Analytical Modeling of Unsteady Heat Transfer in the SAGD process

Qingmao Li

Supervisor: Zhangxing (John) Chen


This work discussed the analytical modeling of unsteady heat transfer in the SAGD process.  It shows that Darcy’s law is a good way to simulate condensate velocity in the SAGD process. Convection can transfer a relatively large amount of heat at the edge of a steam chamber andcannot be neglected. A cubic formula is general for the correlation of thermal conductivity with temperature and a linear correlation is accurate enough under typical Athabasca reservoir conditions. The time approaching the steady state is around 20,000h and the water relative permeability is around 0.001 under typical Athabasca reservoir conditions. In real field applications, a quasi-steady state assumption may be used for its simplicity but has some errors especially at early times.