Abstract

Cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) has recently re-gaining attention as an alternative to the current applications, such as SAGD or CHOPS. However, low recovery factor and excessive water production are critical problems to tackle. These late-stage experiences require a revisit to the options of recovery improvement and reduction of water production at the mid- and late-stages of the cycles. This research proposes a new approach for this purpose and investigates the effects of nano-metal particles introduced into the reservoir on the recovery factor after several cycles of steam injection. We begin with CSS experiments on heavy-oil saturated sandpacks studying and clarifying the influence of the nanoparticle presence on the efficiency of the process. It is confirmed that the use of nanoparticle in the first place increases the oil recovery factor along with a higher water production. Then, one run of experiment is performed by introducing the nanoparticle in the sixth cycle of CSS treatment. It is found that a substantial increase in the recovery factor is achieved in such a simulated CSS experiment, which cannot be achieved by injecting steam alone. This experimental study on the addition of nickel particles to improve the recovery factor and extend the life of CSS process will not only add value to nano-technology use in the oil industry from a physics point of view, but will also provide insight into the operating parameters for better late- stage CSS project development.

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