The formation, production and handling of highly viscous bitumen-water emulsions is a significant problem in the operation of many heavy oil thermal stimulation projects. This paper documents an extensive study examining the in-situ emulsification of bitumen and water under conditions of simultaneous flow In an unconsolidated preserved state porous media at full reservoir pressure conditions and at a temperature of 200° C. Various co-injection ratios from 100% bitumen - 0% water to 100% water and 0% bitumen were examined in both water saturation increasing and decreasing directions (drainage and imbibition). The test results indicate that in-situ emulsification does occur, that certain simultaneous flow ratios cause a localized increase in the severity of emulsification, and that the degree of emulsification appears to be related to the relative flowing proportion of fluids inside the porous media. Some evidence of directional hysteresis effects on emulsion quality were also observed.

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