Energy (Heat) Distribution and Transformation in the SAGP Process

Wang, Jing Yi Jacky (University of Calgary) | Ezeuko, Cosmas Chigozie (U Of Calgary) | Gates, Ian Donald (U. of Calgary)

OnePetro 


The Steam and Gas Push (SAGP) process was developed to improve the thermal efficiency of SAGD process. In SAGP, non-condensable gas is co-injected with steam into the reservoir. Ideally, the non-condensable gas accumulates at the top of the reservoir and provides insulation which reduces heat losses to the overburden. This means that lower SOR can be achieved at the same recovery factor. It remains unclear how energy is distributed and transformed within the chamber and its edges when non-condensable gas is added to the injected steam. In this work, we compare conduction and convection at edge of the steam chamber during SAGD and SAGP. The results show that both oil production rate and cumulative oil are reduced in SAGP compared to SAGD when 0.8 mole% NCG is co-injected with steam. This is because the injected NCG accumulates at the upper part of the leading edge of the steam chamber and slows down the growth of the steam chamber in that area, which results in lower cSOR but with a reduction of recovery factor. If 0.8 mole% NCG is co-injected at later periods of the operation, lower cSOR results without a significant reduction of oil production rates and cumulative oil production. In this case, the injected NCG migrates directly to the upper part of the reservoir and accumulates at the side edge of the steam chamber, since the steam chamber had already grown to the top of the reservoir. The added gas slows down lateral growth of the steam chamber in the upper part of the reservoir and forces steam chamber growth in the downward direction. From an analysis of energy transport in SAGP and SAGD operations, the results reveal the optimal timing for the onset of NCG co-injection with steam.