Production technology solutions to enhance heavy oil recovery of marginal fields, offshore Vietnam
Tran Quoc Viet, Vu Viet Hung, Nguyen Hai An. PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP). Email:


The finding of heavy oil at Dong Do field of Cuu Long basin is a success in exploration. It could be considered as a large heavy oil field offshore Vietnam. Maximising reserve is a challenge to the operator when they think of a suitable development strategy to efficiently and economically exploit the field. Over the past decades, production technology application in heavy oil production has been widely developed in the industry. Apart from the thermal method, pumping technology makes remarkable advances by enlarging the drawdown created over the conventional gas lift in several heavy oil projects.

This paper presents all the production technology solutions that apply to the marginal heavy oil field offshore Vietnam. One of the major solutions is the electric submersible pump (ESP) and gas-lift (GL) combination method to enhance the wellbore lifting efficiency. In doing so, a series of solutions to improve heavy oil recovery have been conducted from design to pilot test whilst optimising the economic yield over the field life. Among them, the application of ESP and GL combination plays as the key driver to reinforce good production performance.
As a result, the design includes an electrical pump system coupled with GL back-up, all integrated with one to boost production and prolong well life. Beside that, closely monitoring and optimising is one factor to give the pump a longer life.

Key words: Heavy oil, enhanced oil recovery, ESP, diesel injection, Dong Do field.

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