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HYSTERESIS EFFECTS IN CAPILLARY PRESSURE, RELATIVE PERMEABILITY AND RESISTIVITY INDEX OF NORTH SEA CHALK

HYSTERESIS EFFECTS IN CAPILLARY PRESSURE, RELATIVE PERMEABILITY AND RESISTIVITY INDEX OF NORTH SEA CHALK

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06/16/2009

 
SCA 2001-65
1
HYSTERESIS EFFECTS IN CAPILLARY PRESSURE,RELATIVE PERMEABILITY AND RESISTIVITY INDEXOF NORTH SEA CHALK 
M.T. Tweheyo, M.S. Talukdar and O. Torsæter Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU),Trondheim.
ABSTRACT
Accurate estimation of capillary pressure and relative permeability curves are veryimportant for evaluating hydrocarbon recovery processes. Also, resistivity index dataare important in evaluating fluid distributions in reservoirs during these processes. Allthese parameters are path dependent i.e. different in drainage and imbibition processes,commonly known as hysteresis, which makes them complicated to predict. Laboratorytests have therefore been performed on four North Sea chalk core samples to measurethe wettability index and determine the hysteresis in capillary pressure, relative permeability and resistivity index. The cores were extracted using toluene andmethanol, and a light oil (
n
-decane) and brine saturation equivalent to the formationwater were used in the displacement processes. Varying levels of hysteresis wereobserved. Hysteresis effects were significant in capillary pressure and relative permeability curves and not so pronounced for the resistivity index.
1. INTRODUCTION
Knowledge about the flow paths of wetting and non-wetting phases is basic inunderstanding multi-phase flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs from initial oil migration insource rocks to primary and tertiary recovery processes. The flow paths of thedisplacing and displaced fluids are governed by the distribution of the fluids in the pores, the pore size distribution, and the interaction between the fluid and the rocks(wettability), among others.In order to estimate the
in situ
water and hydrocarbon saturations, resistivity tests arecarried out and then combined with a saturation model. Although there exists manysaturation models, results in this study have been based on Archie's (1942)-saturationmodel. The saturation exponent
n
is determined from log-log plot of I
versus S
w
, whichis usually assumed to be linear. Extraction of cores, geological features, wettability,vugs, electrical conductive minerals, microporosity and rugged grain surfaces have beenfound to cause deviation from the linearity scale (Stalheim and Eidesmo, 1995). Thisresults in either an increased
n
with decreasing S
w
(positive curvature), or a decreasing
n
with decreasing S
w
(negative curvature). Hysteresis effects in the
n
-value during thedrainage and imbibition processes have also been observed by many researchers (Weiand Lile, 1993; Lewis
et al 
, 1988).
back to contents
 
SCA 2001-65
2
Relative permeability depends on a combined effect of pore geometry, fluiddistribution, wettability, and fluid saturation history, among others. Therefore relative permeability curves will show that during drainage and imbibition processes, the fluidscan exchange positions and flow behaviour resulting in hysteresis effects (Geffen
et al 
,1951). Like relative permeability, capillary pressure/saturation relationship depends onthe composite interaction of wettability, pore structure, initial saturation and saturationhistory. Generally there is hysteresis in capillary pressure as the saturation is varied indrainage and imbibition processes.
2. EXPERIMENTAL WORK 
The work included the following in chronological sequence: cleaning and drying, porosity and absolute permeability determination, capillary pressure and Amottwettability index determination, relative permeability determination by the unsteadystate technique and resistivity measurements. The procedures for the hysteresis studiesare as follows:
Capillary pressure
was obtained by the centrifuge method. The cores were saturatedwith the wetting phase (brine) and rotated in the non-wetting phase (
n
-decane) atincreasing speeds. The Hassler and Brunner (1945) corrected water saturations at eachspeed were calculated. The cores were then removed and submerged in brine for minimum 300 hours and spontaneously produced oil was recorded. The positive part of the imbibition curve was modelled (Hegre, 1992). The cores were then centrifuged in brine and negative capillary pressure data were obtained. The core plugs weresubmerged in oil for minimum 300 hours to determine the spontaneously taken up oil.The end point saturations were used to calculate the Amott (1959) wettability index.
Relative permeability
was measured by the unsteady state method under constantdifferential pressure (5 bar) during the drainage and imbibition cycles. First, the coreswere saturated with 100 per cent water and then desaturated by injecting oil until nomore water production was obtained, defining the initial water saturation, S
wi
. Oil wasthen displaced by brine until no more oil production was observed. During displacementexperiments no measurement points are possible before breakthrough for both drainageand imbibition (see Table 1 for breakthrough saturations). Also, the measurements points after breakthrough are normally scattered. Relative permeability curvesconsisting of scattered points and no points before breakthrough are not suited for  practical applications. Therefore, numerical simulations were conducted using acommercial reservoir simulator and relatively smooth curves covering important rangeof water saturation were obtained from Corey exponent representation through historymatching of the oil and water production data.
Electrical resistance
of the cores was determined at laboratory conditions by a two-electrode method using the ratio of voltage decrease between a reference resistor and acore sample in series. The cleaned and dried cores were 100 % saturated with formation brine and placed in the resistivity cell to measure R 
o
. The cores were then placed in a
 
