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Heavy oil and bitumen---not glamorous but often profitable. K.A. Millar. J. Can. Petrol. Technol., April 1994, 33(4), 13--15.

The formation mechanism for heavy oil and bitumen resources in western Canada is described and illustrated. Very large reserves are available and production methods are reviewed. Introduction of horizontal wells and the installation of progressive cavity pumps improve the economics of cold production. Thermal methods for heavy oil production include in situ combustion techniques but these generally give poor field results and the basic theory is being further considered. Cyclic steam injection processes show greater promise but injection rates, pressures, and operational procedures vary for each reservoir. Techniques such as cogeneration, wellbore insulation, sweep improving foams, and numerical simulation are also available. 18 refs.

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