Numerical Simulation of the Solvent Drainage Process

Paper Number: SPE 137721-PP

Authors: A. Wong, and N. Edmunds - Laricina Energy Ltd.

Source: This paper was prepared for presentation at the Canadian Unconventional Resources & International Petroleum Conference held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 19–21 October 2010.

Copyright: Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers

Numerical simulations are widely used to predict and history match performance of reservoirs operating under various recovery processes. Simulators can offer quick answers however the answer should be validated against experimental/field data to verify its reliability. Many studies have been conducted to validate steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) simulation results, but applying thermal simulators to solvent processes with confidence requires more studies and comparisons.

This paper will discuss the following topics on simulation of solvent process:

  1. Comparing simulation results against the Nenniger and Dunn correlation on warm solvent drainage process
  2. Identifying the key input parameters(s) in solvent simulation
  3. Effects of grid block sizes on the results of solvent simulation

Nenniger and Dunn correlation (2008) provides good estimates of laboratory scaled simulation. Nenniger and Dunn recently mentioned the importance of rate limiting step and thickness of the solvent contact layer in the solvent drainage process. In order to understand the sensitivities of solvent simulation to the rate limiting step and thickness of the solvent contact layer, input parameters and grid block sizes were modified to observe their effects on the process.

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