The In Situ Combustion Pilot Project (ISCPP) to be carried out in the Orinoco Oil Belt (Venezuela), is a technological project leaded by PDVSA Intevep together with several organizations of PDVSA E&P San Tomé. ISCPP is oriented towards the assessment of such thermal process in the increase of recovery factors in heavy (H) and extra heavy (XH) crude oil reservoirs.

Although the Orinoco Oil Belt was discovered in the 1930s, it was in the 1980s that the first rigorous evaluations were made. Recently, the area was certificated to contain 235 billions of recoverable (20% of recovery factor) barrels of heavy and extra heavy oil.

The ISCPP will allow the study and development of new technologies that increase the current recovery factor in the world’s largest H/XH oil reservoir.

This work covers all of disciplines considered in the project, mainly:

  1. The analysis of lab combustion tests using two kinds of cells both prepared with sand and saturated with water and XH crude oil at reservoir conditions.

  2. The static and dynamic reservoir simulations using Petrel and Star respectively.

  3. The design, construction and completion of producers, observers and air injection wells.

  4. The study, analysis and development of surface facilities and the gas treatment system and monitoring, which must have to take care of relevant quantities of contaminant gases such as SO2, H2S and CO.

Based on this study, the technical and economical feasibility analyses were completed. The cold production is expected to begin during first semester of 2011, while the thermal phase involving air injection, which is the aim of the project, will be implemented throughout the second semester 2011.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.