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**Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media
**

YU-SHU WU and KARSTEN PRUESS

Abstract

Flow of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media occurs in many subsurface systems and has found appHcations in certain technological areas. Previous studies of the flow of fluids through porous media were focusing for the most part on Newtonian fluids. Since the 1950s, theflowof non-Newtonian fluids through porous media has received a significant amount of attention because of its important industrial applications, and considerable progress has been made. However, our understanding of nonNewtonian flow in porous media is very limited when compared with that of Newtonian flow. This work presents a comprehensive theoretical study of single and multiple phase flow of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media. The emphasis in this study is in obtaining some physical insights into the flow of power-law and Bingham fluids. Therefore, this work is divided into three parts: (1) review of the laboratory and theoretical research on non-Newtonian flow, (2) development of new numerical and analytical solutions, (3) theoretical studies of transient flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media, and (4) demonstration of applying a new method of well test analysis and displacement efficiency evaluation to field problems.

1. Introduction 1.1. Background Flow of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media occurs in many subsurface systems and has found appHcations in certain technological areas. Previous studies on the flow of fluids through porous media were limited for the most part to Newtonian fluids (Muskat, 1946; Collins, 1961; and Scheidegger, 1974). Since the 1950s, the flow of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media has received a significant amount of attention because of its important industrial applications. In the appHcations related to the petroleum industry, non-Newtonian fluids, espe cially polymer solutions, microemulsions, and foam, are often injected into reser voirs in various enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes. The use of polymers in water flooding can yield significant increases in oil recovery when compared with conventional water flood methods in certain reservoirs. Therefore, polymer flood87

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Flow of non-Newtonianfluidsin porous media

ing is the most commonly used EOR technique of chemical flooding in the petroleum industry (Dauben and Menzie, 1967; Mungan, et al., 1966; Gogarty, 1967; Harvey and Menzie, 1970; and van Poollen, 1980). The flow of polymer solutions through porous media generally behaves like a power-law non-Newtonian fluid (Savins, 1969; Gogarty; 1967; and Christopher and Middleman; 1965). There is considerable evidence that the flow behavior of heavy oil is nonNewtonian and may be approximated by that of a Bingham plastic fluid. A large amount of heavy oil reservoirs have been found and developed worldwide. The non-Newtonian behavior of heavy oil flow in these oil reservoirs have been re ported in the petroleum literature (Barenblatt et al., 1984; Kasraie et al., 1989). Laboratory rheological and filtration experiments and field tests in a number of oil fields have shown that flow of heavy oil often takes place only after the appHed pressure or potential gradient exceeds a certain minimum value (Mirzadjanzade et al., 1971). The flow of heavy oil in porous media does not follow Darcy's law; and some authors explain this phenomenon as a lower limit of Darcy's law. The presence of a minimum pressure or potential gradient usually results in a large decrease in oil recovery. Similar phenomena have been also found in gas fields of argillaceous reservoirs with interstitial water present by Mirzadjanzade et al. (1971). There exists a threshold gas pressure gradient before gas moves, and the magnitude of the threshold pressure gradient depends on water content in pore space, decreasing as the water content decreases. The existence of a threshold hydraulic gradient has also been observed for certain groundwater flow problems in saturated clay soils, or strongly argillized rocks. When the applied hydraulic gradient is below some minimum value, there is very Uttle flow. This phenomenon has been attributed to the rheological nonNewtonian behavior caused by clay-water interactions (Bear, 1972). Mitchell (1976) discussed a number of mechanisms that may be responsible for the devia tions of water flow through clays from that predicted by Darcy's law. The flow of foam in porous media is a focus of current research in many fields. Foam has been shown to be one of the most promising fluids for mobility control in underground energy recovery and subsurface storage projects. When flowing through porous media, foam is a discontinuous fluid, comprised of gas bubbles separated by thin liquid lamellae. The flow and behavior of foam in permeable media involve complex gas-liquid-solid interactions on the pore level, which are not completely understood at the present time. However, considerable progress has been made in recent years, and many experimental and theoretical studies of foam flow in porous media have contributed significantly to our understanding of the physics of foam transport in porous media (Witherspoon et al. 1989; Hirasaki and Lawson, 1985; Falls et al., 1986; Ransohoff and Radke 1986). On a continuum macroscopic scale, non-Newtonian flow behavior of foam through porous materials has been referred to by all the researchers in this area. The power-law is generally used to correlate apparent viscosities of foam with other flow properties for a given porous medium and a given surfactant (Hirasaki and Lawson, 1985; Patton et al. 1983). It has also been observed experimentally that foam wiU start to flow in a porous medium only after the apphed pressure gradient exceeds a certain threshold value (Albrecht and Marsden, 1970; and Witherspoon et al., 1989).

Introduction

89

Drilling and hydraulic fracturing fluids used in the oil industry are usually nonNewtonian liquids. Therefore during well driUing or hydraulic fracturing oper ations, the non-Newtonian drilling muds or hydraulic fluids will infiltrate into permeable formations surrounding the wellbore, which may seriously damage the formation. The rheological behavior of drilling muds, cement slurries and hydraulic fracturing fluids is often described by a Bingham plastic or a power-law model (Cloud and Clark, 1985; Shah, 1982; Robertson et al., 1976; and lyoho and Azar, 1981). The importance of flow of non-Newtonian fluids from the wellbore into the surrounding formations has been recognized in the industry. Some techniques have been developed and used to remove drilling muds or fracturing agents from the borehole and the adjacent formation (Coulter et al., 1987). 1.2. Non-Newtonian fluids

In contrast with classical fluid mechanics developed for Newtonian fluids, the theory of non-Newtonian fluid dynamics is a relatively new branch of applied sciences. The increasing importance of non-Newtonian fluids has been recognized in those fields deaUng with materials, whose flow behavior of stress and shear rate can not be characterized by Newton's law of viscosity (Skelland, 1967; Bohme, 1987; Astarita and Marrucci, 1974; and Crochet et al., 1984). Therefore, nonNewtonian fluid mechanics is being developed. In a broad sense, fluids are divided into two main categories: (1) Newtonian and (2) non-Newtonian. Newtonian fluids follow Newton's law of viscous resistance and possess a constant viscosity. NonNewtonian fluids deviate from Newton's law of viscosity, and exhibit variable viscosity. The behavior of non-Newtonian fluids is generally represented by a rheological model, or correlation of shear stress and shear rate. Examples of substances which exhibit non-Newtonian behavior include solutions and melts of high molecular weight polymers, suspensions of soHds in hquids, emulsions, and materials possessing both viscous and elastic properties. There are many rheolog ical models available for different non-Newtonian fluids in the literature (Skelland, 1967; Savins, 1969; Bird et al., 1960). Scheidegger (1974) gave a very comprehen sive summary of rheological equations of various non-Newtonian fluids in porous media. The present review focuses only on those non-Newtonian fluids which are commonly encountered in porous media. The major attention here is directed to the rheological properties of flow systems of interest in studies of non-Newtonian flow through porous media. For a Newtonian fluid, the shear stress r is hnearly related to the shear rate by Newton's law of viscosity (Bird et al., 1960) as, T= - ixy (1.1)

where the coefficient /x is defined as dynamic viscosity of the fluid. According to the relationships between shear stress and shear rate, non-New tonian fluids are commonly grouped in three general classes (Skelland, 1967): (1) time-independent non-Newtonian fluids, (2) time-dependent non-Newtonian fluids, and (3) viscoelastic non-Newtonian fluids. 1. Time-independent fluids are those for which the rate of shear, or the velocity

but will require inclusion of the time derivative of both quantities. depending upon whether the shear stress decreases or increases in time at a given shear rate and under constant temperature. These are: (a) Bingham plastics. In these fluids. is a unique but non-linear function of the instantaneous shear stress r at that point.2) . Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media . gradient. Time-dependent fluids have more complex shear stress and shear rate relationships. and shows partial recovery upon the removal of the deformable shear stress. 2. the relationship is f=/(T) The time-independent non-Newtonian fluids can be characterized by the flow curves of r versus y. One of the mechanical models. 1967). A viscoelastic material exhibits both elastic and viscous properties. 3. or on the previous shear stress rate history of the fluid. 1967) for viscoelastic fluids. but also on shearing time. thixotropic fluids and rheopectic fluids. Typical shear stress and shear rate relationships for non-Newtonian fluids (after Hughes and Brighton. Typical curves of the time-dependent behavior of non-Newtonian fluids are shown in Fig. (b) pseudoplastic fluids (shear thinning). as shown in Fig. 2. the shear rate depends not only on the shear stress.7 . curve A. and (c) dilatant fluids (shear thickening). Shear Rate Fig. curve C. is T = /X dy dt IX dr A dt (1. curve B.90 Slope ^b. For the time-independent fluid. The rheological properties of such a substance at any instant will be a function of the recent history of the material and can not be described by relationships between shear stress and shear rate alone. first proposed by Maxwell (Skelland. 1. These materials are usually classified into two groups. 1.

Another mechanical model is referred to as the Voigt model. 1974. However. Y (b) Behavior of non-Newtonian fluids-shearing -history dependence. Flow curves for time-dependent thixotropic and rheopectic non-Newtonian fluids (after Bear. Among the most common time-independent non-Newtonian fluids (Scheidegger. Bear. 1969). Fig. 1967). 1971). 1972. and A is a rigidity modulus. where ix is viscosity. 1965. The physical behavior of fluids with a yield stress is usually explained . there do exist some examples for the flow of the visco elastic non-Newtonian fluids through porous media (Sadowski. Skelland. the time-independent non-Newtonian fluids have been used almost exclusively in both experimental and theoretical studies (Savins. For flow through porous media. ^ + A7 (1. 2. The effect of time-dependent non-Newtonian fluids on flow behavior in porous media have been virtually neglected in aU previous investigations. 1972). Liquids which obey this law are known as Maxwell Uquids.llOQe Independent Fluid 91 ^Thixotropic Timet (a) Behavior of non-Newtonian fluids-under a given shear rate. which characterizes the rheological performance by the relationship T = / . consisting of Maxwell or Voigt model units connected in series or in parallel. Shear Rate.Introduction ^Rheopectic «^—tr-r^Tl-. and Wissler. Bingham plastics exhibit a finite yield stress at zero shear rate.3) at The rheological behavior of real viscoelastic fluids has been represented with some success by more or less complex combinations of generalized Maxwell and Voigt models.

Ty. is the most widely used rheological model for flow problems in porous media. fluid dispersions of asymmetric molecules or particles are probably characterized by an extensive entanglement of the particles. when the fluid is at rest. which are suspensions of finely divided solids in Uquids. Mirzadjanzade et al.5) is called a power-law fluid. 1967). and the Bingham plastic viscosity IJL^.5) with Newton's law of viscosity. r.4) The Bingham plastic concept has been found to closely approximate many real fluids existing in porous media. 1974. 1. and others). 1. Hirasaki and Pope. is readily observed in the flow of polymer and foam solutions. 1972. A fluid which obeys equation (1.. Mungan. and so the apparent viscosity /Xa decreases with increasing shear rate y. Physically. 1970. To date the power-law. 1960). 1967. Comparing equation (1.92 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media in terms of an internal structure in three dimensions which is capable of preventing movement when the values of shear stress are less than the yield value. Progressive disentanglement should occur under the influence of shearing forces. McKinley et al.5) where n is the power-law index. The rheological equation for a Bingham plastic is then T = Ty-/Ab7 (1. 1966. Because of its inherent simplicity. the power-law index n is less than 1. and drilling muds and fracturing fluids (Hughes and Brighton. 1965. This orienting effect is proportional to the shear rate and is opposed by the randomly disorienting Brownian movement. The shear-thinning behavior. as shown in Fig. moderately concentrated suspensions.. and biological fluids. 1971). Gogarty.0. or the Ostwald-de Waele model (Bird et al. 1984. Harvey and Menzie. The power law model has been successfully appUed to describe the flow behavior of polymer and foam solutions by a number of authors (Christopher and Middleman. the power-law is of considerable interest in applications and is used to approximate the rheological behavior of both shear-thinning or pseudoplastic {n < 1) and shear-thickening or dilatant {n > 1) fluids over a large range of flow conditions. equation (1. For shear stress. we see that such a fluid exhibits an apparent viscosity ^la of the form Ma = //->'""' (1-6) For most power-law fluids. which amounts to a monotonic decrease in apparent viscosity with increasing shear rate. the power law is represented by T = . The characteristics of these fluids are defined by two constants: the yield stress Ty. Originally formulated from an empirical curve-fitting function. the internal structure collapses completely. Pseudoplastic behavior should also be consistent with the existence of highly solvated molecules or particles in dispersion. which is the stress that must be exceeded for flow to begin. and H is called the consistence coefficient. the fluid becomes Newtonian. larger than Ty. which is the slope of the straight Une portion of curve A in Fig.1). Progres- ..Hy" (1. For n = \. allowing shear movement to occur. such as heavy tarry and paraffin oils (Barenblatt et al. and the particles will tend to orient themselves in the direction of shearing.

as shown in Fig. Y. Although the power-law equation accurately portrays the behavior of a large number of non-Newtonian fluids over a wide range of shear rate or velocity gradients. some fluids exhibit more complex behavior. equation (1. 3. most fluids appear to exhibit Newtonian behavior with constant viscosities /xo and ^toc.(s"'') Fig.Introduction — 1 — I I I In i | 93 1—I i i i I ii| 1—i I I III • CO Power-Law Region CO =1 >i 'co o o CO c CD I. sive shearing away of solvated layers with increasing shear rate would result in decreasing interactions between the molecules or particles and a consequent reduc tion in apparent viscosity. at both very low and very high velocity gradients. 1983) . is needed. In addition.5). respectively. Viscosity behavior of pseudoplastic shear-thinning fluids. The power law predicts an infinite viscosity at vanishingly small velocity gradients. with maximum and minimum limiting viscosities. 3. One of the numerous proposed expressions is the extended WiUiamson model (Fahien. a more complex expression than the power-law model. In order to describe the entire viscosity curve. Complete orientation at high shear rate and complete disorientation at very low shear rate should account for the observed Newtonian behavior in these regions. < C O CL CL J I I II ml J I I I III ShearRate.

For low and high values of shear rate 7. One simple relationship for describing the viscosity of a power-law fluid is called the truncated power-law model (Bird. 1965) /A) for for l7o| l7l>|yo| (1..10) and M = //|yr' a Figure 4 presents the apparent viscosity as a function of shear rate for the truncated power-law model. 1964) M o . This model was used by Vongvuthipornchai and Raghavan (1987a) in their numerical studies of the pressure falloff behavior of power-law fluid flow in a vertically fractured well. Y. 1987. 1987).8) where a and r^ are constants. equation (1. . Equation (1. respectively. Viscosity behavior of the truncated power-law model (after Vongvuthipornchai and Raghavan.94 E—I CO Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media i i I lill| • 05 CL "T" 1 I I I llli i liil| / Power-Law Model N^v Truncated Power-Law Model i I I i IH I I I ! Mill I I I Mill I I M Mil ShearRate.(s-'^) Fig. A similar correlation of the apparent viscosity for polymer solutions was pro posed by Meter (Meter and Bird.Moc Ma = Atoo + 1 + (r/r^r (1.7) where ai and a2 are constants. and Camilleri et al.7) yields fia^' fM) and /Jia-^ f^oo.8) has been used to investigate flow problems of polymer solutions in porous media (Lake. At'a = M'oo + 1 + {y/a^r' (1. 1987a).9) (1. 4.

a logarithmic form of the power law should be used (Skelland. whereas rheological dilatancy refers to an increase in apparent viscosity with increasing shear rate. is (Skel land. Many theoretical corre lations of non-Newtonian fluid flow through porous media are based on capiUary models. the shear thickening or dilatant phenomena may be the most controversial and least understood rheological behavior of non-Newtonian fluids. it is necessary for H and n to remain constant over considerable ranges of shear rate. The shear thickening behavior is of particular interest in connection with non-Newtonian flow through porous media because certain dilute polymeric solutions exhibit a shear thickening response under appropriate condi tions of flow. The approaches available for rheological data analysis and characterization of non-Newtonian systems are: (1) the integration method.Introduction 95 The power law is also called a two parameter model (Bird et al. Consider steady laminar upward flow of a time-independent fluid through a vertical cylindrical tube with a radius R. A number of mechanisms proposed to explain the shear thickening phenomena were summar ized by Savins (1969). on integrating. even though they show shear thinning behavior in viscometric flow. In the case when the power-law model apphes. many published laboratory studies of polymer solution flow in porous media reveal that it is a reasonable assumption to take H and n as constants. However.. since it is characterized by the two parameters. (2) the differentiation method (Savins. The volumetric flow rate. in an expression relating the pairs of observable quantities. This general type of behavior has been reported in porous media flow experiments involving a variety of dilute to moderately concentrated solutions of highmolecular-weight polymers. Shear thickening behavior has been observed with dilatant materials. instead of equation (1. as summarized by Savins (1962). In order that the power-law relationship be of engineering value. 1960). H and n. 1962a. However. although these materials are far less common than pseudoplastic fluids. (1. depending on the rheological model of the fluid. The rheolog ical parameters appear.12) With an appropriate rheological function/(TJX). given by T. 1962). H and n may vary continuously with shear rate. In the general case. the power-law index n>l generates a monotonically increasing shear thickening re sponse. only the integration technique is of interest in porous media flow problems. = — (1. 1962c). The integral method consists of interpreting flow properties in terms of a particular model. However. 1967) TTR — -^ Tw Jo ' T^rJiTrddTr. Then. and f(Trx) is the rheological function. Volumetric dilatancy denotes an increase in total volume under shearing. Wallick and Foster. 1962b.5). Q. 1967). such as volume flux and pressure. and (3) the dual differentiation-integration method (Savins.11) where r^ shear stress at the tube wafl. and Trx is the shear stress. .

