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Introduction

Heavy-oil reservoirs are an abundant hydrocarbon resource, which will in all probability comprise a significant portion of long-term world oil production. The world’s heavy-oil reserves have been estimated to be approximately 6 trillion barrels — roughly equivalent to conventional reserves. The largest heavy-oil reserves are in Canada, Venezuela, the United States, Norway, Indonesia, China, Russia, and Kuwait.

Cold production is a low-energy production method that has been widely used in Western Canada. Although the primary recovery rates are relatively modest, cold production of heavy oil requires much less energy than hot production methods such as cyclic steam injection (CSS) or steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), and as a consequence it results in much less hydrocarbon use in the recovery stage.

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