Worldwide heavy oil production has undergone phenomenal growth since the first known application of steam in the late 1950s. This growth, especially during the past decade, resulted primarily from technological advances made in the areas of steamflooding that include the process itself, steam generation and distribution, injection and production facilities, and performance prediction. These advances helped increase oil recovery, extend the process application to wider ranges of reservoirs and fluids, and improve the process efficiency (e.g., reduce operating costs). This paper describes some of the more important technological advances made during the past decade.

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