TOPICS OF INTEREST
HEAVY OIL/TAR SANDS
Cenovus Buys Husky in a Cost-Cutting Deal
The Canadian oil company consolidation formula looks a lot like the one offered by US shale producers.
ExxonMobil Looking at a 20% Reserve Reduction
ExxonMobil is reluctant to join other big oil companies writing down the value of their reserves. It could chop its reserves by 20%, but it has not made a final decision.
Hard Times in Canadian Oil Could Be Useful Experience
Its reward for years of struggling to adapt to low prices and weak demand for its oil and gas has been an epic crash. Canadians selling change say it is time to consider possibilities that seemed inconceivable in the past.
No, This Bust Doesn’t Feel Familiar
So many unprecedented changes have occurred in the Canadian oil business that it is impossible to compare the current downturn to anything seen before.
Analysis of Athabasca Oil Sands Investigates SAGD Performance Variability
Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) performance in bitumen-recovery projects in Alberta is affected by geological deposits, reservoir quality, and operational experience.
Polymer-Flood Field Pilot Enhances Recovery of Heavy Oils on Alaska’s North Slope
Although polymer flooding has become a promising enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technique, no field tests have been performed to date in Alaska’s underdeveloped heavy-oil reservoirs.
Distributed Fiber-Optic Sensors Characterize Flow-Control-Device Performance
The complete paper describes piloting the collection and analysis of distributed temperature and acoustic sensing (DTS and DAS, respectively) data to characterize flow-control-device (FCD) performance and help improve understanding of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) inflow distribution.
Reviewing a myriad of papers presented at different conferences during the past year, I can group the current trends in heavy-oil operations and research into two major categories: Process optimization and use of chemicals as additives to steam and water.
Heavy Oil Innovation Haunted by Low Oil Prices and Bad Memories
Heavy production spiked in two Canadian wells heated by an electric cable, but it is hard to find customers there at a time when Canadian oil prices and customers remember cables in the past that died young.
Heavy-Oil Steamflood Validates Machine-Learning-Assisted Model
This paper updates a previous case study and presents the results of actual implementation of an optimized steam-injection plan based on the model framework.
Study Investigates Smart Waterflooding in Sandstone Reservoirs
In this paper, the authors consider the effect of water chemistry on water/rock interactions during seawater and smart waterflooding of reservoir sandstone cores containing heavy oil.
Study Assesses Incentives, Development Strategies for Peruvian Mature Heavy Oil
The complete paper explores technical and economic development options to produce heavy-oil resources at commercial rates and showcases three optimization scenarios of higher recovery efficiency aimed at increasing net present value at the basin level.
New Technology Reduces High Water Production in Heavy-Oil Field in Oman
Field N is a complex heavy-oil field in the north of the Sultanate of Oman. The dynamic behavior of Field N is characterized by strong aquifer and is dominated by bottomwater drive.
Automated Approach Optimizes Flow-Control Device Placement in SAGD Completions
The complete paper presents an automated approach to optimizing placement of flow-control devices (FCDs) in SAGD well-pair completions.
Interwell EOR Pilot Proves Advantages of Polymer Flooding
This paper discusses an enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) polymer-flood pilot at the Captain field in the UK North Sea during 2011–2013.
Canadian Oil Business Gets More Canadian as Devon Exits
Devon Energy and its debt gets smaller, as Canadian Natural Resources adds to its huge, long-term bet on Canadian heavy and ultra-heavy crude.
Venezuela Oil Output Sinks to Lowest Level Since Early 2003
The recent production freefall could accelerate even further as US sanctions-related deadlines pass, the US Energy Information Administration said.
Augmented Artificial Intelligence Improves Data Analytics in Heavy-Oil Reservoirs
The authors of this paper propose a novel work flow for the problem of building intelligent data analytics in heavy-oil fields.
Ultrasonic Imaging Technology Evaluates a Lateral-Entry Module
This paper presents the data collected by an ultrasound downhole scanner, demonstrating a novel method for diagnosing multilateral wells.
U-Shaped Re-Entry Drilling Revitalizes Depleted Reservoirs Offshore Congo
Against the background of a low-oil-price environment, a redevelopment project was launched to give a second life to a shallow, depleted, mature offshore Congo oil field with viscous oil (22 °API) in a cost‑effective manner.
