Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3127935 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 7, 1964
Filing dateApr 8, 1960
Priority dateApr 8, 1960
Publication numberUS 3127935 A, US 3127935A, US-A-3127935, US3127935 A, US3127935A
InventorsBixel John C, Larkin Bert K, Milton Jr Harry W, Poettmann Fred H
Original AssigneeMarathon Oil Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
In situ combustion for oil recovery in tar sands, oil shales and conventional petroleum reservoirs
US 3127935 A
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aprll 7, 1964 F, H. POETTMANN ETAL 3,127,935

1N SITU coMEUsToN FoR OIL RECOVERY 1N TAR SANDS, on. sHALEs AND coNvENToNAE PETROLEUM RESERVOIRS Filed April 8, 1960 fg 3 INvENToRs, FRED H. POETTMANN BERT K.LARK|N HARRY W, MILTON jl: JOHN C.BIXEL ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,127,935 IN SlTU COMBUSTION FOR OIL RECOVERY IN TAR SANDS, OIL SHALES AND CONVENTIONAL PETROLEUM RESERVOIRS Fred H. Poettnlann and Bert K. Larkin, Littleton, and Harry W. Milton, Jr., and John C. Bixel, Denver, Colo., assigner-s to Marathon Oil Company, Findlay, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Apr. 8, 196i), Ser. No. 21,043 19 Claims. (Cl. 1mi- 11) This invention relates to underground combustion processes in porous media having organic content, such as oil reservoirs and fractured oil shale structures. Oil shale has no fluid hydrocarbon present and in its natural formation is not suficiently permeable to support in situ combustion. Consequently, the area being worked requires some type of initial preparation or conditioning, such as shattering or fracturing. These procedures are well known in the art and any suitable method may be utilized. The practice of the present invention as applied to oil shale, involves treatment of a porous media, however produced.

This invention also is useful in the treatment of tar sands and petroleum reservoirs, particularly those containing heavy oils. It may utilize but is not limited to a two-pass combustion front movement through the structure being worked, and this may involve either separate front movements in the same direction, or reverse combustion followed by forward combustion, as preferred.

The practice of utilizing a reverse combustion as a first pass followed by introduction of additional oxygen to reverse the front movement and direct it in concurrent ow with the gas is well known. One of the defects is that the increase in available oxygen produces higher temperatures with the result that the residual coke or other hydrocarbon remaining on the rocks or sand grains after the first pass is burned in the second pass to such an extent that a substantial amount of valuable material is lost, which otherwise might be a product of the extraction. v

Our invention departs from prior practices in several respects, all of which improve the eiciency of the treatment and provide higher yields. Of perhaps greatest importance is the reduction of available oxygen after the initial temperature limits have been reached so as to permit continuing extraction without oxidation, due to the elimination of combustion, or through utilization of gas combustion at temperatures below the minimum for burning coke, with product removal by the inert gas flow to the production well.

In either oil reservoirs or oil shale structures, a two pass treatment may be utilized in which the front movement of both passes is in the same direction. To do this, surface changes are made to convert a former injection well or wells into a production well or wells and a former production well into an injection well to direct flow into one or a plurality of production Wells which were injection wells. Particularly in oil shale, this is of considerable value in that the rst pass front movement may be controlled to move rapidly through the deposit at substantially non-coking temperatures to bring the temperature in the area being worked to a distilling temperature, and in so doing, the permeability of the area is increased substantially.

3,127,935 Patented Apr. 7, 1964 Due to the fact that there is substantially no heat loss in the oil shale deposit, the second pass movement is beneted by holding combustion to a minimum. When reversing heat front movement is employed, additional oxygen is introduced to cause the front reversal when it approaches or reaches the injection wells and the eifect of this is to produce excessively high temperatures and sustain combustion in the second pass. The optimum condition is attained if suflicient heat is available to distill the kerogen content for its removal as an oil. A substantial ga-s flow is required as the conveying vehicle, but combustion no longer is required after the minimum temperature requirement is established.

Consequently, this practice of the present invention permits effective utilization of the established heat and utilizes a ow of gas from a hot zone to the ultimate discharge point. The heat loss due to lower temperatures of the injected gas is almost a negligible factor and distillation continues over a long period after combustion is terminated. lBy eliminating secondary burning of carbonaceous matter, a substantially greater proportion of the kerogen content is recovered as oil than is possible in a treatment where two stage combustion is utilized over a substantial time interval.

Another feature of the practice of the present invention is the utilization of accelerated frontal velocity providing what may be termed a high velocity front movement. An advantage of this velocity control is to maintain lower maximum temperatures in the area being worked and by proper control of gas velocity, gas composition and catalyst, frontal temperatures and velocities may be maintained at predetermined standards. With rapid front movement, the available oxygen is rapidly removed from the areas where distilling temperatures persist, and at the completion of the initial pass, the introduction of inert or relatively inert gases provides a control against detrimental combustion in the second stage treatment.

Another innovation of the present invention is the selection and use of catalysts permitting temperature development by gas combustion rather than burning a substantial amount of the organic content in attaining the required temperature.

It is an object of our invention to provide a simple, efcient and economical in situ combustion treatment in porous media having organic content which gives a higher recovery.

Another object of our invention is to provide a simple, economical and efficient in situ combustion treatment for oil shale deposits which utilizes a high velocity combustion front movement to initially attain distillation ternperatures within the area being worked and thereafter maintains distillation conditions over a protracted period Without repetition of combustion.

-A furthe-r object of .the invention is to provide a simple, economical and efficient .treatment in porous media havring organic content in which an initial combustion front movement is `directed through the area being worked in yan atmospheric having available oxygen in substantial quantity, and fol-lowing such initial front movement with a second fron-t movement comprising gas combustion maintained at temperatures at which deposited coke is not burned to any substantial degree.

The accompanying drawings illustrates typical instala lations tor the practice of our invention. In the drawlngs:

FIG. l is a schematic plan View of a typical iive-spot Iwell pattern utilized in a treatment according to the present invention;

=FIG. 2 is a schematic top plan View lof another Well pattern :which may be utilized in the practice of your invention; and

FIG. 3 is a vertical section .through a typical deposit in which the treatment oi the present invention is practiced and illustrates in more or less schematic arrangement, the components of the surface and underground installations.

