Measurement of viscosity alteration for emulsion and numerical simulation on bitumen production by SAGD considering in-situ emulsification

Junpei Kumasaka, Kyuro Sasaki, Yuichi Sugai, O. S. Alade, Masanori Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A thermal steam stimulation process, such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), induces water-in-oil emulsion of heavy oil or bitumen throughout the production. The present study investigated the effects of in-situ emulsification in the oil sands reservoir for SAGD process. The viscosities of water-in-oil emulsions produced were measured with respect to water-oil ratio (W/O), shear rates, pressures and temperatures. The results therefore were employed to develop the numerical model of viscosity alteration. Numerical simulations of the SAGD bitumen production considering viscosity alteration were also carried out to investigate distribution characteristics of emulsion, water, and bitumen at steam chamber boundary and effects of in-situ emulsification on bitumen production behavior. With a model named SAGD-Emulsion Model, it was found that the net recovery factor of bitumen for this model is 5 to 10% higher than that of conventional SAGD simulation. Ultimately, it was found that the recovery factor of bitumen increased with W/O of emulsion generated in the reservoir since higher water content would invariably allow bitumen to flow at higher relative permeability, while the increase in viscosity merely delayed bitumen production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Earth Science and Engineering
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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Emulsification
bitumen
emulsion
Drainage
Emulsions
Gravitation
Steam
viscosity
Viscosity
drainage
gravity
Computer simulation
simulation
Water
oil
Recovery
Oil sands
water
emulsification
in situ

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology

Cite this

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title = "Measurement of viscosity alteration for emulsion and numerical simulation on bitumen production by SAGD considering in-situ emulsification",
abstract = "A thermal steam stimulation process, such as steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), induces water-in-oil emulsion of heavy oil or bitumen throughout the production. The present study investigated the effects of in-situ emulsification in the oil sands reservoir for SAGD process. The viscosities of water-in-oil emulsions produced were measured with respect to water-oil ratio (W/O), shear rates, pressures and temperatures. The results therefore were employed to develop the numerical model of viscosity alteration. Numerical simulations of the SAGD bitumen production considering viscosity alteration were also carried out to investigate distribution characteristics of emulsion, water, and bitumen at steam chamber boundary and effects of in-situ emulsification on bitumen production behavior. With a model named SAGD-Emulsion Model, it was found that the net recovery factor of bitumen for this model is 5 to 10{\%} higher than that of conventional SAGD simulation. Ultimately, it was found that the recovery factor of bitumen increased with W/O of emulsion generated in the reservoir since higher water content would invariably allow bitumen to flow at higher relative permeability, while the increase in viscosity merely delayed bitumen production.",
author = "Junpei Kumasaka and Kyuro Sasaki and Yuichi Sugai and Alade, {O. S.} and Masanori Nakano",
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AU - Sasaki, Kyuro

AU - Sugai, Yuichi

AU - Alade, O. S.

AU - Nakano, Masanori

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