Experimental Investigation and Comparison of Thermal Processes: SAGD, ES-SAGD and SAS

  IJETT-book-cover  International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT)          
  
© 2016 by IJETT Journal
Volume-31 Number-2
Year of Publication : 2016
Authors : Yaser Souraki, Mohammad Ashrafi, Ole Torsaeter
  10.14445/22315381/IJETT-V31P218

MLA 

Yaser Souraki, Mohammad Ashrafi, Ole Torsaeter"Experimental Investigation and Comparison of Thermal Processes: SAGD, ES-SAGD and SAS", International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT), V31(2),91-105 January 2016. ISSN:2231-5381. www.ijettjournal.org. published by seventh sense research group

Abstract
Thermal processes such as cyclic steam stimulation (CSS), steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), in-situ combustion and toe-to-heel air injection (THAI) are being applied widely to recover heavy oil and bitumen, deposited in different formations located worldwide, especially in Canada, Venezuela and United States. Among these processes, SAGD is known as the most prosperous and promising method applicable in Alberta sandstone heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs. However, existence of technical and environmental problems forced researchers to find solutions in order to mitigate deficiencies of SAGD process. Some of the main disadvantages of SAGD are: high consumption of water, waste water management and facility, high expenditures of fuel to generate steam and greenhouse- gas (GHG) emission. Also, it is not applicable in thin reservoirs because of heat and energy loss. Recently, hybrid processes were introduced to overcome the mentioned problems. Hybrid processes utilize the advantage of steam injection and solvent injection together or alternatively to reduce the viscosity of in-situ oil as much as possible. Some of these processes are: expanding-solvent SAGD (ESSAGD), steam alternating solvent (SAS), liquid addition to steam enhanced recovery (LASER), solvent-assisted SAGD (SA-SAGD) and solventaided process (SAP). The salient advantages of hybrid processes over SAGD are namely; lower consumption of water and energy, higher ultimate recovery factor, faster oil drainage rate and lower CO2 (GHG) emissions.SAGD, ES-SAGD and SAS processes were implemented in this work using cylindrical stainless steel core holder filled with glass beads and saturated with slightly upgraded Athabasca bitumen. First, performance of the mentioned processes was evaluated in terms of cumulative steam-oil ratio (CSOR), oil drainage rate, cumulative oil productionand ultimate recovery factor. SAS and ES-SAGD represented better results than SAGD process at the same conditions based on the aforementioned efficiency indicators. Thereupon, effect of steam injection rate on SAGD process and the impact of solvent injection rate and type on ESSAGD process were investigated. Results of the experiments elucidated that higher steam injection rate yields higher oil drainage rate and recovery factor while increases the CSOR of the SAGD process. Three types of solvent namely; n-pentane, nhexane and n-heptane were used to investigate the effect of solvent type on ES-SAGD performance. Among them n-pentane showed better outcomes, however, higher injection rate of n-hexane improved the process both in terms of CSOR and recovery factor.

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Keywords
SAGD, ES-SAGD, heavy oil and bitumen,SAS, thermal methods, glass beads.