Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2810022 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2810022
(54) English Title: IN SITU UPGRADING VIA HOT FLUID INJECTION
(54) French Title: VALORISATION IN-SITU PAR LE BIAIS D'UNE INJECTION DE FLUIDE CHAUD
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • E21B 43/24 (2006.01)
  • E21B 43/30 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • PEREIRA-ALMAO, PEDRO (Canada)
  • CHEN, ZHANGXING (Canada)
  • MAINI, BRIJ (Canada)
  • SCOTT-ALGARA, CARLOS (Canada)
(73) Owners (Country):
  • IN SITU UPGRADING TECHNOLOGIES INC. (Canada)
(71) Applicants (Country):
  • IN SITU UPGRADING TECHNOLOGIES INC. (Canada)
(74) Agent: HICKS & ASSOCIATES
(45) Issued: 2014-12-09
(22) Filed Date: 2013-03-19
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2013-11-30
Examination requested: 2013-10-31
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country Date
61/654,034 United States of America 2012-05-31

English Abstract

The invention relates to systems, apparatus and methods for integrated recovery and in-situ (in reservoir) upgrading of heavy oil and oil sand bitumens. The systems, apparatus and methods enable enhanced recovery of heavy oil in a production well by introducing a hot fluid including a vacuum or atmospheric residue fraction or deasphalted oil into the production well under conditions to promote hydrocarbon upgrading. The methods may further include introducing hydrogen and a catalyst together with the injection of the hot fluid into the production well to further promote hydrocarbon upgrading reactions. In addition, the invention relates to enhanced oil production methodologies within conventional oil reservoirs.


French Abstract

Linvention concerne des systèmes, un appareil et des procédés qui permettent de réaliser simultanément la récupération et la valorisation in situ (dans le gisement) dhuiles lourdes et des bitumes de sables pétrolifères. Les systèmes, lappareil et les procédés permettent une récupération améliorée dhuile lourde dans un puits de production, par introduction sous pression atmosphérique ou sous vide, dun fluide chaud dans le puits de production dans des conditions qui favorisent la valorisation dhydrocarbures, ce fluide chaud comprenant une fraction résiduelle ou une huile désasphaltée. Ces procédés peuvent également comporter lintroduction dhydrogène et dun catalyseur simultanément avec linjection du fluide chaud dans le puits de production de façon à favoriser davantage les réactions de valorisation des hydrocarbures. Linvention concerne également des procédés améliorés de production dhuiles au sein des gisements de pétrole classiques.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.




CLAIMS
1. A method for recovery and in situ upgrading of hydrocarbons in a well pair
having an
injection well and a recovery well within a heavy hydrocarbon reservoir
comprising the steps
of:
a) introducing a selected quantity of a hot injection fluid including a heavy
hydrocarbon fraction into the injection well to promote hydrocarbon recovery
and
in situ upgrading; and
b) recovering hydrocarbons from the recovery well.
2. The method as in claim 1 where the injection well and recovery well are a
horizontal well
pair.
3. The method as in claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the heavy hydrocarbon fraction
is selected from
any one of or a combination of shale oil, bitumen, atmospheric residue, vacuum
residue, or
deasphalted oil.
4. The method as in any one of claims 1-3 wherein the hydrocarbons recovered
from the
recovery well are subjected to a separation process wherein heavy and light
fractions are
separated and wherein the heavy fraction includes a residue fraction.
5. The method as in claim 4 wherein the residue fraction from the separation
process is mixed
with the injection fluid prior to introduction into the injection well.
6. The method as in claim 5 further comprising the step of mixing make-up
heavy
hydrocarbons with the injection fluid prior to introducing the injection fluid
into the injection
well and wherein the temperature and pressure of the injection fluid is
controlled to promote
downhole upgrading reactions.
7. The method as in any one of claims 1-6 wherein the injection fluid includes
diluent.
8. The method as in any one of claims 1-7 wherein the temperature and pressure
of the
injection fluid is controlled to promote thermal cracking upgrading reactions.
9. The method as in claim 8 wherein the temperature of the injection fluid is
controlled to
provide a downhole sump temperature of 320~20°C.
10. The method as in any one of claims 1-9 wherein the downhole residence time
of injected
fluids is 24-2400 hours.
-36-




