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Pore-by-pore modeling, analysis, and prediction of two-phase flow in mixed-wet rocks

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Title: Pore-by-pore modeling, analysis, and prediction of two-phase flow in mixed-wet rocks
Authors: Foroughi, S
Bijeljic, B
Lin, Q
Raeini, AQ
Blunt, MJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: A pore-network model is an upscaled representation of the pore space and fluid displacement, which is used to simulate two-phase flow through porous media. We use the results of pore-scale imaging experiments to calibrate and validate our simulations, and specifically to find the pore-scale distribution of wettability. We employ energy balance to estimate an average, thermodynamic, contact angle in the model, which is used as the initial estimate of contact angle. We then adjust the contact angle of each pore to match the observed fluid configurations in the experiment as a nonlinear inverse problem. The proposed algorithm is implemented on two sets of steady state micro-computed-tomography experiments for water-wet and mixed-wet Bentheimer sandstone. As a result of the optimization, the pore-by-pore error between the model and experiment is decreased to less than that observed between repeat experiments on the same rock sample. After calibration and matching, the model predictions for capillary pressure and relative permeability are in good agreement with the experiments. The proposed algorithm leads to a distribution of contact angle around the thermodynamic contact angle. We show that the contact angle is spatially correlated over around 4 pore lengths, while larger pores tend to be more oil-wet. Using randomly assigned distributions of contact angle in the model results in poor predictions of relative permeability and capillary pressure, particularly for the mixed-wet case.
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance: 21-Jul-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/82401
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.102.023302
ISSN: 1539-3755
Publisher: American Physical Society
Start Page: 023302 – 1
End Page: 023302 – 15
Journal / Book Title: Physical Review E: Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Volume: 102
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: ©2020 American Physical Society
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Physics, Fluids & Plasmas
Physics, Mathematical
Physics
MULTIPHASE FLOW
RELATIVE PERMEABILITY
CONTACT-ANGLE
OIL-RECOVERY
WETTABILITY
MICROTOMOGRAPHY
CURVATURE
INJECTION
TRANSPORT
STATE
Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Physics, Fluids & Plasmas
Physics, Mathematical
Physics
MULTIPHASE FLOW
RELATIVE PERMEABILITY
CONTACT-ANGLE
OIL-RECOVERY
WETTABILITY
MICROTOMOGRAPHY
CURVATURE
INJECTION
TRANSPORT
STATE
Fluids & Plasmas
01 Mathematical Sciences
02 Physical Sciences
09 Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.102.023302
Article Number: ARTN 023302
Online Publication Date: 2020-08-05
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering