Among of the new inventions on thermal recovery, Fast-SAGD was introduced as the next generation of SAGD with greater amounts of bitumen and lower injected steam. However, there are still many suspicions about the successful of this technology such as the incremental bitumen recovery of Fast-SAGD is from the SAGD production well or combined with the offset well? It is very difficult to conclude that Fast-SAGD is better than conventional SAGD when numerical simulation of two processes was conducted in different well pattern as well the amount of operated well.
This paper presented a comparative evaluation between conventional SAGD and Fast-SAGD in three typical formations (McMurray, Clearwater, and Bluesky) of Alberta's Oil Sand. Three reservoir models with over one hundred numerical simulations under various operation conditions were developed to achieve the most unprejudiced comparison between two recovery processes. The simulation results proved that significantly recoverable bitumen was originally produced from offset well in Fast-SAGD system and leads to higher recovery factor. But, there is only slight increase in cumulative oil recovery when two processes were performed in same pattern with similar number of production wells. The result also indicated that the difference of 10kPa between steam injection pressure and reservoir pressure in literature is not enough for both SAGD and Fast-SAGD operations. And then, this study presented a numerical investigation for evaluating the potential applicability of Fast-SAGD recovery process under complex reservoir conditions such as shale barriers, thief zones with bottom and/or top water layers, overlying gas cap and fracture systems in Clearwater formation.