1966 the first year for which data is available in

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1966, the first year for which data is available in California DOG annual Reports, cyclic injection totaled 262,000 BSPD (barrels of steam per day, cold water equivalent) injected into 6621 wells in 38 fields (Note: all injection and well count data were taken from California Division of Oil and Gas annual reports, 1966-2001). This volume of steam is very close to the average rate of 279,000 BSPD injected over the last 35 years. Steamflood For the first several years of steam experimentation, interest in steamflooding nearly matched that in cyclic stimulation. By the end of 1963, there were steamflood tests in six fields compared to the nine fields with cyclic tests. However, greater capital requirements and slower production response led to a much slower rate of expansion. By 1966, there were steamflood projects in seventeen fields, injecting 43,000 BSPD using 135 injectors. Steamfloods accounted for only 14% of total steam injection, a very low value compared to the 80-85% values common in later years. Growth Years: 1967-1986 Cyclic Injection As noted above, and shown in Figure 1, the volume of steam used in cyclic projects had reached 262,000 BSPD by 1966. This rate would remain nearly constant until 1981. The number of fields in which cyclic steam was tested would continue to increase at a slow rate until 1981, but the number of fields with active projects would actually decrease until the first oil price shock of 1973 (Figure 2). This decrease was a natural consequence of the exuberant experimentation of 1964-1966. Operators determined the reservoir conditions under which cyclic steam succeeded or failed. As oil prices increased after 1973, the number of active cyclic projects showed a generally increasing trend until 1983. However, it is interesting to note that there was relatively little change in the amount of steam used, or in the number of wells receiving cyclic stimulations (Figures 1 and 3). Some of the larger stimulation projects were now being converted to steamfloods, and the new projects tended to be smaller. Although some of these projects were in fields which had not previously had steam injection, others were in fields which had seen prior testing. Steamflood The volume of steamflood injection began to rapidly increase from 1967 to 1973, but the number of fields with active steamfloods remained essentially constant at 10-14 (Figures 1 and 2). The injection rates increased by a factor of 8.5 – from 48,000 BSPD to 411,000 BSPD - in this six-year period. The success of early pilot projects was being followed by project expansions and a steady, but slow rate of experimentation in additional fields. Following the price increases of 1973, there was a rapid expansion of the number of fields with steamflood projects. A peak of 24 fields with active steamfloods was reached in 1977, and the number would range between 19 and 23 for the next ten years.
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