A splitting technique for analytical modelling of two-phase multicomponent flow in porous media

A.P. Pires, P.G. Bedrikovetsky, Alexander Shapiro

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In this paper we discuss one-dimensional models for two-phase Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) floods (oil displacement by gases, polymers, carbonized water, hot water, etc.). The main result presented here is the splitting of the EOR mathematical model into thermodynamical and hydrodynamical parts. The introduction of a potential associated with one of the conservation laws and its use as a new independent coordinate reduces the number of equations by one. The (n)x(n) conservation law model for two-phase n-component EOR flows in new coordinates is transformed into a reduced (n-1)x(n-1) auxiliary system containing just thermodynamical variables (equilibrium fractions of components, sorption isotherms) and one lifting equation containing just hydrodynamical parameters (phase relative permeabilities and viscosities). The algorithm to solve analytically the problem includes solution of the reduced auxiliary problem, solution of one lifting hyperbolic equation and inversion of the coordinate transformation. The splitting allows proving the independence of phase transitions occurring during displacement of phase relative permeabilities and viscosities. For example, the minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) and transitional tie lines are independent of relative permeabilities and phases viscosities. Relative motion of polymer, surfactant and fresh water slugs depends on sorption isotherms only. Therefore, MMP for gasflood or minimum fresh water slug size providing isolation of polymer/surfactant from incompatible formation water for chemical flooding can be calculated from the reduced auxiliary system. Reduction of the number of equations allows the generation of new analytical models for EOR. The analytical model for displacement of oil by a polymer slug with water drive is presented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)54-67
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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