Progressing development of viscous and highly viscous oil (VHO) deposits is becoming an issue of the day with the recovery of light oils.
Key feature of geological and physical properties of viscous and highly viscous oil is high flow reservoir resistance, which makes it difficult to employ traditional oil recovery method - hydrodynamical oil replacement.
Traditional development methods for VHO reservoirs are thermal methods, primary, steam injection.
The use of the above methods makes it possible to solve the most complicated development problem of these deposits, i.e. most of low-permeable reservoirs development using heating, thermal expansion of reservoir fluids and capillary inhibition.
At present the main source of thermal energy in the reservoir is known to be surface steam generation units. Transfer of thermal energy from the surface is associated with partial heat losses in land communications, mainly, in the well. This fact is one of the principal reasons which empede the use of steam injection into formations occurring in the depths of over 700m. Meanwhile, the analysis of VHO reserves located in the RF territory shows that major VHO reserves (86.1%) occur in the depths ranging 1000–1500 m (Fig.1)