A number of publications (Valbuena, 2009; Haroun, 2008; Schoofs, 2010; Meshal, 2009) have shown the application and also the relevance of heat management in steamflooding projects. This concept is based on the understanding of the process phases and the identification of energy requirements at each phase, which leads to avoid the loss of energy. Based on field experience at Duri (Ziegler, 1993) and Kern River (Gael, 1994) is easy to recognize that the best strategy varies according to the particular characteristics of the reservoir.
In Colombia there are some reservoirs with presence of interbedded shale and a long history of steam cycles stimulation, thereby research using numerical simulation to determine the best scenarios for steam flooding implementation was conducted. A deep analysis taking into consideration, injection rate, well spacing, selective injection strings technology, partial interval completion as a strategy of delaying the steam breakthrough in the production well and finally, strategies of heat management such as periodic reduction of the injection rate and scheduled shutdown of injection well were evaluated.
The final results showed eight possible implementation scenarios that later will be compared from an economic perspective to identify the ideal scenario for field implementation. Simulation results showed that high injection rate (700 BWE/day-well) in patterns of 2.5 acres produced the highest incremental production, yielding an accumulation of about two million of oil barrels over a period of 10 years. Unfortunately, this production is associated with a high cumulative steam oil ratio (cSOR) near to 13. The best strategy to reduce cSOR was the periodic reduction of injection rate reaching a cSOR ratio of 11. The time of evaluation of the project was identified as one of the most influential parameters for the establishment of the heat management strategy.