Extra Heavy Oil

AICV® Extra Heavy Oil

Non free-floating extra heavy oil or bitumen is a challenge to produce. Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) is commonly used to produce the oil, but steam breakthrough limits the production. The AICV® can stop the steam, improve oil recovery and reduce the steam to oil ratio (STO) significantly. The first successful installation of the Extra Heavy Oil AICV® was performed in Canada in 2015.

In reservoirs with heavy oil and bitumen, thermal methods are used to reduce the viscosity in order to obtain enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The SAGD is a thermal method where steam injection is used. In this method, two horizontal wells are placed in parallel. The upper well injects steam and the lower well produces oil and condensate. However, steam shortcut between the injection and production wells may occur after a while. This reduces the effect of the steam injection and the required STO.

It seems clear that an AICV® improves the SAGD process. The AICV® increases the production and recovery, reduce the SOR and/or water cut (WC). InflowControl has performed a design and qualification program for an AICV® that can shut-off steam and water in SAGD application for a major Canadian oil company. The first field test was successfully performed in 2015.