPE Kuwait International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 10–12 December. SPE-163364-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/163364-MS.
Albawaba. 2015. Worst Timing Ever? Kuwait Awards $4.2 Billion of Heavy Oil Development Contracts. Albawaba, 11 January 2015, http://www.albawaba.com/business/worst-timing-ever-kuwait-awards-42-billion-heavy-oil-development-contracts-642680 (accessed 1 February 2015).
Alvarez, J. and Han, S. 2013. Current Overview of Cyclic Steam Injection Process. J. Pet. Sci. Res. 2 (3): 116–127.
Bailey, K. 2014. AER Bulletin 2013-03: Regulatory Approach for Shallow Thermal In Situ Oil Sands Applications in the Wabiskaw-McMurray Deposit of the Athabasca Oil Sands Area. Alberta Energy Regulator, Calgary, 28 January 2014, https://www.aer.ca/documents/bulletins/AER-Bulletin-2014-03.pdf (accessed March 2014).
Banerjee, D. K. 2012. Oil Sands, Heavy Oil & Bitumen: From Refinery to Recovery. Tulsa: PennWell Corporation.
Carlson, M. R. 2012. An Analysis of the Caprock Failure at Joslyn. Presented at the SPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada, Calgary, 12–14 June. SPE-156962-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/156962-MS.
Cashman, P. and Preene, M. 2012. Groundwater Lowering in Construction, second edition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
Chalaturnyk, R., Irani, M., and Ghannadi, S. 2013. Understanding the Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Pressurization in Two-Phase (Steam/Water) Flow and its Application in Low-Perm Caprock Formations in SAGD Projects. Presented at the SPE Heavy Oil Conference-Canada, Calgary, 11–13 June. SPE-165544-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/165544-MS.
Christian, C. 2010. Total E&P to Abandon Joslyn Creek Project. 24 February 2010, http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/2010/02/24/total-ep-to-abandonjoslyn-creek-project (accessed 30 January 2017).
Collins, P. M., Walters, D. A., Perkins, T. W. et al. 2013. Effective Caprock Determination for SAGD Projects. J Can Pet Technol 52 (2): 112–119. SPE-149226-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/149226-PA.
Core Lab. 2008. Core Photographs (File names: [“B South”]_C6_426.20_433.50_uv.jpg; [“B South”]_C6_426.20_433.50_wl.jpg) Prepared by Core Lab for Kuwait Oil Company in Conjunction With Report Brief Sedimentological Core Description of Lower Fars Formation for the Well [“B South”] 50336-08042, by Aamir Siddiqui, July 2008, Abu Dhabi. Internal report and photographs, Kuwait Oil Company.
Core Lab. 2009. Core Photographs (File names: [“A North”]_C#4 72340_728 uv.jpg; [“A North”]_C#4 72340_728 wl.jpg) Prepared by Core Lab for Kuwait Oil Company in Conjunction With Report Sedimentological Core Description of Lower Fars Formation for the Well [“A North”] 50336-09060, by Aamir Siddiqui, July 2009, Abu Dhabi. Internal report and photographs, Kuwait Oil Company.
DeGolyer and MacNaughton. 2013a. A Long-Term Planning Review on Reducing Uncertainty in Evaluation of Lower Fars Development. Consultant report presented to the Reservoir Management Team at Kuwait Oil Company offices in Ahmadi, Kuwait (July 2013).
DeGolyer and MacNaughton. 2013b. A Long-Term Planning Review of the Lower Fars Formation. Consultant report presented to the Reservoir Management Team at Kuwait Oil Company offices in Ahmadi, Kuwait (July 2013).
Direct Industry. 2015. Products. TAKRAF, http://www.directindustry.com/prod/takraf/bucket-wheel-excavators-58547-380521.html (accessed 21 February 2015).
Dunbar, W. S. 2012. 2012 Americas School of Mines: Basics of Mining and Mineral Processing, https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/mining/school-of-mines/2012/pwc-basics-of-mining-2-som-mining-methods.pdf (accessed 9 July 2016).
