In SAGD, steam is injected into a bitumen bearing oil sands formation. Steam temperature ranges from about 200 to 260°C and at these temperatures, bitumen undergoes aquathermolysis yielding acid gases such as hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide. SAGD simulation models in the literature often account for spatial heterogeneity of the geology and oil composition and heat transfer, multiphase flow, gas solubility effects, and viscosity variations with temperature, however, none account for the chemistry of SAGD. Here, we consider aquathermolysis reactions to understand the reactive zones in the SAGD process and how the process generates acid gases via aquathermolysis. The results show that SAGD is both a physical and chemical-reactive process.

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