Overview of SAGD Analytical Models and Their Assumptions and Limitations

Reservoir Descriptions and Dynamics

Course Description

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.


  • SAGD Operation: The course starts with short definition of SAGD process and how different stage of it will be operated.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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 Attends

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.

Special Requirements

Laptop with Excel installed


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

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14 day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page.  Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


Mazda Irani is the director of Ashaw Energy Ltd. He is currently engaged in the designing and optimization of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) and proper near wellbore modeling for the SAGD wells. One of his main tasks is to help and develop a software that can help operators run their SAGD wells at optimum subcool, manage the hot spots, and modify their FCD design in heterogeneous reservoirs. He published a trilogy paper named “On Subcool Control in Steam-Assisted-Gravity-Drainage Producers"

Dr. Irani was previously employed in technical and supervisory roles with Cenovus Energy, Suncor Energy, RPS Energy, and C-FER Technologies. He has published and presented more than 40 technical papers on different aspects of SAGD operation. Dr. Irani holds a PhD in petroleum engineering (U of C 2017) and geomechanics (U of A 2012) and three Masters degrees in petroleum engineering, geotechnical engineering, and structural engineering.