South Texas tar cyclic steam pilot shapes up

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 9 -- A two-well cyclic steam pilot to test feasibility of producing shallow tar in the Maverick basin may be close to start-up.

Exploration Co., San Antonio, and Newmex Minerals Inc., Calgary, are awaiting regulatory approvals that Newmex said are expected shortly. TXCO drilled two wells to the Upper Cretaceous Lower San Miguel sandstone on its Chittim B lease earlier this year (see map, OGJ, Oct. 4, 2004, p. 30).

The companies, which have a large lease block in Maverick and Zavala counties, plan to apply cyclic steam stimulation and truck produced tar 100 miles to a heavy oil processing facility. If the pilot succeeds, the initial development plan takes in 5-1/4 sq miles.

Newmex said a report on its acreage prepared by consulting engineers described the tar as "one of the most dense, viscous and sulphur-laden hydrocarbon deposits in the world.

"The gross thickness of sand varies from approximately 20 to 80 ft (6.1 to 24.4 m). The tar saturations range from 20 to 60% but seldom average greater than 55% in a continuous 25 ft (7.6 m) interval."

Previous uneconomic pilot projects in earlier decades recovered tar of 2° to minus 2° gravity from accumulations at 2,000 ft or less in the San Miguel. Tar at one of the earlier pilots was essentially a solid at 95° F. reservoir temperature, had a 500° F. initial boiling point, and contained more than 10 wt % sulfur.

Related Articles

ESAI: Rising distillation capacity to hasten refinery closures

09/04/2014 A wave of new distillation capacity over the next year will lead to additional refinery closures, particularly for operators in Europe, according t...

CHS plans revamp of Montana refinery

09/04/2014 US farmer-owned cooperative CHS Inc. plans to invest $406 million to boost efficiency and increase diesel production at its 55,000-b/d Laurel, Mont...

ExxonMobil plans upgrade at Norwegian refinery

09/03/2014 ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary Esso Norge AS is planning to install a residual flash tower designed to replace heavy fuel oil production at its 6 mill...

Saudi ethylene plant enters planned maintenance

09/03/2014 Tasnee & Sahara Olefins Co. (TSOC) has shuttered its ethylene and propylene production plant in Al Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia, for ne...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected