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Title: A novel model to investigate the effects of injector-producer pressure difference on SAGD for bitumen recovery

Authors: Hao Xiong; Shijun Huang; Hao Liu; Linsong Cheng; Jinpan Li; Peng Xiao

Addresses: College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China; The University of Oklahoma, 660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK, 73019-0390, USA ' College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China ' College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China ' College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China ' College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China ' College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China

Abstract: Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) provides many advantages compared to alternate thermal recovery methods for bitumen recovery. Nowadays, most of researchers believe that the gravity mechanism is the main drive in SAGD recovery, ignoring the injector-producer pressure difference, which makes the field prediction deviate from reality. To tackle this problem, this paper makes further investigation on the injector-producer pressure difference. A series of 2D numerical simulations are conducted on the basis of Mackay River reservoir in Canada to investigateon influence of injector-producer pressure difference. Meanwhile, a new mathematical model considering injector-producer pressure difference is established. The results indicate that when the injector-producer pressure difference exists, SAGD usually has better recovery. Pressure difference can effectively improve SAGD operating performance to achieve a high economic efficiency. More pressure difference does not necessarily lead to better recovery, for when the pressure difference increases to some certain degrees, it will cause steam breakthrough. [Received: May 2, 2016; Accepted: November 11, 2016]

Keywords: steam assisted gravity drainage; SAGD; mathematical model; injector-producer pressure difference; drive mechanism; numerical simulations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOGCT.2017.087048

International Journal of Oil, Gas and Coal Technology, 2017 Vol.16 No.3, pp.217 - 235

Received: 02 May 2016
Accepted: 17 Nov 2016

Published online: 29 Aug 2017 *

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