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HEAVY OIL

API gravity : A specific gravity scale developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) for measuring the relative density of various petroleum liquids, expressed in degrees. API gravity is gradated in degrees on a hydrometer instrument and was designed so that most values would fall between 10 and 70 API gravity. The arbitrary formula used to obtain this effect is: API gravity = (141.5/SG at 60F) - 131.5, where SG is the specific gravity of the fluid. Biodegradation : The breakdown of medium-weight crude oil by microbial organisms into heavy and light components. When the light components, typically methane, escape to the surface, the heavy ends are left behind. Biodegradation gradually raises oil viscosity, reduces API gravity, increases asphaltene content and increases concentration of certain metals and sulfur. Bitumen : A designation for a hydrocarbon fluid with a gravity of 10 API or lower, based upon the classification of the US Department of Energy. Blended crude : A mixture of crude oils, blended in the pipeline to create a crude with specific physical properties. Because heavy and extra-heavy crudes or bitumens cannot flow from the field to the refinery in their original state and at normal surface temperatures, they are blended with lighter crude oils primarily to reduce viscosity, thereby enabling transportation to a refinery. A secondary objective may be to provide a blended crude oil that has significantly higher value than the raw heavy crude. The blend is usually constructed so that the value of the overall blended volume is greater than the summed value of the initial volumes of individual heavy and light crudes. Calcium naphthenate : A calcium soap of naphthenic acids in crude oil. Naphthenates are formed through interaction of naphthenic acids in crude oil with metal ions such as calcium and sodium. Insoluble in either the oil or water phase, and with a density between that of oil and water, naphthenates tend to accumulate at the oil/water interface and act as surfactants to help stabilize emulsions. Naphthenates can also be deposited as solids in pipelines, and can cause flow-assurance problems. Chemical Injection : A general term for injection processes that use special chemical solutions to improve oil recovery, remove formation damage, clean blocked perforations or formation layers, reduce or inhibit corrosion, upgrade crude oil, or address crude oil flow-assurance issues. Injection can be administered continuously, in batches, in injection wells, or at times in production wells. Cloud point : The temperature at which wax crystals first start to form in a crude oil. Wax appearance temperature (WAT) and wax precipitation temperature (WPT) are other synonyms.

CO2 injection : An enhanced oil recovery method in which carbon dioxide (CO 2) is injected into a reservoir to increase production by reducing oil viscosity and providing miscible or partially miscible displacement of the oil. Cogeneration : The process of generating two or more forms of energy from a single energy source. For example, in a heavy oil field, turbines are often used to generate electricity while their waste heat is removed to generate steam. Other alternatives exist, with turbines being run by burning gas or crude oil. Alternatively, the primary heat source can be used to generate steam directly at extremely high pressure and temperature, with the steam being run through a turbine to generate electricity before the steam is distributed to injection wells. Cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS) : A non-thermal primary process for producing heavy oil, also called CHOPS. In this method, continuous production of sand improves the recovery of heavy oil from the reservoir. There is both a theoretical basis and physical evidence that, in many cases, wormholes are formed in the unconsolidated sand reservoir, thereby increasing oil productivity. In most cases, an artificial lift system is used to lift the oil with sand. Cold production : Nonthermal primary methods of heavy oil production, which include technologies such as production with horizontal wells, multilaterals, CHOPS, water or gas injection Compositional fluid analysis : Any of a variety of analytical techniques carried out to determine the composition of a crude oil by breaking it down into basic chemical components. The hydrocarbon components are usually identified by carbon number fractions: C1, C2, C3, etc. up to Cn, where the limiting carbon number, n, is defined by the particular analytical technique. These analytical techniques include, but are not limited to, gas or liquid chromatography, cryogenic and flash distillations, true boiling-point distillations, structural fluid characterizations such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon analysis, SARA analysis, sonic testing and other crude oil assay methods. Other nonhydrocarbon components can also be identified, such as nitrogen, heavy metals, sulfur and salts. Cracking : The process of splitting a large heavy hydrocarbon molecule into smaller, lighter components. The process involves very high temperature and pressure and can involve a chemical catalyst to improve the process efficiency CSS : Abbreviation for cyclic steam stimulation. Better known as cyclic steam injection Cyclic steam injection : A method of thermal recovery in which a well is injected with steam and then subsequently put back on production. A cyclic steaminjection process includes three stages. The first stage is injection, during which a slug of steam is introduced into the reservoir. The second stage, or soak phase, requires that the well be shut in for several days to allow uniform heat

