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Controlling and assessing pressure conditions during treatment of tar sands formations

United States Patent

November 10, 2015
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 includes providing heat to at least part of a hydrocarbon layer in the tar sands formation from a plurality of heaters located in the formation. Heat is allowed to transfer from the heaters to at least a portion of the formation. A pressure in the portion of the formation is controlled such that the pressure remains below a fracture pressure of the formation overburden while allowing the portion of the formation to heat to a selected average temperature of at least about C. and at most about C. The pressure in the portion of the formation is reduced to a selected pressure after the portion of the formation reaches the selected average temperature.
Zhang; Etuan (Houston, TX), Beer; Gary Lee (Houston, TX)
Shell Oil Company (Houston, TX)
12/ 105,974
April 18, 2008
GOVERNMENT INTEREST 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.