Slide 1.pngSlide 2.pngSlide 3.pngSlide 4.pngSlide 5.pngSlide 6.png

Pr. Tayfun Babadagli

University of Alberta, Canada


Talk Title
Role of Heavy Oil in Meeting Future Energy Demand: Technical, Environmental and Economic Challenges and Solutions

Talk Abstract

Nearly 40% of energy consumption is met by oil (liquid hydrocarbons) in the world. Heavy-oil/bitumen resources comprise more than 70% of the remaining oil reserves and yet, its contribution to total production is only ~10%. This can be partially explained by lack of effective technologies, environmental constraints and operational difficulties but the more critical reason behind this is the inefficiency of the recovery methods. Unlike conventional (light) oil systems, heavy-oil recovery requires additional efforts (viscosity reduction by heating or diluting) to produce oil and this critically increases the cost of production. The reduction of the cost, while increasing the recovery, is a challenging task, especially in the unstable oil price periods. This entails the development of new technologies and optimal design of them for practical applications.This talk summarizes the challenges of heavy oil production in the world and current and new technologies for future development of the reserves. Thermal methods (mainly steam injection) are the most common technique and nearly 25% of heavy-oil is produced by the different schemes of steam injection (cyclic steam injection, steamflooding, steam assisted gravity drainage, thermally assisted gas-oil gravity drainage). After discussing the efficiency of these schemes, possible solutions to improve it through chemical additives (surfactants, solvents, nano-particles, nano solutions, ionic liquids, and new generation chemicals) and optimization processes are outlined. Steam/solvent co- or alternate injection possibilities are also demonstrated using laboratory and field scale numerical simulation trials as efficient methods also reducing the GHG emission at the production stage.In unfavorable environments such as tight and deep reservoirs and oil shales, aqueous methods of heating may not be suitable. Electrical heating is an alternative even though its commercial applications are very limited due to excessive cost of operations. After reviewing the status of electromagnetic heating as an alternative solution, its use with solvents in problematic heavy-oil/bitumen reservoirs is discussed. Attention is also paid to non-thermal options such as cold production, mining and surface extraction, and solvent applications for depletion of heavy-oil/bitumen reserves.In closing, the potential ways to improve the efficiency are summarized and critically evaluated for economically and environmentally viable heavy-oil and bitumen recovery techniques.

Short Biography

Tayfun Babadagli is a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, at the University of Alberta, where he holds an NSERC-Industrial Research Chair in Unconventional Oil Recovery.

Babadagli previously served on the faculty at Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, and Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. His areas of interest include modeling fluid and heat flow in heterogeneous and fractured reservoirs, reservoir characterization through stochastic and fractal methods, optimization of oil/heavy-oil recovery by conventional/unconventional enhanced-oil-recovery methods, and CO2 sequestration.

Babadagli holds BS and MS degrees from Istanbul Technical University and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Southern California, all in petroleum engineering. He was an executive editor for SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering (Formation Evaluation part) between 2010 and 2013 and an associate editor of ASME J. of Energy Resources Technology between 2011 and 2014. He is currently a member of the JPT Editorial Committee.  Babadagli received SPE’s A Peer Apart Award in 2013, was elected an SPE Distinguished Member in 2013, and was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2013–2014.  He is also the recipient of the 2017 SPE International Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award.

Talk Keywords
Heavy oil, Recovery efficiency, Nano-materials, New generation chemicals, GHG emission reduction
Target Audience
Students, Post doctoral, Industry, Doctors and professors
Speaker-intro video

The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)