distribution to thin the oil. Finally, during the third stage, the thinned oil is produced through the same well. The cycle is repeated as long as oil production is profitable. Cyclic steam injection is used extensively in heavy-oil reservoirs, tar sands, and in some cases to improve injectivity prior to steamflood or in situ combustion operations. Cyclic steam injection is also called steam soak or the huff and puff. Diluent : A hydrocarbon fluid that is used to dilute heavy oil and reduce its viscosity for easier transportation. Generally a distillation tower cut such as naphtha is used as for heavy oil dilution and transportation. The added diluent may be recovered at the destination using distillation and the diluent may be subsequently pumped back for blending. Dry combustion : An in situ combustion technique in which only air or oxygenenriched air mixtures are injected into a formation. A drawback related to dry combustion is the highly corrosive and noxious combustion products that are produced. Dry forward combustion : A type of in situ combustion in which the burning front moves in the same direction as the injected air. As air is continuously supplied at the injection well, the fire ignited at this location moves toward the production wells. During forward combustion, the temperature behind the burning front is high, indicating a great amount of heat stored in the formation matrix. The injected gas heats on contact with the matrix and recovers only a small amount of the heat, with considerable losses to the surrounding formations. Another drawback of dry forward combustion is the presence of a highly viscous oil zone surrounding the production well. The fluid in this zone remains at the original reservoir temperature and its forward displacement by the heated oil is normally difficult. Electric submersible pump (ESP) : An electric downhole pump used in heavy oil production that is designed with vane and fin configurations to accommodate frictional losses and pump efficiencies caused by heavy oil viscosity. Emulsion : A dispersion of droplets of one liquid in another liquid with which it is incompletely miscible. Emulsions can form in heavy oils that contain a significant amount of asphaltenes. The asphaltenes act as surfactants with treatment or formation water. The resulting emulsion droplets have high-energy bonds creating a very tight dispersion of droplets that is not easily separated. These surface-acting forces can create both oil-in-water and/or water-in-oil emulsions. Such emulsions require temperature and chemical treating in surface equipment in order to separate. Fire flooding : A method of thermal recovery in which a flame front is generated in the reservoir by igniting a fire at the sandface of an injection well. Continuous injection of air or other gas mixture with high oxygen content will maintain the

flame front. As the fire burns, it moves through the reservoir toward production wells. Heat from the fire reduces oil viscosity and helps vaporize reservoir water to steam. The steam, hot water, combustion gas and a bank of distilled solvent all act to drive oil in front of the fire toward production wells. Fishbone wells : A series of multilateral well segments that trunk off a main horizontal well. The appearance closely resembles the ribs of a fish skeleton trunking off the main backbone. Five-spot : An injection pattern in which four input or injection wells are located at the corners of a square and the production well sits in the center. The injection fluid, which is normally water, steam or gas, is injected simultaneously through the four injection wells to displace the oil toward the central production well. Flocculation : The aggregation of small particles into larger particles. In the context of heavy oil, asphaltenes are known to flocculate at the molecular level (before precipitation) and in the precipitated state. The extent of asphaltene flocculation changes with fluid composition, temperature and pressure. For precipitated asphaltenes, flocculation is also affected by the shear environment. Foamy oil : An oil-continuous foam that contains dispersed gas bubbles produced at the wellhead from heavy oil reservoirs under solution gas drive. The nature of the gas dispersions in oil distinguishes foamy oil behavior from conventional heavy oil. The gas that comes out of solution in the reservoir does not coalesce into large gas bubbles nor into a continuous flowing gas phase. Instead it remains as small bubbles entrained in the crude oil, keeping the effective oil viscosity low while providing expansive energy that helps drive the oil toward the producing well. Foamy oil accounts for unusually high production in heavy oil reservoirs under solution-gas drive. Heavy oil : Crude oil with high viscosity (typically above 10 cp), and high specific gravity. The API classifies heavy oil as crudes with a gravity below 22.3 API. In addition to high viscosity and high specific gravity, heavy oils typically have low hydrogen-to-carbon ratios, high asphaltene, sulfur, nitrogen, and heavy-metal content, as well as higher acid numbers High temperature completions : Equipment or systems used for completion of wells in thermal production of heavy oil. Hot waterflooding : A method of thermal recovery in which hot water is injected into a reservoir through specially distributed injection wells. Hot waterflooding reduces the viscosity of the crude oil, allowing it to move more easily toward production wells. Hot waterflooding, also known as hot water injection, is typically less effective than a steam-injection process because water has lower heat content than steam. Nevertheless, it is preferable under certain conditions such as formation sensitivity to fresh water.

