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Introduction

With a high demand of hydrocarbon worldwide, conventional oil production is quickly approaching its peak. Inevitably, heavy oil and bitumen (ultraheavy oil) will emerge as “new” (so-called unconventional) hydrocarbon resources because of their tremendous potential. Currently, more than 50% of Canada’s oil production is from heavy oils (Alboudwarej et al., 2006; Hinkle and Batzle, 2006).

Such heavy oils are highly viscous, difficult to move in reservoirs, and much more expensive to produce. In addition to mining and other cold production methods, many different techniques (e.g., thermal, chemical, or in situ combustion, etc.) have been applied to mainly reduce viscosity...

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