Water Flooding Down-Structure Displacement In the Presence of a Gas Cap
- J.F. Wilson (Union Oil Co. Of California)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1962
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,383 - 1,388
- 1962. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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Steady-state flow theory, previously applied to displacements with two mobile phases, is extended to cover down-structure flow involving three mobile phases; oil, gas and water. When used with normal reservoir fluid properties, the theory predicts the existence of four distinct flow regimes and the conditions under which each regime exists. The predicted behavior is verified by a parallel-plate model study.
Special problems exist when a water flood is contemplated in a dipping reservoir having a substantial gas cap. Normally, the gas-cap region is one of very low oil saturation. If oil is moved into the gas cap during the flood, a loss in recovery results. Efficient recovery of the oil underlying the gas is therefore difficult. In two reported field water floods, injection into the gas cap has been used to solve these problems. At the West Norfolk Garr Sand Unit, injection into the up-structure region of the reservoir was made for the stated purpose of filling up the gas cap with water. The purpose in the Sholem Alechem Fault Block "A" Sims Sand Unit was to form a continuous water barrier between the gas cap and oil band. A laboratory model study preceded this flood and was described in the same publication. Both of these gas-cap water injections gave satisfactory results, but the published data are insufficient to allow generalizing to other field conditions. The present investigation was also undertaken to obtain results for a specific field problem. However, these results will be shown to be in agreement with an extension of the Dietz mathematical model to three-phase flowing systems. The agreement between the theory and the model studies indicates that the mathematical model can be used to describe completely the flowing system under some conditions, and to indicate the general type of flow to be expected under all conditions.
The Dietz equations for two-phase flow are derived for the case of constant-velocity linear flow in a homogeneous porous medium. The transition zone between the fluids is assumed to be of negligible extent so that the displaced and displacing fluids are separated by a sharply defined interface, as illustrated in Fig. 1. The density and mobility of the displacing fluid are constant over the region behind the interface, and the same properties of the displaced fluid are constant over the region ahead of the interface.
In such a system, if
a stable (nonfingering) flow will result in which the tilt of the interface will approach a steady-state value at which
tan - ....(2)
where subscripts 1 and 2 refer to the displaced and displacing phases, respectively. To extend the Dietz equations to three-phase systems, we postulate the flowing system shown in Fig. 2 and determine the conditions under which it can exist.
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