In the recent years several SAGD projects have been initiated for the recovery of heavy oil and bitumen. Every operator is coming across new learning almost every day, although most of this information is proprietary. This paper presents a general discussion, supported by simulation and analytical results, on the different aspects of improving the performance of SAGD operations. The first component is the well bore design, which has to match with the gravity drainage rate. Operating pressure plays a significant role in the rate of recovery. Lower operating pressure reduces the SOR, lower H2S production, may reduce the silica dissolution, thereby, reduce the water treatment issues. However, low pressure operation increases the challenges of lifting the fluid to the surface. Steam additives may be the other option to increase the energy efficiency of the process.

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