Thermal in situ is an enhanced oil recovery technology for producing heavy oil. There are different types of thermal wells but the most common are SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) and CSS (Cyclic Steam Stimulation). Both methods inject steam to heat the formation which reduces the viscosity in order to produce the oil to surface. Intermediate casing is cemented in place which restricts the movement during heating and cooling of the casing. The casing usually deforms plastically due to the high thermal forces on the string. Liners are not cemented in place but due to hole sloughing high compressive and tensile loads are experienced as well; additionally rotation maybe required to get the lateral liners in place.
Several heating and cooling cycles.
No gas tight seal
Vallourec works with its customers to understand the challenges that they face and then establishes solutions to reduce the risks associated with Thermal wells.
Thermal wells succeed when operators and suppliers work closely together, thus an early involvement with OCTG supplier is essential.
To be able to provide suitable answers to this market, constant development of products, testing, manufacturing and services is ongoing within Vallourec including:
THERMOCASE® VIT (Vacuum Insulated Tubing) to reduce heat loss to the formation and maintain injection steam quality.
VAM® licensee network