Downhole Steam Generator for Heavy Oil Production

PCI is developing its downhole catalytic combustor steam generator for use in heavy or viscous oil production. Specific heavy oil products under development include 8 and 50 MM BTU/hr devices. PCI's direct-fired downhole steam generator offers substantial energy savings compared to current surface steam generators, delivering the entire BTU content of the fuel (including the higher heating value, and avoiding boiler losses as well as surface distribution and wellbore losses). In addition, the combustion products (CO2 and nitrogen, in addition to water) are injected into the reservoir rather than being released to the atmosphere, and additional CO2 could be added for sequestration purposes. Surface facilities deliver air, fuel and water to the downhole steam generator.

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Surface steam generation for injection downhole is generally now required to produce large fractions of these reservoirs. The energy and environmental costs of surface steam injection are substantial. Energy costs of production can consume 20 to 30% or more of the BTU value of the produced oil, costing energy while also generating substantial greenhouse gas emissions.

The PCI system integrates high stability catalytic combustion with steam generation in a downhole device attached through an umbilical to surface supply of high pressure fuel, air or oxidant, and water. PCI's design addresses key requirements for such as system, and has been demonstrated in subscale operation. A 5" OD system is suitable for generating 50 MM BTU/hr of heat at 100 atm.

PCI is seeking interested customers and partners in the oil and gas production field to advance this technology to field trial.

Contact PCI to learn more about how our solutions may be adapted for your needs.