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Moving hydrocarbons through portions of tar sands formations with a fluid

United States Patent

May 18, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A method for treating a tar sands formation is disclosed. The method includes heating a first portion of a hydrocarbon layer in the formation from one or more heaters located in the first portion. The heat is controlled to increase a fluid injectivity of the first portion. A drive fluid and/or an oxidizing fluid is injected and/or created in the first portion to cause at least some hydrocarbons to move from a second portion of the hydrocarbon layer to a third portion of the hydrocarbon layer. The second portion is between the first portion and the third portion. The first, second, and third portions are horizontally displaced from each other. The third portion is heated from one or more heaters located in the third portion. Hydrocarbons are produced from the third portion of the formation. The hydrocarbons include at least some hydrocarbons from the second portion of the formation.
Stegemeier; George Leo (Houston, TX), Mudunuri; Ramesh Raju (Houston, TX), Vinegar; Harold J. (Bellaire, TX), Karanikas; John Michael (Houston, TX), Jaiswal; Namit (Houston, TX), Mo; Weijian (Sugar Land, TX)
Shell Oil Company (Houston, TX)
11/ 975,679
October 19, 2007
GOVERNMENT INTEREST The Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Agreement No. ERD-05-2516 between UT-Battelle, LLC, operating under prime contract No. DE-ACO5-00OR22725 for the US Department of Energy and Shell Exploration and Production Company. The Government has certain rights in the invention pursuant to Agreement Nos. SD 10634 and NFE 062050824 between Sandia National Laboratories (operating under Agreement DE-AC04-94AL85000Sa for the U.S. Department of Energy) and Shell Exploration and Production Company.