Impact of Reservoir Heterogeneity and Geohistory on the Variability of Bitumen Properties and on the Distribution of Gas-and Water-saturated Zones in the Athabasca Oil Sands, Canada
Milovan Fustic, Barry Bennett, Stephen M. Hubbard, Haiping Huang, Thomas Oldenburg, Steve Larter, 2013. "Impact of Reservoir Heterogeneity and Geohistory on the Variability of Bitumen Properties and on the Distribution of Gas-and Water-saturated Zones in the Athabasca Oil Sands, Canada", Heavy-oil and Oil-sand Petroleum Systems in Alberta and Beyond, Frances J. Hein, Dale Leckie, Steve Larter, John R. Suter
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The Athabasca oil sand deposit, the world’s largest petroleum accumulation, contains an estimated 1.7 trillion bbl of heavily to severely biodegraded oil,with API gravities ranging from 6 to 10°. Although reservoir characterization has been the subject of many studies in the region, very little attention has been given to petroleum (bitumen) characterization and particularly to its reservoir-scale relationship with the host sediments. In this study, variation in the bitumen physical and chemical properties were measured on a suite of samples. These were obtained from numerous cores from various reservoir types and geographic areas of the Athabasca oil sand deposits. The variation in bitumen viscosities and changes in the hydrocarbon composition caused by varying levels of biodegradation were interpreted using molecular markers. These data were integrated into the reservoir facies framework and interpreted in the context of various reservoir configurations.