Pore-Level Simulation of Heavy Oil and Bitumen Recovery Using the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)

Behrang, A., Etemad, S., Mohammadmoradi, P., and Kantzas, A.

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department, University of Calgary.


A CFD-based numerical solver is developed to simulate the pore-scale behaviour of SAGD process, including phase change phenomena (i.e., condensation and vaporization). During the simulation a complete set of mass conservation and Navier-Stokes momentum and energy equations under non-isothermal condition are solved simultaneously. In addition to take phase change phenomena into account, the flow pattern in porous media is well-demonstrated. Then, the solver is validated against visualization experimental studies of SAGD process available in the literature. The results include a demonstration of a series of pore-scale events particularly in the vicinity of the bitumen-steam interface. The results of this study are a part of the larger investigation the objective of which is to understand deeply physics of complex multiphase flow in heterogeneous structures.

A full version of this paper is available on JGMAAS Online.