Several methods are being used to recover buried heavy oil or bitumen deposits within oil-sands reservoirs. Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) has been a commercial recovery process since the mid 1980’s in the Cold Lake area in northeast Alberta. Also, Several Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) projects are in operation in different types of reservoirs in the Cold Lake area. There is a debate over whether CSS is more efficient in the Cold Lake reservoirs or SAGD. It is very important for producers to know broadly about the performance and efficiency of the oil recovery process. This helps them to select the proper recovery process.
The main objective of this study was aimed to review and compare the performance and efficiency of the CSS and SAGD processes in Cold Lake area. In the current survey, the field data gathered since the start of the operation until almost the present time and the performance comparison were carried out based on the acquired data. Then two robust models were built using CMG-STARS for both CSS and SAGD processes. In both models, averaged reservoir properties that represent mean values of Cold Lake reservoir was incorporated. The production profile of both processes were history matched and the validity of the models confirmed through sensitivity studies. The performance indicators such as cumulative steam oil ratio, recovery factor and cumulative produced oil values were obtained from the models and compared. Finally, sensitivity scenarios were performed on both models to evaluate and compare the performance of each reservoir under different recovery mechanism.