Numerical Simulation Study of a Well In JACOS Hangingstone Steam Pilot Near Fort McMurray

Ito, Y. (Ito Consulting Ltd.) | Doan, Q. (Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd.)


This paper presents a numerical simulation study of a well in a pilot project which has thirteen steam stimulation wells in an oil sand reservoir near Fort McMurray. Steam injection commenced May 1, 1990 as a joint project by Petro-Canada, 1mperial Oil, Canadian Occidental and Japan Canada Oil Sands (JACOS).

A special emphasis has been made on the energy distribution around the subject well. Many thermocouples have been installed in the wellbore outside of the casing and three temperature observation wells have been drilled at 12 m distances from the well.

A numerical history match was conducted when the well completed its seventh cycle of production. The bottom-hole temperature, bottom-hole pressure, fluid production of each phase and temperature profile at the observation wells were used as history match parameters.

The simulation results indicate that a failure zone was mainly created in the top of the upper McMurray formation which overlies the target oil zone during the first two cycles.

The location of this failure zone gradually shifted downwards as the cycles progressed The failure zone developed mainly in the lower part of the Upper McMurray formation during the third and fourth cycles, and in the top of the Lower McMurray formation, the target oil zone, during the fifth and sixth cycles. This downward change in the location of the failure zone caused a gradual improvement in oil production by cycle.

To achieve a history match of all field observations, a good representation of the failure zone is an essential requirement. The Sand Deformation module interfaced with CMG's STARS model was used in this study. It was discovered that all of the field observations could not be matched simultaneously without this special version of the model.