An Experimental Verification of a Two-Dimensional Technique for Computing Performance Of Gas-Drive Reservoirs
- P.M. Blair (Humble Oil And Refining Co.) | D.W. Peaceman (Humble Oil And Refining Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- March 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 19 - 27
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.11 Fundamental Research in Reservoir Description and Dynamics
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- 271 since 2007
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The shape and position of the gas-oil transition zone during downdip displacement of oil by gas has been calculated using flow equations which include the effects of gravity, relative permeability, capillary pressure and compressibility of the fluids. The calculations treat the problem in two space dimensions, and results are compared with data from a laboratory model tilted at 30 degrees and 60 degrees from the horizontal on displacements near and above the maximum rate at which gravity segregation prevents channeling of the gas along the top of the stratum. The good agreement between calculated and experimental results demonstrates the validity of the technique as well as that of the flow equations.
Knowledge of the fluid distribution and movement in and oil reservoirs important in producing operations and estimation of reserves. The history of the oil industry has included steady progress in improving the accuracy of calculations which provide the required knowledge. The earliest method of calculating reservoir performance consisted of material-balance equations based on the assumption that all properties were uniform throughout a reservoir. For many reservoirs such a simple formulation is still the most useful. However, when large pressure and saturation gradients exist in a reservoir, the assumption of uniform values throughout may lead to significant error. To reduce these errors, Buckley and Leverett introduced a displacement equation which considers pressure and saturation gradients. Methods available at that time permitted solutions to the Buckley-Leverett equation in one space dimension; these solutions have been very useful in solving many problems related to the production of oil. However, the one-dimensional methods are not adequate for systems in which saturations vary in directions other than the direction of flow. An example of such a system is the case of gas displacing oil down a dipping stratum in which the gas-oil contact becomes significantly tilted. Of course, the Buckley-Leverett displacement method cannot predict the tilt of the gas-oil contact. Recent improvements of the one-dimensional Buckley-Leverett method achieve some success in predicting the tilt of the gas-oil contact at sufficiently low flow rates. However, at rates high enough that the viscous pressure gradient nearly equals or exceeds the gravity gradient, even these improved one-dimensional methods incorrectly predict the shape and velocity of the contact. Further progress in estimating such fluid movements in a reservoir appears to require consideration of the problem in more than one space dimension. The recent two-dimensional method of Douglas, Peaceman and Rachford appears adaptable to calculate changes with time of the saturation distribution in a vertical cross-section of a reservoir. The movement of saturation contours should represent the moving fluid contacts and include the effects of crossflow due to gravity, as well as variations in the rock and fluid properties. The nonlinear nature of the equations used in the method has prevented proof of the validity of the solutions. Douglas, Peaceman and Rachford made some comparisons with experiment but did not include cases in which gravity was important nor cases involving displacement by the nonwetting phase.Forthesereasons,atestof the two-dimensional method for a case in which these factors are included would be very desirable. The test selected was a comparison of calculated results with those from a carefully controlled laboratory experiment on a model with measured physical properties. The model selected was one in which gas displaced oil down a tilted, rectangular sand pack. The model can be thought of as representing a vertical cross-section taken parallel to the dip of a reservoir. The displacement thus simulates gas displacing oil downdip that might result from gas-cap expansion or gas injection.
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