The Athabasca oil sands in western Canada are one of the largest hydrocarbon accumulations in the world. Due to the low viscosity, special production techniques have to be applied to extract the oil. One extraction technique is steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) which has a simple concept. An upper horizontal well injects steam into the producing zone, creating a high-temperature steam chamber in the formation. The heat melts the thick crude and allows it to flow more freely, with gravity's asistance, to the horizontal production well, which is parallel to and 4–6 m below the injection well.

For efficient oil recovery,...

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