Effective communication between the injector and producer with a reasonable conformance during SAGD start-up phase is crucial for the success of SAGD conversion and the following ramp-up phase. The start-up operation normally relies on heat conduction mechanism to establish heat and fluid communication between the wells. For super heavy oil reservoirs in Fengcheng project in China, since the pay zone has low thermal conductivity and extremely high oil viscosity, establishing the temperature profile required for SAGD conversion using conduction as the only heating mechanism is not efficient and can take 150 to 180 days to achieve. In order to shorten the circulation time and accelerate the ramp-up phase after SAGD conversion, an approach using solvent injection with steam simultaneously to enhance injectivity was successfully designed and implemented.

This paper reviews the design criteria, tests the thermal properties of cored samples, selects the typical wellpair based on geological modeling results, carries out the reservoir engineering design of solvent injection using CMG-STARS, and discusses the implementation performance of warm solvent injection in the start-up phase of a pilot wellpair in Fengcheng project. It also compares production responses of solvent-treated wellpair with other wellpairs with comparable reservoir properties in the same pad by conventional start-up to evaluate the performance of the designed pilot.

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