Brochure: Heavy Oil Systems

Date: 2/26/2018

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Experience and expertise to enhance productivity

Heavy oil is a type of highly dense and viscous crude oil that cannot be recovered through ordinary production means. Most heavy oil requires heat or dilution to flow into a well or through a pipeline. In addition, heavy oil contains a high proportion of sulfur, heavy metals, waxes, carbon residues, and other impurities, which make heavy oil costly to produce and refine. However, the vast accumulations of heavy oil hold great potential as the earth’s remaining conventional light oil reserves diminish.

Currently, there are several proven methods of recovering heavy oil. Cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS) allows sand to enter the wellbore along with the oil, greatly improving well productivity. This method of production is suitable for lighter, less-viscous grades of heavy oil. Heavier crude requires thermally assisted production methods.

These methods can achieve greater recovery of the reserves but subject the equipment to extreme operating conditions. Such thermal in situ recovery methods typically employ steam to heat the oil and reduce viscosity. The steam softens the oil, dilutes it, and separates it from the sand grains. It also creates cracks and fissures in the formation through which the diluted oil can flow.

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