Impact of Point Bar Architecture on the Performance of SAGD

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The oil sands deposits of Western Canada are among the largest petroleum resource in the world but face challenges with respect to production due to complex geology and high oil viscosity. In the Athabasca oil sands deposit, the largest of the three main deposits in the province of Alberta, the viscosity of the oil at original reservoir conditions is typically over 1 million cP. Another key complexity of the Athabasca resource is the geology of the reservoirs which are often situated in point bar depositional environments. To produce these reservoirs, given their low solution gas content and other natural drive mechanisms, Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) is the method of choice. The research presented here examines the impact of point bar architecture on the performance of SAGD; this subject has been explored by very few in the literature and yet an understanding of the geology of the formation is fundamental to the performance of SAGD. Four different research elements are explored. The first element deals with the impact of well placement within the point bar. The second element consists of an examination of the impact of orientation of a pad of SAGD wellpairs on its performance within the point bar system. The third element explores the use of dual steam injection tubing strings on the performance of SAGD in a point bar system. The fourth element explores the impact of steam outflow control devices placed within injection wells on the performance of SAGD wellpairs. The key outcomes of the research are first, the construction of a set of ultra-refined point bar geological models for evaluation of SAGD and other recovery processes and an understanding of the heterogeneities faced by SAGD in these systems; second, evaluation of the impact of point bar architecture on the performance of SAGD; and third, dual tubing string steam injectors, inflow control devices can be used to improve the performance of SAGD. By developing a better understanding of how SAGD is impacted by the geology of the oil sands reservoir, oil rates, recovery factor, and thermal efficiency can be improved for these systems.
Geology, Engineering--Petroleum
Su, Y. (2016). Impact of Point Bar Architecture on the Performance of SAGD (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/26462