Laricina Energy Ltd., Calgary, is considering cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) for early development of bitumen in the Upper Devonian Grosmont carbonate of Alberta on the basis of results at its Saleski pilot project.
The pilot so far has focused on steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and a proprietary combination of SAGD with cyclic solvent injection. In Alberta, where bitumen production now comes from sandstone reservoirs, the Grosmont is estimated to hold 406 billion bbl of bitumen in place.
The Saleski project has established production in two Grosmont zones, designated C and D.
“We have determined that early-life start-up oil rates and steam-to-oil ratios are significantly improved when the well pairs were operated under an injection and production cycling process,” Laricina said in a press statement. “Our testing and analysis of this to date shows a strong correlation to commercial single horizontal well CSS, similar to existing commercial horizontal well CSS projects.”
Laricina and working-interest partner Osum Oil Sands Corp. believe CSS is “a suitable initial development strategy for the Grosmont and may also be an effective start-up method that supports continuous dual-well SAGD.”
Laricina is considering amending its application for first-phase development, which targets production of 10,700 b/d of bitumen, to incorporate CSS.
The fourth Saleski well pair, the second targeting the C zone, produced at a rate of more than 1,200 b/d of bitumen during a test cycle. The previous peak rate was 807 b/d (OGJ Online, May 16, 2012).
Laricina holds a 60% working interest in the Saleski project. Osum holds the rest.