Table of Contents
Journal of Petroleum Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 8925190, 9 pages
Research Article

Numerical Study of Single Well Vapor Extraction Process

1National Iranian Oil Company, Tehran, Iran
2Islamic Azad University of Quchan, Quchan, Iran
3New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM, USA
4Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA, USA

Received 20 April 2016; Revised 4 September 2016; Accepted 3 October 2016

Academic Editor: S. Ali Mousavi-Dehghani

Copyright © 2016 Milad Rahnema et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vapor extraction (Vapex) is an emerging technology to produce heavy oil and bitumen from subsurface formations. Single well (SW) Vapex technique uses the same concept of Vapex process but only with one horizontal well. In this process solvent is injected from the toe of the horizontal well with oil production at the heel section. The main advantage of SW-Vapex process lies in the economic saving and applicability in problematic reservoirs, where drilling of two horizontal wells is impractical. The performance of SW-Vapex seems to be comparable with dual horizontal Vapex process using proper optimization schemes. This study is grouped into two sections: (i) a screening study of early time operating performance of SW-Vapex and (ii) a sensitivity analysis of the effect of the reservoir and well completion parameters. Simulation results show that solvent injection rate can be optimized to improve oil production rate. Higher injection rates may not necessarily lead to increase in production. This study confirms that SW-Vapex process is very ineffective in reservoirs with high oil viscosity (more than 1,500 cp) and thin formations (less than 10 m).