Effects of Solvent Properties and Injection Strategies on Solvent-Enhanced Steam Flooding for Thin Heavy Oil Reservoirs with Semi-Analytical Approach
Oil & Gas Science and Technology
Compared with conventional steam flooding and Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), Solvent-Enhanced Steam Flooding (SESF) is considered a more effective method for improving heavy oil recovery in thin reservoirs in terms of higher thermal efficiency and oil production rate. However, there remains a deficiency of accurate and efficient methods to evaluate and design an SESF project in the field. A semi-analytical model is proposed in this paper to predict the recovery performance of SESF and
... rmance of SESF and investigate the effects of solvent properties and injection strategies on the SESF process for thin heavy oil reservoirs. The proposed model provides a simple method to simulate not only single solvent injection but also multi-solvent injection by cooperating different values of solvent operating thickness and solvent solubility. To validate the model's accuracy, comparisons are made between the proposed model results and the numerical simulation results for a specific heavy oil reservoir case. The results indicate that SESF can achieve a considerably higher oil production rate at the early recovery stage than steam flooding. Moreover, the paper also demonstrates that a higher injection rate results in a lower thermal efficiency increment when well spacing is constant. Nevertheless, a high injection rate may also be suitable for longer well spacing owing to the improvement of the viscosity profile beyond the edge of the steam zone caused by longer contact time between the solvent and crude oil. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.