A Verification of Waterflood Scaling in Heterogeneous Communicating Flow Models
- C.W. Carpenter Jr. (Jersey Production Research Co.) | P.T. Bail (Jersey Production Research Co.) | J.E. Bobek (Jersey Production Research Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- March 1962
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 9 - 12
- 1962. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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This paper presents the results of model studies made to demonstrate the validity of applying the "basic" waterflooding scaling relationships of Rapoport to water-wet reservoirs composed of communicating strata of different permeability. Results demonstrate that these relationships can be validly applied, and also show the combined effect of variables on recovery. This demonstration was needed to confirm that the sizable effects of communicating strata on waterflood behavior, observed in model studies, were actually representative of field behavior.
Rapoport, Collins and others have presented scaling laws for modeling water-oil displacements. The validity of these laws has been experimentally demonstrated for homogeneous systems only. Recently, however, several investigators have presented the results of multilayer model studies made to determine the effects of viscous, capillary and gravitational forces on oil recovery in systems composed of communicating layers of different permeability. Dyes and Braun, using miscible displacements to simulate water flooding, showed that vertical communication adversely affects recovery at unfavorable viscosity ratios in the absence of capillarity. Ogandzhanyants and Egorova, Gaucher and Lindley, and Richardson and Perkins modeled water-oil displacements in layered systems using immiscible fluids with capillary forces present. These investigators found more efficient behavior than in the miscible system of Dyes and Braun. However, since the scaling laws had not been verified for heterogeneous systems prior to or during these tests, it was necessary to assume that the results were representative of field behavior. This report presents the results of model studies made at Jersey Production Research Co. to find out if the waterflooding scaling relationships are valid when applied to water-oil displacements in heterogeneous reservoirs with vertical communication. Data obtained in the study show the combined effects of viscous, capillary and gravitational forces on oil-recovery behavior. The studies were performed in strongly water-wet systems where strong imbibition forces were present. For systems of different wettability, the effects of capillary imbibition would be somewhat different than those presented.
The scaling laws studied were those developed by Rapoport and designated by him as "basic" scaling laws. These relationships require that the model be scaled to the geometry of the prototype, and that the model and prototype be operated at the same viscosity ratio and have identical relative permeability curves, contact angles and boundary
conditions. It is also necessary that the groups ,
and be identical in the two systems, although any of the parameters
making up the groups may be different. Finally, the capillary pressure of one system must be directly proportional to that of the second. Studies were conducted in two four-layer models, representing quadrants of five-spots, which were geometrically similar and which had the same glass-bead packing. The fluids used assured the same wettability in both models. Thus, the contact angles and relative permeabilities of comparative sand layers in the two models were identical and the capillary pressures were directly proportional. However, one model had a characteristic length three times that of the other. To make the scaling groups equal and to check the scaling laws, it was necessary to adjust the rate, water-viscosity level, interfacial tension and water-oil density difference to compensate for the difference in model sizes.
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