They claimed .96 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media equation (2. many laboratory studies were undertaken in an attempt to relate the rheological properties of a non-Newtonian fluid to the pore flow velocity of the fluid or the imposed pressure drop in a real core or in a packed porous medium. The viscosity used in Darcy's equation for non-Newtonian fluids depends on. or the velocity gradient. Then. in which the porous medium is represented by a bundle of straight. Because of the complexity of pore geometries in a porous medium. In a pioneering work. (1) rheological properties of the fluids. by introducing a special rheological model for the non-Newtonian fluid in the momen tum distribution and integrating in the radial direction. and (3) shear rate. However. rheology.11) relates the volumetric flow rate through a capillary and the shear stress on the wall of many useful fluids. Hence. one obtains the total flow rate through the capillary. Some equivalent or apparent viscosities for non-Newtonian fluid flow are needed in the Darcy equation.3. The viscosity of a non-Newtonian fluid depends upon the shear rate. (2) characteristics of the porous medium. non-Newtonian fluid with laminar flow through packed porous media. and it was tested by experiment with the flow of dilute polymer solutions through packed porous material. Therefore. the momentum flux distribution in the radial direction within the capillary is first solved from the conservation of momentum. 1. the modified Darcy's law for non-Newtonian fluid flow through porous media. it is impossible to determine the distribution of the shear rate in a microscopic sense in a porous medium. The simplest theoretical models that can be constructed for a porous medium are those consisting of capillaries. such as Bingham plastic and power-law fluids. Darcy's law has to be used to obtain any meaningful insights into the physics of flow in porous media. parallel capillaries of uniform diameters. Christopher and Middleman (1965) developed a modified Blake-Kozeny equation for a power-law. By comparing the expression for the total flow rate with Darcy's law. or correlations of apparent viscosities with flow properties for a given non-Newtonian fluid as well as a given porous material. Theoretical considerations may be able to identify the physical significance of these parameters. and the rheological models developed in fluid mechanics for non-Newtonian fluids cannot be appUed directly to porous media. a lot of experimental and theoretical investigations have been conducted to find rheological models. Empirical attempts to estabUsh correlations between the various dynamic properties of porous media need to introduce certain additional para meters. one can deduce a modified Darcy's law with an apparent viscosity for the special non-Newtonian fluid. and petroleum engineering from the early 1960s. Their theory was based on a capillary model and the Blake-Kozeny equation of permeabiUty. Laboratory experiment and rheological models Many studies on the flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media exist in the chemical engineering. The resulting equations usually involve some coefficients that need to be determined by experiments for a given fluid in a given porous medium. The capillary model. Under steady-state and laminar flow conditions. was used to derive a flow equation.

.13) where u is the Darcy's velocity.)(^ . The curve-fitting results appeared quite satisfactory.. and a characterizes the slope of log fi^ vs.. . Polymer solutions seem to exhibit the same general behavior with regard to the non-Newtonian apparent viscosity ^la as a function of shear stress r.. The modified Blake-Kozeny equation is u-i^f)" \/Xeff L I (1. the viscosity approaches a lower shear rate maximum value /JLQ. A four-parameter model. In the limit of very small shear stress. equation (1. and a can be obtained by a graphical approach to the viscosity curve. they were able to derive a modified Darcy's law as . Note that /ieff does not have the units of viscosity. They used a non-Newtonian viscosity fi^ in an empirical curve-fitting Elhs function. ^too.Introduction 97 that the accuracy of their correlation was probably acceptable for most engineering design purposes. one must measure the absolute permeabihty K with a Newtonian fluid.15). AP/L is the pressure gradient. Christopher and Middleman also derived an expression for average shear rate for a power law fluid in porous media as ya= 3n + 1 \lu . Sadowski and Bird (1965) conducted a systematic study on non-Newtonian flow through porous media. Meter and Bird (1964) presented a practical procedure to determine the four parameters in equation (1. 1964) to describe the more reahstic shear-thinning be havior of polymer solutions. measure the porosity 0.13).">'2 (1. K is absolute permeabihty. except that it includes a factor of (25/12)"""^. /xo and fioo are measurable quantities charac teristic of the fluid. Bird. T (1. r^ is the shear stress at which jx^ has dropped to 2fM). By using the Blake-Kozeny-Carman equation of permeabihty and the capillary model..8). log T1/2 in the "power-law" region.1/2 4n (150K(t>y (1-15) In order to use equations (1. given by ^=(^111+ /Aa \fM). n and H.) (150^</. and ^teff is given as Meff = ^ (9 + .14) 12 \ nl with 0 being the porosity. and if the shear stress can be increased sufficiently the viscosity reaches its upper shear rate minimum constant value. The three parameters fio. was proposed by Meter (Meter and Bird. Hence.. and determine the rheological parameters. With increasing shear stress the viscosity /JL^ decreases.16) Tl/2- where fio is zero-shear viscosity.8) by fitting experimental nonNewtonian viscosity.13) and (1. T1/2. Stewart and Lightfoot (1960) presented a similar model to equation (1..

The explanation for the unsteady and irreversible flow behavior observed for constant pressure drop was that polymer adsorption and gel formation occurred throughout the bed.20) Here the shear stress r is given by T= a o M |VP| (1. The dimensionless viscosity ratio.21) The constant ao and the dimensionless viscosity ratio F ( T ) are determined exper imentally from capillary measurements for a given type of rock and a given fluid. If the flow rate of the fluid passing through the packed bed was held constant.17) was used successfully to correlate the constant volu metric flow rate to the rheological properties for polymer solutions with low and medium molecular weight.18) with TRh = (AP/L)[Dp(/)/6(l . Sadowski (1965) found that the shear-sensitive viscosities of these fluids were characterized by the three-parameter EUis model (2.19) where JXQ is the apparent viscosity at some convenient reference stress TQ. and Dp is the particle diameter. If the pressure drop across the packed bed was held constant. (1966) as U=-F(T) —VP (1. A universal equation for the prediction of the average velocity in the flow of non-Newtonian fluids through packed beds and porous media was proposed by Kozicki et al.0 ) ] .98 u= Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media (1. and was confirmed experimentally for various non-Newtonian fluids.« . (1967). The modified Darcy's law (1. In an experimental study of flow in porous media using fourteen different polymer solutions.16). is defined as Fir) =-^ M(T) (1. This model was developed by direct analogy with the flow through a uniform capillary and was confirmed experimentally by the authors.^11+ fx^ MoV TRh Q:+3LTI/2 (1. the observed results were both steady and rever sible. Another modified form of Darcy's law for calculating non-Newtonian fluid flow in porous media was obtained by McKinley et al. This general average velocity-pressure gradient relationship was also based on the Blake-Kozeny equation and the capillary model. for very small or very large polymer solution concentrations.1 ^. F ( T ) .17) where the apparent or effective viscosity is defined by _. the observed results were unsteady and irreversible. Sadowski also pointed out that the results depended on the experimental procedure. The modification of .

and it is then modified by an exponent y ^" ^' (1. as u=-—Vd) (1.^ (1-23) (l + 0\ -dr where r^ is the shear stress at the wall.22) and (1. Gogarty proved experimentally that the apparent viscosity for use in the Darcy's equation was a function only of the shear rate.22) for zero "slip" velocity on the pore wall. and the slope of the corresponding curve for the same fluid. T is the tortuosity of the porous medium. By using a number of real cores and consolidated porous media in experiments.069 darcy through 0. In reducing the general expressions (1. 1967b). ^ is a dimensionless aspect factor. The average shear rate y^ is defined as a ratio of the pore velocity and a characteristic length for the porous medium. the authors set the aspect factor ^ = 3 to arrive at results in agreement with the available experimental data.24) M = F(fa) a (1. and porosities in the range from 17 through 21.Introduction 99 Darcy's law is expressed in terms of the flow potential gradient VO and the apparent viscosity /^a. f(K) = mlog(K/Kr)+p (1. and Kr is some reference permeability. An in-depth laboratory study of the rheological adsorption and oil displacement characteristics of polymer solutions was reported by Mungan et al.24) where 5 is a constant determined from experiments. Ty is the yield stress. Flow experiments were performed with permeabiHties in the range from 0.23) to specific situations. but determined from an experiment with the porous medium. .425 darcy.7%. The function f(K) is a linear function of the logarithm of the permeability. The apparent viscosity is defined as ^a = ^ ^ ^ . as defined by equation (1. (1966). The exponent y accounts for the possible deviation between the slope of the apparent viscosity-shear rate curve from a capillary viscometer experiment.25) Here the constants m and p depend on the fluid type in a given kind of rock. and /JL is the viscosity of the non-Newtonian fluid as a function of shear stress. One of the most important contributions to the understanding of the rheological be havior of non-Newtonian fluid flow through porous media was made by Gogarty (1967a. he correlated the rheological and flow data to obtain a useful relationship for shear rate and pore velocity in porous material.26) This rheological model was found to fit data for fluids whose character changed rapidly with shear rate from Newtonian to non-Newtonian.

