Author

Shane Namie

Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geological Engineering

First Advisor

Dongmei Wang

Abstract

The heavy oil reserves of the Ugnu and West Sak Formations in Alaska offer major production challenges, including proximity to the permafrost layer and exceptionally high viscosities. Despite deeper reserves, most of the untouched heavy oil deposits in the West Sak and Ugnu sands are at shallow depths with a low API gravity (< 15 degrees). The objective of this study is to evaluate permafrost subsidence while extracting heavy oil from shallow reservoir using polymer flooding. The approach to this study will focus on using geological properties taken from well logs, completion logs and available core data from 32 wells and applying them to a numerical fluid flow model. Calculations were completed for eight cross-sections taking into consideration the following outcomes: Formation tops, permafrost depth, porosity, water saturation, and permeability. Eleven numerical models were created showing polymer flooding is an effective enhanced oil recovery (EOR) process that minimizes permafrost subsidence.

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