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Heavy Oil’s

Production Problems
ALFREDO MORÁN QUILIANO
Heavy Oil Characteristics

 Heavy Oil has an API gravity between 10° and 22°, and a viscosity
greater than 100 cP at least.

 Natural Bitumen is the Oil whose API gravity is less than 10° and
whose viscosity is commonly greater than 10,000 cP.

 Fundamental differences exist between natural bitumen, heavy oil,


medium oil, and conventional (light) oil, according to the volatilities
of the constituent hydrocarbon fractions: paraffinic, naphthenic,
and aromatic.

By: Heavy Oil and Natural Bitumen Resources in Geological Basins of the World Richard F. Meyer, Emil D. Attanasi, and Philip A. Freeman 2007
Global Oil Resources

Total World Oil Resources


9-13 Trillion bbl

Heavy,
Convent 15%
ional,
30%

Oil
Extra
Sands
Heavy,
and
25%
Bitumem
; 30%

By: Thesis Tecnologías aplicables para la explotación de crudos pesados y extra pesados 2011
Global Heavy Oil Resources
By: A New Heavy Oil Recovery Technology David H.-S. Law Schlumberger

 Total resources of heavy oil


in known accumulations
are 3,396 billion barrels of
original oil in place, of
which 30 billion barrels are
included as prospective
additional oil.

 The total natural bitumen


resource in known
accumulations amounts to
5,505 billion barrels of oil
originally in place, which
includes 993 billion barrels
as prospective additional
oil.

By: Heavy Oil and Natural Bitumen Resources in Geological Basins of the World Richard F. Meyer, Emil D. Attanasi, and Philip A. Freeman 2007
Countries with the more amount of
heavy and extra heavy oil
Heavy Oil Leaders
 Venezuelan
 Canada
 Med orient

Other Productors
 Unite State
 Russia
 China
 Brazil
 Mexico
By: Heavy Oil and Natural Bitumen Resources in Geological Basins of the World Richard F. Meyer, Emil D. Attanasi, and Philip A. Freeman 2007
By: Heavy Oil and Natural Bitumen Resources in Geological Basins of the World Richard F. Meyer, Emil D. Attanasi, and Philip A. Freeman 2007
Enhanced oil recovery method

By: A review of novel techniques for heavy oil and bitumen extraction and upgrading
EOR method to heavy oil
Cold Heavy-Oil Production with
Sand (CHOPS)
 The technique takes advantage of the fact
that the World’s heavy oil deposits are
predominantly in high porosity (>28%).
 The recovery factor is less than 5%.
 That could be use with waterflowing, in this
case the R.F. can be 12% (Example heavy oil
fields UK).
 fields in this place have a recovery factor
between 2 and 3%.
 In this place has not done any Enhanced oil
recovery method, nowadays there are many
pilots to change that, these projects are about
thermal processes, chemical injection, etc.
Cold Heavy-Oil Production with
Sand (CHOPS)
 Venezuela Orinoco’s Belt is divided in 4
blocks: Boyacá, Junín, Ayacucho y
Carabobo, the total reserves are
1.360 billones of barrel.
 fields in this place have a recovery factor
between 2 and 3%.
 In this place has not done any Enhanced oil
recovery method, nowadays there are
many pilots to change that, these projects
are about thermal processes, chemical
injection, etc.
 reservoirs offshore of Brazil use CHOPS
method too.
VAPEX

 Hydrocarbon Solvent Injection, main hydrocarbon solvents applied


in the VAPEX process include ethane, propane and butane,
commonly know as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
 Field experience in: Canada, USA, Venezuela, Iran, China.
 The dispersion and diffusion of the solvents are relatively slow and
therefore the process is much less efficient than heat.
 The high cost of solvent is the major economic concern and
recovery of the solvent is therefore important. There are also worries
about contamination of subterranean water.
 VAPEX has potential in cases of bottom aquifer.

