Practical Aspects of Thermal EOR – An Advanced Course

Reservior Description and Dynamics

Course Description

It is well known that primary and secondary production schemes in fields containing heavy oil (< 20 °API) generally result in recoverable reserves of 15% or less. Reserves additions via new discoveries have been declining steadily in the last decades, and the increase of recovery factors from mature oilfields in known basins will be critical to meeting growing market demand. Oilfields containing heavy (and extra heavy) oils or bitumen, since they have low recovery by conventional means, provide significant scope for increasing ultimate recovery using thermal means.

During this course, the instructors plan to: (1) spend most of the time discussing the practical aspects of whole variety of thermal EOR processes, including utilization of reservoir simulation, (2) discuss economics of thermal EOR methods, (3) give the course attendees some practical and useful problems, to work on, and (4) provide each course attendee a workbook containing copies of the instructors’ PowerPoint presentations, and solutions to the class problems.


  • Thermal effects on rock and fluid properties
  • Types of thermal oil recovery (TOR)
  • Thermal EOR (TEOR) screening and economics
  • Steam TEOR – Analytical methods
  • Data input into thermal simulators
  • Reservoir simulation of steam injection thermal projects
  • Steam additives
  • In-situ combustion TEOR
  • Reservoir Simulation of In-Situ combustion
  • In-Situ oil upgrading
  • Thermal well design and thermal well drilling
  • Surface facilities for thermal EOR projects
  • Thermal EOR project implementation
  • Thermal EOR operations/HSE
  • Thermal EOR project management and surveillance

Learning Level


Course Length

2 Days

Why Attend

This course will provide participants the opportunity to review and learn the most up-to-date information available about EOR technologies and strategies practiced today.

Who Attends

Petroleum engineers, reservoir engineers, production engineers, facilities engineers, managers, government officials, and others involved or interested in practical aspects of thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies and strategies for improving oil recovery from oilfields containing heavy (and extra heavy) oil and bitumen.


1.6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 2-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.


Paul L. Bondor, an expert in EOR/IOR technologies and practices, and mature oilfield revitalization, has worked with Avasthi & Associates, Inc. since 2006, as principal engineering and EOR/IOR advisor.

Bondor has extensive worldwide oil and gas industry experience, including 35 years with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group in reservoir engineering research, practice and supervision; reservoir simulation; EOR/IOR technologies and practices; EOR/IOR project design, pilot testing, and field wide project evaluation and optimization and training. He gained extensive experience in design, operation and surveillance of EOR/IOR projects working on Shell’s EOR/IOR projects in California, West Texas, Rocky Mountain, and Mid-continent regions of the United States. He was Shell’s reservoir engineering instructor and the head of Royal Dutch/Shell’s EOR/IOR research. Since his retirement from Shell, in 2003, he has continued to consult on reservoir engineering and EOR/IOR technologies and practices. 

Bondor is an engineering alumnus of Case Western Reserve University, where he earned a BS in engineering science, MS in mechanical engineering and his PHD in engineering.  He is a long-standing member of SPE, and a Technical Editor of the SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering Journal.

Janusz Grabowski is an expert in numerical simulation of reservoir performance. He has worked with Avasthi & Associates, Inc since 2010, as a principal EOR/IOR reservoir engineering and simulation/modeling consultant.

Grabowski has more than 32 years of worldwide oil and gas industry experience working on conventional oil and gas, heavy (and extra heavy) oil and bitumen resource recovery optimization, as well as on waterflood IOR, hydrocarbon-gas EOR/IOR, CO2 EOR and thermal EOR projects. His extensive experience working on EOR/IOR projects includes evaluation of pilot-tests and field-wide projects by conducting state-of-the-art simulation/modeling studies, including history matching, forecasting and performance optimization. He has lectured on conducting reservoir engineering and simulation/modeling studies and as well as other topics. 

Grabowski is an alumnus of Jagellonian University, where he earned his MSc and PhD in physics. He then conducted research at the Institute of Physics in Cracow and at the University of British Columbia. He then worked in senior level position at the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of Calgary, Computer Modeling Group (CMG), Gulf Canada, Canterra Energy, and at Alberta Research Council [presently Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures (AITF)], performing research and conducting studies in numerical reservoir simulation/modeling. He is co-author of STARS (CMG’s Thermal and Advanced Processes Numerical Simulator), and has authored/co-authored several technical papers.

S. M. (Sam) Avasthi, P.E., is chairman and CEO, and director of engineering and EOR/IOR, at Avasthi & Associates, Inc. In addition to providing strategic direction and leadership to the company, that he founded in 1990 and that now provides full-service integrated consulting services to the worldwide oil and gas industry for onshore and offshore, conventional and unconventional/shale, oil, gas, gas-condensate/volatile oil, and heavy oil field evaluation, development and optimization (to maximize oil and gas recovery and project profitability), he is active in consulting and training in his areas of technical expertise. 

Avasthi is an engineering alumnus of the Indian School of Mines University, Imperial College London University, and Texas A&M University (wherefrom he earned a PhD in petroleum engineering). He was a research fellow in chemical engineering at Rice University, and worked for several years in senior-level petroleum engineering and consulting positions with major global integrated oil and gas producing and consulting companies before founding Avasthi & Associates, Inc.

Avasthi is a registered professional engineer (P.E.) in Texas, a Legion of Honor member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and a technical editor of the SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering Journal, SPE Production & Operations Journal, and the Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology. He is a co-instructor of several popular courses taught under the auspicious of SPE, including, Practical Aspects of CO2 Flooding EOR, Geological Sequestration of CO2, Practical Aspects of Thermal EOR, Practical Reservoir Surveillance and Management Techniques for EOR/IOR Projects, Optimizing Gas Fields using Integrated Asset Modeling (IAM), and Optimizing Shale Plays, and Practical Techniques for Screening Deepwater Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration Prospects.