-») ^j^. By introducing the "pseudo Reynolds number" and the "effective particle diamet er. An important experimental study on flow of polymer solutions through porous media was reported by Dauben and Menzie (1967). Av^lR.12(2)-VZ.28). These polymer solutions exhibited dilatant behavior in porous media in contrast with the pseudoplastic behavior in simple flow systems. This method may be interesting forflowproblems in fractured reservoirs. The equations were solved numerically for the case of a power-law fluid. They observed that the apparent viscosities of polyethylene oxide solutions under certain conditions were much higher than would be predicted from solution viscosity measurements. Glass bead packs were used as the porous material. and Dp is the diameter of the glass beads. Complex flow behavior of viscoelastic fluids can result in very large flow resistances at high flow rates in porous media. power-law fluid can then be used. Viscoelastic effects for non-Newtonian flow in porous media were observed and studied by Wissler (1971). A detailed analysis of factors influencing mobility and adsorption in the flow . However. The shear rate they derived is ^. He used a third-order perturbation technique to analyze the flow of a viscoelastic fluid in a converging-diverging channel and concluded that the actual pressure gradient would exceed the purely viscous gradient by a certain factor. AH of Mungan's experimental data show that the apparent viscosity of the polymers is a function solely of the shear rate defined in equation (1.100 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media In contrast with the above work deaUng with one-dimensional flow. viscoelastic flow is not significant under reservoir flow conditions. The correlation for shear rate that he used is 4n' R where R is the radius of the equivalent capiUary of the porous medium. where Vp is the pore velocity of flow. Jennings et al. n' is the slope of the log-log plot of shear stress r vs. (1971) found that viscoelastic behavior also contri buted to the mobility control activity of some polymers. From experiments conducted over a period of years under reservoir flow conditions. Mungan (1972) tested three partially hydrolized polyacrylamide polymers under experimental conditions and observed that the polymers exhibited pseudoplastic behavior over an eight-order-magnitude range of shear rates. Benis (1968) presented a theory to consider non-Newtonian fluid flow through twodimensional narrow channels." they successfully analyzed experimental data for three different polymer solutions. L is the spacing of the parallel plate instrument. The modified Darcy's law for a visco-inelastic.. Harvey and Menzie (1970) developed a method for investigating the flow through unconsohdated porous media of high molecular weight polymer solutions.

the effects of non-Newtonian behavior were neglected. Analysis of flow through porous media The subject of transient flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media is relatively new to many applications. in addition to the three /^a = . This code represented the polymer solution as a fourth component fully miscible with the aqueous phase.4. A new experimental technique was recently developed by Cohen and Christ (1986) for determining mobihty reduction as a result of polymer adsorption in the flow of polymer solutions through porous media.29) A model to include dilatant behavior in the modified Blake-Kozeny equation was given as TTT" (1. r^. They found that drawdown curves for a power-law fluid did not exhibit the semi-log straight-line relationship that exists for Newtonian fluid flow in a homogeneous medium.</>)(150fc/(/>)''^]) w h e r e /Xeff defined in equation (1. under adsorbing and non-adsorbing conditions. in which they derived an equation that described the flow of a power-law non-Newtonian fluid in porous media. at the pore wall. (1971) presented an analytical solution to the linear polymer flood problem and also a numerical model utilizing a stream tube approach that could be used to simulate hnear or five-spot polymer floods. (1987). a n d ^f is t h e fluid relaxation time. one of the most extensive studies was presented by Sorbie et al. and non-Newtonian behavior as well. A more comprehensive three-phase and three-dimensional finite difference numerical code for polymer flooding was devel oped by Bondor et al. They used both experimental and theoretical approaches to look at adsorption. Almost all of the analytical and numerical investigations have focused on the one-dimensional flow of single-phase powerlaw fluids.31) (1 . Among many investigations conducted on the flow of polymer solutions in porous media. inaccessible-volume ef fects.Introduction 101 of polymer solutions through porous media was provided by Hirasaki and Pope (1974). 1. Patton et al. The pseudoplastic behavior was modeled with the modified Blake-Kozeny equation for the power-law fluid. and the apparent viscosity was defined as fJi. and the unsteady-state flow was studied by a finite difference model. The experimental data were analyzed by correlating mobihty with fluid shear stress.efu/[(l . One of the first papers in this area was pubhshed by van PooUen and Jargon (1969). An analytical solution for steady state flow was obtained. However. = Hr~' where the shear rate is given by (1. (1972). A number of transient well tests were used to examine the theory. dispersion.14).

102 p CO Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media I I I i I lli| I I M I lll{ 1 I I i t lll{ I I I I i I i 1 Zl 1 03 03 > F ^ 'u) L O izJ I— o U CO . The result was shown to represent the displacement as observed in a physical experiment. As shown in Fig. and S^ is the saturation of the water phase. the permeability and porosity are replaced by an effective permeability to water phase. > u c CO CD t < p-1^ max"~H< i mil Pseudoplastic i I I i Hi H<-Hmm min"^~ DilatanH I I Mill I I i I i Mil Darcys Velocity. and obtained approximate analytical solutions. 1972). The apparent viscosity /Xa was modeled as that similar to the Meter model (1. al. respectively. The rheological behavior of the polymer solution was included in the code by extending the modified Blake-Kozeny model to the multiphase flow problem. Then. Other components. Here kj^ is the relative permeabiUty to water. to take into account the effects of multiphase flow. 5 the formulation is Mmax? Ma = L Mmin ? low velocities pseudoplastic region high velocities (1.14).32) where the coefficient /Xeff is also given by equation (1. 5.8). This simulator also incorporated the adsorption of polymer. However. They simultaneously derived a partial differential equation for flow of power-law fluids through porous media using similar Unearization procedures to the non linear flow equation. Rheological behavior of polymer solution in porous media (after Bondor et. new weU test analysis techniques were proposed for interpreting pressure data observed during injectivity and falloff tests in reservoirs. oil. the reduction of rock permeabiUty to the aqueous phase. u. which requires . and the disper sion of the polymer plug. and an effective porosity ((/)5w).. (m/s) Fig. A Hmitation of this theory arises from the assumption used to Unearize the governing equation. (Kkj. water and gas. Pressure transient theory of flow of non-Newtonian power-law fluids in porous media was developed by Odeh and Yang (1979) and Ikoku and Ramey (1979).^).

The solution in the Laplace domain was evaluated by a numerical inversion technique (Stehfest. relative permeabihty. He found that very fine grids were needed for power-law flow calculations. Pressure transient behavior during non-Newtonian power-law fluid and Newton ian fluid displacement has also been studied using numerical methods. The phase behavior was modeled by . A detailed numerical study of the flow of non-Newtonian power-law fluids in a vertically fractured wefl was reported by Vongvuthipornchai and Raghavan (1987a). This work was extended by Vongvuthipornchai and Raghavan (1987b). and a long-time asymptotic solution in the real domain for this problem. Ikoku and Ramey (1980) extended their theory to include wellbore storage and skin effects using a numerical wellbore storage simulator. 1970). The non-Newtonian fluid was injected to displace the New tonian fluid under a piston-hke displacement process. This is equivalent to assuming that the flow rate is constant at each radial location and that a steady-state viscosity profile exists. and also examined the general pressure falloff behavior in unfractured wells after the injection of non-Newtonian power-law fluids. The hnearized governing equation derived by Odeh and Yang (1979) for a power-law fluid was solved by McDonald (1979) using a finite difference model. This model took into account many important process properties. Generally. permeability reduction. The well testing method of Ikoku and Ramey was extended to multiphase flow of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids by Gencer and Ikoku (1984). Theory and analysis including a moving displace ment front are more reahstic than single-phase flow solutions. Pressure responses with storage and skin effects were obtained in terms of Duhamel's integral. which was solved numerically. such as polymer inaccessible pore volume. They used a numerical model to investigate the pressure behavior of power-law fluids during two-phase flow and gave an example for analysis of simulated injectivity and falloff test data. and non-Newtonian behavior as well. Lund and Ikoku (1981) apphed the partial differential equation for radial flow of power-law fluids by Ikoku and Ramey (1979) to non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids in composite reservoirs. phase. (1987a). They presented a new numerical analysis technique for fractured well tests. the Hnearized solution can not be used for pressure falloff test analysis when the power-law index n < 0. A more sophisticated numerical simulator of compositional micellar/polymer flow was developed by Camilleri et al. It has been shown numerically that this solution introduces significant errors by Vongvuthipornchai and Raghavan (1987a) when the power-law index n < 0. and was used to examine pressure falloff behavior dominated by storage and skin effects. residual saturations. In another paper. adsorption.5. Polymer flooding projects are usually characterized by composite systems with moving banks of different fluids surrounding injection wells. They developed an approximate ana lytical solution in the Laplace domain. and the coarser meshes led to unacceptable truncation errors. and h is the thickness of formation.6.Introduction _BP\ drJ TAW _Q_ 103 IK] lirrh where Q is the volumetric injection rate.