By: Rodolfo J. Marin February 2015


Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS)

 Cyclic (the same well to inject and produce)


 It is often limited by overriding or heat losses associated with the presence
of a particular thief training.
 Only a part (30-35%) of the water injected as steam is produced when the
well is opened to production.
 Need to inject continuously for a long period (weeks) in addition to the
soaking time (2 weeks).
 at a steam / oil ratio, it will have to be much less than 15 for a project to be
viable.
 expansion of the sales and losses of heat associated with the depth of the
fm, therefore there is a limit of 3000’ to apply the technique.
Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS)

 California has the largest heavy-oil reserves (62.85


billion bbl) in North America.
 For more than 70 year in California, steam injection,
along with steamflood and condensed-water drive,
has been used to produce heavy oil (in-situ
viscosity). Kern River field of the San Joaquin Basin.
 CSS in heavy oils outside of California have an
efficient with a median expected recovery of 15% of
ROIP.
 Campo Bachaquero (Venezuela): Cyclic steam
injection in this field has been developed since 1971
and until November 1998 a total of 344 wells had
been stimulated with 1,006 injection cycles.
However, the efficiency of the technique was
reduced due to overriding and steam channeling.
Steam flooding or Steam drive

 Typical recovery factors are in the range of 50–60% of oil in place


although as high as 70% has been reported for parts of the Duri field
in Indonesia.
 The reservoirs must be shallow, because the injection pressures must
be maintained.
 Need to drill a second well, an injector well.
 High costs of steam generation, surface line design and mechanical
well design.
 Production of emulsions
Steam assisted gravity drainage
(SAGD)
 The first successful field demonstration of the
SAGD McMurray, Alberta
 The large thermal energy requirements make
it inefficient and not economical for heavy oil
deposits that present thin layers, high water
saturation, gas layer, large vertical fractures,
low rock conductivity, high clay content, and
active thrust of bottom aquifer.
 Large volumes of water are needed to run
SAGD with between two and ten barrels of
water injected as steam for every barrel of oil
produced.
Steam assisted gravity drainage
(SAGD)
 This water then has to be separated from the
produced oil along with any formation water
and water handling costs can amount to as
much as half the cost of a project.
 High production of sand.
 High operating cost, R.F. between 30 and
50%.
In situ combustion (ISC)

 The disadvantages of the process include the risk that the thermal
expansion causes damage to the casing while the steam is being
injected.
 the failure of this method can preclude further attempts to produce
the remaining oil.
 If a sufficient amount of oil has not been deposited from the burned
fire, the combustion process could not be sustained, nor is it
recommended the application of this technique in paraffinic crudes
of high gravity.
Injection of carbon dioxide (CO2)

 The CO2 is injected at high pressures to reach the miscibility pressure


(> 1400 lppc), through the injector well.
 Availability of large amounts of CO2, because the method will only
be justified if there are nearby sources of this gas and it can be
generated at reasonable costs due to the high costs of capture,
separation and transport.
 For heavy or extra heavy oil deposits, there are no applications in
miscibility condition, due to the high pressures required (miscibility
pressure> 1400 psi).
 need to separate CO2 from oil
Criteria for Oil recovery Methods

By: A review of novel techniques for heavy oil and bitumen extraction and upgrading
Range of Method
References
 Heavy Oil and Natural Bitumen Resources in Geological Basins of the World
Richard F. Meyer, Emil D. Attanasi, and Philip A. Freeman 2007.
 A review of novel techniques for heavy oil and bitumen extraction and
upgrading.
 Thesis Tecnologías aplicables para la explotación de crudos pesados y
extra pesados 2011.
 A New Heavy Oil Recovery Technology.
 Thesis: “EVALUACIÓN DE ALTERNATIVAS TECNOLÓGICAS PARA MAXIMIZAR
EL FACTOR DE RECOBRO DE CRUDO PESADO”.
 Overview of Heavy Oil, Seeps, and Oil (Tar) Sands, California 2013
 200801_alo_heavy_oil_recovery.
 AN OVERVIEW OF HEAVY OIL PROPERTIES AND ITS RECOVERY AND
TRANSPORTATION METHODS.

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