Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Chapter 21: Crosswell Seismic Imaging — A Critical Tool for Thermal Projects

By
Mark McCullum
Mark McCullum
1
Schlumberger Deeplook-CS, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2010

Introduction

The goal of any operator involved in heavy oil whether flowing or not is to maximize production and minimize costs. With the rapid growth of projects in oil sands, the SAGD process has become commonplace. Although widespread, SAGD is still a relatively new process and operators are discovering that developing an adequate steam chamber requires careful planning. An integral part of this planning process is detailed characterization of the reservoir. With the current operating experience, it is apparent that relatively small features in the reservoir, once thought to be of little or no concern, have been a major impediment or permanent barrier to steam chamber development. The lack of steam chamber growth or inconsistent growth along the horizontal wells is a major contributor to underperforming wells. Therefore, upfront reservoir characterization and the identification of baffles and barriers to steam growth are critical to the process. This chapter details how operators are utilizing crosswell seismic imaging to increase reservoir knowledge and plan SAGD well pair placement and assess overall performance of the steam injection process.

Background

Heavy oil is characterized by an American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity of less than 22.3°. Bitumen at 8–10° API will not flow at normal reservoir conditions. The API gravity of the oil in the reservoir predicates the production methods. Various production methods are now being used in heavy-oil reservoirs. They range from cold heavy-oil production with sand (CHOPS), cyclic steam injection (CSS), steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), steam-assisted gas push (SAGP), vapor extraction (VAPEX), fire flood, and Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (THAITM). With the exception of CHOPS and VAPEX, the other methods rely on heat to mobilize the oil. In the case of fire flood and THAI, heat is generated internal to the reservoir by active combustion, and the other methods rely on steam injected from the surface. It is these processes that will be focused on here.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geophysical Developments Series

Heavy Oils: Reservoir Characterization and Production Monitoring

Satinder Chopra
Satinder Chopra
Search for other works by this author on:
Laurence R. Lines
Laurence R. Lines
Search for other works by this author on:
Douglas R. Schmitt
Douglas R. Schmitt
Search for other works by this author on:
Michael L. Batzle
Michael L. Batzle
Search for other works by this author on:
Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
13
ISBN electronic:
9781560802235
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal