Numerical Modelling of Hybrid Steam and Combustion Process for Oil Sands Recovery

Min Yang


The proposed reaction kinetics model is able to capture the key chemical reactions in an ISC process. It can reasonably predict oxidation behaviour under a wide temperature range. Three combustion reactions were included in the HTO, namely LightOil combustion, Gas Combustion, and Coke combustion. Coke reacts slowly, while LightOil and Gas react quickly. Both combustion front velocity and temperature profiles were well matched in combustion tube tests. Combustion front velocity was essentially determined by the amount of fuel present, fuel consumption rates, and oxygen injection rate. Displacement mechanisms in the hybrid steam combustion processes were captured and simulated in the combustion tube simulation. Dynamical gridding has been applied in the field scale modelling of the hybrid process and combustion fronts can be captured with fine grids. Temperature was found to be the best controlling parameter for deciding where a fine grid was required. A threshold value of 35 ºC between grid blocks was found to be the best criterion for the amalgamation parameter. An approximate 17-fold of speedup in computation time was achieved by using proper dynamic gridding in this work. For all simulation scenarios considered in this work, the cSOR in the hybrid process was improved and this illustrates the main advantage of the hybrid steam and combustion process over steam-only injection as in SAGD.