Thermodynamic Model of Steam Injection Pipeline Considering the Effect of Time and Phase Change

Xuan Zhao, Chengcheng Niu, Jun Wang, Xiuxing Zhu


Thermodynamic parameters in heavy oil thermal recovery wells form the basis for evaluating the thermal efficiency of steam injection. However, various factors in wellbores affect the variation law of thermodynamic parameters, hindering attempts to make an accurate description of them. A thermodynamic model of wellbores is proposed in this study which factors in the effects of time and phase change with a view to: (i) improving the accuracy of thermodynamic parameter analysis, and (ii) identifying the main factors and rules that govern thermal efficiency. With the time factor considered, the transient conduction function of a coupled wellbore-formation was established, and the heat loss during steam injection was analyzed. Meanwhile, a wellbore pressure gradient equation was established using the Beggs-Brill model with consideration of the influence of phase transformation in wellbore. Steam pressure, which varies with flow pattern, was also analyzed. The accuracy of the proposed model was verified by comparing the results of the analysis with the test data. Taking this approach, the influence of steam injection parameters on thermal efficiency was studied. The results demonstrate that the relative error of the pressure analysis result of proposed model is 1.06% and the relative error of temperature is 0.24%. The main factor affecting thermal efficiency is water in the annulus of the wellbore, followed by the steam injection rate. The thermal efficiency of the wellbore is about 80% when the water depth in the annulus is 300 m. An increase in the injection rate or extension of the injection time can improve thermal efficiency, whereas an increase in steam injection pressure reduces thermal efficiency. The proposed method provides good prospects for optimizing high efficiency steam injection parameters of heavy oil thermal recovery wells.

Full Text:



Zeinab Khansari, Punitkumar Kapadia, Nader Mahinpey, and Ian D.

Gates. A new reaction model for low temperature oxidation of heavy

oil: experiments and numerical modeling. Energy, 64:419 – 428, 2014.

K. Miura and J. Wang. An analytical model to predict cumulative

steam/oil ratio (csor) in thermal-recovery sagd. Journal of Canadian

Petroleum Technology, 51(4):268–275, 2012.

Yang Yang, Shijun Huang, Yang Liu, Qianlan Song, Shaolei Wei, and

Hao Xiong. A multistage theoretical model tocharacterize the liquid

level during steam-assisted-gravity-drainage process. SPE Journal,

(1):327–338, 2017.

Mahood Hameed B., Campbell A. N., Sharif A. O., and Thorpe R. B.

Heat transfer measurement in a three-phase direct-contact condenser

under flooding conditions. Applied Thermal Engineering, 95:106–114,

Fengrui Sun, Chunlan Li, Linsong Cheng, Shijun Huang, Ming Zou,

Qun Sun, and Xiaojun Wu. Production performance analysis of

heavy oil recovery by cyclic superheated steam stimulation. Energy,

:356–371, 2017.

Joel Sandler, Garrett Fowler, Kris Cheng, and Anthony R. Kovscek.

Solar-generated steam for oil recovery: Reservoir simulation, economic

analysis, and life cycle assessment. Energy Conversion and

Management, 77:721–732, 2014.

Bingbing Han, Wenlong Cheng, Yongle Nian, Changlong Wang, and

Lei Yang. Analysis for flow and heat transfer of thermal recovery well

with steam and multiple thermal fluids injection. Journal of Engineering

Thermophysics, 37:1867–1874, 2016.

Bo Zhang. Research and application of wellbore heat insulation technology

for heavy oil thermal recovery. Chemical Engineering & Equipment,

(9):98–100, 2012.

Reges Jose E. O, Salazar A. O, Maitelli Carla W. S. P, Carvalho Lucas

G, and Britto Ursula J. B. Flow rates measurement and uncertainty

analysis in multiple-zone water-injection wells from fluid temperature

profiles. Sensors, 16(7):1077–1083, 2016.

C. Alimonti, E. Soldo, D. Bocchetti, and D. Berardi. The wellbore heat

exchangers: A technical review. Renewable Energy, 123:353–381,

Xiao Yang and Xiong Zhang. Research on unsteady state heat transfer

process of steam injection wellbore in thermal production well. Technology

& Development of Chemical Industry, 46(6):48–51, 2017.

Fengrui Sun, Yuedong Yao, and Xiangfang Li. An equivalent evaluation

model for heat loss of superheated steam flow in offshore parallel dualtubing

wells. Journal of Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology,

(6):15–24, 2017.

Chunsheng Guo, Minghai Xu, Shifeng Xue, and Fangyi Qu. Process

analysis of unsteady heat transfer and fluid flow during steam injection

via horizontal wells. Journal of China University of Petroleum (Edition

of Natural Science), 40(4):116–120, 2016.

Houdong Wang, Wei Yan, Jin Sun, Jingen Deng, Yanfeng Cao, Lei

Zhang, Xinjiang Yan, Jiajia Gao, Hao Pan, and Hao Liu. Numerical simulation

and parameter optimization for heat injection progress of heavy

oil thermal recovery wells. China Offshore Oil and Gas, 28(5):104–

, 2016.

Riyi Lin, Shangchao Qi, Wenli Shen, Jianping Yang, Xinwei Wang,

Hongyuan Wang, Shizhong Wang, and Zhengdong Shu. Study on

parameters of steam injection in SAGD circulating preheating section.

Journal of China University of Petroleum (Edition of Natural Science),

(1):134–141, 2018.

Huijuan Chen, Mingzhong Li, Qinfeng Di, and Chunmiao Liu. Numerical

simulation of the outflow performance for horizontal wells with multiple

steam injection valves. ACTA Petrolei Sinica, 38(6):696–704, 2017.

Huawen Shu and Xianhang Sun. Influence of gravitational potential

energy on thermodynamic calculation of steam injection well. Journal

of Chongqing University of Technology, 29(5):22–26, 2015.

H J. Jr. Ramey. Wellbore heat transmission. Journal of Petroleum

Technology, 14:427–435, 2013


  • There are currently no refbacks.