• Class and Course

    Heavy Oil Exploitation

    Heavy oil is highly viscous, and hence, does not flow easily. The characteristic features of heavy oil are low API gravity (less than 25 API) and high viscosity (> 10s of cP), low hydrogen-to-carbon ratios, small percentages of volatile and easily distillable hydrocarbons, high content of asphaltenes and significant quantities of oxygen-, nitrogen-, and sulfur-bearing compounds, and heavy metals are also frequently minor components of these oils.

    Oil producers involved in heavy-oil recovery face special production challenges. However, innovative drilling, completion, stimulation and monitoring techniques help make heavy-oil reservoirs profitable assets.

    In this introductory course, participants will be exposed to the challenges in heavy-oil exploitation. They will be introduced to applications of various key technologies and their appropriate interpretations. Along with systematic workflows and field examples, participants will learn ways to reduce the lifting cost and make heavy-oil more economically viable assets.

    Day 1
    • Introduction
    • Conventional oils & their future
    • The nature of heavy oil
    • Global heavy oil development (onshore and offshore)
    • Industry trends & challenges
    • Overview of heavy oil geology
    • Heavy oil sampling
    • Heavy oil phase behavior and laboratory measurements methodologies
    • Heavy oil workflows
    Day 2
    • Recovery processes overview
    • The primary recovery processes - Horizontal and Multi Lateral Wells and Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS)
    • The non thermal recovery processes - Waterflood, Chemical Flood and Vapor Extraction (VAPEX)
    • Thermal recovery processes - Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS), Steam Flood, Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), Fire Flood/In Situ Combustion
    • Newly developed recovery processes - Toe to Heel Air Injection (THAI), THAI with solid catalyst (CAPRI), Steam Solvent Based Hybrid processes
    • Field examples
    Day 3
    • Heavy oil production, completion overview
    • Lifting methods - Gas Lift, Sucker Rod Pumps, Progressive Cavity Pumps (PCP) and Top Drive PCPs, Hydraulic Pumps, Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP), High Temperature ESP (Red Hot Pumps).
    • Well completions 
    • Sand management strategy and sand control techniques
    • Field Examples
    Day 4
    • Basic heavy oil production and processing schemes
    • Emulsion control and treatment
    • Facilities design and operations for heavy oil processing
    Day 5
    • Onshore and offshore heavy oil loading systems
    • Heavy oil transportation and storage options
    • Flow assurance in heavy oil production and transportation
    • Field examples

    This introductory course on heavy oil exploitation is designed to benefit multidisciplinary asset teams including geologist, geophysicist, reservoir, drilling, production, completion and facilities engineers. This course will also benefit all managers and department heads.

    4 Years of Engineering/Geoscience Degree

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