What is it about?

Cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS) is a primary production method used for heavy oil reservoirs with no requirements for external energy consumption. The most critical mechanisms of CHOPS, wormhole propagation, and foamy oil behaviour, are captured by using Wang’s model for wormhole propagation and Uddin’s model of gas exsolution.

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Why is it important?

In our study, a new model for CHOPS is simulated by incorporating wormhole propagation and foamy oil behaviour mechanisms to evaluate the recovery of an extra-heavy oil reservoir of the Athabasca region. After 120 months of simulation, 53.38%, 99.76%, and 100% of wormhole propagation were achieved during three-time steps of 12, 48, and 60 months, respectively, toward the sides of the studied reservoir section. The propagation was achieved within all directions of the investigated section, compatible with the erratic nature of wormhole propagation. Furthermore, the application of Uddin’s model was incorporated into production by reducing the fluid viscosity due to the foamy oil behaviour. Over 3% of the recovery was achieved at the end of the primary CHOPS phase simulation by considering that we modeled the recovery based on highly viscous oil with API 7.5. Finally, the model can provide an improved understanding of the primary CHOPS process by considering its two significant mechanisms.


I trust this article helps people/researchers to see our interesting findings for cold-heavy oil production and wormhole propagation in areas similar to the Athabasca region, Alberta, Canada. This study also makes what people might think is a boring, slightly abstract area like environment, economics, and measuring things like propagation rate, kind of interesting and maybe even exciting. Because of the way we spend time and money on building more sustainable development, engineers and researchers worry about it. More than anything else, and if nothing else, I hope you find this paper fascinating.

Dr Amin Etminan
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cold heavy oil production with sand simulation including wormhole propagation and foamy oil behaviour, The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, September 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/cjce.24578.
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