An experimental study on single well steam assisted gravity drainage

Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is one of the more popular enhanced oil recovery method of producing heavy oil and bitumen. In conventional SAGD approach, steam is injected into a horizontal well located above a horizontal producer. A steam chamber grows around the injection well and displaces heated oil toward the production well. There are several variations of this process: vertical injector-horizontal producer and singlewell (SW) SAGD where only one horizontal well is used by injecting steam from the toe of the horizontal well with production at the heel. Some advantages of technically challenging process include cost savings and utility in relatively thin reservoirs. To improve early-time response of SW-SAGD, it is necessary to heat the near-wellbore area to reduce oil viscosity and allow gravity drainage to take place. This paper investigates the optimization of the startup procedure for SW-SAGD as the project economics are influenced significantly by the early production response. An experimental investigation of two early-time processes namely cyclic steam injection and extreme pressure differential between injector and producer to improve reservoir heating, is discussed and compared to other well configurations. Crushed limestone saturated with heavyoil (12.8 °API) and water that was packed in a semi-scaled laboratory model is used for the experiments. The effectiveness of the methods are compared within themselves and to conventional SAGD by measuring the size of the steam chamber as a function of time. It is found that the steam chamber area for cyclic steam injection is slightly greater than that of extreme pressure differential case. Furthermore, numerical simulation studies of different early time processes are performed and compared to experimental data using a commercial simulator. It was observed that the numerical model results underestimated the cumulative oil recovery and the steam chamber size. Results from this study, including cumulative recoveries, temperature distributions, and production rates display the differences among the methods


Investigation of steam and gas push mechanism in carbonate medium
Canbolat, S.; Akın, Serhat; Polikar, M. (2004-01-01)
The addition of certain amounts of non-condensable gas to the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process has been known to reduce the steam consumption. The addition of small amounts of such gases (i.e. carbon dioxide) may improve oil recovery as the gas accumulates at the upper surface of the reservoir as a thin insulating layer, limiting the rate of front spreading at the corners of the steam chamber. Since the gas raises the pressure of the oil in the reservoir, it may be looked upon as pushing the o...
An Experimental study on steam distillation of heavy oils during thermal recovery
Tavakkoli Osgouel, Yashar; Parlaktuna, Mahmut; Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering (2013)
Thermal recovery methods are frequently used to enhance the production of heavy crude oils. Steam-based processes are the most economically popular and effective methods for heavy oil recovery for several decades. In general, there are various mechanisms over steam injection to enhance and have additional oil recovery. However, among these mechanisms, steam distillation plays pivotal role in the recovery of crude oil during thermal recovery process. In this study, an experimental investigation was carried o...
Development of a screening model for polymer flooding in multi-layer reservoirs
ZarePakzad, Negar; Durgut, İsmail; Artun, Emre; Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering (2018)
Polymer flooding is a chemical enhanced oil recovery method which aims to increase oil production from a water flooded oil reservoir by increase in water viscosity and reduction in water-oil mobility ratio. These changes result in significant increase in sweep efficiency of water comparing with water-only flooding technique. The objective of this study is to analyze the behavior of multilayer reservoirs under polymer flooding process, considering effects of reservoir characteristics, polymer properties and ...
A study of steam-assisted gravity drainage performance in the presence of noncondensable gases
Canbolat, Serhat; Akın, Serhat; Kovscek, Anthony R. (null; 2002-12-01)
Traditionally, the addition of a non-condensable gas to steam is known to have a beneficial effect on heavy-oil production when conventional vertical wells are used. Little information and experimental evidence exists regarding the effect of the addition of such gases in the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process. The limited literature suggests that the addition of small amounts of such gases (e.g., carbon dioxide) may improve oil recovery. The gas accumulates at the top of the reservoir and provid...
Evaluation of SAGD performance in the presence of non-condensable gases
Canbolat, S.; Akın, Serhat; Polikar, M. (null; 2004-01-01)
In the steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process, the addition of small amounts of non-condensable gases to steam may improve oil recovery. The gas accumulates at the top of the reservoir where it provides an insulation effect and forces the steam chamber to spread laterally. The result is a more efficient use of steam and the potential for greater recovery of oil. Six experiments were conducted in two different geometries to study the effect of non-condensable gas on the performance of SAGD. These ex...
Citation Formats
S. Akın, “An experimental study on single well steam assisted gravity drainage,” presented at the Canadian International Petroleum Conference 2000, CIPC 2000 (4 - 08 Haziran 2000), Calgary, Kanada, 2000, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: