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Title: Experimental Simulation and Life Cycle Assessment Study of the Dense Hot Fluid Injection Process
Author: Hovsepian, Christian Nubar
Advisor: Pereira-Almao, Pedro
Bergerson, Joule
Keywords: Energy;Engineering--Chemical;Engineering--Environmental;Engineering--Petroleum
Issue Date: 3-Feb-2016
Abstract: The rapid decline in international oil prices forced oil and gas industries to reduce costs, improve productivity and layoff thousands of employees. Specifically, the majority of resources located in Alberta require thermal recovery methods due to their heavy characteristics. Innovation is required to displace current extraction methods that are becoming economically challenging. The present work studies the dense hot fluid injection (DHFI) process, which targets the in situ catalytic upgrading and extraction of Athabasca bitumen. A bench-scale set up was designed and built. The experimental results were integrated using process simulation and life cycle assessments (LCA) techniques to estimate GHG emissions of the new technology. Results confirmed quality improvement of the feedstock while maintaining a stable product. The experimental setup proved differences in the heat distribution profiles between SAGD and the DHFI. LCA demonstrated that the DHFI could produce less GHG emissions than SAGD under a set of assumed scenarios.
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