11. The method as in any one of claims 1-10 wherein the temperature and
pressure of the
injection fluids are controlled such that greater than 30% of residual heavy
hydrocarbon of
the recovered bitumen is upgraded into lighter fractions within the reservoir.
12. The method as in any one of claims 1-11 wherein the temperature and
pressure of the
injection fluids are controlled such the recovered hydrocarbons have a
viscosity less than
500 cp at 25°C.
13. The method as in claim 12 wherein the recovered hydrocarbons have a
viscosity less than
250 cp at 25°C.
14. The method as in any one of claims 2-13 wherein prior to step a), steam is
injected into the
horizontal well pair to initiate connection between the injector well and the
recovery well and
formation of a downhole reaction chamber.
15. The method as in claim 14 wherein prior to step a) the steam is
progressively replaced with
a heavy hydrocarbon fluid, selected from any one of or a combination of heavy
oil, shale oil,
bitumen, atmospheric residue, vacuum residue, or deasphalted oil.
16. The method as in any one of claims 1-15 further comprising the step of
mixing a catalyst
into the injection fluid prior to introducing the injection fluid into the
injection well.
17. The method as in claim 16 further comprising the step of mixing hydrogen
into the injection
fluid prior to introducing the injection fluid into the injection well.
18. The method as claim 17 wherein the temperatures and pressures of the
injection fluid are
controlled to promote any one of or a combination of hydrotreating,
hydrocracking or steam-
cracking reactions.
19. The method as in claim 18 wherein the hydrogen is mixed with the injection
fluid to provide
excess hydrogen for the hydrotreating and hydrotreating reactions.
20. The method as in any one of claims 17-19 wherein the hydrogen is injected
along the length
of the injection well.
21. The method as in claim 20 wherein approximately 1/3 of the hydrogen is
mixed with the
injection fluid at surface and approximately 2/3 is injected to the reservoir
along the
horizontal length of the recovery well.
22. The method as in claim 21 wherein the hydrogen is injected from the
recovery well via at
least one liner operatively configured to the recovery well.
-37-




23. The method as in any one of claims 16-18 wherein the catalyst is any one
of or a
combination of nano-catalysts or ultradispersed catalyst.
24. The method as in claim 23 wherein the nano-catalyst has particles with
diameters less than
1 micron.
25. The method as in claim 24 wherein the ultradispersed catalyst has
particles with diameters
less than 120 nm.
26. The method as in any one of claims 1-25 wherein a plurality of adjacent
interconnecting well
pairs are configured to a single well pad wherein one of the interconnecting
well pairs is an
upgrading well pair and wherein heavy hydrocarbon fluids recovered from each
well is
mixed with the injection fluid of the upgrading well pair.
27. The method as in claim 26 wherein the heavy hydrocarbon fluids include any
one of or a
combination of heavy oil, shale oil, bitumen, atmospheric residue, vacuum
residue, or
deasphalted oil.
28. The method as in any one of claims 2-27 wherein the injection well and
recovery well have
vertically overlapping horizontal sections and the injection well is the lower
of the injection
well and the recovery well.
29. The method as in any one of claims 2-27 wherein the injection well and
recovery well have
vertically overlapping horizontal sections and the injection well is the upper
of the injection
well and the recovery well.
30. A system for recovery and in situ upgrading of heavy hydrocarbons within a
heavy
hydrocarbon formation comprising:
a) an injection well;
b) a recovery well;
the injection well and recovery well operatively connected to a hydrocarbon
distillation column
for separation of recovered fluids from the recovery well into heavy and light
fractions;
c) a mixing and hot fluid injection system operatively connected to the
distillation
column for recovering heavy fractions from the distillation column and for
mixing
the heavy fraction with additional injection fluids for injection into the
injection
well;
-38-




31. The system as in claim 30 further comprising a gas/liquid separation
system operatively
connected to the recovery well for separating gas and liquids recovered from
the recovery
well and for delivering separated liquids to the distillation column.
32. The system as in any one of claims 30-31 further comprising a catalyst
injection system
operatively connected to the mixing and hot fluid injection system for
introducing catalyst to
the mixing and hot fluid injection system.
33. The system as in any one of claims 30-32 further comprising a hydrogen
injection system
operatively connected to the mixing and hot fluid injection system for
introducing hydrogen
to the mixing and hot fluid injection system.
34. The system as in any one of claims 30-33 further comprising a diluent
injection system
operatively connected to the mixing and hot fluid injection system for
introducing diluent to
the mixing and hot fluid injection system.
35. The system as in any one of claims 30-34 further comprising at least one
additional injection
and recovery well operatively connected to the distillation column for
introducing additional
heavy hydrocarbons from the at least one additional recovery well to the
distillation column.
36. A method of upgrading heavy hydrocarbons during hydrocarbon recovery from
a heavy
hydrocarbon formation comprising the steps of:
a) drilling a well into the heavy hydrocarbon formation;
b) introducing heat into the well to create a hydrocarbon mobilization chamber

within the heavy hydrocarbon formation so as to promote hydrocarbon mobility
within the well;
c) recovering heavy hydrocarbons from the recovery well to the surface and
initially
storing the heavy hydrocarbons in a heated tank;
d) introducing heavy hydrocarbons from the heated tank into the well at a
temperature and pressure to promote hydrocarbon upgrading reactions in the
hydrocarbon mobilization chamber;
e) sealing and maintaining pressure in the well for a time sufficient to
promote
hydrocarbon upgrading reactions; and,
f) after a sufficient time, releasing the well pressure and recovering
upgraded
hydrocarbons from the well.
-39-




