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Asphaltene Precipitation During Solvent Injection at Different Reservoir Conditions and Its Effects on Heavy-Oil Recovery from Oilsands Open Access


Other title
Solvent injection, permeability reduction, asphaltene deposition, temperature and pressure
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Moreno Arciniegas, Laura Smith
Supervisor and department
Tayfun Babadagli
Examining committee member and department
Tayfun Babadagli (Civil & Enviromental Engeneering)
Civil & Enviromental Engeneering-Petroleum Engineering
Ergun Kuru (Civil & Enviromental Engeneering)
Huazhou Li (Civil & Enviromental Engeneering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Petroleum Engeneering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Solvent injection at elevated temperatures (hot solvent or steam-solvent hybrid injection) into heavy-oil/bitumen reservoirs is a promising recovery process. It increases oil mobility via oil dilution, molecular diffusion, and gravity drainage. Meanwhile, injection of light hydrocarbon solvents creates disequilibrium between resins and asphaltene in the oil. Then, asphaltene starts to flocculate and bond to each other in the fluid and on the rock surface. Consequently, permeability reduction due to pore plugging and wettability alteration may take place affecting the underground upgrading and recovery process negatively. In this thesis, these asphaltene related concerns during solvent injection at different reservoir conditions were investigated through experimental work. A combination of two heavy-oil compositions and four solvent types were tested at different pressure and temperatures to determine the optimal solvent type and operational conditions minimizing the negative effect of asphaltene. The results obtained from visual PVT cell (testing fluid behaviour) and sandpack system (testing heavy-oil recovery) experiments were cross-checked. The roles of solvent type and operation conditions (mainly temperature) on the heavy-oil recovery, wettability alteration, and pore plugging were clarified and presented quantitatively and visually.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
L.S. Moreno, T. Babadagli, T. Paper SPE 165531 presented at the Heavy Oil Conference 2013 Joint Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 11-13 June (2013).L.S. Moreno, T. Babadagli. Paper SPE 164123 presented at the International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry 2013 Joint Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 8-10 April (2013).L.S. Moreno, T. Babadagli. 2013. Asphaltene precipitation flocculation and deposition during solvent Injection at Elevate Temperatures for Heavy Oil Recovery. Under reviewL.S. Moreno, T. Babadagli. 2013. Multilayer Organic Deposition On The Rock Surface With Different Wettabilities During Solvent Injection For Heavy-Oil Recovery. Under review

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