This paper presents a PC based alternative procedure for determining the water saturations within the hot water zone of a thermal project for use in analytical oil recovery calculations. Conventional analytical calculation of oil recovery under steam and hot water injection requires the tracking of the movements of the saturations advancing within the variable-temperature hot-water zone. This involves an adaptation of the Buckley-Leverett theory to this variable temperature zone after dividing it into a number of constant temperature or isothermal zones. If the number exceeds two, the calculation can become very tedious unless done with a computer program. FORTRAN programs have generally been used but they are not as intuitive or easy to use as modern PC based programming tools such as Mathematica. In this paper, Mathematica was used because it is relatively easy to program, easy to use, and is fast and robust. Unfortunately, depending on the number of isothermal zones, the time step size and the time at which the recovery calculation is desired, the tracking of saturations can tax the capabilities of even the most modern PCs. Therefore, an alternative method is introduced that eliminates the need for saturation tracking. This method calculates the instantaneous saturations within each isothermal zone at the time of interest. Oil recovery results by this method were found to be comparable to those by the saturation tracking method with considerable saving in computation time. Two examples are presented to demonstrate the utility of the method.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

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Publication Date

01 Jan 1996