Method of In Situ Mining
Publication Date: 2016-Apr-08
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Method of In situ Mining
In this document, we describe a method for producing hydrocarbons from a hydrocarbon containing formation. Specific embodiments include, but are not limited to, the following:
a) Injecting cold water from a single well into a reservoir to condition the reservoir
b) Producing slurry from the reservoir using the same well
c) Stopping production once the bottom hole pressure is too low to lift the slurry
d) Repeating the injection and production processes
1) From a single well, which may be vertical or deviated inject cold water to condition a portion of the reservoir by reservoir pore pressure increase to essentially relieve the applied overburden stresses (balance the overburden). Once conditioned, we turn the well into a slurry production well and produce water, sand, and bitumen as a slurry. The process will continue until the bottom hole pressure is too low to lift the slurry or until the production stops due to reservoir conditions. At this point, the well is turned back to water injection and the reservoir pore pressure is then increased to “recondition” the reservoir. The injection may either be done in pressure control or volume control. Once the prescribed conditioned state has been achieved, the well can be turned back to slurry production. The process may be repeated as many times as it is feasible to recondition the reservoir. An example from numerical modeling is shown in Figure 1 where the cyclic reconditioning/production is shown in blue (labeled Huff-Puff) compared to one cycle shown in red (labeled no Huff-Puff).
Figure 1 I...