WHOC 2016 Technical Presentation - Radio Frequency Technology for SAGD Pre-Heating
When: Thursday, September 8, 2016, 8:00AM – 8:30AM
Where: Room 'A', Stampede Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Radio Frequency Technology for SAGD Pre-Heating
Join Acceleware at the World Heavy Oil Congress Technical Conference on Thursday, September 8th for an informative presentation on Radio Frequency Technology for SAGD Pre-Heating.
The conventional SAGD process in the Alberta Oil Sands requires a pre-heating stage to develop hydraulic communication between the steam injector and the producer before the production stage can start. Depending on the reservoir, the pre-heating time can be 3-6 months or more. While steam circulation is currently the standard method of pre-heating, radio frequency (RF) heating may be a more effective and potentially more economic approach. RF energy has been considered for downhole heating since the 80’s, and there are currently some tests underway, the best known of them being the ESEIEH project (Devon, Suncor, Nexen and Harris), which is now in its second phase of experimentation. In this paper, we propose a new RF system which utilizes the existing pair of SAGD injector/producer pair to deliver the electromagnetic energy to the formation. The proposed system is particularly well suited for long horizontal wells (500m – 1000m), where production economics are strongest and where the traditional RF approach is the most technically challenging. We will present case studies demonstrating that pre-heating done with the new system can produce similar results as steam circulation in a much shorter time, provided the appropriate power is supplied at the right frequency. Prospective economics and energy balances are presented to understand the viability of this process. The main application of this technology are heavy oil/bitumen reservoirs where the SAGD well pairs can be drilled and completed, while the steam generation plant is constructed. Application to well pairs where the steam plant is already in operation may be considered as well.