An Overview of Heavy Oil Recovery

Reservoir Description and Dynamics


This course is intended to provide an overview of heat and fluid flow in heavy oil reservoirs. It is designed to provide a background on a variety of heavy oil recovery techniques with emphasis on steam injection recovery.

Topics include:

  • Basic concepts of thermal recovery
  • Mechanics of recovery and operations considerations
  • Analytical heating models
  • Field experiences
  • Commonly applied technologies in heavy oil recovery

Learning Level


Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend?

This course will provide a basic background on heavy oil recovery for those who are working or planning to work on heavy oil recovery projects.

Who Should Attend

Reservoir and production engineers, geologists, technicians and managers working in the area of thermal production.


Behrooz Fattahi holds Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University. After 37 years of working in the industry, he retired from Aera Energy LLC, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil companies, in 2014. He was the Heavy Oil Development Coordinator at Aera, and in his last position as the Learning Advisor, he taught several internal company technical courses including topics on reservoir engineering and enhanced oil recovery.

Prior to joining the oil industry, he conducted research for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation, and taught a variety of courses in fluid dynamics and solid mechanics at Iowa State University. He joined the petroleum industry in 1977 by joining Shell International.

Fattahi is a past member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and American Association of University Professors. He served as the Executive Editor of the SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering Journal, and on the board of the Society of Petroleum Engineers International (SPE) as the Director of the Western North America Region, President of SPE Americas, and Vice President-Finance. He served as a member of the United States National Petroleum Council. He is currently a member of the Board of the SPE Foundation.

Fattahi served as the Chairman of the Board, and the 2010 President of SPE International. He is now the 2014 President of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, AIME.