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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 676529, 15 pages
Research Article

Thermal Hydraulic Analysis Using GIS on Application of HTR to Thermal Recovery of Heavy Oil Reservoirs

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received 9 March 2012; Revised 26 August 2012; Accepted 9 October 2012

Academic Editor: Carlo Sborchia

Copyright © 2012 Yangping Zhou 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.


At present, large water demand and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have emerged as challenges of steam injection for oil thermal recovery. This paper proposed a strategy of superheated steam injection by the high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR) for thermal recovery of heavy oil, which has less demand of water and emission of CO2. The paper outlines the problems of conventional steam injection and addresses the advantages of superheated steam injection by HTR from the aspects of technology, economy, and environment. A Geographic Information System (GIS) embedded with a thermal hydraulic analysis function is designed and developed to analyze the strategy, which can make the analysis work more practical and credible. Thermal hydraulic analysis using this GIS is carried out by applying this strategy to a reference heavy oil field. Two kinds of injection are considered and compared: wet steam injection by conventional boilers and superheated steam injection by HTR. The heat loss, pressure drop, and possible phase transformation are calculated and analyzed when the steam flows through the pipeline and well tube and is finally injected into the oil reservoir. The result shows that the superheated steam injection from HTR is applicable and promising for thermal recovery of heavy oil reservoirs.