The alternate steam injection consist in force the reservoir to a cyclic sequence of heating and cooling process injecting hot water steam (500°-600° F) in order to improve the mobility for the extra-heavy crude in the reservoir, this is a very common practice for secondary recovery on the Tía Juana and Lagunillas fields, located in the eastern side of the Maracaibo Lake.

A destructive collapse failure on the production tubing was observed over the last wells exposed to this injection process. The investigation of the failure includes field visits, laboratory tests, and the computer simulations.

The study was prepared using a computer program able to create the different temperature profiles for the different scenarios and link them with the simulations for load cases, the results demonstrate the deterioration effect of temperature on the mechanical properties of the tubing, with particular interest on the expansion of the fluid trapped between the casing and the injection tubing, leading the collapse failure (AFE Analysis).

The analysis of the production tubing movement and buckling due to the thermal effect, ballooning and Hook's law is also included.

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