Intelligent well completions strategy increases thermal recovery in SAGD wells ///

Bitumen is a thick, tar-like hydrocarbon that is often found in sandy formations. It is too viscous to flow in its natural state, so the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) system was developed to allow in-situ access to subsurface bitumen. SAGD involves drilling two parallel horizontal wells, one about 5 m above the other. The bitumen is too thick to flow initially, so there is a break-in period for both wells in which a work string is installed. Steam is either pumped down the string and back up the annulus or vice-versa, and the bitumen near the SAGD pair is heated. Once the immediate vicinity is sufficiently heated, production commences from the lower well and steam is injected into the upper well. As bitumen and water are produced from the lower production well, steam is injected into the upper production well, and a steam chamber forms.1

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