This research is a study of the in-situ upgrading of Jobo crude oil using steam, tetralin or decalin, and catalyst (Fe(acac)3) at temperatures of 250 °C, 275 °C and 300 °C for 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours using an autoclave. Viscosity and API gravity changes were investigated. We found that tetralin and decalin alone were good solvents for heavy oil recovery. Tetralin or decalin at concentrations of 9% (weight basis) could reduce the Jobo crude oil viscosity measured at 50 °C by 44% and 39%. Steam alone had some upgrading effects. It could reduce the oil viscosity by 10% after 48 hours of contact at 300°C. Tetralin, decalin or catalyst showed some upgrading effects when used together with steam and caused 5.4%, 4% and 19% viscosity reduction compared with corresponding pre-upgrading mixture after 48 hours of reaction at 300°C. The combination of hydrogen donor tetralin or decalin and catalyst reduced the viscosity of the mixture the most, by 56% and 72% compared with pre-upgrading mixture. It meant that hydrogen donors and catalyst had strong synergetic effects on heavy oil upgrading. We also found that 300 °C was an effective temperature for heavy oil upgrading with obvious viscosity reduction in the presence of steam, hydrogen donors and catalyst. Reaction can be considered to have reached almost equilibrium condition after 48 hours. The study has demonstrated that in-situ heavy oil upgrading has great potential applications in heavy and extra heavy oil recovery.

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