Effects of Completion Design on Thermal Efficiency in SAGD
This paper uses a simulation model to evaluate and compare the thermal efficiency of five different completion design cases during the SAGD circulation phase in the Lloydminster formation in the Lindbergh area in Alberta, Canada.
Two-Wellhead SAGD Scheme Increases Efficiency of Heavy-Oil Development
This paper shares experience gained in the Ashalchinskoye heavy-oil field with a two-wellhead SAGD modification. As a result of a pilot for this technology in Russia, the accumulated production of three pairs of these wells is greater than 200,000 tons.
New Steamflooding Techniques Pay Off in Mukhaizna Field
This paper covers the staged field-development methodology, including analysis and evaluation of various development concepts, that enabled the company to optimize both completion design and artificial-lift selection, reducing downtime and lowering operating costs by nearly 50%.
In-Situ Upgrading Process Offers Potential for Heavy-Oil Recovery
In this work, the authors developed a numerical model of in-situ upgrading (IU) on the basis of laboratory experiences and validated results, applying the model to an IU test published in the literature.
The cost reduction per barrel of oil produced and the extension of sustainable production life by optimization have been two major areas of focus, but the investments in new technologies and recovery-improvement research have not received sufficient attention during the downturn.
New Oil Sands Development Gets Green Light
Imperial Oil has made a final investment decision on its 75,000-B/D Aspen oil sands project, the first new oil sands development to be approved in 5 years.
Horizontal Steam Injectors in the Kern River Field
A horizontal-steam-injection pilot project has been under way for the last 4 years in the Kern River heavy-oil field in the southern San Joaquin Valley of California.
Chemical Stimulation at a Heavy-Oil Field: Key Considerations, Work Flow, and Results
This paper presents the planning and execution of a matrix-stimulation pilot project in the heavy-oil Chichimene Field in Colombia.
Doctrines vs. Realities in Reservoir Engineering
The appreciation of empirical realities permits the improvement of commercial depletion planning and enables a greater number of projects. This paper reviews the evidence for and against three doctrines in current use to develop depletion plans.
Improved Monitoring System for Heavy-Oil Steam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Wells
The complete paper provides an overview of the development of fiber-optic sensing for steam-assisted-gravity-drainage (SAGD) applications, including a review of more than 10 years of work in development and field applications in western Canada.
Cyclic Steam Stimulation Results in High Water Retention for Kuwaiti Heavy-Oil Field
Cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) is one of the principal enhanced-oil-recovery methods for heavy oil. CSS was performed in some of the wells of a heavy-oil field in Kuwait. Multiple cycles were applied in these wells. However, the total water produced in each cycle was much less than expected.
Despite the recent downturn, a significant number of pilot- or demonstration-scale applications of existing technologies to develop new heavy-oil fields or new technologies to develop existing fields have been reported over the past year.
Design and Surveillance Tools Help Lower Integrity Risks for High-Temperature Wells
Accidental Discovery: Bitumen Pellets for Heavy Oil Transport
Researchers at the University of Calgary have developed a solid pellet that can transport bitumen and heavy oil by railcar instead of pipelines.
Satellite Monitoring of Cyclic-Steam Stimulation Without Corner Reflectors
The authors discuss a new way of extracting deformation information from radar imagery, contributing to improved accuracy of InSAR surface-elevation monitoring.
First Oil From Kraken: Offshore Project To Increase UK Production by 15%
30 years after being discovered in the North Sea, this heavy-oilfield is now flowing.
Moving On: Shell and Marathon Oil Announce Major Divestment of Canadian Oil Sands
The deal will transfer nearly 2 billion bbl of reserves to Canadian Natural Resources while bolstering Shell's downstream and carbon-capture role in support of oil sand development.
Key Learnings From First 2 Years of a Full-Field CSS Development in Oman
The A East Haradh formation contains a 200-m-thick oil column of highly viscous oil, with viscosity ranging from 200 to 400,000 cp.
Nanoparticle Catalysts Upgrade Heavy Oil for Continuous-Steam-Injection Recovery
This paper presents an investigation into the effect of catalytic nanoparticles on the efficiency of recovery from continuous steam injection.
Radio-Frequency Heating Combined With Solvent Injection for Heavy-Oil Recovery
The most popular technology for producing heavy oil (HO) and bitumen is reservoir heating, mainly by steam injection.
Cost optimization in heavy-oil production can be achieved through numerical modeling to suggest general optimal strategies and development plans or by using proper real-time data acquisition … for prompt decisions while operations are ongoing.
