Recommended practices are given for the steamflood heat management process: data collection, data analysis and adjustments to steam injection. A generic monitoring data table is presented which can be tailored to an individual project. The various options for modeling steamfloods are contrasted. A set of metrics is proposed which allows monitoring progress toward optimal operation. Project teams are endorsed as a way of ensuring that the diverse disciplines required for effective heat management are properly focused. A case example is presented that illustrates the proposed methodology.
Steamflooding accounts for about 60% of the domestic enhanced recovery production. For these steamfloods, fuel cost is the dominant cost. We define heat management as making operational changes based upon interpretations of reservoir monitoring data to improve steamflood project profitability. We restrict this discussion to heat injection rate changes in an ongoing steamflood project.
Over the life of a typical project, fuel costs may be on the order of five to ten times the initial investment. Despite this overwhelming ratio, managing a steamflood after installation is sometimes given lower priority than the work of designing new projects.
The desired state for heat management is the existence of a process which employees understand, apply consistently and use routinely to maximize profits. The practices set forth in this paper can be applied to achieve that state.
Heat management practices received increased attention when simple analytical steamflood models made it possible for field engineers to optimize injection rates throughout a project's life." Furthermore, heat management of multi-sand steamfloods was greatly enhanced when it became a common practice to include dedicated observation wells in project designs. There are several examples in the literature that illustrate how data from observation wells have been used in conjunction with analytical steamflood models to improve project profitability.