Huff and puff : slang term for a cyclic process in which a well is injected with a recovery enhancement fluid and, after a soak period, the well is put back on production. Examples are cyclic steam injection and cyclic CO2 injection. In-situ combustion : A method of thermal recovery in which fire is generated inside the reservoir by injecting a gas containing oxygen, such as air. A special heater in the well ignites the oil in the reservoir and starts a fire. The heat generated by burning the heavy hydrocarbons in place produces hydrocarbon cracking, vaporization of light hydrocarbons and reservoir water in addition to the deposition of heavier hydrocarbons known as coke. As the fire moves, the burning front pushes ahead a mixture of hot combustion gases, steam and hot water, which in turn reduces oil viscosity and displaces oil toward production wells. Additionally, the light hydrocarbons and the steam move ahead of the burning front, condensing into liquids, which adds the advantages of miscible displacement and hot waterflooding. In situ combustion is also known as fire flooding or fireflood In-situ fluid analysis : Analysis performed by downhole tools to determine physical and chemical properties of fluids. Typical analyses that can be performed downhole include basic density and viscosity measurements at sampling pressure and temperature. In-situ viscosity evaluation : Downhole measurement of fluid viscosity, typically performed either with logging tools based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) or with sampling tools such as formation testers. Liquid blocking : A phenomenon encountered during dry forward combustion in which an oil zone around the production well cannot be pushed forward by the heated oil. The fluid located in this zone is still at the original reservoir temperature. Therefore, the fluid is still highly viscous and normally not mobile. Oil sand : In the context of heavy oil, an oil sand is a porous rock layer, often considered to be a mixture of sand, clay, water, and bitumen. The term is predominantly used in Canada, where over 170 billion barrels of bitumen are estimated to be held by large oil sand deposits in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River regions of Alberta. Oils from such sands may have a gravity of less than 10 API. Both in-situ recovery and mining methods are used to extract the resource, with surface mining used for extracting deposits of extra heavy oil at shallow depths of less than 100 m [328 ft]. Pour point : The temperature at which a fluid ceases to pour. The pour point for oil can be determined under protocols set forth in the ASTM D-97 pour point test, in which the pour point is established as that temperature at which oil ceases to flow when the sample is held at 90 degrees to the upright for five seconds. High pour points usually occur in crude oils that have significant paraffin content.

