Steam injection is usually used in horizontal and

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Steam injection is usually used in horizontal and vertical oil wells with reservoirs withviscosity as high as -100,000cP. In cyclic steam injection wells, oil reservoirs can be bothviscous and solid. The principal mechanism of this method is to dissolve the “solid” and make itable to flow up the production shaft (Shabelansky et al., 2015). There is no consensus about thesoaking time which may vary from days to weeks. However, shorter soaking times are favoredfor operational and mechanical considerations. After the first treatment, oil production takesplace through natural lifting because of the initial reservoir energy. However, for subsequentcycles, production may have to be pumped. Cyclic injection becomes less and less efficient in oilproduction as the number of cycles increases (Ren et al., 2016). Most consecutive cycles canreach as many as nine cycles depending on the reservoir characteristics with the lowestproduction being in the last cycle in continuous steam injection.Continuous Steam Injection (Steam Flooding)
SEISMIC MONITORING OF HEAVY OIL RECOVERY BY STEAM INJECTION10This method is considered more efficient than cyclic steam injection regarding theamount of oil recovered in an oil reservoir. Steam flooding recovers about 50 percent of the totaloil in a reservoir by injecting steam at high temperature and pressure through an injector andextracting oil for production. The steam heats up the high viscosity oil to make it flow smoothlyto the production well, displacing the heated oil. This method, however, has a low thermalefficiency compared to cyclic steam injection and because of its construction with at least twowells, one for steam injection and the other for oil production, it requires a larger surface area(Al-Mutairi et al., 2017).With the advancement in technology, steam injection techniques have become morefeasible to heavy oil reservoirs with several variations of the techniques being developed.Notably, the advancement in drilling techniques and processing power of computers haveenabled this method to be efficient (Muggeridge et. al., 2014). However, due to the high costsinvolved, careful evaluations, in-depth study of the nature and type of the oil reservoir andproper design for the most suitable steam injection method are necessary for both economic andapplication purposes (Berron et al., 2015).Rock physicsIn past years, the properties of rocks and minerals beneath the earth’s surface have beendefined through seismic exploration and seismology from earthquakes. Travel time, variations inphase and amplitude wave reflections of seismic waves produced during seismology explorationhave been analyzed to show rock and fluid properties at the subsurface level. Previously,exploration seismology only explored seismic data for rock formations that could holdhydrocarbons. However, due technological advances, seismic data can be used to determinemuch more than that. Pore fluids, saturation, porosity, and lithology are some of the properties of
SEISMIC MONITORING OF HEAVY OIL RECOVERY BY STEAM INJECTION11

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