When a five-spot Well pattern of the type shown in FIG. l is employed, a series of injection Wells Will be utilized 4to introduce air .or other oxygen-containing gas into a structure being worked, represented in general area by the circumferential line 7, land these injection Wells 5 `direct flow of gases ltoward a substantially central production well 6. Usually in initiating combustion in such .a structure, substantial amounts `of oxygen Will be introduced through the production vvell 6 to condition a circumferential area 8 for initiating combustion, and yafter being properly conditioned, combustion will be initiated through Well 6 in any suitable manner, causing a heat front movement away from well 6 and toward the injection Wells 5. When combustion is progressing satisfactorily, air is introduced .through the injection Wells 5 and supply through Well 6 is terminated with the result that reverse combustion is maintained lwith the hot gases passing the combustion front to carry evolved products to and out of production well 6.

The arrangement shown in FIG. 2 involves linear flow paths With a row of injection Wells 5a supplying the air or other oxygen-containing gas and a row of production 'wells 6a arranged at substantially the same spacing as .the wells 5a with heat iront movement from the producftion Wells toward the injection wells. After an operation `of this type is completed, the surface installation can be changed so that the Wells 5a become production wells `6a and fron-t movement is continued in the same way through an additional area to be Worked. FIG. 3 illustrates `an arrangement of :Wells in the form-ation which may be either the five-spot pattern of FIG. 1 or the linear pattern of FIG. 2. The surface is indicated at 12 and a porous media to be Worked is shown at 13 -With overburden 14 overlying the porous media and such overburden may be of varying composition as indicated Iby the shading dilerences. One or more injection Wells 15, here shown as one, extend 'from a point above the surface through the overburden 14 to the bottom of the porous media layer 113. One or more production Wells, here shown as a single well `16, extend from a point above the surface to the bottom of the porous media structure y13:. A lateral line 17 -is provided to conduct the output of Well 16 past la normally open valve 18 into a collection and storage system 19. Oxygen-containing gas, preferably a fuel and catalyst mix-ture, as will be described hereinafter, is delivered through a supply -line Z1 past a normally open valve 22 into the injection well or wells and this supply is established and maintained throughout the course of the front movement.

In initiating combustion, it will be satisfactory to deliver .the oxygen content through production well 16 in which event valve 1S is closed, valve 22 is closed and air or other oxygen-containing gas is delivered from a source of supply 23` past an open valve 24 in line 25 for discharge at ythe bottom of Well 16. When sufficient oxygen is introduced in this manner to support combustion, the structure adjoining Well 16 is ignited by any suitable method initiating a `combustion front movement represented at 27 which travels toward the injection Well or fwells 15. After front movement is progressing satisfactorily, the air supply through line 25 will be terminated by closing valve Z4, valve 1.8 will be open to deliver the output of Well 16 into collection system 19, and tuel and catalyst or other oxygen supply will resume through line 21 by opening of valve 212.

This `arrangement serves to maintain a iioW in media `13 from the injection wells to the production Well With a reveiise heat front movement maintained to provide the desired recovery. Hot gases passing yfront 27 carry products ot combustion and .other evolved materials into and through the well 16 for delivery into the collection system 19.

When combustion iront movement is initiated adjacent production Well 16, it is preferable to arrange the associated injection well 15 as an exhaust or production Well. In such event, valve 2.2 will be closed so that all outflow from :Well `15 Will be directed into a line 26 past an open valve 2S for discharge into the collection System A19. With such an arrangement, it is possible to sarnple the composition of the gas passing from Well 15, and when an appreciable amount of CO2 gas is noted, the combustion .front movement will have progressed to a point Where it is advantageous `to rearrange the Wells, mak-ing Well 15 .the injection well yand Well 16 the production fvvell. vIn such event, valve 23 is closed, valve 18 is `open and valve 22, is .open to deliver uel and catalyst lfroni supply 20 into well 15 While the outflow of Well 116 will pass through line 17 into collection system 19.

The feature of reversing the Well functioning may be utilized effectively in a later stage of the treatment. For example, if porous media 13 represents an oil shale deposit, such deposit will be suitably prepared for in situ combustion by shattering of the structure according to Well known methods so that sucient permeability will be provided to permit the flow of gases through the area being worked and thus permit development and maintenance of a combustion front as required. The portions of the shale structure 13x shown in FIG. 3 represent pyrolyzed or partially pyrolyzed shale and the position of the combustion front 27 between the Wells 15 and 16 is indicated. The shale 13 in advance of the front will be shattered, but at its natural temperature, Whereas the pyrolyzed shale section 13x between front 27 and Well 16 will be a high temperature zone in Which combustion has terminated, but distillation temperatures are maintained to continue extract of shale oil from the kerogen of the deposit.

The practice of the present invention contemplates a departure from prior practices, in that the initial combustion front movement represented by 27 is maintained under temperature control to produce distillation temperatures Within a non-coking temperature range and the movement of the front through the shale effectively increases permeability so that as the combustion progresses beyond a point where distillation continues, the iiow of gases into and through the hot zone serves to maintain the required distillation temperature and to carry products of combustion and other evolved matter to the production Well and then to the surface. Coking temperatures for tar sands, oil shales and conventional oil reservoirs vary widely according to diiierent oil properties and coking rates. As noted in the May 1960, Journal of Petroleum Technology, page 14, coking of heavy oils of tar sands will commence at 450 to 500 F., while in relinery operations coking will begin at S50-900 F., as noted n Advances in Petroleum Chemistry and Refining 2, page 371 (1959) Interscience Publishers, Inc., New York. The non-Coking limits for various materials are well known in the art and available in numerous publications, and therefore have not been detailed herein.

