Imaging and measurement of pore‐scale interfacial curvature to determine capillary pressure simultaneously with relative permeability

Title: Imaging and measurement of pore‐scale interfacial curvature to determine capillary pressure simultaneously with relative permeability
Authors: Lin, Q
Bijeljic, B
Pini, R
Blunt, MJ
Krevor, SC
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: There are a number of challenges associated with the determination of relative permeability and capillary pressure. It is difficult to measure both parameters simultaneously on the same sample using conventional methods. Instead, separate measurements are made on different samples, usually with different flooding protocols. Hence, it is not certain that the pore structure and displacement processes used to determine relative permeability are the same as those when capillary pressure was measured. Moreover, at present, we do not use pore‐scale information from high‐resolution imaging to inform multiphase flow properties directly. We introduce a method using pore‐scale imaging to determine capillary pressure from local interfacial curvature. This, in combination with pressure drop measurements, allows both relative permeabilities and capillary pressure to be determined during steady state coinjection of two phases through the core. A steady state waterflood experiment was performed in a Bentheimer sandstone, where decalin and brine were simultaneously injected through the core at increasing brine fractional flows from 0 to 1. The local saturation and the curvature of the oil‐brine interface were determined. Using the Young‐Laplace law, the curvature was related to a local capillary pressure. There was a detectable gradient in both saturation and capillary pressure along the flow direction. The relative permeability was determined from the experimentally measured pressure drop and average saturation obtained by imaging. An analytical correction to the brine relative permeability could be made using the capillary pressure gradient. The results for both relative permeability and capillary pressure are consistent with previous literature measurements on larger samples.
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2018
Date of Acceptance: 10-Sep-2018
ISSN: 0043-1397
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Start Page: 7046
End Page: 7060
Journal / Book Title: Water Resources Research
Volume: 54
Issue: 9
Copyright Statement: ©2018. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Sponsor/Funder: Shell Global Solutions International BV
Shell Global Solutions International BV
Funder's Grant Number: PO no. 4550143956
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Water Resources
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Marine & Freshwater Biology
X-ray microtomography
capillary pressure
relative permeability
0905 Civil Engineering
0907 Environmental Engineering
1402 Applied Economics
Environmental Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Earth Science and Engineering
Chemical Engineering

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