Use of Solvents With Steam - State-of-the-Art and Limitations

Bayestehparvin, Bita (University of Calgary) | Ali, S. M. Farouq (University of Calgary) | Abedi, Jalal (University of Calgary)


Steam injection is a widely used oil recovery method that has been commercially successful in many types of heavy oil reservoirs, including oil sands of Alberta. Steam is very effective in delivering heat that is the key to heavy oil mobilization. In the distant past, and also recently, solvents are being used as additives to steam for additional viscosity reduction. This was done previously in California heavy oil reservoirs also. The current applications are in SAGD (Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage) and CSS (Cyclic Steam Stimulation) field projects. The past and present projects using solvents are reviewed, and evaluated viz ES-SAGD (Enhanced solvent SAGD) and LASER (Liquid Addition to Steam for Enhancing Recovery). The theories behind the use of solvents with steam are outlined.