104 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media four pseudocomponents: surfactant.34b) u=0 where G is the minimum pressure gradient. Therefore. The physical meaning of G can be found by considering flow of a Bingham fluid through a capillary with radius R. which are widely used in petroleum reservoir engineering and groundwater hydrology to determine reservoir and fluid properties. Summary To date considerable progress has been made in understanding the flow be havior of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media. The polymer apparent viscosity was calculated from the Meter model. 1. 1971). 1984. the minimum pressure gradient G is the pressure gradient correspond ing to the yield stress Ty in a porous medium. we can obtain Q = ^ ^ = ly 3i?/8 d (135) where d is a characteristic pore size of a porous medium. An apparent viscosity is needed in Darcy's equation for further study of the flow behavior.. and the shear rate equation used was equation (1.36) from the work of Hirasaki and Pope (1974). Solutions for single-phase non-Newtonian fluid flow are very useful in providing fundamentals for well testing analysis techniques.. The experimental and theoretical studies performed in this field have focused on single-phase flow be havior. d = 3P/8. Similar phenomena occur when groundwater flows in strongly argillized rocks and in clay soils (Bear. However.34a) (1. 1972). the Bingham equation was solved by Buckingham (Scheidegger. alcohol. 1987b).. 1974). In such cases. SkeUand. The general procedure in the experimental studies is to find a relationship between the most important .5. there are not many pubUcations deahng with flow problems in porous media involving non-Newtonian Bingham fluids (Barenblatt et al. physically. Scheidegger. Then. it has long been observed in heavy oil development and in laboratory experiments that there exists a minimum pressure gradient for heavy oil to start flow (Mirzadjanzade et al. the formulation of Darcy's law has been modified as u= -—(l--^)v^ Mb |VP|>G |VP|^G (1.. oil. This new phase behavior code was used to match many simulated and experimental data. 1987c). and brine (Camilleri et al. Compared with studies conducted on flow of non-Newtonian power-law fluids. and satisfactory results were obtained (Camilleri et al. The success of closely matching experimental phase concentration histories showed that this code provided a good description of the physical processes occurring during the displacement of oil by surfactant. 1967) to give the average flow velocity over the cross-section of the tube. The main goals of the laboratory investigations are to correlate rheological properties with flow conditions for a particular nonNewtonian fluid within a given porous medium. By comparing this velocity with the result from Darcy's law. 1974.

inaccessible pore volume. equation (1. However. There are many other factors which also have effects on the flow behavior. shear stress. the transient pressure analysis methods developed for non-Newtonian flow will permit approxi mate estimations of fluid and formation properties by matching observed pressure responses from wells. This is normally done by using a capillary model to approximate the porous system. such as shear rate. and Uthology of the formation of interest. and for foam flow analysis.Introduction 105 physical quantities. viscous finger ing. etc. Based on theoretical pressure responses calculated from analytical or numerical solutions. very few studies have been performed to look at the physics of displace ment. A complete understanding of . Despite considerable advances over the past three decades in studying the flow of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media. very Httle research has been pubhshed on multiple phase flow of both non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids in porous media. Non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid immiscible displacement occurs in many EOR processes. 1991). A thorough study of Bingham-type fluid flow in reservoir conditions is needed not only for engineering applications. Interpretation of transient pressure responses with Bingham flow in porous media will be very important for heavy oil development. Even for single-phase non-Newtonian fluids. and Chen and Liu. Even using numerical methods. These operations involve the injection of non-Newtonian fluids. 1988.8). The primary objectives of the theoretical studies are to develop well testing analysis methods for field appUcations. However. These include adsorp tion on pore surfaces of rock. Pascal et. or heavy oil production by waterflooding. As a result. few theoretical investigations including such complicated phenomena have been published that are based on the more realistic rheological model of Meter. dispersion. It should be pointed out that non-Newtonian behavior is only one important factor that affects the flow of these fluids through porous media. The flow behavior of pseudoplastic fluids in porous media is still poorly understood.. it seems unHkely that a reaUstic theoretical model can be developed to describe the complex problems when such fluids are present. such as polymer and foam solutions. and the only analytical solutions available for such flow are based on piston-Hke displacement assumptions (Pascal. At present. It has been well-documented that pseudoplastic fluids exhibit Newtonian behavior at high and low velocities. Also there are no techniques or theories available for analysis of non-Newtonian flow behavior in a fractured porous system. Until we are able to predict how immiscible flow is affected by the properties of non-Newtonian fluids. but also for the physical insights of transport behavior. The remaining unknown parameters are left to be determined from flow experiments. 1984. al. many underground formations for energy recovery or for waste storage have been found to be naturally fractured reservoirs. and pressure gradient for the fluid of interest. for groundwater flow evaluation in certain clay formations. there are few standard approaches in the petroleum engineering or groundwater literature for analyzing well test data for Bingham-type fluids. the mechanisms of immiscible displacement involving nonNewtonian fluids is still not well understood. it is obvious that further studies are still needed in understanding the physics of non-Newtonian flow in a com plicated porous system.

Rheological model The rheological model or condition is the connection between shear stress and shear rate in the fluid (and their time derivatives). It is defined as 2 = i(VV + VV^) or 2\dXj dXi/ (2. and u. and Djj is the (/. 1962. 1974). the rheological model usually refers to the correlation of apparent viscosities of a non-Newtonian fluid and flow conditions for a given porous material.106 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media the flow behavior of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media with consideration of all these physical phenomena will be possible only after much more theoretical and experimental studies have been performed. only the power-law and Bingham models have been extensively used in research on porous media flow problems.) component of the tensor D_ (/. . in the x. VV^ is the transpose of VV. Newton's law of viscosity can be modified to read T = -2fi. 2.6) Several forms of the fi^is) function in equation (2. / = 1.5) where /Xa is an apparent or effective viscosity which varies with the velocity gradient function s. Fahien.1) where r is the stress tensor and D is the "rate-of-strain" tensor. Among the rheological models for non-Newtonian fluids. direction (xi = x. is the component of vector V..is)D (2. termed as the generaUzed Newtonian fluid in fluid mechanics (Astarita and Marrucci. or "rate-ofdeformation" tensor. 2.4) For an incompressible non-Newtonian fluid. The /jth component of tensor VV is ffiven bv (VV). 1983) T = -2fiD (2. X3 = z). For an incompressible Newtonian fluid. which is defined as s = 2HDijDji i J (2.5) have been proposed in the Uterature and are widely used in flow calculations. = f^ dXj (2.2) where VV is the velocity gradient. . Newton's law defining the dynamic viscosity fx is generalized to the following form (Savins. X2 = y. For flow in porous media. 3).

For single phase flow problems through porous media. it is physically meaningful only in an average or statistical sense because the actual velocity of the fluid will change within one flow channel and from one flow channel to another. For single-phase flow of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media.7).Rheological model 107 In this study.9) By definition. which is described by the Dupuit-Forchheimer formulation.7) where the non-Newtonian behavior is taken into account by the apparent viscosity ^tnn. In practice.-^S] (2. and the positive z-direction is chosen to be downward in the Cartesian coordinates (x. Since theoretical and experimental considerations of non-Newtonian flow are based on an analysis of the microscopic properties of flow. the flow potential has been traditionally used as the primary dependent variable from its easilymeasurable property. it is better to correlate the non-Newtonian viscosity directly to the flow potential gradient. the treatment of non-Newtonian viscosities as functions of flow potential gradient will become necessary in the development of the calculable numerical and analytical solutions of Non-Newtonian fluid flow in porous media. the viscosity of a non-Newtonian fluid is a function of the shear rate. For simpUcity in the analytical and numerical solutions. However. Therefore. 1974. A commonly accepted hypothesis for the connection between pore velocity Vp and Darcy's velocity u is the DupuitForchheimer assumption (Scheidegger. it is logical to express all the other dependent variables in terms of functions of the flow potential and flow potential gradient. it would be extremely difficult to relate viscosity of a . y. it has been shown experimentally that shear rate depends only on the pore velocity for a given porous material and the particular fluid used (Gogarty. z). 1982. we need to use the concept of "pore velocity". in the form u=-—V* (2. Hirasaki and Pope. it is generally assumed the porous medium is isotropic as far as the distribution of the porosity over the section is concerned. Darcy's law is assumed to be applicable to describe the flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media. and the flow potential O is defined as (Narasimhan. equation (2. and Hubbert.9) and Darcy's law. 1956) ^ = P-(| dP -^.^ V c D (P Mnn0 (2. Specifically. equation (2. Marsily.8) }poPnn(P) where Po is a reference pressure.. 1967. 1974). Savins. 1986) ^P = 7 = . and the pore velocity changes accordingly with flow potential gradient. If we also want to use the potential as a primary variable in study of a non-Newtonian flow problem. The pore velocity is defined to represent the "real" flow velocity along flow channels. 1969. Non-Newtonian viscosities in aflowsystem change with the pore velocity.

