Akihisa Takahashi, 2010. "Oil-sands Reservoir Characterization for Optimization of Field Development", Heavy Oils: Reservoir Characterization and Production Monitoring, Satinder Chopra, Laurence R. Lines, Douglas R. Schmitt, Michael L. Batzle
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The proved remaining reserves of bitumen from oil sands in Canada are estimated as approximately 170 billion barrels (Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, 2007). Including conventional crude oil, the total number of proved remaining reserves in Canada takes second place in the world after Saudi Arabia. From the production perspective, more than 40% of the crude oil production in Canada is from oil sands. Figure 1 shows the index map of the area.
Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. (JACOS), a subsidiary of JAPEX, has been operating the development and production of bitumen resources using an in situ steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) method since 1997 in an area approximately 50 km southwest of Fort McMurray. The oil-sands reservoirs here exist at a depth of approximately 300 m.
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Heavy oil is an important global resource with reserves comparable to those of conventional oil. As conventional resources get thinner, attention is being focused on heavy oil and bitumen, which hold the promise of becoming useful fuels. Already more than 1 million barrels of oil are being produced from the oil sands in Canada; heavy oil represents half of California’s crude oil production in the United States and is a major production in Mexico. With demand for global energy soaring, heavy oil will undoubtedly be an important resource to be exploited in a big way in the near future.
The SEG Development and Production Committee held its Heavy Oil Forum in Edmonton, Alberta, in July 2007. This was a joint research forum cosponsored by the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG) and SEG and hosted by the University of Alberta. Preceding the forum, a field trip took the participants to the vast Athabasca Oil Sands region where they observed the outcrops, open pit mining, and steam injection operations, followed by a tour of the steam-assisted gravity drainage projects. Topics of the well-attended forum included the definition of heavy oil; where is heavy oil found; how it is produced; heavy-oil reservoir characterization; fluid and rock properties; electrical, tilt, and gravity techniques; borehole, surface seismic measurements; and microseismicity.