The key characteristics of the technology which differentiate it from all other conventional steam applications include:
- Variable Depth Capability: The ability to deploy the tool down hole to a pay zone at any depth, makes it possible to inject high-quality steam with high temp CO2, directly to the desired pay zone. This results in significantly higher operating efficiencies with minimal to zero thermal loss and controlled injection at any depth. The technology’s variable depth operation creates significant operational cost savings vs conventional surface steam technologies that struggle to maintain steam quality to heat loss downhole.
- Combined Steam and CO2 Injection: The BlackBird™ downhole combustion process simultaneously produces steam and CO2 that is injected directly into pay zones. The tool’s thermal combustion process is unique to the industry, enabling the production of an equivalent barrel of steam at a significantly lower cost. One barrel of combined steam and CO2 produced by the technology equate in quantity to 2 barrels of steam produced by conventional steam technologies. This results in significant operational cost savings, with lower SOR lift costs at variable depths of operation, far superior to conventional steam technologies.
- Water Savings: The tool’s ability to deploy and combust at variable depths combined with its thermal combustion characteristics requires less water usage than conventional steam applications. In addition, its patented thermal combustion process creates additional water at the point of combustion. The technology also enables the use of formation water which is recycled using a simple low-cost water filtration processing. Current operations in West Texas utilize (2) 500 barrels frack tanks to recycle water back into the system.
Heavy oil is extremely viscous and the predominant method of heating heavy oil is with surface steam generation, injecting the steam downhole.
The problem when injecting steam down hole from above ground steam generators is that the steam loses its quality and thermal energy as depth increases.
So, for heavy oil 2,000 feet and deeper the steam quality and thermal energy dissipates, which impairs oil recovery and drives up production cost.
The ability for the tool to inject directly at the pay zone eliminates additional energy cost needed to inject from the surface. This allows BlackBird™ operating / lift costs to remain constant at all depths.
The downhole BlackBird™ tool and proprietary Systems Management Package controls the above ground equipment and provides broad variable control of temperatures, pressures and rates for the steam injected into the formation downhole. This ensures flexibility and control of the injection well and very precise formation management.
Finally, the capital investment for a BlackBird™ platform is significantly less than conventional steam applications providing for a greater return on investment.
Application of BlackBird™ patented technology, with the recovery of deep heavy crude deposits, will significantly increase heavy oil recovery.