Cyclic steam injection has been performed since the early 60's in Lake Maracaibo reservoirs. The design parameters for a cycle have been generated from performance data gathered from stimulations of over 500 cycles. However, these design parameters include some statistical dispersion that might prevent attaining an optimum cycle design. While obtaining operating experience, Lagoven has also been using and developing numerical models to improve and optimize the cyclic-steam operating strategy.

A simulation and sensitivity study of the design parameters for the cyclic steam injection in the Bachaquero-01 reservoir was performed to determine more accurate values than those obtained from field operations only.

These parameters are injection rate, heat or steam input, steam quality and soak time. Additionally, analyses were made of reservoir behavior during steam drives, gas injection with steam, heat transfer between layers and an investigation of the use of horizontal wells for oil recovery by steamflooding and cyclic steam, using a fully implicit thermal simulator.

The results of 3-D simulations mainly showed that horizontal well patterns improved productivity. Besides improving the reservoir volumetric sweep efficiency, use of horizontal wells has the advantage of requiring fewer wells per area swept, projects being completed in a significantly shorter time.

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