Application of Autonomous Inflow Control Valve for Enhanced Bitumen Recovery by Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage


  • Soheila Taghavi
  • Farzan Farsi Madan
  • Ramesh Timsina
  • Britt M. E. Moldestad



Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), Autonomous Inflow Control Valve (AICV), Near-Well Simulation, OLGA/Rocx


Steam assisted gravity drainage is a thermal method for enhanced bitumen recovery. In this method, steam is injected to bitumen and heavy oil to reduce the viscosity and make the oil mobile. However, early breakthrough of steam in some parts of the well results in loss of the required amount of steam in contact with the cold bitumen, and poor distribution of the steam chamber. This limits the oil production and increases the SAGD operation cost. Autonomous inflow control valve (AICV) is able to prevent the steam breakthrough and restrict the production of steam. The objective of this paper is to investigate the performances of AICV and passive inflow control device (ICD) in a SAGD production well. This is achieved by developing a dynamic wellbore-reservoir model in the OLGA-ROCX simulator. Reservoir and fluid properties have been specified in ROCX, and the wellbore model has been developed in OLGA. Coupling OLGA and ROCX enable the user to simulate the fluid production from the reservoir into the well. The simulation results demonstrate the significant benefit of AICV in steam to oil ratio (SOR) reduction compared to ICD. Indeed, the simulation results show that utilizing AICV in the SAGD production wells will reduce the steam production by 88% after 300 days of production. From environmental aspect, reduction in the steam to oil ratio by utilizing AICV will reduce the energy demand for steam generation. This will eventually improve the economics of SAGD projects. Also, reduction in the steam and energy demand will consequently contribute to lower the intensity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.