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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(9), 919; doi:10.3390/app7090919

Flow Characteristics of Steam and Gas Push in the Presence of Heat Thief Zones Overlying Oil Sands Deposits

Department of Energy and Resources Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon 24341, Korea
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Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy)
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Abstract

This paper presents the effects of the top water-bearing zone on the performance of the steam and gas push, i.e., nitrogen as a non-condensable gas injected with steam into an oil sands deposit. The flow characteristics of fluid mixtures are examined in the presence of different-sized water-bearing formations overlying oil sands deposits, i.e., a finite aquifer with no-flow boundaries and an infinite aquifer with continuous mass flux. The performance efficiency is investigated by respectively implementing the cumulative steam to oil ratio, a simple thermal efficiency parameter, and the oil production on the surface. The top water-bearing area serves as a heat thief zone and negatively impacts bitumen recovery; furthermore, it increases the cumulative steam to oil ratio while decreasing the simple thermal efficiency parameter, as well as the oil production rate. When the steam chamber encounters the top aquifer, a severe heat loss occurs. As increasing mol % of nitrogen, the producing time with energy efficiency increases but the chamber growth is limited. The specific operational conditions would be possible for the finite-sized aquifer, while the continuous water influx and the significant heat loss obstructs the thermal processes for the infinite aquifer. View Full-Text
Keywords: steam and gas push; non condensable gas; thief zone; thermal efficiency; oil sands; aquifer steam and gas push; non condensable gas; thief zone; thermal efficiency; oil sands; aquifer
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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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Lee, C.; Park, C.; Park, S. Flow Characteristics of Steam and Gas Push in the Presence of Heat Thief Zones Overlying Oil Sands Deposits. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 919.

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