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.
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Oil sands, including the Athabasca Oil Sands in northern Alberta, are the second largest hydrocarbon resource on earth. In the last decade, engineering technology has evolved that can now economically produce the bitumen resource in the oil sands. This volume showcases the geology of oil sands from around the world. It highlights the Athabasca Oil sands of northern Alberta and the geochemistry of the associated bitumen resource, but points directionally toward the development of other oil-sand deposits in the world. A novel feature is the ‘case study’ approach. Although much of the perspective is sedimentological and/or stratigraphic, the substance of the book should fine wide appeal to Earth scientists working in all geoscience domains.