Canadian Exploration Growing Again As Engineering Challenges Loom Large
SPE conferences in Calgary examine the challenges of finding and producing heavy oil and unconventional hydrocarbons at a time when Canadian producers are feeling exceptional price pressures.
SAGD and Fiber-Optic Distributed Acoustic and Temperature Sensing
Distributed temperature sensing (DTS) is the most common fiber-optic measurement used for steam-assisted-gravity-drainage reservoir monitoring.
Quadlateral Success Story in a Heavy-Oil Reservoir
This paper documents the success story of the first quadlateral completion for an Alaskan operator by use of stacked, rotatable, Technical Advancement for Multilaterals Level-3 junction systems.
To sustain the current level of heavy-oil production, which comprises roughly 12–15% of total production, process efficiency must be enhanced to control costs.
Chemical EOR for Heavy Oil: The Canadian Experience
Chemical enhanced-oil-recovery methods such as polymer and alkaline/surfactant/polymer (ASP) flooding are generally not considered suitable for oil viscosities greater than 100 or 200 cp.
Solvent-Enhanced Steamdrive: Experiences From the First Field Pilot
The addition of a hydrocarbon condensate to steam operations in heavy-oil and bitumen reservoirs has emerged as a potential technology to improve not only oil recovery but also energy efficiency.
Pilot Tests of New Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Technologies for Heavy-Oil Reservoirs
Thermal steam stimulation is considered the most effective of current methods for heavy-oil production. However, the method has problems with low coverage by steam injection and decreased efficiency.
Mikhail Chertenkov, Deputy CEO of Field Development Technology, Lukoil-Engineering
Q&A to discuss heavy oil production and some of the challenges of working in harsh environments.
Testing Heavy Oil Production Without Steam Heating
This is the teaser
Application of Intelligent-Well Technology to an SAGD Producer: Firebag Field Trial
An even temperature conformance along the length of the horizontal well is key in maximizing steam-assisted-gravity-drainage (SAGD) production rates.
Analysis of Steam/Solvent-Coinjection Processes by Use of Dynamic Gridding
Hybrid steam/solvent processes have gained importance as a thermal-recovery process for heavy oils in recent years.
Derisking a Heavy-Oil Development: A Case Study of the Bentley Field
An appraisal program involving the Bentley field located on the UK continental shelf has addressed the key technical concerns associated with developing viscous crude in an offshore environment.
Reviving Europe’s Largest Onshore Field
Europe’s largest onshore oil field, the Patos-Marinza in southern Albania, has been given a new lease on life after seeing production soar from 600 B/D just over a decade ago to more than 20,000 B/D this year.
With the decline in oil price and typical product differentials, the current year will be particularly challenging for heavy-oil operations.
Pelican Lake: First Successful Application of Polymer Flooding in a Heavy-Oil Reservoir
Initially, polymer flooding had not been considered as a viable enhanced-oil-recover (EOR) technology for Pelican Lake in northern Alberta, Canada, because of the high viscosity of the oil until it was considered in combination with horizontal wells.
Heavy-Oil Papa-Terra Project Uses Innovative Solutions in Deep Water
The Papa-Terra field in the Campos basin in Brazil is identified as having an oil interval of 14.6°API in turbidite sandstones.
Slurrified Heavy-Oil-Reservoir Extraction as a Recovery Method
This paper presents a concept for recovery in Canadian oil sands that uses water injection to condition a reservoir interval sufficiently to relieve the overburden stress on the oil sand and increase its porosity and permeability.
Downhole Electrical Heating for Enhanced Heavy-Oil Recovery
To increase the production of a heavy-oil reservoir offshore Congo, a study of DHEH applications has been carried out with encouraging results.
The Role of Autonomous Flow Control in SAGD Well Design
Work conducted in the Surmont field of Alberta, Canada, provided an excellent starting point to optimize flow-control improvements to the SAGD process.
This feature focuses on the development and trial evaluation of selected new technologies to improve recovery, reduce energy use and environmental impacts, and enhance the overall economics of in-situ extraction of heavy-oil and bitumen resources.
Real-Time Optimization of SAGD Operations
The steam-assisted-gravity-drainage (SAGD) process along with an efficient steam-use process can reduce production costs and increase the oil-recovery rate. The use of real-time downhole monitoring is an effective approach to achieve this optimization.
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18 November 2020
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