Calgary, Canada
Calgary, Canada

Laricina Energy Ltd. is a private Canadian oil producing company engaged in exploration in North-Eastern Alberta. The company targets oil sands opportunities outside of the Athabasca mining area and is focusing on in situ plays in the Grosmont and Grand Rapids formations. Its headquarters are located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Wikipedia.

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Babadagli T.,University of Alberta | Edmunds N.,Laricina Energy
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology | Year: 2013

With the decrease in conventional oil and gas reserves throughout the world and an ever-increasing demand for fossil-fuel-based energy and resulting high oil prices, focus has been shifting to unconventional and heavy oil and bitumen. Grosmont carbonates in northern Alberta have been estimated to contain at least 300 billion bbl of heavy oil or bitumen. However, recovering this oil is extremely difficult because of the complexity associated with carbonate reservoirs in general (e.g., the Grosmont unit is known to possess a triple-porosity system of matrix, fractures, and vugs, on the basis of core studies). The second problem is the fluid itself, which is highly viscous bitumen that is immobile at reservoir conditions. To extract this bitumen from heterogeneous carbonate rock, both heat and dilution using solvents may be needed. This paper reports the results and analysis of hot-solvent experiments conducted on original Grosmont carbonate cores. Three experiments were conducted using propane and one using butane as solvent. After heating the entire system containing the core sample, solvent gas was injected. The rock was allowed to soak in the hot solvent for a long time. The experimental temperature and pressure were decided on the basis of the results of our earlier work that suggested they be slightly above the saturation line of the particular solvent. An attempt was made to keep the conditions close to the saturation conditions of the solvent being used to maximize the dilution and, hence, the recovery. The oil produced was analyzed for viscosity and asphaltene content. The results in terms of recovery, the degree of dilution, and upgrading achieved suggested that butane was a better solvent for this bitumen. Finally, the optimum conditions for operation of the hot-solvent process were verified for Grosmont carbonates. Copyright © 2013 Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Pathak V.,Computer Modelling Group Ltd. | Babadagli T.,University of Alberta | Edmunds N.,Laricina Energy
SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering | Year: 2012

In earlier work (Pathak et al. 2010, 2011), we presented the initial results for heavy-oil and bitumen recovery using heated solvent vapors. The heavy-oil- and bitumen-saturated sandpack samples of different heights were exposed to heated vapors of butane or propane at a constant temperature and pressure for an extended duration of time. The produced oil was analyzed for recovery, asphaltene content, viscosity, composition, and refractive index. Recovery was found to be very sensitive to temperature and pressure. The current work was undertaken to better understand the physics of the process and to explain the observations of the earlier experiments using additional experiments on tighter samples of different sizes, numerical simulation, and visualization experiments. The effects of temperature and pressure on the recovery were studied using a commercial reservoir simulator. Propane and butane were used as solvents. Asphaltene precipitation was also modeled. A qualitative history match with the experiments on different porous-media types was achieved by mainly considering the permeability reduction caused by asphaltene precipitation; pore plugging; the extent of interaction between the solvent and oil phases: and parameters such as model height, 'vertical permeability, and gravity. The effect of asphaltene deposition on models of varying permeabilities was also studied. To investigate the phenomenon further, visualization experiments were performed. 2D Hele-Shaw models of different dimensions were constructed by joining two Plexiglass sheets from three sides, or in some experiments, from all sides. The models were saturated with heavy oil and left open on one side (or all sides) and were exposed to different types of solvents. The setup was monitored continuously to observe fluid fronts and asphaltene precipitation. By use of this analysis, the mechanics of the process was clarified from the effect of solvent type on the recovery process. The optimum operating temperature for the hot-solvent process and the dominant mechanisms were identified. The dynamics of the asphaltene deposition and its effect on oil recovery were clarified through visual and numerical models. Copyright © 2012 Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Yang D.,Laricina Energy
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Heavy Oil Conference Canada 2014 | Year: 2014

Improving on initial experience in the Saleski pilot with wells drilled between 2008 and 2010, a second generation well (drilled 2012) delivers economically attractive bitumen rates at efficient steam-oil ratios. This performance de-risks the reservoir and forms a solid basis for development planning. A larger scale follow-up project will help to optimize well spacing, multiple-well operations, management of well interference, artificial lift systems, etc. Despite comparable conditions of cyclic operation, two wells located in the same reservoir perform differently. This is related to differences in drilling conditions, well completions and stimulation methods. After pioneering horizontal drilling into the Grosmont Carbonate formation, the performance of the second generation well in Saleski is significantly improved. This paper presents the performance indicators for the pilot well and discusses the key learning steps that led to the improvement. Copyright © (2014) by the Society of Petroleum Engineers All rights reserved.

Cuthiell D.,Laricina Energy | Edmunds N.,Laricina Energy
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology | Year: 2013

