Optimization of Recovery using Electrical Heating in Heavy Oil Reservoirs

Temizel, Cenk (Aera Energy) | Irani, Mazda (Ashaw Energy) | Canbaz, Celal Hakan (Schlumberger) | Palabiyik, Yildiray (Istanbul Technical University) | Moreno, Raul (CSmart Recovery) | Diaz, Jose M. (VCG O&G Consultants) | Tao, Tao (Texas Southern University) | Alkouh, Ahmad (College of Technological Studies)


Along with the advances in technology, greener technologies that help to minimize carbon footprints are becoming more common in oilfield applications as well as other areas. Electrical heating is one of the relatively more environmentally-friendly heavy oil recovery technologies that is not new but has gained more popularity with the advances in electrical heating equipment and the technologies within the last decade offering longer and reliable operations that led to its use as a standalone recovery method rather than only a preheating method. In this study, a comprehensive investigation of the production optimization is outlined that includes not only the reservoir aspects but also the production and facility aspects of electrical heating in heavy oil reservoirs. A full-physics commercial simulator has been coupled with an optimization/uncertainty tool to understand the significance of uncertainty and control variables that influence the production function in addition to the analysis of normalized type curves in different real field cases. The challenges encountered during implementation of electrical heating processes in terms of production, reservoir and facilities engineering are outlined in order to provide a comprehensive and practical implementation perspective rather than only theoretical and/or simulation work. It is observed that electrical heating can be promising when applied in the right place and can bring lots of benefits not only in terms of low water-cut recovery, but also low carbon footprint and low costs associated with environmental fees. The significant parameters are listed for a robust and successful implementation of an electrical heating project. There are studies on electrical heating, but they are either outdated reflecting the old technology, or only focusing on simulation/theoretical work or only case focusing only reservoir or production aspects. This study fills the gap and provides a comprehensive look in detail in the theory, real-field practical problems and solutions from source of electricity to production of the heavy oil illustrating the costs associated that can serve as a solid reference for future implementations. 2 SPE-193707-MS