EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF RELATIVE PERMEABILITY UPSCALING FROM THE MICRO-SCALE TO THE MACRO-SCALE
EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF RELATIVE PERMEABILITY UPSCALING FROM THE MICRO-SCALE TO THE MACRO-SCALE The principal challenge of upscaling techniques for multi-phase fluid dynamics in porous media is to determine which properties on the micro-scale can be used to predict macroscopic flow and spatial distribution of phases at core- and field-scales. The most notable outcome of recent theories is the identification of interfacial areas per volume for multiple phases as a fundamental parameter that determines much of the multi-phase properties of the porous medium. A formal program of experimental research was begun to directly test upscaling theories in fluid flow through porous media by comparing measurements of relative permeability and capillary-saturation with measurements of interfacial area per volume. This project on the experimental investigation of relative permeability upscaling has produced a unique combination of three quite different technical approaches to the upscaling problem of obtaining pore-related microscopic properties and using them to predict macroscopic behavior. Several important ''firsts'' have been achieved during the course of the project. (1) Optical coherence imaging, a laser-based ranging and imaging technique, has produced the first images of grain and pore structure up to 1 mm beneath the surface of the sandstone and in a laboratory borehole. (2) Woods metal injection has connected for the first time microscopic pore-scale more »
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