Dusseault, M. B. and Shafiei, A. 2015. Oil Sands. In Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Vol. 3, Chap. 4. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH.
Ellis, J. 2016. Directive 082: Operating Criteria: Resource Recovery Requirements for Oil Sands Mine and Processing Plant Operations. Alberta Energy
Regulator, Calgary, 11 April 2016, http://www.aer.ca/documents/directives/Directive082.pdf (accessed 28 January 2017).
Energy Resources Conservation Board. 2010. Total E&P Canada Ltd. Surface Steam Release of May 18, 2006. Joslyn Creek SAGD Thermal Operations-
Energy Resources Conservation Board Staff Review and Analysis. Energy Resources Conservation Board, Alberta, Canada, 11 February 2010,
https://www.aer.ca/documents/reports/ECRB_StaffReport_JoslynSteamRelease_2010-02.pdf (accessed March 2014).
Farouq Ali, S. M. 1974. Current Status of Steam Injection As a Heavy Oil Recovery Method. J Can Pet Technol 13 (1): 54–68. PETSOC-74-01-06.
Fernandez-Rubio, R. and Lorca, D. F. 1993. Mine Water Drainage. Mine Water Environ. 12 (1): 107–130. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02914803.
Fortenberry, R. P., Kim, D. H., Nizamidin, N. et al. 2013. Use of Co-Solvents to Improve Alkaline-Polymer Flooding. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, 30 September–2 October. SPE-166478-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/166478-MS.
Freeborn, T. 2016a. Alberta’s Surface Mineable Oil Sands Projects: Recovery Factors That Are Far From Conventional – Part 2. GLJ Petroleum Consultants, 27 October 2016, https://www.gljpc.com/blog/alberta%E2%80%99s-surface-mineable-oil-sands-projects-recovery-factors-are-farconventional-part-2 (accessed 5 November 2016).
Freeborn, T. 2016b. Alberta’s Surface Mineable Oil Sands Projects: Recovery Factors That Are Far From Conventional. GLJ Petroleum Consultants, 29 June 2016, https://www.gljpc.com/blog/alberta%E2%80%99s-surface-mineable-oil-sands-projects-recovery-factors-are-far-conventional (accessed 5 November 2016).
Ghannadi, S., Irani, M., and Chalaturnyk, R. 2014. Evaluation of Induced Thermal Pressurization in Clearwater Shale Caprock in Electromagnetic Steam-Assisted Gravity-Drainage Projects. SPE J. 19 (3): 443–462. SPE-156876-PA. https://doi.org/10.2118/156876-PA.
Giove, A. 2016a. Bitumen Extraction Explained. Oil Sands Magazine, 24 March 2016, http://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/technical/mining/extraction (accessed 14 November 2016).
Giove, A. 2016b. Surface Mining Techniques Used in the Oil Sands. Oil Sands Magazine, 1 May 2016, http://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/technical/mining/surface-mining (accessed 14 November 2016).
Giove, A. 2016c. Evolution of Mining Equipment in the Oil Sands. Oil Sands Magazine, 30 April 2016, http://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/technical/mining/surface-mining/equipment (accessed 14 November 2016).
Giove, A. 2016d. OPP: Ore Preparation Plants Explained. Oil Sands Magazine, 24 April 2016, http://www.oilsandsmagazine.com/technical/mining/orepreparation-plant (accessed 14 November 2016).
Golder Associates. 2014a. LVC SM Hydrocarbon Evaluation Study. Contract No. 14050979, Internal Report prepared by Golder Associates for Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi, Kuwait (17 March 2014).
Golder Associates. 2014b. Kuwait Oil Company Mineable Reservoir Sands Deposits. Internal Presentation prepared by Golder Associates for Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi, Kuwait (17 March 2014).
