Overview of SAGD Analytical Models and Their Assumptions and Limitations

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics


This 1-day course is an introduction to Butler assumptions and mathematical principles and its limitations and also briefly discusses other studies which address steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oil production and SOR evaluation. In this course there will be examples using Excel spreadsheets.

The following topics will be covered:

  1. SAGD Operation: The course starts with short definition of SAGD process and how different stage of it will be operated.
  2. SAGD Heat Transfer: Heat-transfer mechanisms are pivotal to the SAGD process. In this section different temperature models and their consideration with respect to conduction and convection are discussed:
    • Butler Temperature Model
    • Sharma Gates Convection Model
    • Irani and Ghannadi Convection Model
  3. Butler Production Model: The derivation of oil production using Butler is discussed. Finally assumptions in “Original Butler model”, TANDRAIN and LINDRAIN models will be discussed and evaluated:
    • Butler Plateau Model (i.e., “Original Butler model”, TANDRAIN and LINDRAIN)
    • Butler Ramp-up Model
    • Discussion on Steam Interface Velocity in “Original Butler model”, TANDRAIN and LINDRAIN models, and its comparison to field data.
    • m exponent factor discussion
  4. SOR discussion: Heat conservation concept and the basis of different SOR analytical models are presented:
    • Reis SOR Model
    • Edmunds and Peterson (2007)
    • Miura and Wang (2012) Model

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of this course, participants will be able to:
  • Understanding heat transfer in SAGD operation.
  • Understanding limitations of Butler and other analytical models.
  • Assumptions made in SAGD analytical models.
  • Optimizations made in forecasting models.

Learning Level

Introductory to Intermediate

Course Length

1 Day

Special Requirements

Laptop with Excel installed


Why Attend?

Most thermal operators are highly dependent on analytical models for their forecasting on both oil production and SOR predictions. This course briefly discusses limitations and assumptions made on different models and provides a good understanding on different models and how to modify these models.


Who Should Attend

Reservoir and Production Engineers that are involved in forecasting and evaluation of SAGD projects. This is a fundamental course for Reservoir Engineers new to Thermal Operation.


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



Mazda Irani is a senior reservoir engineer at Suncor Energy. He is currently engaged in designing and optimization of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) and Enhanced Solvent Extraction Incorporating Electromagnetic Heating (ESEIEH). ESEIEH is a new in-situ oil sands recovery process that uses radio frequency waves other than steam for heating the reservoir. Mazda holds a PhD and three MSc degrees and currently pursuing his studies for his second PhD in university of Calgary. His PhD is focused on understanding instability at the edge of SAGD steam chamber. Before joining Suncor Energy he worked with RPS Energy (APA) and C-FER Technologies. He has published and presented more than 30 technical papers on different aspects of SAGD operation. He has developed various analytical solutions and proxies for different aspects of SAGD operation, which currently have been used in Suncor assets.