The use of catalysts in crude heavy oils can improve substantially their viscosity, API and reduce the content of porphyrins, sulfur, and asphaltenes . In this work a simulation study of the heavy crude oil production in networks (localized in the Golf of Mexico) was done to evaluate the effects of a smaller viscosity and a bigger API on the Productivity Index (J).
This work can be applied to study the increment of the J as well as the savings of operation costs in surface to transport and treatment of heavy oil before send it to refineries.
Simulation was done in two networks: first one, Network I performed by 8 wells offshore producing 13 °API crude oil, and the second one, Network II, producing 8 °API crude oil. In both cases, J is referenced here considering one effect of the catalyst benefits: mainly reduction of viscosity. In the case of the network producing 13 °API crude oil (with 145.26 cP @ 25°C, dead oil) the actual global J is in total 1201.5 Barrels per Day per psi (BPD/psi), and accordance to the simulation (with a modified viscosity to 1.08 cP @ 25°C) the new global J should be 5411.26 BPD/psi, which it should represent an increase of 350.38 %. In the second net similar result was obtained, the actual global J is about 549.52 BPD/psi (with a viscosity of 515 cP @ 25°C, dead oil) while the simulation result gives a global J about 2062.57 BPD (with a viscosity of 133.9 cP @ 25°C), which would represent an increase about 275.34 %.
The significance of this simulation results is very important since the economical point of view because of the better quality of the improved oil and saving costs avoiding surface treatment previous their transport to refineries.