Government of Alberta. 2016. Oil Sands Discovery Centre: Facts about Alberta’s Oil Sands and its Industry. Oil Sands Discovery Centre, 10 November 2016 (last revised), http://www.history.alberta.ca/oilsands/docs/OSDC_2016_Factsheet.pdf (accessed on 29 January 2017).
Hadi, K. M. and Al-Ruwaih, F. M. 2008. Geochemical Evolution of the Fresh Groundwater in Kuwait Desert. Emirates J. Eng. Res. 13 (3): 37–45.
Haug, K., Greene, P., andMei, S. 2014. Geological Characterization of the Lower Clearwater Shale in the AthabascaOil SandsArea, Townships 87–99, Ranges 1–13,West of the Fourth Meridian. AER/AGSOpen File Report 2014-04, Alberta Energy Regulator, Edmonton,Alberta, Canada (September 2014).
Hobbs, D., Burkhard, J., Forrest, J. et al. 2010. Oil Sands Technology: Past, Present, and Future. Cambridge, Massachusetts: IHS CERA Incorporated.
Hovius, H. W. 2013. Crude Assay on Al Ratqa Heavy Crude Oil Blend (14.1 API). Project No. 2135, Technical Report 13-02. Internal Report prepared by Kuwait Petroleum Research & Technology B. V. for Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi, Kuwait (May 2013).
Khan, S., Han, H., Ansari, S. et al. 2011. Caprock Integrity Analysis in Thermal Operations: An Integrated Geomechanics Approach. Oral presentation given at the World Heavy Oil Congress, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 14–17 March 2011. WHOC11-609.
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. 2017. Kuwait National Meteorological Network, January 2017, http://www.kisr.edu.kw/en/expert-services/information-services/monitoring-networks-and-satellite-imaging/225-homepage/services/249-kuwait-national-meteorological-network (accessed 31 January 2017).
Lewis, J. 2014. How Upgrader Plants Are Giving Way to New Oil Sands Technologies. Financial Post, 1 January 2014, http://business.financialpost.
com/2014/01/01/how-upgrader-plants-are-giving-way-to-new-oil-sands-technologies/?_lsa=c89a-0a2e (accessed 20 February 2015).
Libicki, J. 1993. Proposal of Criteria for Selection of Dewatering Methods in Surface Mining. International Mine Water Association and Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited. Proc., First International Mine Water Association Symposium, Chililabombwe, Zambia, 159–167.
Lyman, T. J., Piper, E. M., and Riddell, A. W. 1984. Heavy Oil Mining Technical and Economic Analysis. Presented at the SPE California Regional Meeting, Long Beach, California, 11–13 April. SPE-12788-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/12788-MS.
Mahdi, W. 2014. Kuwait Plans $7 Billion Heavy-Oil Project Amid Cheaper Crude. Bloomberg, 8 December 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12-08/kuwait-planning-7-billion-heavy-oil-project-amid-cheaper-crude (accessed 10 December 2014).
MCW Energy Group. 2015. MCW Energy Group Projects a Windfall Reduction in Its Oil Sands Processing Costs Down to $28.00 USD Barrel as a Result of Slumping World Oil Prices. MCW Energy Group, 27 January 2015, http://www.mcwenergygroup.com/news/press-releases/detail/114/mcw-energy-group-projects-a-windfall-reduction-in-its-oil (accessed 30 January 2017).
Murtaugh, K. 2006. Analysis of Sustainable Water Supply Options for Kuwait. Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (June 2006).
Nielsen, R. F. 1962. Reservoir Performance Equations. In Petroleum Production Handbook, Vol. 2, Reservoir Engineering, second edition, ed. T. C. Frick and R. W. Taylor, Chap. 32, 8–9. Dallas: Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME.
Nikiforuk, A. 2013. Next Oil Sands Threat: Cracking Caprock. The Tyee, 7 October 2013, http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/10/07/Next-Oil-Sands-Threat/ (accessed 26 March 2014).
Oil and Gas Year. 2014. Kuwait’s Lower Fars Heavy Crude Oil Scheme. The Oil and Gas Year, 22 October 2014, http://www.theoilandgasyear.com/articles/kuwaits-lower-fars-heavy-crude-oil-scheme/ (accessed 30 January 2017).
