Predicting wellbore dynamics in a steam-assisted gravity drainage system: Numeric and semi-analytic model, and validation

Kaushik Sivaramkrishnan, Biao Huang, Amiya K. Jana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Steam injection is an integral and a crucial element of the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process that has emerged as a leading technology to recover heavy crude oil from oil sands. In this contribution, we have developed a simulation algorithm for an unsteady state nonisothermal two-phase wellbore model to predict the downward flow of a wet steam. This numeric model is reconstructed by incorporating the mass and energy conservation equations, and a pressure drop relationship, along with a couple of algebraic equations/correlations. A drift-flux model is used to consider the slipping occurred between the phases inside the wellbore. Further, the existence of four flow regimes in the wellbore is also taken into account. This dynamic wellbore flow model is attempted to simulate by developing a numerical algorithm. Furthermore, an analytical expression for wellbore pressure is determined to derive a semi-analytic model. Formulating a computer-assisted simulation algorithm for this, it is shown that the semi-analytic model offers a reduced complexity and computational time over the numeric model. A series of numerical and analytical results are presented to validate the wellbore models against the real field data. Subsequently, both the models are extended to predict the transient behavior of the steam injection system. It is investigated that both the solution methods provide similar results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-686
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Dec 5 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic model
  • Numeric and semi-analytic structures
  • Simulation algorithms
  • Steam injection well
  • Validation
  • Wellbore dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting wellbore dynamics in a steam-assisted gravity drainage system: Numeric and semi-analytic model, and validation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this