Then. formally it is also possible to treat Bingham fluids as having a |VO| dependent viscosity. For purposes of numerical simulation. 1974) 3n + l\"""-'\ 4K\W^\ Using equation (2.14)..13) with equation (2. :. the flow of Bingham fluids is best represented by a constant viscosity and a threshold pressure gradient.8) will result in (Camilleri et al. Therefore.7) and (1. which will be used to evaluate the analytical solution for immiscible displacement in this study. as in equation (1. and the constant p may be different from a in equation (1.10) For flow of a power-law fluid in porous media. This treatment can be verified to be vahd by representing the pore velocity Vp by equation (2.8).13) gives an impUcit expression for the viscosity ^tnn as a function of the potential gradient in the Meter model.108 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media Bingham fluid with pore velocity in a flow study from equation (1. fioo. it is assumed in this work that the apparent viscosity jLtnn in the modified Darcy's equation (2. one may choose the shear rate in a form (Hirasaki and Pope.7) leads to the following exphcit relationship / K \ ("-!)/" i^nn = /Xeff — |VO| \Meff / (2.7) depends only on the potential gradient for the flow system under consideration Mnn = Mnn(VcI>) (2. If the four-parameter model by Meter (Meter and Bird.11) where /leff is defined in equation (1.34). However. 1964) is used to describe the rheological behavior of shear-thinning fluids.8). a comparison of equation (1.9) as follows This equation implicitly states that the apparent viscosity used in Darcy's law for a non-Newtonian fluid is a function of the potential gradient only. we have fJinn = and —. and 71/2 are defined in equations (1. 1987a) 1 + {yiymr where the constants fio.34).12) in the Meter model (1.14a) ^ ^ . equation (2.34). 1-G/|V$| for|V(I)|>G ' ' (2. From Darcy's law (1.

The average shear rate. A simpler way to find the dependence of viscosity on flow potential gradient and saturation may be to modify the viscosity function that is available for the single phase non-Newtonian fluid (Gencer and Ikuko. this may be expressed by Mnn = i^nn(VcD.1. Physically. 5nn) (2. or pore velocity. the corresponding permeability for single phase flow is replaced by the effective permeabihty (Kkmn). Flow takes place only after the applied potential gradient exceeds the value of G. In this method. Introduction Conservation of mass. The physical laws at the pore level in a porous medium are simple and well-known. Similarly. and Bondor et al. during multiple phaseflowin a porous medium is determined by the local potential gradient in the direction of flow and also by the local saturation of the flowing phase. based on the results for single phase non-Newtonian flow. For a given porous medium in the study. and porosity by (05nn) in the single phase viscosity function.. Since the viscosity of a non-Newtonian fluid is a flow property. The permeabiUties. but also in multiple phase flow. 1972).Mathematical model Atnn = °°. it is reasonable to assume that the shear rate of a nonNewtonian fluid in multiple phase flow is also a function of the pore velocity of that fluid only for a given fluid and a given porous medium. it depends on the shear rate among other parameters for the multiphase flow case. All the viscosity models discussed above for non-Newtonian fluids were ob tained originally from an analysis of experimental data or from the capillary analog for a porous medium. Therefore. only the global behavior of the . momentum and energy governs the behavior of fluid flow through porous media.14b) where G is the minimum potential gradient. such as saturation. 1984. 3. the apparent viscosity of non-Newtonian fluids for multiple phase flow is supposed to be a function of both flow potential gradient and saturation. such as those given by Scheidegger (1974). and they are valid only for single phase flow in porous media. from the inherent complexities of multiple phase flow. many viscosity functions can be derived in terms of the potential gradient from rheological models available in the Uterature for flow of non-New tonian fluids in porous media. Hence. however. may become functions of other dependent variables. the previously modified versions of Darcy's law for single non-Newtonian fluids are extended to include the effects of multiple phase flow on the viscosity of non-Newtonian fluids.15) This correlation should be obtained from experiments with non-Newtonian multiple phase flow where relative permeability and capillary pressure are known. In practice. The interest of this work is not only in single phase flow. Mathematical model 3. for I vol ^ G 109 (2. which are constants for single phase non-Newtonian fluid flow.

filled with a Newtonian fluid of density Pne and a non-Newtonian fluid of density Pnn. Due to the complexity of pore geometries. in an integral form dt f f lMpdV=Vn f f ¥p'ndS+ ( ( [q^dV Vn (3. Under very special circumstances with appropriate idealizations. Almost all theories on flow phenomena occurring in porous media lead to macroscopic laws applicable to a finite volume of the system under consideration whose dimen sions are large compared with those of pores. Therefore. for non-Newtonian fluid j8 = nn. The mass accumulation terms M^ for Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids (j8 = ne. the macroscopic continuum approach has been used prevalently both theoretically and in appUcations. nn) are . In the present work. Any attempts to directly apply the Navier-Stokes equation to flow problems in porous media will face the difficulties of poorly-defined pore geometries and the complex phenomena of physical and chemical interactions between fluids or between fluids and sohds. and Darcy's law is assumed to be valid and modified to include the effects of the rheological properties of non-Newtonian fluids on flow behavior. analytical solutions may be possible. 3. It is assumed that the non-Newtonian and Newton ian fluids are immiscible. these laws lead to equations in which the medium is treated as if it were continuous and characterized by the local values of a certain number of parameters defined for aU points.2. Governing equations for non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid flow Consider an arbitrary volume V^ of a porous medium with porosity cf). such as in the case of the Buckley-Leverett solution for a linear waterflood situ ation. the macroscopic behavior is not easily deduced from that on the pore level. Solutions of the governing differential equations can often be obtained only by numerical methods.1) Where for Newtonian fluid /3 = ne.110 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media system is of interest. The governing equations used for non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid flow in this study are similar to those of multiple phase flow in porous media. The formal development and notations used here for the governing equations follow the work in the 'TOUGH User's Guide" by Pruess (1987). bounded by surface 5 (Fig. Consequently. the flow system is assumed to be isothermal. and q^ is source terms for fluid j8. which cannot be solved at the present time. The physical laws governing equiUbrium and flow of several fluids in a porous medium are represented mathematically on the macroscopic level by a set of partial differential equations. 6). so that the energy conservation equation is not required. and no mass transfer occurs between the two phases. n is the unit outward normal vector on surface 5. which generally are non-Unear when multiple phase or non-Newtonian fluids are involved. The law of conservation of mass for each fluid states that the sum of the net fluxes crossing the boundary plus the generation rate of the mass of the fluid must be equal to the rate of the mass accumulated in the domain for the fluid.

2) where 5^ is the saturation of phase j8 (j8 = ne. K^ is relative permeabihty to phase /3. nn). P/3 is pressure in phase j8.6) This constraint condition is always vaUd in a two phase flow problem.4) Since equation (3.4) is valid for any arbitrary region in the flow system. it follows that 5ne + 5nn = 1 (3. From the definition of fluid phase saturations.1) can be transformed into a volume integral I J J J M^ dF = 1 1 J (.Mathematical model 111 -Volume Vn Fig. /x^ is dynamic viscosity of phase /3.3 (3. Mp = (j>S^pp (3. nn). 6.5) dt This is a differential form of the governing equations for mass conservation of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids.3) where K is absolute permeability.1). Upon applying the Gauss theorem to equation (3. . The mass flux terms F^ in equation (3.1) are described by Darcy's law for Newtonian and non-Newtonianfluidsas ¥^ = -K^p^{^P^-p^g) (3. it follows that ^^=-divF^+?. and g is gravitational acceleration. the surface integral on the right side of equation (4. and p^ is density of phase )8 (j8 = ne. Arbitrary volume of formation in a flow field bounded by surface S.div F^ + q^)dV Vn Vn (3.

Constitutive equations The mass transport governing equations (3.. 1986) /Crne ~ ^rne(^nn) ^rnn ~ ^rnn(^nn) (3. 1960). the permeability for singlephase non-Newtonian fluid flow should be obtained from core experiments with Newtonian fluids. In order to reduce the uncertainties when non-Newtonian flow is involved. Both analytical and numerical methods have been employed in this work in order to provide a general theoretical approach to analysis of the flow behavior of non-Newtonian fluids. 3. the governing integral or partial differential equations are highly non-linear. Therefore.5) need to be supplemented with constitutive equations. However. or the potential gradient.5) by setting 5ne = 0. the apparent viscosity as used in Darcy's law depends on the pore velocity..112 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media The governing equations for flow of single-phase non-Newtonian fluids in porous media can always be considered as a special case of the multiphase equations. analytical and approximate analytical solutions are possible. Numerical model When a non-Newtonian fluid is involved in a flow problem. The following relationships will be used to complete the statement of multiple phase flow of nonNewtonian and Newtonian fluids through porous media.1) or (3. They are readily derived from equations (3. respectively Pne = P n e ( ^ n e ) Pnn = P n n ( ^ n n ) (3-7) (3-8) The difference in pressure between the two phases may be described in terms of capillary pressure (3. under some special circumstances.9) and the capillary pressure Pc is determined experimentally as a function of satur ation only. The relative permeabiUties are also assumed to be functions of fluid saturation only (Honarpour et al. the relative permeability data for multiphase flow of non-Newtonian fluids should also be determined by using Newtonian fluids in the laboratory experiment. and ^nn ~ 1* 3. which express all the parameters as functions of a set of primary thermodynamic variables of interest {P^.1) or (3.3. Solutions for such problems can only be found by numerical methods.iU) V"^*^^/ As pointed out by other workers (Bird et al. .4. Equations of state of the densities for Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids are. S^).

