A Correlation of the Viscosity of Hydrocarbon Systems With Pressure, Temperature and Composition
- J.E. Little (Shell Development Co.) | H.T. Kennedy (Texas A And M U.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- June 1968
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 157 - 162
- 1968. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.2.2 Fluid Modeling, Equations of State, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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An empirical equation for the prediction of the viscosity of several pure paraffin hydrocarbons and nitrogen is presented. It involves temperature, pressure and six constants of the material, and it applies reliably to both liquids and gases. The equation is similar in form to van der Waal's equation of state. For the paraffin hydrocarbons methane through n-hexane and nitrogen, an average absolute deviation of 1.9 percent was obtained on 1,006 data points described in the literature by 14 authors. When this equation is extended to complex, liquid hydrocarbon mixtures, a correlation was obtained with an average absolute deviation of 9.9 percent.
Equations describing the flow of gas and liquid through porous media contain the viscosity coefficient of the fluid. If other pertinent variables remain constant, the volume rate of flow is inversely proportional to this coefficient. In dealing with condensate fluids and volatile oils, however, the compositional effects resulting from changing pressure materially affect the viscosity. The effect of compositional changes also may be significant in certain secondary recovery or pressure maintenance processes, notably miscible displacement or gas injection. Early attempts to describe the performance of reservoirs utilized a volumetric material balance method wherein gas and liquid in the reservoir were identified as produced gas and liquid at the surface. This method of analysis proved adequate for reservoirs at moderate temperature and pressure that contained gas with moderately low amounts of condensable materials. The volumetric material balance procedures for "black oil" reservoirs leave much to be desired when applied to condensate and volatile oil reservoirs because phase behavior and compositional changes the relatively more important in these cases. The alternative is a compositional material balance, which in turn, requires a correlation of properties of the reservoir fluid with composition. This paper supplies this correlation in regard to viscosity, for reservoir crude oils.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The literature contains many empirical equations describing the effects of composition, temperature and pressure on the viscosities of pure liquids and binary liquid mixtures. However, the applicability of a majority of these equations is limited to very low pressures and to a small number of systems. Most of the, when applied to complex hydrocarbon systems, are of little value. The lack of utility of the majority of equations results from the fact that they were developed to show the separate effect of temperature, pressure or composition on viscosity, but not to predict the viscosity as a function of all three variables. And with the few exceptions noted below, they were developed to apply to much simpler systems than hydrocarbon mixtures.
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