When the heat front movement has progressed to a point adjoining the injection Well, the function of the Wells may be reversed by surface changes involving closing of valves 18 and 22 and opening of valves 24 and 28. As a consequence, well 16 then becomes an injection well and Well 15 becomes a production well discharging through line 26 past open valve 28 into collection system 19. At this stage, it is preferable to introduce a fuel and catalyst mixture, the details of which will be described hereinafter, and direct the flow of such gas into the pyrolyzed shale 13x from the bottom of well 16, causing it to flow toward well 15 now functioning as the production Well. As there is almost no heat loss to surrounding structure, the required distillation temperatures are maintained in the material behind the advancing initial combustion front movement and the fuel and catalyst mixture provides a convenient means for directing a second combustion front movement from well 16 to well 15, which is primarily gas combustion with temperatures maintained sufficiently low that no appreciable amount of valuable constituent is consumed by such front movement. Any reabsorbed shale oil from the first front movement is directed through the hot zone in advance of the second front and carries to the then production well 15 for delivery into collection system 19 and such second movement may be a forward or reverse movement. This procedure eliminates the excessive combustion effect which results from reversing heat front movement and allows a sufficient time interval at any point in the area being Worked between the contact with the first heat front and the contact with the second heat front to permit a substantial amount of distillation to continue in such interval.

This procedure permits utilization of special controls between the termination of the first heat front pass and the start of the second front pass. For example, an inert gas may be injected to reduce temperature to a predetermined value and at a predetermined rate for holding the desired heat. Inert gases from the products of combustion, nitrogen, steam or CO2 may be used. When inert gas alone is circulated, distillation continues with product removal and no combustion is maintained in the area being worked. By introducing such gas at a higher velocity than in the first combustion front movement, an accelerated temperature reduction is attained with product removal continuing as previously described.

By utilizing a mixture of such gas and a liquid such as Water, an even more rapid temperature reduction may be effected. Organic liquids also may be used in lieu of water, which have the further advantage of diluting heavy immobile oils of the deposit to provide sufficient mobility to direct their removal in free-flowing condition to the production Well.

The preceding description refers to treatments in porous media having organic content, and this terminology is intended to include tar sands, oil shale deposits and conventional petroleum reservoirs containing heavy oils. While oil shale in its natural formation is not permeable, it can be rendered sufliciently permeable by fracturing or shattering to permit distribution and flow of gases through the shattered portion to such a degree that it becomes4 permeable porous media within the requirements of this invention. V

In its general application, the present invention provides an innovation in in situ combustion practices through controls which eliminate the requirement for burning all of the coke deposited on the sand grains. This is of particular importance in heavy oil reservoirs where the fuel laid down may be as high as three to tive pounds per cubic foot of reservoir space. Such control is provided by use of certain air-gas mixtures, alone, or in conjunction with certain catalysts. The rate of combustion front movement is controlled as detailed hereinafter (column 6, lines 32-4-3) and a substantial amount of gas combustion is substituted to reduce consumption of contained fuel. The gas combustion is maintained at noncoking temperatures and with a lesser oxygen requirement.

The heavy metal oxidation catalysts are Well suited for use in the practice of this invention. These include copper, silver, platinum, vanadium, iron, manganese, nickel, cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, osmium and titanium. Many of these will be present in the sandstones and associated waters of underground porous media having organic content, but usually not in sutiicient concentration and chemical composition to be effective in the treatment. Consequently, it is advantageous to introduce a sufficient quantity of catalyst prior to or during the combustion front movement to satisfy the requirements of the operation.

Various gaseous mixtures may be utilized in the practice of our invention, including the use of inert gases at certain stages of the treatment. Such mixtures may include air and natural gas, air and butane, air and propane, air and methane, air and ethane, air and acetylene, or complex mixtures of the foregoing. The gaseous mixture may be fed separately and such feed may be continuous or intermittent. With a distribution system such as shown in FIG. 3, it will be preferable to initially supply a catalyst composition or mixture from storage supply station 20 in water as a carrier vehicle through the several injection Wells 15 for distribution throughout area 7. The required property for the catalyst seems to be that it forms unstable oxides which can be oxidized from one state to another. It also is possible to inject a solution containing a soluble catalyst salt. The salt would decompose to an oxide when heated by the approaching combustion front. Gaseous carrier vehicles and catalysts may be used and have the advantage of bringing the catalyst to a treatment site at the time its use is required. When used, such compositions will comprise the gas introduction through an injection well, and such supply may be intermittent or continuous.

After the catalyst has been distributed as aforesaid, the porous media is charged with sufficient oxygen to establish and maintain combustion, usually through production Well 16 as previously described. Combustion is initiated in the manner described hereinbefore and both frontal temperature and velocity are controlled by varying total gas velocity, gas composition and catalyst. It is desirable to have a high frontal velocity in this stage, and We have found that by proper conrol in conjunction with catalyst use, frontal velocities may be increased as much as two and one-half times normal velocities and with a lowering of frontal temperatures.

The use of the catalyst will be effective in oil reservoirs, tar sands and oil shale deposits. Utilization of a rapid combustion front advance in the first pass treatment with temperature of the front maintained at essentially a noncoking temperature benefits the operation in changing the pour point of the heavy oil causing it to flow freely to the production well. However, combustion moves fast enough that burning of contained organic content is avoided to a large degree, and yet produces sufficient heat so that cracking and extraction may continue for a long iuterval after passage of the front. The continuous flew of hot gases and products of combustion from the front to the production well offsets any tendency toward heat loss in the area in between and makes possible a considerable amount of cracking or distillation after combustion is terminated.

Another feature of the practice of this invention as applied to oil shale structures is the recognition that until a temperature of about ll00 F. is attained, there is no CO2 evolution from the carbonate minerals of the deposit. Therefore, it is possible to utilize a first front pass to develop the main oil shale extraction with distillation temperatures maintained after passage of the front to attain an essentially complete extraction from various parts of the working area before arrival of a second front. The second combustion front will be controlled to develop temperatures approximating l500 F. so as t0 obtain CO2 extraction for process use. The second front movement may involve reversing of frontal movement as previously described, or changing wells as previously described so as to establish uniform treatment time between frontal passes throughout the entire area.

lthe downstream side of the front.

