Large quantity of heavy oil resources are present in variety of complex thin reservoirs in Lloydminster area which are situated in east-central Alberta and west-central Saskatchewan. Primary depletion and waterflooding are the principal recovery techniques. Although these techniques work, the recovery factors remain low and large volumes of oil are left unrecovered when these methods have been exhausted. Because of the large quantities of sand production, many of these reservoirs end up with a network of wormholes that makes most of the displacement type enhanced oil recovery techniques inapplicable. Because of these high conductivity channels, only gravity drainage based techniques have a good chance of success.

Among the applicable methods in Lloydminster area, SAGD has not received adequate attention, mostly due to the notion that heat loss in thin reservoirs would make the process uneconomical. While this may be true, the limiting reservoir thickness for SAGD under varying conditions has not been established. These reservoirs contain light oil with sufficient mobility. Therefore the communication between the SAGD well pairs is no longer a hurdle. This opens up the possibility of increasing the distance between the two wells and introducing elements of steamflooding into the process in order to compensate for the small thickness of the reservoir.

The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of well configuration on SAGD performance and develop a methodology for enhancement of the SAGD performance through optimizing the well configurations for Lloydminster type of reservoir.

A new well configuration was able to significantly improve the application of SAGD in thin reservoirs of Lloydminster. It provided high RF at reasonable cSOR. The effects of some common Lloydminster reservoir characteristics, which are problematic for the SAGD process (such as initial gas saturation, bottom water, and gas-cap) were investigated for the most promising well configuration.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.