Extracting Capillary Pressure and Global Mobility from Spontaneous Imbibition Data in Oil-Water-Rock Systems
- Kewen Li (Stanford U.) | Roland N. Horne (Stanford U.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2005
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 458 - 465
- 2005. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.6 Naturally Fractured Reservoir, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources, 5.6.5 Tracers, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics
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An approach was developed to extract the imbibition capillary pressure andthe global mobility data from spontaneous water imbibition tests inoil/water/rock systems. Capillary pressure and global mobility data werecalculated using this method with the experimental data of countercurrentspontaneous water imbibition tests in different rocks and at differentinterfacial tensions. The calculated capillary pressures were consistent withthe change in interfacial tension. The oil/water/rock systems with greaterinterfacial tensions had greater capillary pressures. However theoil/water/rock systems with greater capillary pressure may not have greaterimbibition rate. The calculated values of the global mobility and theimbibition index explain why the oil recovery or the imbibition rate in systemswith high interfacial tension was smaller than that in systems with lowinterfacial tension, which has been considered a paradoxical result for manyyears.
Capillary pressure is of fundamental significance in reservoir engineering.Capillary pressure data are measured often using porous-plate, centrifuge, andmercury-injection techniques. These methods can suffer limitations in one ormore aspects. For example, the porous-plate and centrifuge methods may havedifficulty for core samples with a very low permeability; mercury intrusiontechnique cannot represent the true reservoir fluids. Spontaneous imbibition inporous media is a process dominated by the effect of capillary pressure. Itwould be useful if capillary pressure data could be extracted from spontaneousimbibition tests, because such tests are relatively simple, fast, andeconomical. Also, spontaneous imbibition tests are more representative of thefluid flow that happens in fractured reservoirs compared to the frequently usedmethods such as porous-plate, centrifuge, and mercury-injection approaches.However, it has been a challenge for a long time to extract capillary pressurefrom spontaneous imbibition tests.
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