During the past 30+ years of steamflood application, significant advances have been made in understanding the complex displacement mechanism of heavy oil by steam. The mathematical simplification of the many complexities of the process into analytical expressions has contributed greatly to the speed with which the typical Engineer gains knowledge concerning the probable performance of a project.

While some steamflood analytical models can provide performance predictions of acceptable accuracy, they usually do so by assuming that the displacement process is either completely horizontal, so called piston-like, or completely vertical, so called gravity override dominated. Since the performance estimates that result are very different for the two types of displacements, this assumption has proved quite limiting. Not only can it lead to the misapplication of the models, it virtually eliminates the connection between process dynamics and performance estimation.

A personal computer based tool has been developed such that reliable performance estimates are obtained regardless of the direction of oil displacement by steam, and provides a strong tie between process dynamics and performance prediction. While the tool provides significant enhancements, the time efficiency of a very simple tool is preserved. This paper describes the analytical methodology utilized, its software and hardware platforms, and illustrates its application.

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