Machine-Learning Approach for Forecasting Steam-Assisted Gravity-Drainage Performance in the Presence of Noncondensable Gases

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Canbolat S., Artun F. E.

ACS OMEGA, vol.7, pp.21119-21130, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acsomega.2c01939
  • Journal Name: ACS OMEGA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.21119-21130
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is an effective enhanced oil recovery method for heavy oil reservoirs. The addition of certain amounts of noncondensable gases (NCG) may reduce the steam consumption, yet this requires new design-related decisions to be made. In this study, we aimed to develop a machine-learning-based forecasting model that can help in the design of SAGD applications with NCG. Experiments with or without carbon dioxide (CO2) or n-butane (n-C4H10) mixed with steam were performed in a scaled physical model to explore SAGD mechanisms. The model was filled with crushed limestone that was premixed with heavy oil of 12.4 degrees API gravity. Throughout the experiments, temperature, pressure, and production were continuously monitored. The experimental results were used to train neural-network models that can predict oil recovery (%) and cumulative steam-oil ratio (CSOR). The input parameters included injected gas composition, prior saturation with CO2 or n-C4H10, separation between wells, and pore volume injected. Among different neural-network architectures tested, a 3-hidden-layer structure with 40, 30, and 20 neurons was chosen as the forecasting model. The model was able to predict oil recovery and CSOR with R-2 values of 0.98 and 0.95, respectively. Variable importance analysis indicated that pore volume injected, distance between wells, and prior CO2 saturation are the most critical parameters that would affect the performance, in agreement with the experiments.