In Situ Thermal Processing

Abou-Sayed, A.S., Jones, A.H., Mccain, R., and Wolgemuth, K.M.
Presented at 5th Annual Department of Energy Et al enhanced Oil & Gas Proc V 2, P H-3/1, 1979. (Conf-790805-P2).


Tar sands in Eastern Utah contain more than 28 billion barrels of oil in place. The tar sand oil or bitumen is very viscous at reservoir temperatures and will not flow into a wellbore unless it is heated or decomposed. About 10 percent of Utah’s tar sand can be surface mined; however, the remainder must be developed by in situ methods since overburden thickness is excessive. Laramie Energy Technology Center (LETC) is conducting in situ recovery experiments at Asphalt Ridge in Northeastern Utah. A hydraulic fracture experiment is planned within the tar sand layer as a means of creating the necessary flow path between the formation and the wells for improved control of the burn and production of the mobilized bitumen. Terra Tek, Inc. is assisting LETC in the design and analysis of the fracture treatment. The analytical prediction of fracture geometry based on rock mechanics consideration will be compared to the field measurements. Such comparison provides a basis for the design of the well pattern for any future in situ combustion project.