Heavy Oil Recovery by a Nano-Catalytic In-Situ Upgrading Process
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By coupling heavy oil upgrading & recovery in one stage, ISUT is an economical and environmentally friendly process (no need for steam or diluent). In ISUT, lowest value & most costly portion of oil to process in downstream (i.e., VR) converts to higher quality product (8 °API increase & 25,000 cp viscosity decrease). Upgraded products (displacing fluid) contain 1 wt% gases (H2S & hydrocarbons with 1 to 5 carbon atoms) & 5 wt% naphtha cut (hydrocarbons with 5 to 12 carbon atoms). ISUT provides in-situ heat and solvent to improve heavy oil recovery. Oil production at the beginning of the ISUT process is mainly due to high temperature exothermic reactions. Then, oil is displaced due to the dissolution and diffusion of light hydrocarbons and gases.