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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Heavy Oil Recovery Using In Situ Steam Generated by Thermochemicals: A Numerical Simulation Study

[+] Author and Article Information
Tamer Moussa

Department of Petroleum Engineering,
College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: g201105270@kfupm.edu.sa

Mohamed Mahmoud

Department of Petroleum Engineering,
College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
P.O. Box 5049,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: mmahmoud@kfupm.edu.sa

Esmail M. A. Mokheimer

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
College of Engineering,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM),
P.O. Box 279,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia;
K.A. CARE,
Energy Research and Innovation Center,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM),
P.O. Box 279,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia;
Center of Research Excellence in Renewable Energy (CoRe-RE),
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM),
P. O. Box 279,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: esmailm@kfupm.edu.sa

Dhafer Al-Shehri

Department of Petroleum Engineering,
College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: alshehrida@kfupm.edu.sa

Shirish Patil

Department of Petroleum Engineering,
College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences,
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
P.O. Box 5049,
Dhahran 31261, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: patil@kfupm.edu.sa

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received May 1, 2019; final manuscript received May 23, 2019; published online June 20, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(12), 122903 (Jun 20, 2019) (9 pages) Paper No: JERT-19-1261; doi: 10.1115/1.4043862 History: Received May 01, 2019; Accepted May 23, 2019

This paper introduces a novel approach to generate downhole steam using thermochemical reactions to overcome the challenges associated with heavy oil resources. The procedure developed in this paper is applied to a heavy oil reservoir, which contains heavy oil (12–23 API) with an estimated range of original oil in place (OOIP) of 13–25 billion barrels while its several technical challenges are limiting its commercial development. One of these challenges is the overlying 1800–2000-ft thick permafrost layer, which causes significant heat losses when steam is injected from the surface facilities. The objective of this research is to conduct a feasibility study on the application of the new approach in which the steam is generated downhole using the thermochemical reaction (SGT) combined with steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) to recover heavy oil from the reservoir. A numerical simulation model for a heavy oil reservoir is built using a CMG-STARS simulator, which is then integrated with a matlab framework to study different recovery strategies on the project profitability. The design and operational parameters studied and optimized in this paper involve (1) well configurations and locations and (2) steam injection rate and quality as well as a steam trap in SAGD wells. The results show that the in situ SGT is a successful approach to recover heavy oil from the reservoir, and it yields high-project profitability. The main reason for this outperformance is the ability of SGT to avoid the significant heat losses and associated costs associated with the surface steam injection.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Temperature profile generated by a single thermochemical reaction

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Fig. 2

Temperature profile generated by four consequent thermochemical reactions

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Fig. 3

Schematic of the SAGD process modified from Ref. [22]

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Fig. 4

Heterogeneous 3D model of the reservoir

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Fig. 5

Distribution of (a) reservoir porosity and (b) permeability for all grid blocks

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Fig. 6

Well-trajectories' optimization parameters in SAGD

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Fig. 7

Regression of NPV during the optimization process with the simulation runs

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Fig. 8

Profile of average reservoir porosity and permeability along formation depth

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Fig. 9

Trajectory of lateral section of the injection well in (a) base case and (b) optimized case

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Fig. 10

Oil viscosity distribution around the injection well for (a) base case and (b) optimized case

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Fig. 11

NPV achieved for each optimization case

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Fig. 12

Relative impact of each set of optimization parameters on the achieved NPV

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