An Improved Three-Phase Relative Permeability and Hysteresis Model for the Simulation of a Water-Alternating-Gas Injection
- Hamidreza Shahverdi (Heriot-Watt University) | Mehran Sohrabi (Heriot-Watt University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- June 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 841 - 850
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery
- 7 in the last 30 days
- 613 since 2007
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Water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection in waterflooded reservoirs canincrease oil recovery and extend the life of these reservoirs. Reliablereservoir simulations are needed to predict the performance of WAG injectionbefore field implementation. This requires accurate sets of relativepermeability (kr) and capillary pressure (Pc) functions for each fluid phase,in a three-phase-flow regime. The WAG process also involves another majorcomplication, hysteresis, which is caused by flow reversal happening during WAGinjection. Hysteresis is one of the most important phenomena manipulating theperformance of WAG injection, and hence, it has to be carefully accountedfor.
In this study, we have benefited from the results of a series of corefloodexperiments that we have been performing since 1997 as a part of theCharacterization of Three-Phase Flow and WAG Injection JIP (joint industryproject) at Heriot-Watt University. In particular, we focus on a WAG experimentcarried out on a waterwet core to obtain three-phase relative permeabilityvalues for oil, water, and gas. The relative permeabilities exhibit significantand irreversible hysteresis for oil, water, and gas. The observed hysteresis,which is a result of the cyclic injection of water and gas during WAGinjection, is not predicted by the existing hysteresis models.
We present a new three-phase relative permeability model coupled withhysteresis effects for the modeling of the observed cycle-dependent relativepermeabilities taking place during WAG injection. The approach has beensuccessfully tested and verified with measured three-phase relativepermeability values obtained from a WAG experiment. In line with our laboratoryobservations, the new model predicts the reduction of the gas relativepermeability during consecutive water-and-gas injection cycles as well as theincrease in oil relative permeability happening in consecutive water-injectioncycles.
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