Self-Sustained CAGD Combustion Front Development; Experimental and Numerical Observations
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Using horizontal wells for In-Situ combustion operation brings new advantages. Horizontal wells provide larger contact area between the formation and combustion front. Mobilized oil does not necessarily should pass through cold oil bank to be produced and this improve the overall performance of the process. Combustion Assisted Gravity Drainage (CAGD) is an integrated horizontal well air injection process for in situ recovery and upgrading of heavy oil and tar sands bitumen. Short distance air injection and direct mobilized oil production are main features of this process that lead to stable sweep and high oil recovery. These characteristics identify CAGD process as a highly potential oil recovery method. This paper summarizes recent experimental and numerical studies of CAGD process. In-Situ combustion experiments have been carried out using a rectangular 3D combustion cell with dimensions of 0.62 m, 0.41 m and 0.15 m. Enriched air (50% O 2) has been injected to create and sustain the combustion front in the model. Experimental results showed that oil displacement occurs mainly by gravity drainage. Vigorous combustion was observed at the early stages near the heel of injection well, where peak temperature of about 690°C was recorded. Moreover, a thermal simulator was used for history matching the laboratory data, while capturing the main mechanisms. Simulation results showed very good agreement between numencal and experimental data in terms of fluid production rate, combustion temperature and produced gas composition. Copyright 2012, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
author list (cited authors)
Rahnema, H., Barrufet, M. A., & Mamora, D.