Scaling Laws for Laboratory Flow Models of Oil Reservoirs
- F.M. Perkins Jr. (Humble Oil & Refining Co.) | R.E. Collins (The U. of Houston)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 1960
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 69 - 71
- 1960. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.3.4 Scale
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Publications concerning laws for laboratory flow models of oil reservoirs indicate that the relative permeability and capillary pressure relations must be the same functions of saturation in the model and its prototype. In this paper, the relative permeabilities and saturations are redefined in a way which permits one to have different relative permeability and capillary pressure relations in the model and prototype. The development of the new scaling criteria is demonstrated by deriving scaling laws for one simple flow problem.
The successful application of information gathered through bench-scale model studies to the prediction of multi-phase fluid flow behavior in petroleum reservoirs requires careful consideration of the scaling criteria. The requirements which must be met for a small-scale model to duplicate the behavior of a much larger reservoir prototype have been discussed by Leverett, et al, Rapoport, and Geertsma, et al. According to these authors, the relative permeabilities to water, oil and gas and the dimensionless capillary pressures must be the must have the same values in the model and prototype. Furthermore, they point out that the viscosity ratios must have the same values in the model and prototype. In addition to these requirements, other scaling criteria are given which, when considered, usually dictate a much higher permeability in the model than exists in the reservoir.
Since the more permeable model sands may have connate-water and residual oil saturations quite different from those in the prototype, the scaling requirements pertaining to the dependence of relative permeabilities and dimensionless capillary pressures on saturation usually are not met. Also, if the model fluids are selected to give equal viscosity ratios in the model and prototype, one may find greatly different mobility ratios in the two cases and, therefore, may expect grossly different flow patterns. For this reason, Craig, et al, correlated the results of their model studies with mobility ratio rather than with viscosity ratio. As yet, however, no satisfactory method has been advanced which permits use of anything other than the scaling requirements outlined in the previously mentioned papers.
The purpose of this paper is to present a method of developing a set of scaling criteria which permits different relationships between saturation and relative permeability or capillary pressure in the model and prototype. Rather than attempt to report scaling criteria for a variety of practical situations, this paper demonstrates by use of one simple example how the modified scaling criteria are derived.
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