Current Overview of Cyclic Steam Injection Process

Johannes Alvarez, Sungyun Han;


Cyclic Steam Injection (CSI) is an effective thermal recovery process, in which, several driving mechanisms define the success of the process; i.e. viscosity reduction, wettability alteration, gas expansion, etc. This process was first applied in late 1950s. Then, it has been applied world-wide successfully to both light and heavy oil reservoirs. To increase the effectiveness of CSI, process was varied by chemical addition to steam, application of horizontal wells and introduction of hydraulic fracturing. With these modern technologies, average 15% of recovery factor of conventional CSI producers back in 1980’s boosted up to approximately 40%. The method is attractive because it gives quick payout at relatively high success rate due to cumulative field development experiences. However, this is still uncompetitive in terms of ultimate recovery factor compared to that of other steam drive methods such as steam flooding (50-60% OOIP) or SAGD (60-70% OOIP).<br>Recent studies related to the CSI have focused on either the optimization of chemical additives and fracture design or questioning on geomechanical solutions to poroelastic effects. In addition, most papers discuss about follow-up process posterior to CSI such as in-situ combustion, CO2 injection and steam flooding. This study is oriented to overview of the past and current status of CSI process in technical aspects with discussion of commercial cases throughout the world. A summarized review is given on the potential importance of encouragement of further investigation of Cyclic Steam Injection.


Cyclic Steam Injection; Cyclic Steam Stimulation; Huff n’ Puff; Thermal Enhanced Oil Recovery

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