Economics of Mining Assisted Heavy Oil Production (MAHOP) Method for Ultimate Recovery

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Canbolat S., Öztürk H., Akın S.

Türkiye IV. Bilimsel ve Teknik Petrol Kongresi, Ankara, Turkey, 18 - 20 November 2020, pp.1-11

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Ankara
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-11
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The objective of this study is to compare the operating and capital cost of ultimate recovery from Turkey’s proven largest oil reserve (1.85 billion barrels), Bati Raman field by steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and mining assisted heavy oil production (MAHOP) conceptually. Bati Raman field is located at an average depth of 1,450 m, producing from fractured limestone, having 12°API gravity and a viscosity of 200 to 2,000 cp heavy oil at reservoir conditions. Although 60 years passed on the discovery date of the largest oil field of Turkey, less than 8% of the reserve have been produced, increases the importance once more.

One of the potential recovery methods is the MAHOP in which declines (tunnels) are excavated from the surface to the reservoir and continue along the reservoir depth. From the roof of the declines, fan shape up holes are drilled in the reservoir. The production of heavy oil through these tunnels are explored using well known SAGD method where in shallow sands it is possible to reach oil recoveries of 60%. The aim of applying MAHOP is to see if such recoveries are possible.

MAHOP is expected to perform better due to less steam loss and better steam quality. The total average capital cost of MAHOP is estimated to be $2.75 billion US dollar including surface and subsurface facilities. Total capital costs for 60% and 80% recoveries are 2.75 and 1.97 $/bbl, respectively. MAHOP operation cost is estimated to be 12 $/barrel. In contrast, in the SAGD case the total average capital cost is estimated to be $7.62 billion US dollar including surface facility and drilling horizontal well pairs. Total capital costs for 60% and 80% recoveries are 7.62 and 5.46 $/bbl, respectively. SAGD operation cost is estimated to be 20 $/barrel. As a result, MAHOP is found to be more economical in terms of both initial investment and operating costs.