It is also intended that retort off gases may be utilized in such an operation. They are introduced at substantially higher temperatuers than the air normally supplied and preheat the portion of the shale in advance of the front. While the fuel value of the return gas is usually not enough to be significant, establishing a high pressure preheated zone in advance of the front assists in developing the rapid frontal advance and assists distillation on In this way, only a negligible amount of the extracted organic content is used as fuel and most of it passes to the production well and is recovered in the treatment.

The catalysts described hereinbefore may be utilized in other types of treatments with effective results. For instance, in reservoirs having no appreciable quantity of catalyst material occurring naturally, the introduction of such catalysts will serve to reduce temperature in the combustion front with increased velocity of its movement, all of which produces higher extraction. Also, in light oil reservoirs, the reduced ignition temperatures deriving from catalyst introduction make otherwise volatile constituents available as fuel and support in situ combustion where it would not be feasible to use it otherwise.

What we claim is:

1. In a method for the recovery of hydrocarbons from underground formations penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well wherein combustion is initiated in such a formation prepared for in situ combustion and a combustion front is propagated through a prepared portion of said formation having an oxidation catalyst distributed therein, the improvement which comprises propagating a combustion front through the formation by varying, in relation to oxidation catalyst concentration in the prepared portion, the velocity and oxygen content of a continuous flow of a gas mixture introduced through the injection well for directing said frontal movement, so as to establish a maximum temperature in said frontal movement capable of maintaining distillation temperatures but insufficient to cause coking of an appreciable amount of the hydrocarbons within the prepared portion during recovery of a major portion of the hydrocarbon content of said prepared portion, and recovering evolved products through the producing well.

2. A process as defined in claim 1, in which the ca-talyst is a copper composition.

3. A process as defined in claim 1, in which the catalyst is an iron composition.

4. A process as defined in claim l, in which the catalyst is a manganese composition.

5. In a method for the recovery of hydrocarbons from underground formations penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well wherein combustion is initiated in such a formation prepared for in situ combustion and a combustion front is propagated through a prepared portion of said formation having an oxidation catalyst distributed therein, the improvement which comprises propagating a combustion front through the formation, inclusive of gas combustion, by varying, in relation to oxidation catalyst concentration in the prepared portion, the velocity and oxygen content of a continuous flow of a gas mixture introduced through the injection well for supporting combustion and directing said frontal movement, so as to establish a maximum temperature in said frontal movement capable of maintaining distillation temperatures but insufficient to cause coking of an appreciable amount of the hydrocarbons within the prepared portion during recovery of a major portion of the hydrocarbon content of said prepared portion, and recovering evolved products through the producing well.

6. In a method for the recovery of hydrocarbons from underground formations penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well wherein combustion is initiated in such a formation prepared for in situ combustion and a combustion front is propagated through a prepared portion of said formation having an Voxidation catalyst distributed therein, the improvement which comprises propagating a rst combustion front through the formation by varying, in relation to oxidation catalyst concentration in the prepared portion, the velocity and oxygen content of a continuous flow of a gas mixture introduced through the injection well for directing said frontal movement, so as to establish a maximum temperature in said frontal movement insufficient to cause coking of any appreciable amount of the hydrocarbons within the prepared portion, directing a second combustion front movement through said prepared portion by introduction through the injection well of a continuous flow of a gas mixture capable of establishing distillation temperatures in a combustion-free atmosphere in advance of said second front movement, and recovering evolved products through the producing well.

7. In a method for the recovery of hydrocarbons from underground formations penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well wherein combustion is initiated in such a formation prepared for in situ combustion and a combustion front is propagated through a prepared portion of said formation having an oxidation catalyst distributed therein, the improvement which comprises propagating a combustion front through the formation by varying, in relation to oxidation catalyst concentration in the prepared portion, the velocity, oxidation catalyst and oxygen content of a continuous ow of a gas mixture introduced through the injection well for directing said frontal movement, so as to establish a maximum temperature in said frontal movement capable of maintaining distillation temperatures but insulcient to cause coking of an appreciable amount of the hydrocarbons Within the prepared portion during recovery of a major portion of the hydrocarbon content of said prepared portion, and recovering evolved products through the producing well.

8. In a method for the recovery of hydrocarbons from underground formations penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well wherein combustion is initiated in such a formation prepared for in situ combustion and a combustion front is propagated through a prepared portion of said formation having an oxidation catalyst distributed therein, the improvement which comprises propagating a combustion front through the formation by varying, in relation to oxidation catalyst concentration in the prepared portion, the input velocity and oxygen content of a combustion-supporting gas mixture introduced through the injection well so as to establish a maximum temperature in the frontal movement capable of maintaining distillation temperatures but insufficient to cause coking of an appreciable amount of the hydrocarbons within the prepared portion of the formation during recovery of a major portion of the hydrocarbon content of said prepared portion, and recovering evolved products through the producing well.

9. In a method for underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said wells into said media, initiating a moving Zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection well, supplying oxygen-containing gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through the injection well at a regulated velocity capable of maintaining said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection well and at a non-coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection well, subsequently introducing an oxygendeficient fuel gas into said media for maintaining distillation temperatures in the porous media by gas cornbustion, and removing evolved products through said production well.

l0. In a methor of underground combustion in oil shale having an organic content, said shale being penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said wells into a permeable portion of the oil shale structure, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygen-containing gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through said injection well, varying the total oxygen-containing gas velocity and oxygencontaining gas composition so as to maintain said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection well and at a non-coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection Well, subsequently introducing an oxygen-deficient fuel gas into said shale for maintaining distillation temperatures in the pyrolyzed shale, and removing evolved products through said production Well.

11. In a method of underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said wells into said media, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygencontaining gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through the injection well at a regulated velocity capable of maintaining said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection well and at a noncoking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection Well, subsequently introducing an inert gas into said media for maintaining distillation ternperatures in the porous media by gas combustion, and removing evolved products through said production well.

12. In a method of undeground combustion in oil shale having an organic content, said shale being penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said Wells into a permeable portion of the oil shale structure, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygen-containing gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through said injection Well, varying the total oxygen-contaning gas velocity, amount of catalyst and oxygen-containing gas composition so as to maintain said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection well and at a non-coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection Well, subsequently introducing an oxygen-deficient fuel gas into said shale for maintaining distillation temperatures in the pyrolyzed shale, and removing evolved products through said production Well.

