Cold production has become increasingly popular in the extraction of heavy oil, due to the development and widespread use of progressing cavity pumps—essentially powerful augers that suck both oil and sand into the well. At the onset of production, these pumps produce about 60% oil and 40% sand. However, production can improve to 95% oil with only 5% sand after a few months. This increase in oil production and reduction in sand production is attributed to the development of high-porosity tubes termed “wormholes.” Roche (2002) describes wormhole development as the creation of a network of “horizontal wells without using a...

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