In SAGD operations, the steam chamber temperature can be as high as 250°C. Foam formulations that can withstand such high temperature are required for field deployment of foam as conformance control technique.

An evaluation of 12 surfactant formulations for their viability as steam foam candidate at chamber temperatures as high as 250°C is presented. Unlike other studies in the literature that used nitrogen for foam generation, methane was employed in this project.

This project reveals that strong foam can be formed at 250°C. Also, foam is only generated within a specific range of methane mass quality. Stronger foam was formed when steam and methane were injected simultaneously into the core. Lastly, the existence of residual oil in the core reduced the foam strength.

We analyzed the effect of a few parameters on foam strength. Parameters considered include concentration of surfactant, presence of steam as well as methane, mass quality of methane, and residual oil saturation.

Laboratory analyses comprising thermal stability, solubility, foam height, adsorption, and coreflood, were conducted.

The learnings from this project has the ability to accelerate the application of foam systems in high-temperature SAGD operations to increase conformance, maximize steam usage, and ultimately lead to overall reduction in GHG emissions from SAGD projects.

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