Recovery of Heavy Oil from Unconventional Source (Oil Sands) with Design Steam Injection System

Abstract The use of steam ranging from 100oC to 280oC in extracting and producing oil from unconventional reservoir (oil sand) was investigated. Core samples were obtained from Edo state in Nigeria. An oil sand laboratory reservoir model was used to investigate technical feasibility of the injection of steam as an enhanced oil recovery agent for tight hydrocarbon reservoirs and the effect of temperature on the petrophysical properties such as porosity and permeability of oil sand reservoir. Steam was injected into the oil sand reservoir to recover bitumen at different temperatures ranging from 100oC to 280oC. Results showed that as the temperature of the steam increased, more hydrocarbon (bitumen) was recovered due to the reduction of its viscosity and oil-water interfacial tension. The core experiment indicates that the porosity and permeability of a tight formation such as that of oil sand at ambient temperature is 0.038 and 0.007MD respectively. An increase in reservoir temperature by the injection of steam altered the petrophysical properties (porosity and permeability) of the reservoir. Samples collected and analyzed after recovery showed a decrease in porosity and an increase in the permeability of the formation. Results indicate that the viscosity of bitumen decreased with an increasing temperature. Maximum recovery of bitumen was obtained at 280oC. The injection of steam at temperature of 300oC and above, would produce more bitumen at industrial scale and could be refined and upgraded to liquid fuels to supplement the drastic reduction of the conventional oil. The results obtained from this work showed good agreement with data from existing data.

Keywords— Bitumen, Heavy oil, Oil sands, Permeability, Porosity, Steam, tight formation, Unconventional, viscosity.

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Engineering Journal: Recovery of Heavy Oil from Unconventional Source (Oil Sands) with Design Steam Injection System

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