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

  • Xuan Zhao China University of Petroleum
  • Chengcheng Niu SINOPEC Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering
  • Jun Wang SINOPEC Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering
  • Xiuxing Zhu China University of Petroleum


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.


[1] 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.
[2] 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.
[3] 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,
22(1):327–338, 2017.
[4] 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,
[5] 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,
121:356–371, 2017.
[6] 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.
[7] 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.
[8] Bo Zhang. Research and application of wellbore heat insulation technology
for heavy oil thermal recovery. Chemical Engineering & Equipment,
32(9):98–100, 2012.
[9] 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.
[10] C. Alimonti, E. Soldo, D. Bocchetti, and D. Berardi. The wellbore heat
exchangers: A technical review. Renewable Energy, 123:353–381,
[11] 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.
[12] 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,
25(6):15–24, 2017.
[13] 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.
[14] 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–
109, 2016.
[15] 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),
42(1):134–141, 2018.
[16] 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.
[17] 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.
[18] H J. Jr. Ramey. Wellbore heat transmission. Journal of Petroleum
Technology, 14:427–435, 2013
How to Cite
ZHAO, Xuan et al. Thermodynamic Model of Steam Injection Pipeline Considering the Effect of Time and Phase Change. Journal of Power Technologies, [S.l.], v. 99, n. 2, p. 123–130, may 2019. ISSN 2083-4195. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 28 sep. 2021.
Energy Engineering and Technology

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.