Paraffins (or waxes) will start to precipitate as temperature decreases. At some point the precipitates accumulate to the point where the fluid can no longer flow. This phenomenon can occur with light oils as well as heavy oils. Resin : One of the four main components of petroleum, along with asphaltenes, aromatics and saturates (which include waxes). Resins, aromatics and saturates are also known as maltenes. Resin adds to the stickiness and viscosity of heavy oil. Reverse combustion : A type of in-situ combustion in which the burning front moves in an opposite direction to the injected air. Initially, air is injected into a production well and the fire is ignited. After the burning front has advanced some distance from the production well, air is supplied only near the injection well. The burning front advances toward the injection well while the oil moves toward the production well. Reverse combustion actually refers to dry reverse combustion and can be used to recover extremely viscous oil or tar. In reverse combustion, the liquid blocking problem is solved because a hot zone is maintained near the production well. Despite this advantage, this process is not as efficient as dry forward combustion because lighter fractions of the oil are burned and heavier fractions are left behind the burning front. Another drawback is the possibility of a spontaneous ignition in the injector well, which will divert air for combustion near the injector well instead of near the producer. SARA analysis : A method for characterization of heavy oils based on fractionation, whereby a heavy oil sample is separated into smaller quantities or fractions, with each fraction having a different composition. Fractionation is based on the solubility of hydrocarbon components in various solvents used in this test. Each fraction consists of a solubility class containing a range of different molecular-weight species. In this method, the crude oil is fractionated to four solubility classes, referred to collectively as SARA: saturates, aromatics, resins, and asphaltenes. Saturates are generally iso- and cyclo-paraffins, while aromatics, resins, and asphaltenes form a continuum of molecules with increasing molecular weight, aromaticity, and heteroatom contents. Asphaltenes may also contain metals such as nickel and vanadium. This method is sometimes referred to as Asphaltene/Wax/Hydrate Deposition analysis. Soak phase / Steam soak : In cyclic steam injection, the second phase between the steam-injection phase and the production phase. During the soak phase, the well is shut in for several days to allow uniform heat distribution to thin the oil. Steam : A two-phase mixture of liquid water and steam produced from a generator. The latent heat of vaporization for steam is very high, and when the steam condenses in the reservoir a significant amount of heat is transferred from the steam to the formation rock and fluids. Since steam is lighter and more mobile than oil, gravity differences and channeling of the steam through the most

permeable parts of the reservoir can create sweep efficiency problems during steam-injection processes. To increase sweep efficiency, there are two categories of improvements. The first is operational changes such as selective completion of injector wells, fracturing operations and constructing horizontal wells, and the second is the use of additives in the steam. For example, water-soluble surfactants modify interfacial properties of the oil-water system, and foams reduce steam mobility. Steam chamber / steam chest : The volume of reservoir in which mobile steam exists for an extended period of time. Within the steam chamber, rock temperature rises to the point where steam vapor can be sustained at reservoir pressure conditions. The steam chamber is normally found in the upper portion of a reservoir sand between a steam injector and a producer, where steam has broken through to the producer. With time, the steam chamber can expand to cover an entire area of a five-spot pattern steamflood. For a steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) system, the steam chamber in a mature field project can extend from a broad area across the top of the sand to a narrow finger down to the producing horizontal well near the bottom of the sand Steam management : The overall heat and fuel management for a steam injection process. It includes economically efficient use of fuel consumed to generate steam, minimization of heat losses in surface steam-distribution lines, proper splitting of steam flow and quality and intersections in steam-distribution lines, and effective management of steam and heat distribution in the reservoir. Steam soak : soak phase Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) : A thermal production method for heavy oil that pairs a high-angle injection well with a nearby production well drilled along a parallel trajectory. The pair of high-angle wells is drilled with a vertical separation of about 5 m [16 ft]. Steam is injected into the reservoir through the upper well. As the steam rises and expands, it heats up the heavy oil, reducing its viscosity. Gravity forces the oil to drain into the lower well where it is produced. Steam-oil ratio : Parameter used to monitor the efficiency of oil production processes based on steam injection. Commonly abbreviated as SOR, it measures the volume of steam required to produce one unit volume of oil. Typical values of SOR for cyclic steam stimulation are in the range of three to eight, while typical SOR values for steam assisted gravity drainage are in the range of two to five. The lower the SOR, the more efficiently the steam is utilized and the lower the associated fuel costs. Steamflood : A method of thermal recovery in which steam generated at surface is injected into the reservoir through specially distributed injection wells. When steam enters the reservoir, it heats up the crude oil and reduces its viscosity. The heat also distills light components of the crude oil, which condense

