Steam model generated using Schlumberger’s Eclipse Compositional

Steam assisted gravity drainage is
one of the most commonly used thermal stimulation technique for extracting heavy
crude oil. The technique can, however, be improved by generating steam downhole
rather than injecting surface generated steam. In-situ steam generation will
reduce the cost of continuous steam injection, reduce heat loss and ensure the
high quality of the steam being injected into the reservoir.

An in-situ steam generator that fits
this description has been developed and a field study to evaluate the
performance of the in-situ steam generator in improving oil recovery over
conventional SAGD has been carried out on an abandoned heavy shale oil field
that is being rejuvenated.

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The results from this field
study were used in a reservoir simulation model generated using Schlumberger’s
Eclipse Compositional Simulator for steam stimulation. The model was history
matched to reflect the heavy shale oil field production under natural depletion
drive and steam stimulation. Several simulation runs were made to evaluate the
performance of the in-situ generator in a vertical well and for three steam-assisted
gravity drainage (SAGD) well arrangements scenarios. An analysis was also
carried out to compare the economic impact of the different simulation

The different sensitivity runs gave
outcomes that indicated that the use of the patented in-situ steam generator in
SAGD led to 360 barrels of incremental
production of oil per year over
conventional SAGD. The simulation study show that in-situ steam generation and
injection is an effective and environment-friendly enhanced oil recovery
technique that has the potential to replace conventional steam field
applications as it is a game changer. With the in-situ steam generator,
steam quality can be maintained 100% of the time throughout the life of the
process, which leads to guaranteed faster in-situ oil heating.


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