Applied Geomechanics for the Analysis and Optimization of Cyclic Steam Stimulation Operations in Heavy Oil Reservoirs

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Guillermo Arturo Alzate-Espinosa, M.Sc. – Associate Professor, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Abel de Jesús Naranjo-Agudelo, B.S. – Associate Professor, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Edson Felipe Araujo-Guerrero, PhD – Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Carlos Andrés Torres-Hernández, M.Sc. – Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Maria Camila Herrera-Schlesinger, B.S.  – Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Camilo Andrés Benítez-Peláez, B.S.  – Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Daniel Felipe Cartagena-Pérez, B.S.  – Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Juan Camilo Correa-Álvarez, B.S.  – Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia
Elvis Fernando Higuita-Carvajal, B.S.  – Researcher, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellin, Colombia

Series: Petroleum Science and Technology; Energy Science, Engineering and Technology
BISAC: TEC047000; TEC031030; SCI024000
DOI: https://doi.org/10.52305/UGEA7864

This book presents a revised and modern vision of cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) processes to the industry and academic community linked to hydrocarbon production, particularly to the technical community related to heavy oil thermal recovery processes. The linking of geomechanical concepts in optimizing productivity and managing these assets is offered. In general, heavy oil-producing reservoirs around the world have high values of permeability prevailing in the geological formations, which has led to not considering their reduction in productivity during the aggressive processes of CSS due to the drastic changes of temperature and pressure that consequently promote essential changes in in-situ stresses, as well as permanent changes in porosity and permeability. In this sense, the analysis of the behavior of the productivity of heavy oil reservoirs when considering the geomechanical effects offers a more realistic playing field to promote productivity optimization processes. These reservoirs are generally made up of poorly consolidated and uncemented formations that, due to the limiting elements of the in-situ conditions as well as the operational variables, promote optimal operating ranges to reduce the effects of loss of permeability in the production of these resources. Therefore, this publication aims to collect and present the geomechanical phenomena associated with the thermal recovery operation with CSS, mainly the affectation of the permeability of the reservoirs that are exploited under this technique. Likewise, it proposes a CSS management strategy that uses the thermal impact on the porous medium in favor of the reservoir’s productivity.

The scope is to provide a link between reservoir engineering and economic optimization by using sensible permeability models and stress paths to better forecast oil production. To achieve a comprehensive methodology, laboratory testing, simulation, and theoretical developments are presented, bringing the reader a complete view of the phenomena. The audience will find a comprehensive methodological development related to reservoir management and setting a strategy to optimize wells in CSS. These theoretical tools are widely appreciated since they offer a systematic view and solution.

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Author’s ORCID iD

Guillermo Arturo Alzate-Espinosa: 0000-0001-6265-274X

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