13. In a method of underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said wells into such a porous media, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygen-containing gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through said injection Well, varying the total oxygen-containing gas velocity, amount of catalyst and oxygen-containing gas composition so as to maintain said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection well and at a non-Coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection well, subsequently introducing an oxygen-deficient fuel gas into said media for maintaining distillation temperatures in the media, and removing evolved products through said production Well.

14. In a method of underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection well and a producing Well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said Wells into such a porous media, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygen-containing gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through said injection well, varying the total oxygen-containing gas velocity, amount of catalyst and oxygen-containing gas composition so as to maintain said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection Well and at a non-coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection well, subsequently introducing an inert gas into said media for maintaining distillation temperatures in the media, and removing evolved products through said production well.

15. In a method of underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection Well and a producing well, the improvement Which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said Wells into such a porous media, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygen-containing gas carrying a vapor phase combustion catalyst through said injection Well, varying the total oxygen-containing gas velocity, amount of catalyst and oxygen-containing gas composition so as to maintain said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection Well and at a non-coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection Well, subsequently introducing an inert gas into said media for maintaining distillation temperatures in the media, and removing evolved products through said production Well.

16. In a method of underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection Well and a producing well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said Wells into said media, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygencontaining gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through the injection well at a regulated velocity capable of maintaining said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection Well and at a non-coking ternperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection Well, subsequently introducing an inert gas in a liquid carrier vehicle into said media for maintaining distillation temperatures in the media, and removing evolved products through said production Well.

17. In a method of underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection Well and a producing Well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said Wells into said media, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygencontaining gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through the injection Well at a regulated velocity capable of maintaining said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection Well and at a non-coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection Well, subsequently introducing an inert gas and Water into said media for maintaining distillation temperatures in the media, and removing evolved products through said production Well.

18. In a method of underground combustion in porous media having an organic content, said media being penetrated at spaced points by an injection Well and a producing Well, the improvement which comprises injecting an oxygen-containing gas through one of said Wells into said media, initiating a moving zone of combustion therein at a point remote from the injection Well, supplying oxygencontaining gas carrying an oxidation catalyst through the injection well at a regulated velocity capable of'maintaining said combustion zone at an accelerated rate of advance toward said injection Well and at a non-coking temperature until said zone has reached an area adjacent the injection Well, subsequently introducing an inert gas and an organic liquid into said media for maintaining distillation temperatures in the media, and removing evolved products through said production well.

19. In a method for the recovery of hydrocarbons from underground formations penetrated at spaced points by an injection Well and a producing Well wherein combustion is initiated in such a formation prepared for in situ combustion and a combustion front is propagated through a prepared portion of said formation having an oxidation catalyst distributed therein, the improvemnet which cornprises propagating a combustion front through the formation by varying, in relation to oxidation catalyst concentration in the prepared portion, the velocity and oxygen content of a continuous flow of a gas mixture introduced through the injection well for directing said frontal movement, so as to establish a maximum temperature in said frontal movement capable of maintaining distillation temperatures but insucient to cause appreciable CO2 evolution, directing a second frontal movement through the prepared portion with enough oxygen-containing gas supplied so as to obtain substantial CO2 extraction through- Vout the prepared portion, and recovering evolved products through the producing Well.

References Cited in the iile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS t 2,788,071 Pelzer Apr. 9, 1957 2,793,696 Morse May 28, 1957 2,871,942 Garrison et a1. Feb. 3, 1959 2,889,881 Trantham et al. June 9, 1959 2,917,112 Trantham et al. Dec. 15, 1959 2,917,296 Prentiss Dec. 15, 1959 2,994,374 Crawford et a1. Aug. 1, 1961 3,007,520 Frey Nov. 7, 1961 3,019,837 Marx et al. Feb. 6, 1962 3,048,225 Reichle Aug. 7, 1962