The continuum equation (3. and for the design and analysis of laboratory experiments (Pruess. 1982). 1988). and can be specified differently for different flow regions. nuclear waste repositories. oil and gas fields.12) where M is a volume-normaHzed extensive quantity. The rheological properties for non-Newtonian viscosity need special treatments and depend on the rheological models used. which was developed to model the flow of gas. 1988).13) Sn Here F^m is the average value of the (inward) normal component of F over the .Mathematical model 113 The numerical technique presented in this work is the "integral finite differ ence" method (Narasimhan and Witherspoon. 1976). The input data and running procedures are similar to those for the code "MULKOMGWF". Thermodynamic properties are represented by averages over explicitly defined finite subdomains. while fluxes of mass across surface segments are evaluated by finite difference approximations. The capillary pressures and relative permeabiUties are treated as functions of saturation.The surface integrals are approximated as a discrete sum of averages over surface segments Anm -IL ¥'ndS = lAn^F^^ ^ (3. 1983. are represented within experimental accuracy by the steam table equations given by the International Formulation Committee (1967) and by Vargaftik (1975). A number of the common viscosity functions have been implemented in the codes. and Mn is the average value of M over the domain Vn. such as density and viscosity. using the Newton/Raphson iter ation procedure. The mass balance difference equations are solved simultaneously. A brief description of the numerical method used in this non-Newtonian flow version of MULKOM is included in the following section for completeness. the mass balance equations for each phase are expressed in terms of the integral difference equations. it follows that III Vn MdV=VnMn (3. respectively. Thermophysical properties of water and gas (methane) substance. A modified version of the "MULKOM" family of multi-phase. It is almost identical to that given in the TOUGH code (Pruess. This simulator for Newtonian fluid flow calculations has been vaUdated by Pruess and his co-workers at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Based on the integral finite difference method. such as the power-law and Bingham models.1) is discretized in space using the "integral finite difference" scheme. Introducing an appropriate volume average. 1988) for non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid flow has been developed in analyzing flow problems of single and multiple phase non-Newtonian fluids in porous media. 1987). MULKOM has been used extensively for fundamental and appHed research on geothermal reservoirs. multi-component codes (Pruess. water and foam in porous media (Pruess and Wu. which are fully impUcit to provide stabihty and time step tolerance in highly non-Unear problems (Thomas.

For the basic Darcy flux term.16) is identical to a conventional finite difference formulation.14). and the flux and sink and source terms on the right hand side of equation (3. equation (3. Pnn and Snn. if the problem is two-phase flow of one Newtonian and one non-Newtonian fluid. two or three dimensions.13) into the governing equation (3. nodal distances Dnm and components gnm of gravitational acceleration along nodal fines.This is expressed in terms of averages over parameters for elements V^ and V^.12) and (3. equation (4.16) Following Pruess (1987). upstream weighting).y . because the accuracy of the solutions depends on the accuracy with which the various interface parameters in equations. a set of first-order ordinary differential equations in time is obtained ^ = ^ 1 AnmF.. algebraic equations = 0 (3. harmonic weighting.15) are evaluated at the new time level. x .r. Dnm is the distance between the nodal points n and m. there are two equations for the primary thermodynamic variables. can be expressed in terms of average conditions in grid blocks.16) represents a set of 2N algebraic . and gnm is the component of gravitational acceleration in the direction from m to n. "the entire geometric information of the space discretiz ation in equation (3. A sufficient condition for this to be possible is that there exists approximate thermodynamic equiUbrium in (almost) all grid blocks at (almost) all times.m + q. This treatment of flux terms is known as "fully impHcit.1). The time discretization results in the following set of coupled non-Unear.nm ^^nm P/3. For a flow system which is discretized into N grid blocks. /^"^^ = r^ + Ar. interface areas Anm. The discretized equations are in fact vaUd for arbitrary irregular discretizations in one. equation (3. This flexibility should be used with caution." For each volume element (grid block) V^.16) is provided in the form of a Ust of grid block volumes Fn. however.15) dt Vn m Time is discretized as a first order difference.z ) . to obtain the numerical stabiUty needed for an efficient calculation of multi-phase flow.114 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media surface segment Anm between volume elements V^ and Vm." because the fluxes are expressed in terms of the unknown thermodyn amic parameters at time level / ' ' ^ \ so that these unknowns are only impUcitly defined in the resulting equations. There is no reference whatsoever to a global system of coordinates.14) L M/3 JnmL ^«m where the subscripts (nm) denote a suitable averaging (interpolation.z . For systems of regular grid clocks referenced to global coordin ates (such a s r . we have ^/3.. and for porous as well as for fractured media. or to the dimensionafity of a particular flow problem.n (3.nm6nm (3.3). Substituting equations (3. such as in equation (3.

(^. The power-law index n ranges between 0 and 1 for a shear thinning fluid.17) Retaining only terms up to first order.-.1.. it is impossible to develop a general numerical scheme that can be universally applied to various non-Newton ian fluids. Iteration is continued until the residuals Rn'^^ are reduced below a preset convergence tolerance.11) in the calculation will cause numerical difficulties. a set of 2N Hnear equations for the increments (x. such as polymer and foam solutions.. Instead. 3. . 7. or the potential gradient.5 i ) (3. . pseudoplastic fluids. in a complex way.p) is obtained .y ^^/3. for some fluids.p) (3. where the interpolation parameters Si and 82 are defined in Fig.Mathematical model 115 equations. Therefore.5. a special treatment for the particular fluid of interest has to be worked out.19) for |V$| =^ 5i. which are most often encountered in porous media. As shown in Fig.p+l ~ •^/.2. /xi). 3 .5. In order to maintain the continuities in the viscosity and its derivative at (5i. and the viscosity becomes infinite as the flow potential gradient tends to zero.. A formulation incorporated in the code for a power-law fluid is to use a Unear interpolation when the potential gradient is very small.p+i-x.p at iteration level p .11) is used in the code.. If the potential gradient is larger than 5i.p+i . is the most widely used to describe the rheological property of shear-thinning fluids. which is implemented as follows. the viscosity for a small value of potential gradient is calculated by M„n = Mi + f ^ ( | V < l > | . Treatment of non-Newtonian behavior The apparent viscosity functions for non-Newtonian fluids in porous media depend on the pore velocity. 7. equation (2. The unknowns are the 2N independent primary variables JC. as discussed in Sections 1 and 2. equation (2.p) + .•. (/ = 1. .11). The rheological correlations for different nonNewtonian fluids are quite different. . the numerical treatment developed in this work will be discussed here.2N) which completely define the state of the flow system at time level t^'^^. n (-^/. direct use of equation (2. 1977). 3. Equation (3.p) ^ / 3 . Bingham plastic. These equations are solved by Newton/Raphson iteration. Therefore. such as power-law. An iteration index p is used here.18) is solved with the Harwell subroutine package "MA 28" (Duff.x.= 0 i dXi IP (3. and the residuals are expanded in terms of the primary variables JCi.18) All terms dRJdxiin the Jacobian matrix are evaluated by numerical differentiation.n ^Xi P (■^/. However. Power-law fluid The power-law model.

In the numerical studies of transient flow problems of power-law fluids in this work. Another way for the linear interpolation at small potential gradient is to use the tangential slope ^tnnisi in equation (3. 3. the difference in values of 8i and 82 should be chosen sufficiently small. 7.19) instead of the chord slope. Bingham fluid The apparent viscosity of Bingham fluids.14). The accuracy of this scheme has been confirmed by a number of runs.20) The numerical tests show that the treatment of power-law fluids by equation (3. I V<E) I. Then.2. and 81-82lO""" Pa/m.2) VMeff (3. and ju^niay be taken as (n-l)/n (7 = 1.5. the values for fii. Schematic of linear interpolation of viscosities of power-law fluids with small flow potential gradient. As the potential gradient decreases . as given by equation (2. (Pa/m) Fig. has a similar behavior to that of a power-law fluid.116 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media Used in Numerical Calculation Flow Potential Gradient. the values of the interpolation parameters are taken as Si = 10 Pa/m.19) works very well for a power-law fluid flow problem with various potential gradients.

^ is the scalar component of the potential gradient V^. This treatment of the code using the effective potential gradient has proven to be the most efficient when simulating Bingham fluid flow in porous media. 8. It is possible to use a linear interpolation approximation for the viscosity when the potential gradient nears G to overcome the associated numerical difficul ties. Darcy's law as used in the code for a Bingham fluid is U= VOe (3. / G (V3>k Fig.34) in the numerical calculations. a much better approach is to introduce an effective potential gradient VOe.: (3. the viscosity tends to be infinite. Modeling of Bingham fluid flow in porous media is a very difficult problem numerically because of the minimum pressure gradient phenomenon.>G (VcD). is defined as f(V(&). As shown in Fig.-G (VO. whose scalar component in the x direction. Effective potential gradient for a Bingham fluid. + G 0 (VO). However. flow direction.Mathematical model 117 A(V*e).21) where (VO). = (VcD). 8.). For a single .^-G -G^(VcD). and comes close to the minimum potential gradient G.22) and replaces equation (1. the dashed Unear extension for numerical calculation of derivatives When (V<I>) is near + G or .G.

