Stochastic optimization based on a simulated annealing method were carried out to determine the optimum steam and steamsolvent flooding strategies in thin (4 m) heavy oil reservoir both in the absence and presence of a bottom water zone. The steam injection pressure optimization case determined a technically feasible operating strategy. However, the cumulative energy to produced oil ratio (cEOR) realized from the optimized process is high. In comparison, the solvent-aided steam optimization case achieved an operating stratety that obtains a much lower cEOR and cumulative water-to-oil ratio (cWOR) than those in the optimized injection pressure-only strategy. We observed that a solvent channel forms at the top of the reservoir after breakthrough of solvent to the production well. The formation of the solvent channel led to oil-solvent mixing at the periphery of the channel as well as heat transfer to oil beyond the channel, which leads to better recovery performance. In the the presence of a bottom water zone, the optimized steam injection pressure optimization strategy was found to perform poorly. However, the optimized solvent-aided strategy achieved superior economics. With solvent injection, the presence of the bottom water zone enhanced mixing of solvent and oil yielding better oil recovery performance.


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