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2788071 *Mar 5, 1954Apr 9, 1957Sinclair Oil & Gas CompanyOil recovery process
US2793696 *Jul 22, 1954May 28, 1957Pan American Petroleum CorpOil recovery by underground combustion
US2871942 *Nov 29, 1956Feb 3, 1959Texas CoIn situ combustion
US2889881 *May 14, 1956Jun 9, 1959Phillips Petroleum CoOil recovery by in situ combustion
US2917112 *Nov 13, 1956Dec 15, 1959Phillips Petroleum CoInverse air injection technique
US2917296 *Mar 8, 1957Dec 15, 1959Phillips Petroleum CoRecovery of hydrocarbon from oil shale adjoining a permeable oilbearing stratum
US2994374 *Oct 28, 1957Aug 1, 1961 In situ combustion process
US3007520 *Oct 28, 1957Nov 7, 1961Phillips Petroleum CoIn situ combustion technique
US3019837 *Oct 28, 1957Feb 6, 1962Phillips Petroleum CoIn situ combustion process
US3048225 *Aug 28, 1959Aug 7, 1962Phillips Petroleum CoCatalytic in situ combustion
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3196945 *Oct 8, 1962Jul 27, 1965Pan American Petroleum CompanyMethod of forward in situ combustion with water injection
US3223166 *May 27, 1963Dec 14, 1965Pan American Petroleum CorpMethod of controlled catalytic heating of a subsurface formation
US3235006 *Oct 11, 1963Feb 15, 1966Pan American CorpMethod of supplying heat to an underground formation
US3239405 *Nov 4, 1963Mar 8, 1966Pan American Petroleum CorpUnderground combustion process
US3244231 *Apr 9, 1963Apr 5, 1966Pan American Petroleum CorpMethod for catalytically heating oil bearing formations
US3280909 *Jan 20, 1964Oct 25, 1966Shell Oil CoMethod of producing an oil bearing formation
US3292699 *Aug 10, 1964Dec 20, 1966Mobil Oil CorpProcess for in situ retorting of oil shale
US3322195 *Jan 20, 1964May 30, 1967Exxon Research Engineering CoProcess and apparatus for recovery of additional fuels from oil and gas wells
US3363686 *Jan 10, 1966Jan 16, 1968Phillips Petroleum CoReduction of coke formation during in situ combustion
US3398793 *May 27, 1966Aug 27, 1968Marathon Oil CoProcess for rapid reignition of in situ combustion
US3473610 *Aug 4, 1967Oct 21, 1969Deutsche Erdoel AgProcess for obtaining bitumens from underground deposits
US3712375 *Nov 25, 1970Jan 23, 1973Sun Oil CoMethod for catalytically heating wellbores
US3823775 *Apr 30, 1973Jul 16, 1974Continental Oil CoMethod for upgrading coal gasification products
US3972372 *Mar 10, 1975Aug 3, 1976Fisher Sidney TExraction of hydrocarbons in situ from underground hydrocarbon deposits
US3986556 *Jan 6, 1975Oct 19, 1976Haynes Charles AHydrocarbon recovery from earth strata
US4014721 *Jul 11, 1975Mar 29, 1977Deutsche Texaco AktiengesellschaftIgnition mixture for initiating underground in-situ combustion
US4057107 *Nov 2, 1976Nov 8, 1977Deutsche Texaco AktiengesellschaftMethod of initiating underground in-situ combustion
US4086960 *Feb 25, 1976May 2, 1978Haynes Charles AApparatus for hydrocarbon recovery from earth strata
US4224990 *Jan 19, 1979Sep 30, 1980Occidental Oil Shale, Inc.Method for flattening the combustion zone in an in situ oil shale retort by the addition of fuel
US4328863 *Mar 14, 1980May 11, 1982Standard Oil Company (Indiana)In situ retorting of oil shale
US4470460 *Nov 26, 1982Sep 11, 1984Ashland Oil, Inc.Catalytic cracking, with regeneration of catalyst
US4615391 *Aug 13, 1984Oct 7, 1986Tenneco Oil CompanyUsing colloidally sized magnesium particles
US4778010 *Mar 18, 1987Oct 18, 1988Union Carbide CorporationProcess for injection of oxidant and liquid into a well
US4834178 *Jun 13, 1988May 30, 1989Union Carbide CorporationProcess for injection of oxidant and liquid into a well
US5538081 *Jul 5, 1995Jul 23, 1996Universal Environmental Technologies, Inc.Method of increasing the amount of hydrocarbons from an undeground reservoir
US5564861 *Jun 6, 1995Oct 15, 1996Khudenko; Boris M.Thermal method of in-situ soil treatment
US6581684Apr 24, 2001Jun 24, 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn Situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce sulfur containing formation fluids
US6588503Apr 24, 2001Jul 8, 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn Situ thermal processing of a coal formation to control product composition
US6588504Apr 24, 2001Jul 8, 2003Shell Oil CompanyConversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground coal formations; pyrolysis
US6591906Apr 24, 2001Jul 15, 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected oxygen content
US6591907Apr 24, 2001Jul 15, 2003Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis
US6607033Apr 24, 2001Aug 19, 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn Situ thermal processing of a coal formation to produce a condensate
US6609570Apr 24, 2001Aug 26, 2003Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation and ammonia production
US6688387Apr 24, 2001Feb 10, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a hydrocarbon condensate
US6698515Apr 24, 2001Mar 2, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a relatively slow heating rate
US6702016Apr 24, 2001Mar 9, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with heat sources located at an edge of a formation layer
US6708758Apr 24, 2001Mar 23, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation leaving one or more selected unprocessed areas
US6712135Apr 24, 2001Mar 30, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation in reducing environment
US6712136Apr 24, 2001Mar 30, 2004Shell Oil CompanyProviding heat to the formation; controlling the heat from the heat source such that an average temperature within at least a majority of the selected section of the formation is less than about 375 degrees c.
US6712137Apr 24, 2001Mar 30, 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeat exchanging to superimpose heat
US6715546Apr 24, 2001Apr 6, 2004Shell Oil CompanyChemical and/or physical properties of hydrocarbon material within a subterranean formation may need to be changed to allow hydrocarbon material to be more easily removed
US6715547Apr 24, 2001Apr 6, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to form a substantially uniform, high permeability formation
US6715548Apr 24, 2001Apr 6, 2004Shell Oil CompanyElectrical heaters may be used to heat the subterranean formation by radiation and/or conduction
US6715549Apr 24, 2001Apr 6, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected atomic oxygen to carbon ratio
US6719047Apr 24, 2001Apr 13, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation in a hydrogen-rich environment
US6722429Apr 24, 2001Apr 20, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation leaving one or more selected unprocessed areas
US6722430Apr 24, 2001Apr 20, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected oxygen content and/or selected O/C ratio
US6722431Apr 24, 2001Apr 20, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of hydrocarbons within a relatively permeable formation
US6725920Apr 24, 2001Apr 27, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to convert a selected amount of total organic carbon into hydrocarbon products
US6725921Apr 24, 2001Apr 27, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation by controlling a pressure of the formation
US6725928Apr 24, 2001Apr 27, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a distributed combustor
US6729395Apr 24, 2001May 4, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected ratio of heat sources to production wells
US6729396Apr 24, 2001May 4, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range
US6729397Apr 24, 2001May 4, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected vitrinite reflectance
US6729401Apr 24, 2001May 4, 2004Shell Oil CompanySynthesis gas may be produced from the formation. synthesis gas may be used as a feed stream in an ammonia synthesis process. ammonia may be used as a feed stream in a urea synthesis process.
US6732794Apr 24, 2001May 11, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a mixture with a selected hydrogen content
