When: August 3-9, 2014
Where: Palm Beach, Aruba
What: Join us at Palm Beach for the International Conference on Electromagnetics in Advanced Applications (ICEAA) and the IEEE-APS Topical Conference on Antenna and Propagation in Wireless Communications. Featuring over 36 sessions by world renowned experts this event focuses on advanced electromagnetic applications and the lasted technology developments. Topics covered, include Cognitive Radio, Electromagnetic Compatibility and Intentional Electromagnetic Interference, Antennas, Propagation, and Components Technologies, Radar Cross Section and Asymptotic Techniques, Electromagnetic Applications to Biomedicine, Computational Electromagnetics, Wireless Communications and Metamaterials.


Acceleware Conference Session

Modeling of EM Assisted Oil Recovery

Presented by Michal Okoniewski, Chief Scientific Officer, Acceleware
The technology for downhole heating of oil reservoirs using radio frequency (RF) energy has been considered since the 80's. The underlying scientific premise was sound and rather simple and was confirmed by basic experiments. However available modeling/prediction tools were grossly inadequate, practical implementation of technology difficult and expensive, and appreciation for the complexity of the problem lacking. All this lead to lack of commercial success and technology remained in its infancy. However, diminishing conventional oil reservoirs and high oil prices renewed interest in this alternative exploitation technology. Recent, significant advancements and use of sophisticated numerical tools have provided a much deeper understanding of the underlying complex electrical and reservoir engineering issues involved in downhole RF heating oil recovery. Consequently, this technology is now much closer to be commercially viable. It is envisaged to be used as either complementary or replacement to traditional steam based methods, and it offers significant advantages over conventional thermal processes, mainly in its energy and environmental footprint.

The basic principle of this technology is to deploy an antenna or applicator downhole and radiate an RF field into an oil-bearing formation such that the temperature of the heavy oil is raised in the required volume, viscosity of oil lowered and, hence, production enabled. The process is typically indirect: water present in the reservoir is heated and that heat is transmitted to the heavy oil, reducing the oil viscosity and enabling commercial production. The challenge in modeling and forecasting the behavior of a reservoir under this process is that two mature but very different simulation technologies need to be closely integrated and run simultaneously. This is to be contrasted with the available “multi-physics” solvers. The latter were developed as general purpose software, and lack the specialization and sophistication of a reservoir simulator like CMG’s STARS or maturity and sophistication of modern electromagnetic (EM) simulators.

In the presentation we will describe some challenges related to integration of advanced electromagnetic codes with reservoir simulators, and about necessary numerical technology that needed to be developed, particularly as it relates to the multi-physics, translation of meshes, as well as petro-physical and EM material parameters, as well as challenges with calculation of electromagnetic dissipation in the vicinity of the antennas.

The numerical methods will be illustrated with computations performed using AxHeat package (Acceleware) that utilizes reservoir code STARS (CMG).  The code allows for realistic prediction of formation behaviour in time, including losses (both EM and thermal) in feeding systems, cooling fluids and oil production effects on the reservoir dynamics.

Click here to download a copy of the paper.


Acceleware Management Team - Michal Okoniewski


Dr. Michal Okoniewski
Chief Scientific Officer, Acceleware

A renowned expert in applied electrodynamics and RF/antenna engineering, Michal has a proven history of developing leading-edge scientific solutions for the electronic, medical and energy industries. With over 25 years of experience, Michal has pioneered hardware acceleration of computational electromagnetics, authoring over 350 technical publications and holding several patents. His GPU accelerated FDTD solver revolutionized the engineering of electronic devices and more recently his patents and knowledge are being applied in the energy industry for the production of heavy oils in unconventional reservoirs. Prior to co-founding Acceleware in 2004, Michal worked with TR-Labs and provided consulting services for the electronic and biomedical industries in North America and Europe. Dr. Okoniewski has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University, Gdansk and is a Fellow of IEEE. He is a Professor for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department with the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada.