With the prospect of sustained low oil prices, several planned SAGD projects have been postponed because their supply cost exceeds oil price forecasts. A consortium of Harris Corporation, Nexen Energy ULC, Suncor Energy, Inc., Devon Canada Corporation, and Alberta's Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) are developing Effective Solvent Extraction Incorporating Electromagnetic Heating (ESEIEH™). The ESEIEH process integrates electromagnetic heating with solvents to reduce energy consumption and to eliminate the need for added water (steam) when compared to SAGD. Further to the operational benefits are the reduction of surface facilities and the option to economically export undiluted bitumen without the added cost of diluent recovery units. This paper summarizes an initial case study aimed at forecasting the supply cost of a notional 10,000 barrel per day (bpd) ESEIEH demonstration project in Alberta's oil sands.
Utilizing Harris' Coupled Electromagnetic Reservoir Simulator (CEMRS), the ESEIEH process is first simulated as a single well pair. Applying a field scheduling tool, the resulting reservoir run is then duplicated in time until sufficient wells are in place to establish a sustained field level oil production rate of 10,000 bpd. Various scenarios will be assessed and their corresponding capital requirements estimated; these scenarios include a green field with dilbit export, a green field with undiluted rail export, and an ESEIEH pad added adjacent to an existing SAGD cogeneration facility with available low water cut produced fluids handling capacity. For each of these scenarios a cash flow analysis is performed, supply cost estimated, and basic sensitives performed.
The technology, which began development in 2010 and recently commenced the second technical demonstration phase in July 2015 is expected to be economically viable in a sustained sub-$60 WTI (USD) oil price environment.