467836 Modeling of Hybrid Thermal Recovery Methods Using Electromagnetic Heating

Tuesday, November 15, 2016: 9:20 AM
Union Square 22 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Asghar Sadeghi, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada, Hassan Hassanzadeh, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada and Thomas G. Harding, Nexen Energy ULC, Calgary, AB, Canada

Conventional thermal methods such as the cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) have been implemented in the last decade. The main obstacle with these methods is the efficiency of heat delivery to reservoir due to heterogeneous nature of oil-bearing formations. High steam oil ratio, or energy costs per produced barrel of oil, has been always an issue with thermal recovery methods. The second challenge has been environmental footprint of thermal oil recovery methods (greenhouse gas emissions and water usage/treatment). In situ heating of bitumen and heavy oil reservoirs, such as electromagnetic heating (EMH), does not require carrier fluids and is less sensitive to reservoir geology. Therefore, it provides an efficient way of exploitation from difficult reservoirs with less environmental impact and comparable or even less energy intensive operations. Furthermore, the accuracy and control on heating provided by the electromagnetic heating may offer a potential to improve the efficiency of the thermal process and attenuate its environmental drawbacks. However, commercialization and implementation of EMH technique requires comprehensive research and development, pilot tests, and engineering and life cycle analysis before the application to a real field. Unlike conventional heating approaches, which are dominated by convection and conduction, the electromagnetic heating involves variations of the electric and magnetic fields in space and time. Because of computational complexity and computational time limitations Lambert's law has been proposed for high frequency waves. In this study, for the first time the applicability of Lambert's law for bitumen extraction is investigated. The range of electrical properties of bitumen bearing formation at which the Lambert's law meets the fundamental equations of Maxwell have been identified. In addition, analytical models of co- and counter-current high frequency heating for linear systems for a SAGD well configuration has been developed and energy efficiency of high frequency electromagnetic heating is compared with the traditional approach of steam circulation.

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