Thermal Recovery of Bitumen from the Grosmont Carbonate Formation - Part 2: Pilot Interpretation and Development Strategy

Paper-Number: SPE-171561-PA

Author: Daniel Yang, Chief - Reservoir Engineering – Laricina Energy Ltd., Moslem Hosseininejad - Reservoir Engineer In Situ & Innovation – Laricina Energy Ltd., Steve Brand – Team Lead, Saleski Operating Asset – Laricina Energy Ltd., and Caralyn Bennett, GLJ Petroleum Consultants, SPE.

Source: Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology – July 2014, Volume 53, Issue 04

The Saleski Pilot in Alberta, Canada, indicates that cyclic steam injection and fluid production operations should precede continuous injection and production operations in the Grosmont Formation, which is a highly fractured carbonate bitumen bearing reservoir. The application of cyclic injection and production technology for an expansion project resulted in the first allocation of probable reserves from the Grosmont Formation. The Saleski Pilot demonstrated excellent steam injectivity with full conformance along the wellbore and heat containment around the injector wells, and provides the basis for commercial exploitation plans. Different recovery mechanisms act simultaneously but with a significance that varies over time: thermal expansion, spontaneous imbibition, and gravity drainage. Development plans for a larger-scale follow-up project are mature; reserves have been booked for the first time for the Grosmont Formation. The future recovery strategy, Cyclic to Continuous Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage, aims to maximize recovery and involves two steps: (1) cyclic steam injection and fluid production through individual horizontal wells, and (2) continuous steam injection and production with pairs of wells, similar to Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage.

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