Heavy Oil Recovery


This one-day course is proposed for petroleum engineers, geologists, and others with background in reservoir engineering and oil recovery.  The course will consist of lectures, problem sessions, and limited participation of the attendees.  The course will cover all thermal recovery methods, but the emphasis will be on steam injection. 


It is expected that the participants will learn about: (1). Status of thermal recovery in U.S.A., Alberta, Venezuela, and other countries, in the sense of what methods are commercially successful.  (2). Analytical calculation methods, and how they compare with numerical results.  (3). Simplified approach to project planning and surveillance.  The emphasis will be on practical aspects, not on academic rigour.


  • Heavy oil resources of the world, and current state of development
  • Fundamental concepts of thermal recovery
  • Formation heating by hot water and steam. 
  • Steam heating: Marx-Langenheim’s model, its applications and limitations, and extensions
  • Steamflooding: mechanisms, recovery, operational aspects, and  field experience
  • Cyclic steam stimulation: nonfrac and frac; mechanisms and operational aspects
  • SAGD: Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage and its variations
  • Other topics: wellbore heat loss, steam generation, horizontal well applications, downhole steam generation, etc.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) awarded for this 1-day course.

Cancellation Policy

To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to trainingcourses@spe.org; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.


S.M. Farouq Ali was born in India, and is president of H.O.R. Heavy Oil Recovery Technologies in Alberta.  He is an honorary professor at the University of Calgary and professor at the University of Regina. Prior to this, he served at the University of Alberta, and at the Pennsylvania State University, for 40 years as professor of petroleum engineering. He has supervised over 200 graduate students, authored over 500 papers, and three books. He serves as consultant to oil companies, and has done over 300 reservoir studies worldwide. Dr. Farouq Ali has been honored for his work on thermal recovery and simulation with awards from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Russian Academy of Sciences.  He was awarded honorary doctorates by two major universities in Russia, and also received the Academy’s Kapitsa Gold Medal.  In 2007, he received the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ highest award, the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal for technical excellence.  In Oct 2009, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.