Generalized Scaling Approach for Spontaneous Imbibition: An Analytical Model
- Kewen Li (Stanford University) | Roland N. Horne (Stanford University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- June 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 251 - 258
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 5.8.6 Naturally Fractured Reservoir, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.5.3 Scaling Methods, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal
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Scaling the experimental data of spontaneous imbibition without serious limitations has been difficult. To this end, a general approach was developed to scale the experimental data of spontaneous imbibition for most systems (gas/liquid/rock and oil/water/rock systems) in both cocurrent and countercurrent cases. We defined a dimensionless time with almost all the parameters considered. These include porosity, permeability, size, shape, boundary conditions, wetting- and nonwetting-phase relative permeabilities, interfacial tension (IFT), wettability, and gravity. The definition of the dimensionless time was not empirical; instead, it was based on theoretical analysis of the fluid-flow mechanisms that govern spontaneous imbibition. The general scaling method was confirmed against the experimental data from spontaneous water imbibition conducted at different IFTs in oil-saturated rocks with different sizes and permeabilities. A general analytical solution to the relationship between recovery and imbibition time for linear spontaneous imbibition was derived. The analytical solution predicts a linear correlation between the imbibition rate and the reciprocal of the recovery by spontaneous imbibition in most fluid/fluid/rock systems.
An important fluid-flow phenomenon during water injection or aquifer invasion into reservoirs is spontaneous water imbibition. Scaling the experimental data of spontaneous water imbibition in different fluid/fluid/rock systems is of essential importance in designing the water-injection projects and predicting the reservoir production performances. Ignoring the effects of relative permeability, capillary pressure, and gravity in the dimensionless time might be the reason that the existing scaling methods do not always function successfully. It is known that these parameters influence the spontaneous imbibition in porous media significantly. For that reason, these parameters should be honored properly in the scaling.
Many papers have been published to characterize and scale spontaneous water imbibition in both oil/water/rock systems (Li et al. 2002; Tong et al. 2001; Zhou et al. 2001; Babadagli 2001; Kashchiev and Firoozabadi 2002; Civan and Rasmussen 2001; Akin et al. 2000; Cil et al. 1998; Perkins and Collins 1960; Mattax and Kyte 1962; Du Prey 1978; Hamon and Vidal 1986; Reis and Cil 1993; Cuiec et al. 1994; Ma et al. 1995; Chen et al. 1995; Zhang et al. 1996; Al-Lawati and Saleh 1996; Babadagli 1997; Li and Horne 2002) and gas/liquid/rock systems (Li and Horne 2001, 2004a; Li et al. 2006; Handy 1960). However, few have included the effects of capillary pressure, relative permeability (both wetting and nonwetting phases), wettability, and gravity simultaneously. This is important because all the parameters may play an important role in many cases and may not be ignored. For example, a number of enhanced-/improved-oil-recovery processes relate to low IFT. In these cases, capillary pressure as a driving force may be small, and gravity may not be neglected. In some cases, gravity may also be a driving force, as pointed out by Schechter et al. (1991).
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||8|
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