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Title: Flow regimes during immiscible displacement

Abstract

Fractional ow of immiscible phases occurs at the pore scale where grain surfaces and phases interfaces obstruct phase mobility. However, the larger scale behavior is described by a saturation-dependent phenomenological relationship called relative permeability. As a consequence, pore-scale parameters, such as phase topology and/ or geometry, and details of the flow regime cannot be directly related to Darcy-scale flow parameters. It is well understood that relative permeability is not a unique relationship of wetting-phase saturation and rather depends on the experimental conditions at which it is measured. Herein we use fast X-ray microcomputed tomography to image pore-scale phase arrangements during fractional flow and then forward simulate the flow regimes using the lattice-Boltzmann method to better understand the underlying pore-scale flow regimes and their influence on Darcy-scale parameters. We find that relative permeability is highly dependent on capillary number and that the Corey model fits the observed trends. At the pore scale, while phase topologies are continuously changing on the scale of individual pores, the Euler characteristic of the nonwetting phase (NWP) averaged over a sufficiently large field of view can describe the bulk topological characteristics; the Euler characteristic decreases with increasing capillary number resulting in an increase in relative permeability.more » Lastly, we quantify the fraction of NWP that flows through disconnected ganglion dynamics and demonstrate that this can be a significant fraction of the NWP flux for intermediate wetting-phase saturation. Furthermore, rate dependencies occur in our homogenous sample (without capillary end effect) and the underlying cause is attributed to ganglion flow that can significantly influence phase topology during the fractional flow of immiscible phases.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6]
  1. Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney (Australia)
  2. Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Imperial College, London (United Kingdom); Shell Global Solutions International (The Netherlands)
  5. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ (Germany)
  6. Shell Global Solutions International (The Netherlands)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1344294
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Petrophysics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 58; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Armstrong, Ryan T., Mcclure, James, Berrill, Mark A., Rucker, Maja, Schluter, S, and Berg, Steffen. Flow regimes during immiscible displacement. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Armstrong, Ryan T., Mcclure, James, Berrill, Mark A., Rucker, Maja, Schluter, S, & Berg, Steffen. Flow regimes during immiscible displacement. United States.
Armstrong, Ryan T., Mcclure, James, Berrill, Mark A., Rucker, Maja, Schluter, S, and Berg, Steffen. Wed . "Flow regimes during immiscible displacement". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1344294.
@article{osti_1344294,
title = {Flow regimes during immiscible displacement},
author = {Armstrong, Ryan T. and Mcclure, James and Berrill, Mark A. and Rucker, Maja and Schluter, S and Berg, Steffen},
abstractNote = {Fractional ow of immiscible phases occurs at the pore scale where grain surfaces and phases interfaces obstruct phase mobility. However, the larger scale behavior is described by a saturation-dependent phenomenological relationship called relative permeability. As a consequence, pore-scale parameters, such as phase topology and/ or geometry, and details of the flow regime cannot be directly related to Darcy-scale flow parameters. It is well understood that relative permeability is not a unique relationship of wetting-phase saturation and rather depends on the experimental conditions at which it is measured. Herein we use fast X-ray microcomputed tomography to image pore-scale phase arrangements during fractional flow and then forward simulate the flow regimes using the lattice-Boltzmann method to better understand the underlying pore-scale flow regimes and their influence on Darcy-scale parameters. We find that relative permeability is highly dependent on capillary number and that the Corey model fits the observed trends. At the pore scale, while phase topologies are continuously changing on the scale of individual pores, the Euler characteristic of the nonwetting phase (NWP) averaged over a sufficiently large field of view can describe the bulk topological characteristics; the Euler characteristic decreases with increasing capillary number resulting in an increase in relative permeability. Lastly, we quantify the fraction of NWP that flows through disconnected ganglion dynamics and demonstrate that this can be a significant fraction of the NWP flux for intermediate wetting-phase saturation. Furthermore, rate dependencies occur in our homogenous sample (without capillary end effect) and the underlying cause is attributed to ganglion flow that can significantly influence phase topology during the fractional flow of immiscible phases.},
doi = {},
journal = {Petrophysics},
number = 1,
volume = 58,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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