Effect of Initial Oil Saturation on In-Situ Combustion Performance of a Canadian Bitumen
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In-Situ Combustion (ISC) is a very complex thermal recovery process that is strongly affected by the chemical composition and physical properties of reservoir rock and fluids. Stability of the process depends on the amount of heat continuously generated from the chemical reactions between fuel formed during ISC and injected oxygen. Heat generation depends on the amount of fuel formed, which, in turn, is affected by initial oil saturation (IOS). Thus, in this study, ISC process dynamics were investigated at various saturations on 7.5 °API Peace River bitumen, under 3.4 l/min air injection rate. Through one-dimensional combustion tube experiments higher combustion front temperatures were observed for increased IOS. The degree of bitumen upgrading was determined in terms of viscosity and API gravity changes. Correlations for hydrogen-carbon ratio, air requirement, consumed fuel, and combustion front velocity were obtained. Good burning characteristics of Peace River bitumen resulted in stable self-sustained combustion with 26.01% IOS. However, an experiment with 13.39% IOS failed because of insufficient fuel generation. Furthermore, X-Ray cross-sectional images were taken along the combustion tube after each run to support and enhance the interpretation of experimental results. Particularly, fluctuations in concentrations of produced gas composition were explained with computed tomography (CT) data.
Aleksandrov, Denis (2013). Effect of Initial Oil Saturation on In-Situ Combustion Performance of a Canadian Bitumen. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from