Energy Efficiency Comparison:
Air Injection vs. SAGD

The table below shows the energy efficiency of air injection versus that of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD).


The first two columns are the energy ratings of standard once-through steam generators, in MMBTU/hr and MW. The quantity of dry steam (a SAGD requirement) available from these units are shown in column 3. If we assume a steam oil ratio (SOR) of 2.5, which is representative of a good performing SAGD project, then the oil production rates are given in column 4.

Air Injection

If the quantities of energy listed in columns 1 and 2 are used to drive air compression equipment, the amount of air that can be supplied at 6 MPa is given in column 5. An average air injection project requires 2,000 m3(ST) of air for every m3 of oil produced. Assuming this air-oil ratio (AOR), the oil production rate is calculated in column 6.

From an energy input / oil recovery perspective, air injection is superior to SAGD.

Energy Comparison Table
June 2010

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