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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/E057977/1
Status Completed
Energy Categories Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 70%;
Applied Research and Development 30%;
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr J Wood
No email address given
Chemical Engineering
University of Birmingham
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 November 2007
End Date 31 October 2010
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £422,727
Industrial Sectors Chemicals; Energy
Region West Midlands
Programme Energy : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr J Wood , Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Petrobank Energy and Resources Ltd, Canada (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Heavy crude oil and bitumen are a vast, largely unexploited hydrocarbon resource, with barely 1% produced so far, compared with more than 50% of conventional light oil (like the North Sea). More than 80% of this heavy, unconventional oil, lies in the Western hemisphere, whereas more than 80% of conventional light oil lies in the Eastern hemisphere (mainly in the Middle East). Over the next 10-30 years, geopolitical factors, and also the emerging strength of Asian countries, especially India and China, will create increasing tensions and uncertainty, with regard to the availability and supply of crude oil. Alongside gas, nuclear and renewables, crude oil will continue to be an important part of the UK's 'energy mix' for decades to come. How will the crude oil we need for industry and transportation be obtained and will it be as secure as it was from the North Sea?The huge Athabasca Oil Sands deposits in Canada (1.5 trillion barrels) provides an opportunity for the UK to secure access to a long-term, stable supply. The first step towards this was the development of a new technology, THAI - 'Toe-to-Heel Air Injection', to produce Oil Sands bitumen and heavy oil. It was discovered by the Improved Oil Recovery group at the University Bath, in the 1990's, and is currently being field tested at Christina Lake, Alberta, Canada. In 1998, in collaboration with the Petroleum Recovery Institutmbustion front in a "'toe-to-heel'manner along the horizontal production well.In collaboration with the University of Birmingham, the project will investigate the effectiveness of a range of catalyst for use in the CAPRI process. The University of Birmingham team, led by Dr. Joe Wood, will investigate the long-term survivability of the catalysts, which is critical to operation of CAPRI. Once the catalyst is emplaced around the horizontal well, it will be expensive to recover or replace it. Previous 3D combustion cell experiments conducted by the Bath team, only allowed catalyst operating periods of a few hours, whereas in practice, the catalyst will need to survive, remain active, for days, or weeks. The Bath team will undertake detailed studies to characterise the internal pore structure of the catalysts used in the experiments, to obtain fundamental information on catalyst deactivation, which can be related to the process conditions and oil composition. They will also develop a detailed numerical model of theCAPRI reactor. This will provide a tool to explore 'fine details' of the THAI-CAPRI process, which will aid in the selection/optimisation of the most suitable catalysts. The model will be incorporated into a larger model using the STARS reservoir simulator. Preliminary reservoir simulations will be made to explore the potential operating conditions for CAPRI
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 23/07/07