SCA 2001-65
3
core holder and the brine was displaced by
n
-decane using a pump. Saturation changeswere measured by weighing and double-checked by the amount of brine produced. Ateach reduction in saturation, the core was transferred to the resistivity cell and thedrainage resistivity indices were determined. Saturation and resistivity indices for theimbibition cycle were achieved similarly, but instead
n
-decane was displaced with brinein steps until S
or 
was reached.
3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
The key rock parameters and results of the multiphase experiments are given in Table 1.The fluid data is as follows: Brine density; 1.05 g/cc, oil density; 0.73 g/cc, brineviscosity; 1.05 cp, oil viscosity, 1.36 cp and brine/oil interfacial tension; 13.56dynes/cm.
Table 1
: Key parameters from displacement experiments on the chalk core samples.
Core number2346Core number2346
Core length (cm)4.274.224.153.79Oil index,
o
0000Core diameter (cm)3.743.753.743.71I
Amott
= r 
w
- r 
o
0.340.350.390.53Pore volume (cm
3
)8.9212.268.6912.66Drainage1.6-1.41.7Porosity (fraction)0.190.260.190.31
n
Imbibition1.4-1.41.6Air permeability (md)0.201.350.362.60S
wi (H & B)
0.190.100.190.11Liquid permeability (md)0.090.640.121.94S
or (H & B)
0.180.200.170.24Entry pressure (bar)0.670.240.420.22
ro
at S
wi
0.770.850.740.79Water index, r 
w
0.340.350.390.53
rw
at S
or 
0.170.200.210.29Drainage0.480.630.590.53Water saturation at breakthroughImbibition0.690.490.530.51
Capillary pressure/saturation relationship
results from centrifuge experiments andimbibition cell are shown in Fig. 1 and 2. Capillary hysteresis can clearly be observedfrom the primary drainage and spontaneous imbibition data. The final hysteresis loopwill consist of a spontaneous uptake of oil and the secondary drainage curve. Anexample of a complete capillary pressure curve is shown in Fig. 2.
F
 
ig. 1:
Water-oil capillary pressure
Fig. 2:
Water-
 
oil capillary pressure(core 2, 3 and 4). (core 6).
 
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.80.0 1.0
   P  c   (   b  a  r   )
-12-9-6-30369
core 2, 3 and 4
primarydrainagespont.imbforcedimbibition
Core 2Core 3Core 4
S
w
(H&B)
 
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.80.0 1.0
   P  c   (   b  a  r   )
-12-9-6-3036
12
 
34
 
core 6
1 - 2: primary drainage2 - 3: spontaneous imbibition3 - 4: forced imbibition4 - 5: spontaneous drainage5 - 2: secondary drainage5
S
w
(H&B)

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