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Heavy Oil/Bitumen Recovery by Alternate Injection of Steam and Solvent (Hydrocarbon and CO2) in Fractured Carbonates and Oilsands Open Access


Other title
heavy oil
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Naderi, Khosrow
Supervisor and department
Babadagli, Tayfun (Civil Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Yang, Tony (Chemical Engineering)
Okuno, Ryosuke (Civil Engineering)
Kuru, Ergun (Civil Engineering)
Yeung, Anthony (University of Regina)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The world energy demand is constantly increasing and fossil fuels are still by far the main energy resource that supplies the world energy consumption market, therefore increasing oil recovery from all types of reservoirs is an important matter. The burning of fossil fuels for energy purposes, on the other hand, emerges another issue: the accumulation of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which is considered to be the primary cause of climate change. CO2 sequestration is a way of mitigating this greenhouse gas from the environment and storing it in underground reservoirs. Naturally fractured reservoirs may be worthy locations for CO2 storage and if a suitable method of injection is applied, both oil recovery and CO2 sequestration goals can be met simultaneously. Steam-Over-Solvent Injection in Fractured Reservoirs (SOS-FR) is a recently proposed method for heavy oil recovery from fractured reservoirs. This method normally consists of three phases: Phase-I, initial thermal phase that produces oil by thermal expansion and viscosity reduction; Phase-II, solvent phase to dilute and drain oil and; Phase-III, final thermal phase for additional oil recovery and solvent retrieval. This dissertation extends and modifies the SOS-FR method to employ CO2 as solvent through extensive experimental and numerical analyses. The experiments were conducted under various pressure and temperature conditions on different porous media including preserved oilsand ores, unconsolidated sandpacks, sandstone, and carbonate cores. While CO2 was of central interest, different solvent types were investigated to form a range of comparisons. Solvents were examined in both liquid and gas forms. Temperature was changed for thermal stages to consider hot water, low temperature steam, and high temperature steam. Pressure was also changed in solvent stage. Oil, gas, and porous medium analysis were performed to see the effects of SOS-FR on fluid and matrix properties, as well. Numerical analysis was also done for history matching of experimental data and field scale application of this method to see the results of various injection schemes on both oil recovery and CO2 sequestration in larger scales. This work presents the applicability of carbon dioxide as solvent in the SOS-FR method which gives acceptable oil recoveries while reducing the costs of solvent and steam with an additional value of CO2 storage in naturally fractured reservoirs or post-CHOPS oilsands applications. It is shown that the method is viable and effective for a wide range of applications from unconsolidated sands to fractured carbonates containing heavy-oil and bitumen through vigilant selection of steam-solvent injection strategy ad solvent type under general SOS-FR concept.
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
Naderi, K., Babadagli, T. and Coskuner, G.: “Bitumen Recovery by the SOS-FR (Steam-Over-Solvent Injection in Fractured Reservoirs) Method: An Experimental Study on Grosmont Carbonates,” SPE-165530, accepted for presentation at 2013 SPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 11-13 June 2013.Naderi, K. and Babadagli, T.: “Experimental Analysis of Heavy Oil Recovery and CO2 Storage by Alternate Injection of Steam and CO2 in Deep Naturally Fractured Reservoir,” SPE-146738-PP, presented at 2012 Heavy Oil Conference Canada, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 12-14 June 2012.Naderi, K. and Babadagli, T.: “Field Scale Application of the SOS-FR (Steam-Over-Solvent Injection in Fractured Reservoirs) Method: Optimal Operating Conditions,” SPE-154088-PP, presented at 2012 SPE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, OK, USA, 14-18 April 2012.Naderi, K. and Babadagli, T.: “Use of CO2 as Solvent during Steam-Over-Solvent Injection in Fractured Reservoirs (SOS-FR) Method for Heavy Oil Recovery,” IPTC-14918, presented at Int. Petroleum Tech. Conf., Bangkok, Thailand, 7-9 February 2012.

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