Heavy Oil Operation

Some of the world’s largest reserves are heavy oil reservoirs. With oil in place equal to the largest conventional oil fields in the Middle East, these large reserves are found in more than thirty countries around the globe, but few of these deposits have been developed extensively. The significant operating investment in recovering heavy oil necessitates a high oil price to financially justify heavy oil operations.

The main challenge in heavy oil is not in finding resources, but in extracting, recovering, producing, and selling heavy crude oil within often changing economic guidelines. Under stable market conditions, heavy oil assets have the potential to generate many years of steady cash flow, typically producing for more than 50 years. However, when the energy ratio needed to produce and upgrade a barrel of heavy oil can be as high as 40%, balancing economics throughout the project is a challenge.

PDK successfully performed pre-production test of 7 wells in South Pars Oil Layer project. The field is the north eastern extension of Al-Shaheen Oil Field in the Qatar. The Iranian portion of the field is located in 67 meters’ water depth. PDK has successfully run the production test utilizing sophisticated techniques to handle heavy-foamy oil in a challenging offshore environment. PDK’s technical and operation crew has achieved highest client satisfaction rating in this very special campaign.  PDK has been struggling with many challenges during well testing operations in south pars oil layer including:

  • BSW Sampling
    • Time to collect sample
    • Oil flows like honey
    • Visibility of line between oil and emulsions
    • Hard to take a 100% oil of sample tube
  • Separation difficulties
    • Foam cannot be seen through sight glass
    • Meters performance during foamy oil
    • Cumulative foam creates liquid oil/emulsion in gas line affecting Gas orifice meter
  • Metering
    • Carry Under
    • Carry Over
  • Emulsion and Foam
    • Foam not visible in sight glass
    • Carry Over of oil (foam) through separator gas line
    • Carry over through Surge Tank vent line
  • Effluent Flaring
    • Burning efficiency (amount of burnt oil)
    • Live flare while pilot on
    • Flaring equipment requirement
    • Wind direction

PDK has proposed and applied following solutions in order to overcome these challenges:

  • Using heaters and demulsifier
  • Modify separator liquid level and pressure, inject anti-foam and usage of STX in well test layout
  • Using multiple storage tanks
  • Modifications in burners, pilots and burning process