Oil Review Middle East. 2015. Kuwait Awards US$4.2bn to Develop Lower Fars Oilfield. Oil Review Middle East, 12 January 2015, http://www.oilreviewmiddleeast.com/exploration-production/kuwait-awards-us-4-2bn-to-develop-lower-fars-oilfields (accessed 30 January 2017).
Oskui, G.-R. P., Al-Naqi, A. M. H., and Dusseault, M. B. 2009. Screening Potential Production Technologies for the Lower Fars Heavy Oil Asset in Kuwait. Presented at the Kuwait International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 14–16 December. SPE-126268-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/126268-MS.
Palmgren, C., Walker, I., Carlson, M. et al. 2011. Reservoir Design of a Shallow LP-SAGD Project for In Situ Extraction of Athabasca Bitumen. Oral presentation given at the World Heavy Oil Congress, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 14–17 March. WHOC11-520.
Sanyal, T. 2009. Meeting The Challenges Of Planning A Thermal Pilot For Ratqa Lower Fars Heavy Oil Field. Presented at the Kuwait International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 14–16 December. SPE-126796-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/126796-MS.
Speight, J. G. 2013. Oil Sand Production Processes. Waltham, Massachusetts: Gulf Professional Publishing.
Syncrude. 2013. Syncrude 2013 Sustainability Report, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, http://syncrudesustainability.com/2013/pdfs/Syncrude-CSR2013.pdf (accessed 21 February 2015).
ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG. 2016. Bucket Wheel Excavators, http://www.thyssenkrupp-industrial-solutions.com/en/products-solutions/mining-materials-handling-industry/mining/bucket-wheel-excavators.html (accessed 30 January 2017).
Ultimate EOR Services. 2016. Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery Laboratory Study for Ratqa Lower Fars Reservoir, Phase 1 Report–Task 1, 2a, 2b. Contract No. 15050851, Service Order No. 429953. Prepared by Ultimate EOR Services for Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi, Kuwait (5 May 2016).
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; Bundesanstaltfu¨rGeowissenschaften und Rohstoffel (UN-ESCWA and BGR). 2013.
Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia, Beirut, Chap. 26, http://waterinventory.org/sites/waterinventory.org/files/00-inventory-ofshared-water-resources-in-western-asia-web.pdf (accessed August 2015).
US Energy Information Agency. 2016. Kuwait Overview. US Energy Information Agency, 2 November 2016, http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis.cfm?iso=KWT (accessed 30 January 2017).
Uwiera-Gartner, M., Carlson, M. R., and Palmgren, C. T. S. 2011. Evaluation of the Clearwater Formation Caprock for a Proposed, Low Pressure, Steam-Assisted Gravity-Drainage Pilot Project in Northeast Alberta. Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 30 October–2 November. SPE-147302-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/147302-MS.
Verma, N. and El Gamal, R. 2014. Kuwait Petroleum Eyes Stake in IOC Refinery, Offers Crude Supply–Sources. Reuters, 4 September 2014, http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/09/04/india-kuwait-ioc-idINKBN0GZ0YT20140904 (accessed 7 January 2015).
Westall, S. 2014. Kuwait to Open Main Tenders for New Zour Refinery in May. Reuters, 13 April 2014, http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/04/13/kuwaitrefinery-idINL6N0N50DT20140413 (accessed 10 December 2014).
Williams, N. 2015. Canadian oil sands producers stay defiant in face of price slump. Reuters. 20 January 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/20/canada-oil-costs-idUSL1N0UU30O20150120 (accessed 21 February 2015).
2b1st Consulting. 2014. Kuwait Oil Company Evaluates Bids on Lower Fars-1 Project, 1 August 2014, http://www.2b1stconsulting.com/kuwait-oilcompany-evaluates-bids-on-lower-fars-phase-1-project (accessed 1 February 2015).