US6732795Apr 24, 2001May 11, 2004Shell Oil CompanyProviding heat from one or more heat sources to at least one portion of formation; allowing heat to transfer from the one or more heat sources to a selected section of the formation; controlling the heat; producing a mixture from the formation
US6732796Apr 24, 2001May 11, 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeating section of formation with heat sources to temperature allowing generation of synthesis gas, providing synthesis gas generating fluid to section, removing synthesis gas generated, repeating for second section, blending for desired ratio
US6736215Apr 24, 2001May 18, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation, in situ production of synthesis gas, and carbon dioxide sequestration
US6739393Apr 24, 2001May 25, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation and tuning production
US6739394Apr 24, 2001May 25, 2004Shell Oil CompanyProviding heat and a synthesis gas generating fluid to the section to generate synthesis gas
US6742587Apr 24, 2001Jun 1, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation to form a substantially uniform, relatively high permeable formation
US6742588Apr 24, 2001Jun 1, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce formation fluids having a relatively low olefin content
US6742589Apr 24, 2001Jun 1, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using repeating triangular patterns of heat sources
US6742593Apr 24, 2001Jun 1, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using heat transfer from a heat transfer fluid to heat the formation
US6745831Apr 24, 2001Jun 8, 2004Shell Oil CompanyMixture of hydrocarbons, h2, and/or other formation fluids may be produced from the formation. heat may be applied to the formation to raise a temperature of a portion of the formation to a pyrolysis temperature.
US6745832Apr 24, 2001Jun 8, 2004Shell Oil CompanySitu thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to control product composition
US6745837Apr 24, 2001Jun 8, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a controlled heating rate
US6749021Apr 24, 2001Jun 15, 2004Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis
US6752210Apr 24, 2001Jun 22, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using heat sources positioned within open wellbores
US6758268Apr 24, 2001Jul 6, 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeat exchanging, pyrolysis; monitoring temperature
US6761216Apr 24, 2001Jul 13, 2004Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis temperature
US6763886Apr 24, 2001Jul 20, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with carbon dioxide sequestration
US6769483Apr 24, 2001Aug 3, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using conductor in conduit heat sources
US6769485Apr 24, 2001Aug 3, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ production of synthesis gas from a coal formation through a heat source wellbore
US6789625Apr 24, 2001Sep 14, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using exposed metal heat sources
US6805195Apr 24, 2001Oct 19, 2004Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce hydrocarbon fluids and synthesis gas
US6820688Apr 24, 2001Nov 23, 2004Shell Oil CompanyHeat exchanging after pyrolyzation to support synthesis gas generation
US6866097Apr 24, 2001Mar 15, 2005Shell Oil CompanySuperpositioning of heaters for pyrolysis to form mixture of hydrocarbons and hydrogen; controlling pressure; heat exchanging
US6871707Apr 24, 2001Mar 29, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with carbon dioxide sequestration
US6877554Apr 24, 2001Apr 12, 2005Shell Oil CompanyPyrolysis
US6877555Apr 24, 2002Apr 12, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation while inhibiting coking
US6880633Apr 24, 2002Apr 19, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIncludes shutting-in an in situ treatment process in an oil shale formation may include terminating heating from heat sources providing heat to a portion of the formation; hydrocarbon vapor may be produced
US6880635Apr 24, 2001Apr 19, 2005Shell Oil CompanyMethods and systems for production of hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or other products from underground coal formations
US6889769Apr 24, 2001May 10, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected moisture content
US6896053Apr 24, 2001May 24, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using repeating triangular patterns of heat sources
US6902003Apr 24, 2001Jun 7, 2005Shell Oil CompanyAllowing heat to transfer from heaters to a formation selected for heating using a total organic matter weight percentage of > 5% and recirculating hydrogen
US6902004Apr 24, 2001Jun 7, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a movable heating element
US6910536Apr 24, 2001Jun 28, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using a natural distributed combustor
US6913078Apr 24, 2001Jul 5, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn Situ thermal processing of hydrocarbons within a relatively impermeable formation
US6915850Apr 24, 2002Jul 12, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation having permeable and impermeable sections
US6918442Apr 24, 2002Jul 19, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ conversion of hydrocarbons to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or novel product streams from underground oil shale formations
US6918443Apr 24, 2002Jul 19, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range
US6923257Apr 24, 2002Aug 2, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation to produce a condensate
US6923258Jun 12, 2003Aug 2, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processsing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce a mixture with a selected hydrogen content
US6929067Apr 24, 2002Aug 16, 2005Shell Oil CompanyHeat sources with conductive material for in situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
US6932155Oct 24, 2002Aug 23, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation via backproducing through a heater well
US6948562Apr 24, 2002Sep 27, 2005Shell Oil CompanyProduction of a blending agent using an in situ thermal process in a relatively permeable formation
US6948563Apr 24, 2001Sep 27, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected hydrogen content
US6951247Apr 24, 2002Oct 4, 2005Shell Oil CompanyControl the heat exchanging, pyrolyzing hydrocarbons, enhancing oil recovery
US6953087Apr 24, 2001Oct 11, 2005Shell Oil CompanyThermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to increase a permeability of the formation
US6959761Apr 24, 2001Nov 1, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected ratio of heat sources to production wells
US6964300Apr 24, 2002Nov 15, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with backproduction through a heater wellbore
US6966372Apr 24, 2001Nov 22, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce oxygen containing formation fluids
US6966374Apr 24, 2002Nov 22, 2005Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation using gas to increase mobility
US6969123Oct 24, 2002Nov 29, 2005Shell Oil CompanyUpgrading and mining of coal
US6973967Apr 24, 2001Dec 13, 2005Shell Oil Companyhydrocarbons within a coal formation are converted in situ within the formation to yield a mixture of relatively high quality hydrocarbon products, hydrogen, and other products; the coal is heated to to temperatures that allow pyrolysis
US6981548Apr 24, 2002Jan 3, 2006Shell Oil Companyheating and pyrolysis of heavy hydrocarbon sections in subterranean wells to produce light hydrocarbons; reduced viscosity improves movement; fluid removal in liquid and/or vapor phase
US6991031Apr 24, 2001Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation to convert a selected total organic carbon content into hydrocarbon products
US6991032Apr 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyHeat sources positioned within the formation in a selected pattern raise a temperature of a portion of the formation to a pyrolysis temperature.
