The phenomenon of higher than expected production rates and recovery factors in heavy oil reservoirs captured the term "foamy oil," by researchers. This is mainly due to the bubble filled chocolate mousse appearance found at wellheads where this phenomenon occurs. Foamy oil flow is barely understood up to this day. Understanding why this unusual occurrence exists can aid in the transfer of principles to low recovery heavy oil reservoirs globally.

This study focused mainly on how varying the viscosity and temperature via pressure depletion lab tests affected the performance of foamy oil production. Six different lab-scaled experiments were conducted, four with varying temperatures and two with varying viscosities. All experiments were conducted using lab-scaled sand pack pressure depletion tests with the same initial gas oil ratio (GOR).

The first series of experiments with varying temperatures showed that the oil recovery was inversely proportional to elevated temperatures, however there was a directly proportional relationship between gas recovery and elevation in temperature.

A unique observation was also made, during late-stage production, foamy oil recovery reappeared with temperatures in the 45-55°C range.

With respect to the viscosities, a non-linear relationship existed, however there was an optimal region in which the live-oil viscosity and foamy oil production seem to be harmonious.

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