37. The method as in claim 36 further comprising the step of introducing
catalyst into the well
during step d).
38. The method as in any one of claims 36 or 37 further comprising the step of
introducing
hydrogen into the well during step d).
39. The method as in any one of claims 36-38 wherein steps b)-f) are
successively repeated.
40. A method for recovery and in situ upgrading of hydrocarbons in a well pair
having an
injection well and a recovery well within a heavy hydrocarbon reservoir
comprising the steps
of:
a) introducing a selected quantity of a hot injection fluid including a heavy
hydrocarbon fraction selected from any one of or a combination of shale oil,
bitumen, atmospheric residue, vacuum residue, or deasphalted oil into the
injection well to promote hydrocarbon recovery and in situ upgrading; and
b) recovering hydrocarbons from the recovery well;
c) subjecting the hydrocarbons recovered from the recovery well to a
separation
process wherein heavy and light fractions are separated to produce any one of
or
a combination of shale oil, bitumen, atmospheric residue, vacuum residue and a

deasphalted oil fraction
d) re-introducing any one of the shale oil, bitumen, atmospheric residue,
vacuum
residue or deasphalted oil fraction into the well as a hot injection fluid
under
temperature and pressure conditions to promote upgrading and repeating steps
a) to d).
41. The method as in claim 40 where the heavy hydrocarbon reservoir includes
bitumen and
bitumen is recovered from the recovery well.
42. The method as in claim 40 or 41 where the injection well and recovery well
are a horizontal
well pair.
43. The method as in any one of claims 40-42 where in step d) the fraction is
a vacuum residue
fraction.
44. The method as in any one of claims 40-43 wherein the hot injection fluid
includes diluent.
-40-




45. The method as in any one of claims 40-44 wherein the temperature and
pressure of the hot
injection fluid is controlled to promote thermal cracking upgrading reactions
and a downhole
sump temperature of 320~20°C.
46. The method as in any one of claims 40-45 wherein the temperature and
pressure of the hot
injection fluids are controlled such that greater than 30% recovered bitumen
is upgraded into
lighter fractions within the reservoir.
47. The method as in any one of claims 40-46 wherein the temperature and
pressure of the hot
injection fluids are controlled such the recovered hydrocarbons have a
viscosity less than
500 cP at 25°C.
48. The method as in any one of claims 40-46 wherein the temperature and
pressure of the hot
injection fluids are controlled such the recovered hydrocarbons have a
viscosity less than
250 cP at 25°C.
49. The method as in any one of claims 40-48 further comprising the step of
mixing a catalyst
into the hot injection fluid prior to introducing the injection fluid into the
injection well.
50. The method as in any one of claims 40-49 further comprising the step of
mixing hydrogen
into the hot injection fluid prior to introducing the hot injection fluid into
the injection well.
51. The method as in claim 50 wherein the temperatures and pressures of the
hot injection fluid
are controlled to promote any one of or a combination of hydrotreating,
hydrocracking or
steam-cracking reactions.
52. The method as in claim 50 wherein the hydrogen is mixed with the hot
injection fluid to
provide excess hydrogen for the hydrotreating and hydrotreating reactions.
53. The method as in any one of claims 40-52 wherein the hydrogen is injected
along the length
of the injection well.
54. The method as in claim 53 wherein approximately 1/3 of the hydrogen is
mixed with the hot
injection fluid at surface and approximately 2/3 is injected to the reservoir
along the
horizontal length of the recovery well.
55. The method as in claim 54 wherein the hydrogen is injected from the
recovery well via at
least one liner operatively configured to the recovery well.
56. The method as in any one of claims 49-55 wherein the catalyst is any one
of or a
combination of nano-catalysts or ultradispersed catalyst.
-41-




57. The method as in claim 56 wherein the nano-catalyst has an average
particle less than 1
micron.
58. The method as in claim 23 wherein the ultradispersed catalyst has an
average particle
diameter less than 120 nm.
-42-


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Admin Status

Title Date
(22) Filed 2013-03-19
Examination Requested 2013-10-31
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2013-11-30
(45) Issued 2014-12-09

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Next Payment if small entity fee 2018-03-19 $100.00
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Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $200.00 2013-03-20
Request for Examination $400.00 2013-10-31
Final $150.00 2014-08-27
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 2 2015-03-19 $50.00 2015-03-04
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 3 2016-03-21 $50.00 2016-03-07
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 4 2017-03-20 $50.00 2017-03-02

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Abstract 2013-03-19 1 16
Description 2013-03-19 35 1,594
Claims 2013-03-19 9 328
Drawings 2013-03-19 10 91
Representative Drawing 2013-11-04 1 5
Cover Page 2013-12-09 1 37
Claims 2014-02-13 9 335
Claims 2014-04-09 7 271
Cover Page 2014-11-20 1 37
Correspondence 2013-04-30 3 89
Correspondence 2013-05-08 1 18
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-03-19 2 57
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-10-31 4 113
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-12-05 1 20
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-12-16 2 62
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-02-13 8 278
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-03-26 2 77
Prosecution-Amendment 2014-04-09 9 316
Correspondence 2014-08-27 2 49
Correspondence 2015-01-23 7 277