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Experimental Study of the Fracture and Matrix Effects on Free-Fall Gravity Drainage With Micromodels
- Mehdi Bahari Moghaddam (University of Tehran) | Mohammad Reza Rasaei (University of Tehran)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- August 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 6.7 Reserves Evaluation, 6 Reservoir Description and Dynamics, 6.7.2 Recovery Factors, 6.3 Fluid Dynamics
- fluid flow in fractured reservoir
- 12 in the last 30 days
- 108 since 2007
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Free-fall gravity drainage (FFGD) is the main production mechanism in the gas-invaded zone of fractured reservoirs. The gravity and capillary forces are two major forces that control the production performance of a fractured system under an FFGD mechanism. Gravity force acts as a driving force to remove oil from the matrix block whereas the resistive capillary force tends to keep oil inside the matrix. In this study, a series of experiments was performed to study the effects of the geometrical characteristics of the fracture and matrix on the oil-production rate under an FFGD mechanism by use of a glass micromodel. The oil-recovery factor (RF) was also obtained for a single matrix block by use of different patterns. Results from the experiments show that different flow regimes occur during the production life of a single matrix block under an FFGD mechanism. The fluid flow is controlled by the capillary-dominated regime at the early stage and late time of production life, whereas it shows a stabilized bulk flow under a gravity-dominated regime is exhibited at other times. Experimental results revealed that for a narrow fracture opening, fracture capillary pressure has form similar to that of the matrix block. Also, it was observed that the oil-production rate and RF of the matrix block decreased as the permeability ratio between two media (matrix block and fracture) increased. Lower production rate is achieved in larger-fracture-spacing micromodels. In addition, wider vertical fractures lead to an early breakthrough of gas in bottom horizontal fracture that makes up the main portion of oil traps in the matrix block, and this reduces the RF. Results from this study show that in a heterogeneous layered matrix block, both the drainage rate and RF decrease in comparison with a homogeneous matrix block. Finally, a multiple linear-regression analysis was performed to understand the dimensionless groups affecting the RF of the FFGD process. It was found that the Bond number cannot truly describe the process and other parameters such as the fracture-/matrix-permeability ratio; fracture spacing and fracture opening should also be considered.
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