Novel Concepts of Vapor Oil Gravity Drainage in Fractured Viscous Oil Formation

Quoc P. Nguyen

Vapor oil gravity drainage (VOGD) is an important mechanism of viscous oil recovery in naturally fractured reservoirs where the displacement of matrix oil is challenging.

The efficiency of VOGD process in heavy oil reservoirs can be improved by injecting steam to lower oil viscosity and promote thermal expansion of the hydrocarbon phase. The objective of this project is to evaluate experimentally and theoretically the use of unconventional low-cost solvents to improve the performance of the VOGD process at lowest solvent retention with steam injection in fractured viscous oil formations. Novel injection strategies will decrease emissions, allow operations at much lower temperatures than that in the conventional steam processes, and improve both reservoir and wellbore flow performance.