In-situ recovery of heavy-oil and bitumen is used when reserves are too deep underground for conventional surface mining technologies. Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is process in which two horizontal wells, one vertically 5m above the other, are drilled into an oil-rich region. Steam is injected into the reservoir from the top well, and an oil steam-condensate mixture is pumped out the production well. The aim of this research is to physically model a section of oil sand in a SAGD operation. An array of micropillars fabricated into a glass microfluidic chip is used to represent the grains of sand. The chip was positioned vertically so that gravity plays a dominate role in drainage. Steam was pumped into the chip, reducing the viscosity of the oil and allowing oil and steam to flow under gravity to the outlet. The position of the steam front and the micro-scale interactions of the steam and oil were recorded over time.

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