In Situ Combustion for Heavy Oil: Toe-to-Heel Air Injection

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Given the environmental impact and relatively high cost of steam-based recovery processes for oil sands reservoirs, there is a search for other recovery processes that yield greater efficiency and lower operating costs. Air injection based recovery processes offer potential for improved efficiency given that the heat is generated within the reservoir. However, industry has been reluctant to adopt air injection methods for oil sands reservoirs. In the research documented in this thesis, a detailed examination of the Kerrobert toe-to-heel air injection (THAI) process is conducted by using data analytics. The current operator of the facility has provided all of the data for the operation including injection and production rates, temperatures, pressures, gas compositions, and facility data. Four studies were conducted: 1. Detailed analysis of causal relationships between injectants and production rates, gas composition, and temperature rise within the reservoir through manual examination of the data, 2. Clustering analysis of operational variables and seek for optimal operating strategy to maximize production rate, 3. Lag time analysis between injection and production to explain the underlying production mechanisms in THAI, and 4. Understand the reaction systems in THAI using produced gas compositions through an inverse calculation approach.
In situ combustion, Toe-to-Heel Air Injection, Oil sands, Air Injection, THAI, Heavy oil
Wei, W. (2020). In Situ Combustion for Heavy Oil: Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from