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23 – 26 September 2012

Xi’an, China | Sheraton Xi’an Hotel

Technical Agenda

Monday, 24 September, 0800-0915

Session 1: Introduction/Opening/Keynote Address

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Ma Desheng, China National Petroleum Corp.; David Law, Schlumberger; Tao Yang, Statoil ASA 


Session 2: Reservoir and Heavy Oil Characterisation

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Birol Dindoruk, Shell International EP Co. and Julian Youxiang Zuo, Schlumberger

Success with heavy oil depends as much on understanding the fluid properties of the reservoir as it does on knowing the characterisation of the reservoir itself. The new technology is a key to obtain such important information for reservoir and heavy oil characterisation, bitumen and tar mats. This session will cover:

  • Downhole fluid analysis for heavy oil fluid characterisation, reservoir connectivity and tar mat formation
  • Experimental methods for heavy oil fluid characterisation
  • Advanced technology for relative permeability of heavy oil reservoirs
  • Heavy oil characterisation from 3D-seismic survey


Session 3: Thermal Recovery Processes

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Arnfinn Kjosavik, Statoil ASA and Zan Cheng, China National Petroleum Corp.

Thermal recovery methods are essential for enhancing the oil recovery for heavy oil fields, especially for extra heavy oil development. Steam based technologies are commonly applied with great success as mature recovery methods. Solvent assisted processes and in-situ combustion show promising results and may have great potential for further improving recovery. The session will focus on thermal recovery methods and challenges:

  • SAGD surveillance
  • CSS/Steam drive
  • In-situ combustion techniques
  • Solvent assisted processes
  • Challenges related implementing thermal recovery methods in depleted fields


Session 4: Reservoir Modelling - Challenges

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Mridul Kumar, Chevron Energy Technology Co. and Anthony R. Kovscek, Stanford University

Commercial heavy oil recovery methods are primary recovery (solution gas drive), improved recovery (water injection) and enhanced recovery (thermal methods). Novel recovery methods, such as solvent and hybrid methods, are being field tested also. This session highlights key challenges, recent developments and advances in modelling and forecasting of each of the heavy oil recovery methods, using examples from worldwide operations. Topics include:

  • Unique aspects of heavy oil reservoir modelling
  • Process physics and key uncertainties for heavy oil recovery processes
  • Next-generation heavy oil and thermal simulators
  • Need for coupled wellbore modelling

Tuesday, 25 September, 0800-1000

Session 5: Non-Thermal Recovery Processes

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Mingzhe Dong, University of Calgary and Lilian Lo, ConocoPhillips Co.

Non-thermal recovery can be effective in heavy oil. It is potentially less energy, less capital intensive, and with less environmental impacts. The non-thermal heavy oil recovery efforts include water flood, CHOPS, VAPEX and other solvent/chemical processes. Effective application of these methods requires understanding of complex flow, displacement mechanisms and optimal strategies in field development. In this session, we will address the following topics:

  • Mechanistic understanding of various non-thermal recovery processes
  • Laboratory experiments for non-thermal heavy oil recovery
  • Non-thermal heavy oil recovery modelling
  • Field applications


Session 6: Offshore Development

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Tao Yang, Statoil ASA and Mridul Kumar, Chevron Energy Technology Co.

Offshore heavy oil developments have picked-up speed recently, especially after some successful prolific fields worldwide. Most of these fields are developed by primary depletion or water injection strategy, with limited EOR options applied. Typical technical challenges of developing offshore heavy oil include fluid and reservoir characterisation, water production, well design and integrity issues, artificial lift and topside processing. This session will address the following topics based on field experiences.

  • Water production including water shut-off, and general water management strategy
  • Drilling of long horizontal gravel packed wells
  • Artificial lift including ESP and PCP
  • EOR potentials for applying polymer, WAG and thermal recovery technologies

Wednesday, 26 September, 0800-0930

Session 7: Reservoir Geomechanics

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: David Law, Schlumberger and Atef Onaisi, Total

In a heavy oil reservoir, the surrounding materials are solids such as rock or soil, and these are the major constituents, not the fluids. During oil recovery, the rock is subjected to large stress variations causing deformation that can have a significant effect on the fluid flows. Thermal effects commonly encountered in thermal heavy oil recovery processes have a similar and sometimes dominant influence on the rock mechanics. It is essential to understand the complexity of the geomechanical behaviors of the rock to ensure a successful heavy oil recovery project. This session will address the following topics:

  • Formation damage and fracturing
  • Cap rock integrity
  • Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS)
  • Coupled reservoir – geomechanics modelling


Session 8: Monitoring and Surveillance

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Chris C. West, BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and Liu He, China National Petroleum Corp.

Successful development of heavy oil reservoirs requires matching of the recovery techniques to the reservoir, good reservoir characterisation, accurate simulation of the recovery processes, etc., all of which are covered in the preceding sessions. In addition, optimization of recovery from heavy oil reservoirs cannot be accomplished without adequate monitoring and surveillance of wells, reservoir and overburden. This session will cover the following:

  • Passive seismic monitoring
  • 4-D seismic
  • Surface and subsurface fluid metering
  • Monitoring for ground subsidence or uplift
  • Temperature and pressure monitoring
  • Data collection, integration and analysis
  • Surveillance wells design and management


Session 9: Productivity, Transportation, Separation and Flow Assurance

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Honggang Zhou, Total and Chunming Xu, China University of Petroleum

This session will cover challenges concerning productivity, transport, separation and flow assurance related to the production of heavy oil. Issues to be discussed in this session are:

  • Water shut-off
  • Flow regime in tubing and pipeline, formation of emulsion or water film and their impact on productivity
  • High viscosity, lower density differences between water and HO, emulsion formation and rag layer in the oil/water interface leading separation problems
  • Prediction, prevention and mitigation of organic and inorganic scale deposition


Session 9: Productivity, Transportation, Separation and Flow Assurance continued


Session 10: Emerging Technology

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Doug Lillico, Alberta Innovates – Technology Future and David Bexte, Schlumberger

Technological advances have allowed the economic production of difficult heavy oil and bitumen resources across the globe. Key to these advances are the field testing and piloting of the technologies that allow real world validation of the concepts and provoke critical improvements to their implementation. Current field tests and pilots of novel technologies that promise significant improvements in the upstream production of heavy oil and bitumen will be discussed. This session will address the following topics:

  • Recovery processes
  • Completions
  • Surface treatment


Session 11: Field Case Study

Session Chairpersons/Moderators: Wan Amni Bt Wan Mohammad, PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd. and Zhang Zhonghong, China National Petroleum Corp.

The main challenges faced by most heavy oil operators are the ability to extract, produce and market heavy crudes within economic guidelines. Geological limitations, reserves depths and different type of plays are considered upstream challenges. While, the ability to mobilize the crudes from the reservoirs and preventing flow assurance problems during production and processing still requires large capital investment with long payback period. This session will discuss various field case studies in overcoming these challenges through current/emerging:

  • Thermal/non-thermal recovery processes
  • Reservoir simulation and geomechanics studies
  • Production technologies
  • Flow assurance
  • Monitoring and surveillance


Session 12: Summary and Wrap-Up