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Energies 2017, 10(4), 471; doi:10.3390/en10040471

Effects of Lean Zones on Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage Performance

Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
MOE Key Laboratory of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mark J. Kaiser
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 3 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sources)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6705 KB, uploaded 3 April 2017]   |  


A thorough understanding of the effects of lean zones and the improvement of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations with such heterogeneities is critically important for reducing the disadvantages of lean zones. The numerical model shows: (1) SAGD is most influenced by the single-layer lean zone with the above-injector (AI) location; with the decrease of interval distance and increase of thickness and water saturation in lean zones, the detrimental effect of single-layer lean zones on SAGD performance increases; (2) with the increase of period and decrease of connate and initial water saturations in lean zones, the detrimental effect of multiple-layer lean zones on SAGD performance increases; (3) reducing the injection pressure properly improves SAGD performance in leaky oil sands. The field-scale study indicates: (1) well pair 1 is most affected by lean zones in the studied pad due to the widest distribution of lean zones above its injector, and a hybrid cyclic steam stimulation (CSS)/SAGD method is proposed to overcome the practical problem of a low injection pressure in this area; (2) simulation results prove that the hybrid CSS/SAGD method is better than the conventional SAGD method in leaky oil sands. View Full-Text
Keywords: oil sands; steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD); cyclic steam stimulation (CSS); lean zone; reservoir simulation oil sands; steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD); cyclic steam stimulation (CSS); lean zone; reservoir simulation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xu, J.; Chen, Z.; Dong, X.; Zhou, W. Effects of Lean Zones on Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage Performance. Energies 2017, 10, 471.

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