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In-situ heavy and extra-heavy oil recovery: A review
University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6279-4446
University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.
2016 (English)In: Fuel, ISSN 0016-2361, E-ISSN 1873-7153, Vol. 185, 886-902 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to the growing global energy demand and increasingly limited availability of conventional or easy-to-produce crude oils, extensive attention is being paid to the exploitation of unconventional heavy and extra-heavy oils. However, their inherent properties, characterized by high viscosity and poor mobility, coupled with the complex reservoir configuration, make the desired recovery processes very challenging. Although several in-situ recovery techniques have been employed in oil reservoirs worldwide, most of them are still suffering from low sweep and displacement efficiencies, high capital investment, potential formation damage and negative environmental footprints. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of the existing in-situ heavy oil recovery techniques, which fall into three categories of thermal injection, chemical injection and gas injection. Different aspects including the fundamental principles, main features, applicability, and limitations of these recovery processes are elaborated sequentially to illustrate the current technology status. Underlying mechanisms causing the relatively low recovery factors will also be pinpointed. Furthermore, this paper focuses on the technology using novel and active catalysts for simultaneous heavy oil upgrading and recovery, especially in the case of metallic nanocatalysts. Rationales, advantages and challenges regarding this in-situ catalytic upgrading technology will be extensively described for their potential implementation in fields. It is noteworthy that many recovery techniques are still limited to the laboratory scale with needs for further investigations. Therefore, this paper also covers the evaluation standards and analytical methodologies of heavy and extra-heavy oil recovery to establish experimental screening criteria. In the end, economic and environmental aspects of the in-situ catalytic upgrading technology have been briefly discussed. The objective of this review is to present a wide range of expertise related to the in-situ heavy oil recovery processes, and to introduce the in-situ catalytic upgrading technology as an effective and environmental friendly heavy oil recovery process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 185, 886-902 p.
Keyword [en]
Catalysis, Chemical injection, Gas injection, Heavy oil recovery, In-situ upgrading, Thermal injection, Chemical injection (Enhanced recovery), Crude oil, Environmental technology, Gas injection (Enhanced recovery), Heavy oil production, Investments, Oil well flooding, Petroleum reservoir engineering, Petroleum reservoirs, Recovery, Well flooding, Analytical methodology, Displacement efficiency, Environmental footprints, Environmental-friendly, Fundamental principles, Heavy oil recovery process, Thermal oil recovery
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33022DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2016.08.047ISI: 000382248700087Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84982261362OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-33022DiVA: diva2:957145
Available from: 2016-09-01 Created: 2016-09-01 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Li, Hailong

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