Continuous development and rapid deployment of new thermal technologies are critically important in the quest to make heavy oil projects cost competitive. Worldwide heavy oil deposits are abundant, but conventional development schemes may not be financially competitive. Currently, oil companies have a multitude of new investment opportunities, which further stresses required funds available for the continued development of new and existing heavy oil assets. How can heavy oil assets compete financially? New, cost effective technologies must be developed and deployed to improve the margins of heavy oil assets. An effective partnership must be maintained between the technology developers and the technology users to ensure a smooth transition from concept to field test to commercial application. The alignment of technology development to the real business needs is essential. This paper reviews a portfolio of new heavy oil technologies that Texaco is pursuing alone and in partnership with other companies. The processes used to assure business alignment, technology transfer, and deployment are also discussed. The heavy oil and thermal technology development portfolio includes novel steam generation, improved steam delivery (measurement and distribution), and aggressive heat management projects. These new surface and sub-surface heavy oil technologies will be discussed relative to the potential impact that they could have on several existing and new heavy oil fields.

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