The light oil steamflood pilot in the SOZ Fault Block at the Elk Hills Field, Kern County, California, has been managed by a team of geologists and engineers. To assist the reservoir management efforts, a history-matched, large-scale reservoir model was developed. A simulation study with this model quantitatively assessed the performance decrease from well productivity damage and the lack of reservoir confinement. It further showed that waterflood would have been the process of choice for recovering oil from this type of reservoir. The study indicated that future recovery strategy should aim at the oil banks that have moved out of the pilot area during steam injection, and should include a means to pressurize the reservoir. This can best be accomplished by converting the pattern steamflood to a line-drive waterflood and drilling additional wells to capture the displaced oil. A recommendation based on these findings is currently being implemented in the field.

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