Use of horizontal wells can improve the performance of thermal recovery by steam drive. In most common cases, flow in horizontal wells is turbulent due to high flow rates and thermal effects. The well behavior is then modified during hot water or steam injection and hot oil production. Therefore, accurate wellbore pressure and temperature drop computations are fundamental in the simulation of thermal recovery processes with horizontal wells.

To compute pressure and temperature profiles in horizontal wells, we use multiphase flow models for steam injection and oil production to account, for energy and momentum exchanges with the reservoir.

For steam injection, a two-phase flow model based on Beggs & Brill approach was implemented for pressure drop computations in horizontal wells. This steady state model uses empirical correlations and simplified physics to describe steam, gas and water flow in the well. It is valid over a wide range of temperature, pressure and steam quality conditions. For oil production, a blackoil model based on multiphase flow in pipes was used to compute the pressure profile in horizontal wells. This steady state model is valid for single and multiphase flow over a wide range of experimental conditions. Temperature profile computations in injection and production wells use the same thermal model based on steady stale energy balance for the wells which includes fluid friction energy losses and heat exchange with the reservoir. Pressure and temperature models were integrated to a. 3-D three-phase fully implicit, blackoil and compositional thermal reservoir simulator.

Temperature and pressure drops modify horizontal well performances when applied to a full-field scale steam flooding process. Oil production flowrates and pressure, steam injection flowrates and breakthrough time at production well are altered. A numerical sensitivity analysis presents the influence of the key parameters for horizontal wells.

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