This paper summarizes the results obtained from laboratory and field tests conducted for the Countess "B" Fireflood Project, and attempts to explain the recovery mechanisms of the fireflooding application in a waterflooded Glauconitic Sandstone reservoir of the Upper Mannville Group containing a 28°C API crude in southeastern Alberta.

Results of coreflood tests, combustion tube tests and field observations, suggest that combustion gas drive supported by efficient displacement from the burned volume is the most important mechanism in fireflooding the Countess "B" Pool and the propagation of combustion gas and water ahead of the firefront is of considerable importance for oil recovery. Laboratory observations from coreflood tests confirm that combustion gas was equally important in recovery both before as well as after breakthrough and oil production response due to fireflooding occurs almost immediately after initiating air injection. The history of the combustion gas composition and properties of the produced oil, which are not significantly different from those of the native oil, indicate the existence of a stable high temperature region and low temperature oxidation reactions. Analyses of recombined oil and gas samples simulating in-situ fireflooding conditions, indicate favorable mobility under fireflooding.

The Pilot Project is operated by PanCanadian Petroleum Limited, jointly owned with LL&E Canada Limited and supported by the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority. The Pilot Project was initiated in 1983 and still continues. It is currently being expanded to a prototype commercial project.

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