The vapour extraction (VAPEX)process and its many hybrid variants have attracted a great deal of attention as potentially lessenergy- intensive alternatives for exploiting heavy-oil and bitumen resources. However, despite significant work over the past 2 decades, uncertainty remains about the basic mechanisms, the scaling aspects, and the most appropriate methods of numerically simulating these processes. This paper offers some insights into several of these outstanding questions. The questions are examined in the context of an extensive and well-documented set of VAPEX experiments carried out by Maini and his colleagues over the past 10 years. We have experimented with different methods of simulating these experiments using a physics-based reservoir simulator. Despite the high permeability (greater than 200 darcies in all of the experiments), we find that capillary pressure plays a significant role in the drainage. The simulations suggest that most of the drainage takes place in the capillary transition zone along the edge of the vapour chamber, rather than in the single-phase zone ahead of it which has not yet been contacted by vapour. It has been emphasized in the literature that the near-linear scaling of oil rate with height observed in the experiments is dramatically different from the square-root-of-height dependence predicted by the original analytic model of VAPEX. However, the experiments also show an increasing solvent fraction in the produced- oil phase as height increases. When this "solvent mixing" effect is separated from the rates, the remaining height dependence is less than linear, though still greater than square root of height. The relative roles of molecular diffusion and mechanical dispersion in VAPEX have been discussed widely in the literature. Generally, mechanical dispersion is expected to play a larger role in these high-permeability experiments (compared with the field)because of larger fluid velocities. We present a method of inferring the diffusion/dispersion present in the simulations, despite a hidden component of numerical dispersion caused by the numerical method itself. We find that the experiments are well matched with values of diffusion and dispersion in line with literature correlations, and that the contribution of mechanical dispersion is perhaps not as large as might be expected relative to that of molecular diffusion. The paper also provides some thoughts on questions we expect are still unanswered, including mechanisms behind the heightdependent mixing phenomenon and the scaling of the experimental results to the significantly greater heights and lower permeability characteristic of the field. © 2013 Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Mai A.,Laricina Energy | Kantzas A.,University of Calgary
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology | Year: 2010

At the conclusion of primary heavy oil production, significant volumes of oil still remain in the reservoir under depleted reservoir pressure. Waterfloods are often considered for additional oil recovery. It is accepted that conventional oil waterflooding theory is not applicable for heavy oil. However, there is a lack of understanding of how waterfloods should perform in these reservoirs, particularly after water breakthrough. In this study, waterfloods were performed at multiple rates in cores containing heavy oil and connate water. In some cores, oil was initially free of solution gas, and waterfloods were a primary recovery process. In other cores, waterfloods were performed after primary production. Experiments were performed in linear systems for a high-viscosity oil (11,500 mPa·s at 23°C), at different injection rates. The influence of viscous and capillary forces is studied in primary vs. secondary recovery systems. A common misconception is that capillary forces are negligible in heavy oil; however, this work shows that these forces are significant, and that water imbibition after water breakthrough can lead to improved oil recovery in both primary and secondary waterfloods.

Pathak V.,University of Alberta | Babadagli T.,University of Alberta | Edmunds N.R.,Laricina Energy
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering | Year: 2011

Thermal and miscible methods are commonly used for in situ recovery of heavy oil and bitumen. Both techniques have their own limitations and benefits. However, these methods can be combined by co-injecting solvent with steam or injecting solvent into a pre-heated reservoir. The current work was undertaken to study the performance of solvents at higher temperatures for heavy oil/bitumen recovery. Glass bead packs and Berea sandstone cores were used in the experiments to represent different types of pore structures, porosity and permeability. After saturating with heavy oil, the samples were exposed to the vapor of paraffinic solvents (propane and butane) at a temperature above the boiling point of the solvent, and a constant pressure of 1500. kPa. A mechanical convection oven was used to maintain constant temperature across the setup. The setup was designed in such a way that a reasonably long sample (up to 30. cm) can be tested to analyze the gravity effect. The oil recovered from each of these experiments was collected using a specifically designed collection system and analyzed for composition, viscosity and asphaltene content. The final amount of oil recovered in each case (recovery factor but not extraction rate) was also analyzed and the quantity and nature of asphaltene precipitated with each of the tested solvents under the prevailing temperature and pressure of the experiment was reported. Optimal conditions for each solvent type were identified for the highest ultimate recovery. It was observed that recovery decreased with increasing temperature and pressure of the system for both solvents, and that the best results were found when experimental temperature is only slightly higher than the saturation temperature of the solvent used. It was also noticed that butane diluted the oil more than propane which resulted in lower asphaltene content and viscosity of oil produced with butane as a solvent. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

A method for producing hydrocarbons from a reservoir containing the hydrocarbon comprises a steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) incorporating cyclic steam, heavy (e.g. greater than C4) solvent and light (e.g. C2 to C4) solvent injection. The method involves a series of steps wherein the injection of the respective streams is varied. The method provides a significant improvement in hydrocarbon extraction efficiency as compared to a SAGD process alone and mitigates many of the drawbacks associated with typical SAGD operations.

Secure Energy Drilling Services Inc. and Laricina Energy | Date: 2014-08-29

An oil-in-water emulsion is provided to place a sealant within a subterranean formation by being deployed into the formation to reacte with the formations included water to break the emulsion, leaving the emulsified components, some of which act as the sealant to form at least a partial seal. The emulsion does not form a seal until emulsified in response to formation water conditions (salinity, pH, calcium ion concentration, temperature), and can be a drilling fluid or a pill during drilling activities.

Laricina Energy and Harris Corporation | Date: 2010-11-17

A method of producing hydrocarbons from a subterranean reservoir comprises pre-heating by exposure to electromagnetic radiation from a electromagnetic radiation source, injecting through at least one injection well a solvent into the reservoir to dilute the hydrocarbons contained in the pre-conditioned portion, and producing through at least one production well a mixture of hydrocarbons and solvent. An apparatus for producing hydrocarbons from a subterranean reservoir comprises at least one radio frequency antenna configured to transmit radio frequency energy into a subterranean reservoir, a power source to provide power to the at least one radio frequency antenna, at least one injection well configured to inject a solvent from a solvent supply source into the subterranean reservoir to lower the viscosity of the hydrocarbons, and at least one production well configured to produce a mixture comprising hydrocarbons and solvent from the subterranean reservoir.

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