The world still contains tremendous heavy oil resources. Ever-increasing energy demand requires more attention to be paid to harvesting all hydrocarbon resources, including heavy oil. The use of thermal processes has proven by far the most effective approach in producing heavy oil.

This paper proposes a practical steam stimulation strategy for heavy oil development using horizontal wells. In the proposed process, steam is cyclically injected through a horizontal well pattern to heat near wellbore reservoirs, and after a period of cyclic steam stimulation, one of the pattern wells is converted to a steamflooding well and the other pattern well is converted to a production well.

Through 3D reservoir simulation, this paper compares production performance of the proposed strategy with conventional cyclic steam stimulation (CSS), steamflooding (SF), and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD).

A sensitivity analysis is also conducted to study the effect of oil viscosity and reservoir permeability on horizontal well production performance under different production strategies.

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