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Investigation of the SAGD Steam Trap with a Simple Modelling Approach

  • Author / Creator
    Taubner, Spencer P
  • Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) has become the most popular in situ method for recovering bitumen in Alberta, but it remains an operationally challenging process. A particular challenge is the maintenance of a liquid pool, or steam trap, around the production well to prevent the influx of live steam, which reduces energy efficiency and increases the risk of eroding production equipment. In this thesis, an analytical model called a gravity inflow performance relationship (GIPR) is formulated to describe the flow through the steam trap. The model enables efficient prediction of the liquid level above the production well, providing a valuable tool for optimizing SAGD well designs and control strategies. The GIPR is verified against simulations using a higher-order numerical model. Then, the GIPR is coupled to a wellbore hydraulics model to study the uniformity and stability of the liquid-vapour interface along the length of a SAGD well pair. Three case studies are conducted with the coupled model, each investigating a different operational challenge, and each providing fundamental insight into the mechanics of steam trap control.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R30863H6R
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Lange, Carlos (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Nobes, David (Mechanical Engineering)