US6991033Apr 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing while controlling pressure in an oil shale formation
US6991036Apr 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyThermal processing of a relatively permeable formation
US6991045Oct 24, 2002Jan 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyForming openings in a hydrocarbon containing formation using magnetic tracking
US6994160Apr 24, 2001Feb 7, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce hydrocarbons having a selected carbon number range
US6994161Apr 24, 2001Feb 7, 2006Kevin Albert MaherIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with a selected moisture content
US6994168Apr 24, 2001Feb 7, 2006Scott Lee WellingtonIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation with a selected hydrogen to carbon ratio
US6994169Apr 24, 2002Feb 7, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation with a selected property
US6997255Apr 24, 2001Feb 14, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation in a reducing environment
US6997518Apr 24, 2002Feb 14, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and solution mining of an oil shale formation
US7004247Apr 24, 2002Feb 28, 2006Shell Oil CompanyConductor-in-conduit heat sources for in situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
US7004251Apr 24, 2002Feb 28, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and remediation of an oil shale formation
US7011154Oct 24, 2002Mar 14, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a kerogen and liquid hydrocarbon containing formation
US7013972Apr 24, 2002Mar 21, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a natural distributed combustor
US7017661Apr 24, 2001Mar 28, 2006Shell Oil CompanyProduction of synthesis gas from a coal formation
US7032660Apr 24, 2002Apr 25, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing and inhibiting migration of fluids into or out of an in situ oil shale formation
US7036583Sep 24, 2001May 2, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to increase a porosity of the formation
US7040398Apr 24, 2002May 9, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation in a reducing environment
US7040399Apr 24, 2002May 9, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation using a controlled heating rate
US7040400Apr 24, 2002May 9, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively impermeable formation using an open wellbore
US7051807Apr 24, 2002May 30, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with quality control
US7051808Oct 24, 2002May 30, 2006Shell Oil CompanySeismic monitoring of in situ conversion in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7051811Apr 24, 2002May 30, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing through an open wellbore in an oil shale formation
US7055600Apr 24, 2002Jun 6, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal recovery from a relatively permeable formation with controlled production rate
US7063145Oct 24, 2002Jun 20, 2006Shell Oil CompanyMethods and systems for heating a hydrocarbon containing formation in situ with an opening contacting the earth's surface at two locations
US7066254Oct 24, 2002Jun 27, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a tar sands formation
US7066257Oct 24, 2002Jun 27, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from lean and rich zones in a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7073578Oct 24, 2003Jul 11, 2006Shell Oil CompanyStaged and/or patterned heating during in situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7077198Oct 24, 2002Jul 18, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using barriers
US7077199Oct 24, 2002Jul 18, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil reservoir formation
US7086465Oct 24, 2002Aug 8, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ production of a blending agent from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7086468Apr 24, 2001Aug 8, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation using heat sources positioned within open wellbores
US7090013Oct 24, 2002Aug 15, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a hydrocarbon containing formation to produce heated fluids
US7096941Apr 24, 2001Aug 29, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation with heat sources located at an edge of a coal layer
US7096942Apr 24, 2002Aug 29, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a relatively permeable formation while controlling pressure
US7096953Apr 24, 2001Aug 29, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a coal formation using a movable heating element
US7100994Oct 24, 2002Sep 5, 2006Shell Oil Companyinjecting a heated fluid into the well bore, producing a second fluid from the formation, conducting an in situ conversion process in the selected section.
US7104319Oct 24, 2002Sep 12, 2006Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of a heavy oil diatomite formation
US7114566Oct 24, 2002Oct 3, 2006Shell Oil CompanyHeat treatment using natural distributed combustor; oxidation of hydrocarbons to generate heat; pyrolysis
US7121342Apr 23, 2004Oct 17, 2006Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US7128153Oct 24, 2002Oct 31, 2006Shell Oil CompanyTreatment of a hydrocarbon containing formation after heating
US7165615Oct 24, 2002Jan 23, 2007Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation using conductor-in-conduit heat sources with an electrically conductive material in the overburden
US7320364Apr 22, 2005Jan 22, 2008Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting reflux in a heated well of an in situ conversion system
US7357180Apr 22, 2005Apr 15, 2008Shell Oil CompanyInhibiting effects of sloughing in wellbores
US7360588Oct 17, 2006Apr 22, 2008Shell Oil CompanyThermal processes for subsurface formations
US7424915Apr 22, 2005Sep 16, 2008Shell Oil CompanyVacuum pumping of conductor-in-conduit heaters
US7435037Apr 21, 2006Oct 14, 2008Shell Oil CompanyLow temperature barriers with heat interceptor wells for in situ processes
US7510000Apr 22, 2005Mar 31, 2009Shell Oil CompanyReducing viscosity of oil for production from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7640987Aug 17, 2005Jan 5, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Communicating fluids with a heated-fluid generation system
US7770643Oct 10, 2006Aug 10, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Hydrocarbon recovery using fluids
US7798221May 31, 2007Sep 21, 2010Shell Oil CompanyIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
US7809538Jan 13, 2006Oct 5, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Real time monitoring and control of thermal recovery operations for heavy oil reservoirs
US7832482Oct 10, 2006Nov 16, 2010Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.Producing resources using steam injection
US8608249Apr 26, 2010Dec 17, 2013Shell Oil CompanyIn situ thermal processing of an oil shale formation
US8701788Dec 22, 2011Apr 22, 2014Chevron U.S.A. Inc.Preconditioning a subsurface shale formation by removing extractible organics
US8839860Dec 22, 2011Sep 23, 2014Chevron U.S.A. Inc.In-situ Kerogen conversion and product isolation
US20130161008 *Dec 22, 2011Jun 27, 2013Argonne National LaboratoryPreparation and use of nano-catalysts for in-situ reaction with kerogen
WO1996039267A1 *Jun 6, 1996Dec 12, 1996Boris M KhudenkoCombustion facilitated waste and pollution treatment
WO1997002404A1 *Jul 3, 1996Jan 23, 1997Universal Environmental TechnoMethod of increasing the amount of hydrocarbons from an underground reservoir
WO2001081239A2 *Apr 24, 2001Nov 1, 2001Shell Oil CoIn situ recovery from a hydrocarbon containing formation
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/260
International ClassificationE21B43/243, E21B43/16
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/243
European ClassificationE21B43/243