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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Steam-Oil Ratio in Steam-Solvent Coinjection Simulation for Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Bitumen Reservoirs

[+] Author and Article Information
Arun Venkat Venkatramani

School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering,
University of Alberta,
7-203 Donadeo Innovation Centre for
Engineering, 9211-116 Street NW,
Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
e-mail: venkatra@ualberta.ca

Ryosuke Okuno

Department of Petroleum and Geosystems
Engineering,
University of Texas at Austin,
CPE 5.118B, 200 E. Dean Keeton Street,
Stop C0300,
Austin, TX 78712-1585
e-mail: okuno@utexas.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 2, 2017; final manuscript received May 25, 2018; published online June 26, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ray (Zhenhua) Rui.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(11), 112903 (Jun 26, 2018) (17 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1677; doi: 10.1115/1.4040529 History: Received December 02, 2017; Revised May 25, 2018

This research presents a mechanistic analysis of expanding-solvent steam-assisted gravity drainage (ES-SAGD) for heterogeneous reservoirs in terms of cumulative steam-oil ratio (SOR) as a function of cumulative bitumen production. Simulation case studies for SAGD and ES-SAGD with normal hexane at 35 bars are conducted for geostatistical realizations of two types of heterogeneous Athabasca-bitumen reservoirs. For the first type, low-permeability mudstone barriers are oriented horizontally. For the second type, they are inclined and more representative of the middle McMurray member. The solubility of water in the oleic phase at elevated temperatures is properly modeled to ensure reliable comparison between steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and ES-SAGD. Simulation results show that ES-SAGD is less sensitive to heterogeneity than SAGD in terms of cumulative SOR. On average, the reduction in SOR due to steam-solvent coinjection is simulated to be greater under heterogeneity. The reduction in SOR is greater for reservoir models with inclined mudstone barriers than in those with horizontal mudstone barriers. Analysis of simulation results indicates that the injected solvent tends to accumulate more significantly under heterogeneity, which enhances the mechanisms of ES-SAGD, such as dilution of bitumen by solvent and reduced thermal losses to the overburden. Tortuous hydraulic paths and slower gravity drainage under heterogeneity enhance the mixing between solvent and bitumen in the transverse direction along the edge of a steam chamber. Then, a larger amount of the accumulated solvent tends to facilitate lower temperatures near the chamber edge.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Temperature (in Kelvin) and vapor-phase saturation (SV) maps corresponding to the cumulative bitumen production of 77,487 m3 for SAGD at 35 bars: In (b), SV in grid blocks in the shaded region is greater than 5%. Injector and producer grid blocks are located in the central grid column and appear black. This cumulative bitumen production is met at 456 days.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Temperature (in Kelvin) and (b) vapor-phase saturation (SV) maps corresponding to the cumulative bitumen production of 76,617 m3 for n-C6 SAGD at 35 bars and injection concentration of 2 mol%: In (b), SV in grid blocks in the shaded region is greater than 5%. Injector and producer grid blocks located in the central grid column and appear black. This cumulative bitumen production is met at 365 days from the start of the operation.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Vapor-phase saturation (SV) and temperature (in Kelvin) maps for SAGD and n-C6 SAGD for realization 23 at the cumulative bitumen production of approximately 98,095 m3 (0.50VSAGDhom): (a) Sv map for SAGD, (b) Sv map for n-C6 SAGD, (c) temperature map for SAGD, and (d) temperature map for n-C6 SAGD. In part (a), the grid blocks in the lightly-shaded region correspond to Sv-values greater than 5%. Injector and producer grid blocks are located in the central grid column and appear black. Near the well pair, the chamber for ES-SAGD is larger than that of SAGD while the opposite is true toward the top of the model. The aforementioned cumulative bitumen production is reached at 3527 days for SAGD and at 1300 days for n-C6 SAGD; this includes the initial heating period of 183 days (also see Table 5).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Cumulative water injection as a function of cumulative bitumen production in SAGD and n-C6 SAGD for the homogeneous reservoir model and realization 23 in the first case study (Sec. 3.1)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Cumulative heat loss as a function of cumulative bitumen production in SAGD and n-C6 SAGD for the homogeneous reservoir model and realization 23 in the first case study (Sec.3.1)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Property maps for clean sand grid blocks in n-C6 SAGD for realization 23 from the first case study for the cumulative bitumen production of 98,095 m3 (0.50VSAGDhom): (a) xsL map, (b) βL map, (c) βLxsL map, and (d) SL map. Mudstone barriers are indicated in the background. This cumulative bitumen production is met at 1300 days from the start of the operation.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Cumulative heat loss as a function of cumulative bitumen production in SAGD and n-C6 SAGD for the homogeneous reservoir model and realization 17 in the second case study (Sec. 3.2)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Cumulative water injection as a function of cumulative bitumen production in SAGD and n-C6 SAGD for the homogeneous reservoir model and realization 17 in the second case study (Sec. 3.2)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Maps for temperature (in Kelvin) for SAGD and n-C6 SAGD for realization 17 for the cumulative bitumen production of approximately 98,458 m3 (0.45VSAGDhom) for the second case study; (a) SAGD and (b) n-C6 SAGD. Injector and producer grid blocks are located in the central grid column and appear black. This cumulative bitumen production is met at 3555 days for SAGD and 1086 days for n-C6 SAGD.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Steam chambers for SAGD and n-C6 SAGD for realization 17 in the second case study for the cumulative bitumen production of approximately 98,458 m3 (0.45VSAGDhom): (a) SV map for SAGD, (b) SV map for n-C6 SAGD, (c) map for concentration of methane in the vapor phase (xC1V) for SAGD, and (d) xC1V map for n-C6 SAGD. In (a) and (b), the grid blocks in the lightly-shaded region correspond to saturations greater than 5%. Maps for xC1V have been provided to delineate the steam chamber. High temperatures within the steam chamber results in the vaporization of methane dissolved in bitumen; the liberated methane then accumulates in the cooler parts of the reservoir, which leads to low values for xC1V inside the steam chamber. In (c) and (d), the value of xC1V in darkly-shaded grid blocks in the outlined region is lower than 5 mol%. This cumulative bitumen production is met at 3555 days for SAGD and 1086 days for n-C6 SAGD.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

xsL, temperature and βLxsL maps in n-C6 SAGD for the homogeneous model in the first case study for the cumulative bitumen production of approximately 98,095 m3 (0.50VSAGDhom): (a) xsL map, (b) temperature map, and (c) βLxsL map. Injector and producer grid blocks are located in the central grid column and appear black. This cumulative bitumen production is met at 425 days from the start of the operation.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Property maps for clean sand grid blocks in n-C6 SAGD for realization 17 from the second case study for the cumulative bitumen production of 98,458 m3 (0.45VSAGDhom); (a) xsL map, (b) SL map, (c) βL map, and (d) βLxsL map. Mudstone barriers are indicated in the background. This cumulative bitumen production is met at 1086 days.

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