A Viscosity-Temperature Correlation at Atmospheric Pressure for Gas-Free Oils
- W.B. Braden
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1966
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,487 - 1,490
- 1966. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements
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- 504 since 2007
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BRADEN, W.B., MEMBER AIME, TEXACO, INC., BELLAIRE, TEX.
This paper presents a suitable method for predicting gas-free oil viscosities at temperatures up to 500F knowing only the API gravity of the oil at 60F and the viscosity of the oil measured at any relatively low temperature. The API gravity and the one viscosity value are used as parameters to determine the slope of a straight line oil the ASTM standard viscosity-temperature chart. Then, knowing the slope of the line and one point on the line, the viscosities at higher temperatures can be determined. The line slope correlations were developed at 100 and 210F since viscosity data are frequently measured at these temperatures. A procedure is given for predicting line slopes from measurements at other temperatures. A nomogram is furnished for solving the relationship. The correlation has been evaluated at temperatures up to 500F for oils varying in gravity from 10 to 33 degrees API. The correlation is applicable only to Newtonian fluids. Comparison at 500F of true viscosities and those predicted from values at 100F shows an average deviation of 3.0 per cent (maximum deviation of 6.0 per cent). Predictions from the values at 210F for the same oils show an average deviation of 1.5 per cent (maximum deviation of 3.4 per cent).
Correlations have been developed by Beal and by Chew and Connally for predicting viscosities of gas-saturated oils at reservoir conditions. Each of these correlations requires a knowledge of the solution gas-oil ratio and the viscosity of the gas-free oil at the reservoir temperature. For temperatures below 350F, measurements of the gas-free oil viscosities can be made easily using commercially available equipment. In thermal recovery processes, however, reservoir temperatures well in excess of 350F are encountered. Viscosity measurements at such conditions are more difficult and time consuming and require modification of existing equipment or the construction of new equipment. Measurements are further complicated by the difficulty of handling highly viscous oils associated with thermal recovery processes. Therefore, it is desirable to have a correlation which allows accurate prediction of viscosities at high temperatures. A commonly used technique for predicting viscosities at high temperatures is to measure the viscosities at two lower temperatures, plot the values on ASTM standard viscosity temperature charts and extrapolate to the temperatures desired. If either of the values is slightly in error, the extrapolated value can be significantly in error. To justify an extrapolation, three points are actually necessary. This procedure can consume much time, particularly with heavy oils. Considering the cost of viscosity measurements, it would be desirable to eliminate the need for direct measurements by having correlations which would allow viscosity predictions from other physical or chemical properties. Beal' investigated the possibility of correlating viscosity with oil gravity at temperatures from 100 to 220F. While showing that a general relationship exists, he also found significant deviations. It is possible that correlations will be developed based on oil composition as more information becomes available. While not eliminating the need for viscosity measurements, the method presented herein requires that only one viscosity measurement be made. The API gravity must also be known. The theory is based on the fact that the viscosity of paraffins (high gravity) changes less with temperature than does the viscosity of naphthenes or aromatics (low gravity). The gravity, therefore, is used as a parameter to determine the slope of a straight line on the ASTM standard viscosity-temperature charts. The correlation is applicable only to Newtonian oils, and deviations due to thermal decomposition and nonhomogeneity cannot be predicted. Oils containing additives have not been evaluated.
Fifteen oils were used in developing the correlation; eight were crudes and seven were processed oils. Oil gravities varied from 9.9 degrees API (naphthene base) to 32.7 degrees API (paraffin base). The temperature range studied was 81 to 516F. Each oil used had a minimum of three viscosity measurements and each plotted essentially as a straight line on the ASTM charts. In all, 91 viscosity measurements were used in the correlation. Saybolt, rolling ball and capillary tube viscometers were used for the measurements. Viscosity data for Samples 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11 and 14 were obtained in Texaco, Inc. laboratories. The data for Samples 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12 and 15 were from Fortsch and Wilson, and data for Sample 13 were from Dean and Lane. All data points used in the correlation are plotted in Fig. 1. It is seen that some of the viscosity values deviated slightly from the straight-line plots at the higher temperatures.
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