Energy, Vol.181, 853-867, 2019
Technical and economic feasibility of a novel heavy oil recovery method: Geothermal energy assisted heavy oil recovery
Conventional hot water flooding generally has disadvantages of high energy consumption and large capital expenses. To improve the economy of hot water flooding, a novel geothermal energy assisted heavy oil recovery method is presented. To validate this idea, a numerical simulation study is conducted to analyze the performance of the heat exchange well and heavy oil recovery process. Furthermore, the new method and conventional hot water flooding are compared to examine the economic feasibility of this new method based on the financial net present value. Finally, factors that may affect the feasibility of this new method are discussed. The simulation results show that compared with cold water flooding, the new method can increase heavy oil recovery by more than 7%. Moreover, the financial net present values of the new method at different oil prices all surpass those of the conventional water flooding, and thus the new method proposed is feasible both technically and economically. The analysis on the factors affecting the feasibility reveals that the critical oil price (the oil price when the financial net present value equals 0) of the new method decreases with increasing heavy oil reservoir thickness, decreasing oil viscosity, permeability variation coefficient and initial reservoir pressure. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.