Testing the use of chemical additives to improve the efficiency of thermal oil recovery processes

Steam injection in-situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery processes are very energy intensive and generate a significant amount of green house gases. The use of solvents may be the ultimate in reducing the energy input for in-situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery. However, the solvent processes, tested in the field, have not demonstrated to be economical thus far. Hence the use of chemical additive may bridge the gap until solvent processes can be proven in the field. Chemical additives may be a quick and economic way to increase the efficiency of in situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery. Chemical additives are usually added to the steam at low concentrations, eg. < 1 wt%, to improve the oil recovery efficiency of the steam processes. This research project is designed to investigate the recovery mechanisms of the steam-chemical additives process for chemical additives with different transport property.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ian Gates


Sheng Yang


InnoTech Alberta Inc


Engineering - chemical / biological


Oil and gas




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