Numerical simulation study on steam-assisted gravity drainage performance in a heavy oil reservoir with a bottom water zone

Jun Ni, Xiang Zhou, Qingwang Yuan, Xinqian Lu, Fanhua Zeng, Keliu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the Pikes Peak oil field near Lloydminster, Canada, a significant amount of heavy oil reserves is located in reservoirs with a bottom water zone. The properties of the bottom water zone and the operation parameters significantly affect oil production performance via the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process. Thus, in order to develop this type of heavy oil resource, a full understanding of the effects of these properties is necessary. In this study, the numerical simulation approach was applied to study the effects of properties in the bottom water zone in the SAGD process, such as the initial gas oil ratio, the thickness of the reservoir, and oil saturation of the bottom water zone. In addition, some operation parameters were studied including the injection pressure, the SAGD well pair location, and five different well patterns: (1) two corner wells, (2) triple wells, (3) downhole water sink well, (4) vertical injectors with a horizontal producer, and (5) fishbone well. The numerical simulation results suggest that the properties of the bottom water zone affect production performance extremely. First, both positive and negative effects were observed when solution gas exists in the heavy oil. Second, a logarithmical relationship was investigated between the bottom water production ratio and the thickness of the bottom water zone. Third, a non-linear relation was obtained between the oil recovery factor and oil saturation in the bottom water zone, and a peak oil recovery was achieved at the oil saturation rate of 30% in the bottom water zone. Furthermore, the operation parameters affected the heavy oil production performance. Comparison of the well patterns showed that the two corner wells and the triple wells patterns obtained the highest oil recovery factors of 74.71% and 77.19%, respectively, which are almost twice the oil recovery factors gained in the conventional SAGD process (47.84%). This indicates that the optimized SAGD process with the two corner wells and the triple wells pattern is able to improve SAGD production performance in a heavy oil reservoir with a bottom water zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1999
JournalEnergies
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Bottom water zone
  • Numerical simulation study
  • Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)
  • Well pattern

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