Exploration and production of heavy oil pose several unique challenges compared to conventional oil reserves. Heavy oil is characterized by its high viscosity and density, which makes it more challenging to extract, transport, and refine. Here are some of the key challenges associated with heavy oil exploration and production: Viscosity, Reservoir Characterization, Production Techniques, Environmental Impact, Water Management, Energy Consumption, Transportation, Refining Challenges, Market Access, Economic Viability, Technological Innovation and Regulatory Compliance.
Overall, heavy oil exploration and production require specialized technologies, significant investments, and a strong commitment to environmental responsibility. Addressing these challenges is crucial for the sustainable development of heavy oil resources.
- For reservoir performance, heavy oil reservoirs tend to have low reservoir pressure, temperature and low productivity due to high viscosity. Therefore, EOR and well stimulation’s techniques should be implemented
- For production, multiphase flow modeling can be challenging which leads to development and flow assurance issues
- EOR (steam injection, chemical injection, and water injection)
- Stimulation (multilateral wellbores, inflow control devices)
- Fluid modeling
- Flow Assurance (Steam placements along the wellbore)