in the oil bank ahead of the steam front, further reducing the oil viscosity. The hot water that condenses from the steam and the steam itself generate an artificial drive that sweeps oil toward producing wells. Another contributing factor that enhances oil production during steam injection is related to near-wellbore cleanup. In this case, steam reduces the interfacial tension that ties paraffins and asphaltenes to the rock surfaces while steam distillation of crude oil light ends creates a small solvent bank that can miscibly remove trapped oil. Steamflooding is also called continuous steam injection or steam drive Tar sand : A sand body that contains heavy hydrocarbon residues such as tar or asphalt, or degraded oil that has lost its volatile components. Hydrocarbons can be liberated from tar sands by heating and other processes, but tar sands, such as the Athabasca tar sands of Canada, are not commonly commercial because of high costs of production. Among some workers in the field of heavy oil, this term is falling out of use, in favor of the term "oil sand Thermal recovery (TEOR) : A general term for injection processes that introduce heat into a reservoir. Thermal recovery is used to produce viscous, thick oils with API gravities less than 20. These oils cannot flow unless they are heated and their viscosity is reduced enough to allow flow toward producing wells. During thermal recovery, crude oil undergoes physical and chemical changes because of the effects of the heat supplied. Physical properties such as viscosity, specific gravity and interfacial tension are altered. The chemical changes involve different reactions such as cracking, which is the destruction of carbon-carbon bonds to generate lower molecular weight compounds, and dehydrogenation, which is the rupture of carbon-hydrogen bonds. Thermal recovery is a major branch of enhanced oil recovery processes and can be subdivided in two types: hot fluid injection such as steam injection (steamflood or cyclic steam injection) and hot waterflooding and in-situ combustion processes. Thermal simulation : The finite-difference or finite-element reservoir simulation that includes energy equations and calculations used to describe heat conduction, heat and fluid convection, and latent heat exchanges occurring in the reservoir rock and fluids during a thermal recovery process such as steamflooding, steam assisted gravity drainage, or in-situ combustion. Combustion thermal simulation also requires equations for modeling combustion reaction kinetics. Toe to heel air injection (THAI) : An in-situ combustion method for producing heavy oil. In this technique, the fireflooding starts from a vertical well, while the oil is produced from a horizontal well having its toe in close proximity to the vertical air-injection well. This production method is a modification of conventional fire flooding techniques in which the flame front from a vertical well pushes the oil to be produced from another vertical well. Ultra heavy oil : bitumen

Upgrader : A refinery unit used to improve or upgrade heavy oil to produce higher-quality hydrocarbon liquids or upgraded synthetic crudes. The refining unit may include any combination of the following: hydrogen addition processes, carbon rejection processes or carbon concentration and removal processes. Vapor extraction (VAPEX) : A non-thermal heavy oil production method. Similar in concept to SAGD, in vapor extraction a solvent vapor is used to reduce viscosity of the heavy oil. The injected solvent vapor expands and dilutes the heavy oil by contact. The diluted heavy oil will drain by gravity to the lower horizontal well, to be produced. Viscous oil : heavy oil. Water-alternating gas (WAG) : An enhanced oil recovery process whereby water injection and gas injection are alternately injected for periods of time to provide better sweep efficiency and reduce gas channeling from injector to producer. This process is used mostly in CO 2 floods to improve hydrocarbon contact time and sweep efficiency of the CO2. Wet combustion : An in situ combustion technique in which water is injected simultaneously or alternately with air into a formation. Wet combustion actually refers to wet forward combustion and was developed to use the great amount of heat that would otherwise be lost in the formation. The injected water recovers the heat from behind the burning front and transfers it to the oil bank ahead. Because of this additional energy, the oil displacement is more efficient and requires less air. In spite of these advantages, a wet combustion process cannot avoid liquid-blocking problems and use of wet combustion is limited by the oil viscosity. Wet combustion is also called in situ steam generation or a combination of forward combustion and waterflooding, which is abbreviated as COFCAW Wormhole : A high-porosity, high-permeability channel that develops when heavy oil is produced simultaneously with sand (during cold heavy oil production with sand, or CHOPS). Wormholes develop in a radial pattern away from the borehole and can extend 150 m [492 ft] from the borehole. The development of wormholes can cause reservoir pressure to fall below the bubblepoint, resulting in dissolved gas coming out of solution and forming foamy oil.