A new economic indicator, called simple thermal efficiency parameter (STEP), was developed to evaluate the performance of a SAGD project. STEP is based on CSOR, CDOR and RF for the time corresponding to SOR = 4. STEP was found to be a useful quantitative economic criterion, with a value of 1 for an economic case (CSOR of 3, CDOR of 0.111 m3/d/m of horizontal well length and RF of 0.5).

To validate this new economic indicator, STEP was calculated based on data from two published studies in which SAGD related simulations were performed. The first study, which provides no economic parameters, shows that most of the optimal cases always have the highest STEP values. The second study, which provides economic parameters (ROR and NPV), shows a good linear relationship between ROR and STEP. STEP is greater than 2 in the case of the economic SAGD scenarios.

This study has validated the usefulness of STEP as an economic indicator. STEP can be used as a financial metric quantitatively as well as qualitatively for this type of thermal project.

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