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Zolotukhin Reservoir Engineering 002

Zolotukhin Reservoir Engineering 002

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Published by Anttonio Gómez

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Published by: Anttonio Gómez on May 21, 2011
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08/01/2014

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Binary diagrams are often used for representing an overall behaviour of hydrocarbons and
for detailed analysis of phase behaviour when the number of components or groups of pure
components, do not exceed three . Natural hydrocarbons are complex mixtures of different
components and are usually represented by pseudo-components (normally 2 or 3). In order to
predict phase behaviour for such compositions ternary diagrams are often used, see Figs. 9.7
and 9.8.

One of the advantages of ternary diagrams is that they enable us to represent both the
phase compositions and the overall composition of mixture. Let us assume that the overall
composition is represented by point M. Then the overall compositions Ci can be expressed
through the phase compositionsCij,

Ci =Ci1S1 +Ci2S2, i = 1,2,3

9.3 Representation of hydrocarbons

141

Plait point Binodal
curve

Tie line

2-phase region

C2

C1

C3

1-phase
region

Figure 9.7: Two-phase ternary diagram.

Plait
point

Tie line

C2

C1

C3

2-phase
region

3-phase region

1-phase
region

a

b

c

d

e

f

- invariant point

Figure 9.8: Three-phase ternary diagram.

Note that the fraction of each component is 1 at their apex and 0 at the opposite edge. Any unit
can be used (mole-, weight- or volume fraction).
Using the fact that S1 +S2 = 1, we can obtain the following expression for the relative
amounts of phases Sij in the overall composition,

S1 = Ci−Ci2
Ci1−Ci2

, S2 = Ci−Ci1
Ci2−Ci1

,

which is called "the lever rule".
It follows from the Gibbs phase rule that in case of 3 (pseudo) components and 2 phases,
where (p and T are expected to be known), the system has only one degree of freedom. This
means that if one of the parameters is specified all the other can be easily evaluated.
Fig.9.8shows the case whenthe composition has a3-phase region which is indicated by the
embedded smaller triangle. All sides of this triangle are surrounded by 2- phase regions. There
is no degrees of freedom in the three phase region. It means that the compositions of the three
phases are given by the apexes of the 3 phase triangle (invariant points). Any total composition
M within this triangle gives three phases with the same overall composition. Moving inside the
triangle we can only change the fraction of phases and not the overall composition. The lever
rule enables us to calculate the relative amounts of these phases,

142

Chapter 9. Properties of Reservoir Fluids

S1 = a

a+b, S2 = c

c+d, S3 = e

e+ f .

In Figs. 9.7 and 9.8 both triangles have a common baseline, which is usually the case for
surfactant+oil+brine systems.

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