Heavy crude oil (or extra heavy crude oil) is highly-viscous oil that cannot easily flow to production wells under normal reservoir conditions.It is referred to as “heavy” because its density or specific gravity is higher than that of light crude oil. In 2010, the World Energy Council defined extra heavy oil as crude oil having a gravity of less than 10° and a reservoir viscosity of no more than 10,000 centipoises. Our multiphase pumps can help meet the special challenges faced by heavy oil producers.
Production of heavy oil is becoming more common in many countries, with 2008 production led by Canada and Venezuela.
In addition to high viscosity, the use of multiphase pumps in heavy oil service faces other unique challenges:
- Very heavy liquid slugs can enter the pump, limiting operating speed
- The crude may be diluted with light crude or naphtha
- Water cut may gradually increase during initial production
- Gas content typically is low during early production, then increases