1987a.»)-f' V yi/2 / (3. General pseudoplastic fluid In this study.12).118 Flow of non-Newtonianfluidsin porous media well flow problem with a uniform initial pressure distribution in the formation. as given by equation (1. Ikoku and Ramey (1979) made the major contributions to the analysis of flow behavior and well tests of power-law fluids in porous media.23) Note that (-dP/dx) ^ 0 for injection and C^ is C. y. and we have to use some fully impHcit numerical scheme to handle the non-hnear convergent problem with Bingham fluids. Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids 4./. Introduction Considerable progress has been made in the hterature since the early 1960s in understanding the flow of a single-phase power-law non-Newtonian fluid through porous media. ignoring the effects of gravity on shear rate in equation (2. For the special cases. this has been implemented in the numerical code to correlate apparent viscosity of the psuedoplastic fluid with pressure gradient in the numerical study. the fluid becomes Newtonian.5.3.1.12) (Camilleri et al. where /xo = i^oc. By using a linearized assumption that there exists a steady-state radial viscosity profile in the reservoir.. With each Newton-Raphson iteration during a time step. For the pseudoplastic fluid in porous media. they obtained approximate analytical solutions. pressure disturbance may penetrate one more grid. Based on these solutions. one can obtain Mnn + Cnf j Mnn " MoA^nn"^ " M-Cnf j = 0 (3. no expUcit formula can be used in the code. For a horizontal flow problem. and introducing the resulting shear rate function into equation (2.24) equation (3. Among many researchers. a number of analytical and numerical methods have been developed to interpret well testing data during injectivity and falloff tests of power-law fluids.13). a general pseudoplastic fluid is defined as a fluid whose apparent viscosity is described by the Meter four-parameter model. The shear rate. 1964). 3.23) implicitly defines the viscosity /Xnn as a function of the pressure gradient {-dP/dx). p = 1. As a result. in equation (2.13) for single phase onedimensional flow of a power law fluid is given by equation (2.33). Odeh and Yang (1979). equation (2. 4.4'P"-^^"">"""-"(2/. the fluid in many grids near wellbore maybe change from immobile to mobile within only one time step at early transient times after the well is put into produc tion. Therefore. Hirasaki and Pope.13) (Meter and Bird. Vongvuthipornchai and Raghavan (1987a) examined the approximate solutions . 1974). or. more Newton-Raphson iterations for convergence at each time step are then needed in the calculation.

1969. 4. power-law index. 1964). He was able to obtain an approximate analytical solution by using the linearization assumption.2. and (3) transient flow of a general pseudoplastic non-Newtonian fluid. 1963). 1987). the two parameters. The long time approximate analytical solution (Ikoku and Ramey. Therefore. a log-log plot of the observed pressure increase at the wellbore versus the injection time is used to obtain an approximate value ofn. It has been found from laboratory experiments and field tests that the insitu rheological properties of polymer solutions in reservoirs may be quite different from the laboratory-measured values (Castagno et al. The flow of power-law fluids in fractured media is of interest in many appli cations. for the fracture system and a constant viscosity for the power-law fluid in calculating interporosity flow be tween matrix and fracture.33). Therefore. and Ikoku and Ramey. the conditions for the appHcation of their methods may not be satisfied. a more reaHstic rheological model. Christopher and Middleman. such as the Meter model. and found that the solutions would give large errors in analyzing pressure falloff behavior when the power-law index « < 0. are both unknowns in a well testing problem with a power-law fluid injection. equation (1. 1979) is . First.6. described by the Meter model. Changes in the non-Newtonian parameters of polymer solutions under reservoir condition may be caused by degradation in polymer concentration due to adsorption on the pore surface. In general. 1965). n. Luan (1981) extended the work of Ikoku and Ramey (1979) to the flow problem of power-law fluids in naturally fractured reservoirs (Warren and Root. Fahien. and the consistency coefficient. In the petroleum literature. or in the use of foam as a blocking agent in a fractured medium for underground energy and waste storage purposes. such as in EOR operations by polymer-flooding in naturally fractured petroleum reservoirs. for general pseudoplastic fluids (Meter and Bird. This section presents the following numerical studies: (1) well testing analysis during a power-law fluid injection. (2) transient flow of a power-law fluid through a fractured medium. 1984. It should be possible to obtain a more comprehensive look at transport phenomena including Newtonian behavior at very high and very low shear rates during a pseudoplastic fluid flow in porous media. Pseudoplastic fluid flow in porous media shows more comphcated behavior than that predicted by the power-law. Very Httle research has been pubhshed on the flow of non-Newtonian fluids through fracture systems. It has been observed in many laboratory experiments that any pseudoplastic fluid exhibits Newtonian behavior at high or low shear rates (Savins. Well testing analysis of power-lawfluidinjection The transient pressure analysis technique appHed in this work is a combination of the existing analytical method with numerical simulation. through a porous medium.. should be used in further studies of power-law fluid flow through porous media. and a direct use of the transient pressure analysis methods available for power-law fluid flow may result in significant errors in the predicted fluid and formation properties.Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids 119 by Odeh and Yang. 1983. H. or by effects of different shear rate distributions for flow through different pore geometries.

^n (4-3) The modified Darcy's law for this horizontal radial flow can be obtained by substituting equation (2.46 = 1. The observed pressure data can be matched by the numerical calculation using the value of n. (4.^. The slope of the log-log straight line part of the observed wellbore pressure increase versus injection time in Fig.46 X 0. and Aeff obtained as an initial guess.419/ T VO.u^-r.^ .235 X lO^rf \3 . A tentative effective mobility can be calculated by equation (4.0. .120 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media iog(Pwf(o-^. n = 0. Equation (4. C. 9 and formation properties are Hsted in Table 1.. Then. the power-law index n and the effective mobility Aeff can be calculated from the slope and intercept of the straight line if the porosity and compressibility are known. N .176 x 10' ^ " ~ I ^ / -.3) as 0 5 9 X 1 0 . 9 is determined as m = 0. the problem is well-posed for a numerical calculation since the parameters in equation (4.(3-0. The pressure transient data are plotted on Fig.^..n)r(2/(3 .236 X 10^ Pa is found at a time of 1 sec. ^.46)^ ^^^-°"'"^ g X T X 4.46)/2 6. h is the thickness of the formation.22 x 2.n)))<^-">^^ TT^^rr. and then. APi = 6.514 X 10-^ (m^-^^/Pa-s) .14).) = (j5^)iog(o ^^ V (1 . is total system compressibility. as long as the straight line occurs in the log-log plot of a well test.7) Therefore.n which can be used to obtain a first-order approximation for n. The intercept.46.f "■"'' / (3 . APi.4) are defined.1) indicates that at long injection times. and jtieff is defined in equation (1. Pj is the initial constant pressure in the formation. The well test data used are from the pubhshed data of a field test that was performed on biopolymer injection (Odeh and Yang. 1979).Pi) versus log(^) yields a straight line with a slope 1—n m' = ^.n)r(2/(3 -n)) J ^ '^ where Pwf(0 is the wellbore flowing pressure. The intercept at t= 1 second.0. An injection test example is given here to illustrate the approach used.21.11) into equation (2.n)^/n(^Ct)^'~"^^^ ^eff- Mef f (AFi(l . Q is a constant volumetric injection rate.2) 3. a graph of log(Pwf . can give the effective mobility Agff from K ^ (Q/27r/i)^"^'>^^((3 .

22 h = 4. this result is unacceptable with an error in pressure increase by a factor of 5.Numerical Match CO CL < CD Slope m' = 0.l Q = 8.419 m = Q = 2 .606 X 10^ Pa </>i = 0. Numerical matching curve of pressure increase versus injection time for a biopolymer fluid injectivity test (data from Odeh and Yang.3 10' I I 111 I I I ^„4 10^ Fig.eff = 1.Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids 10^ —^—I—I II n i | 1—I I I M M| 1—I I I I 111_] 121 ooo Observed Test Data —.514x10 -8 10= 10' J I { I M nl I 1(f Injection Time (s) \ I I ( I itl — I .059 X 10" ^ m ^ s . TABLE 1 Parameters for well testing analysis of biopolymer injection Initial pressure Initial porosity Formation thickness Total compressibility Production rate PermeabiUty Wellbore radius Pi = 2.^ K--= 8. and the parameters in Table 1. 9.684 X 10~ ''m' r^ = 0. we have the pressure responses at the wellbore as shown by the bottom soUd curve of Fig.0762 m Using these values of n and Aeff. 9. when compared with the actual field data. However. o £ Slope m' = 0.994x10" 0) a! o k. 1979). Obviously. 1 7 6 x 1 0 '-10 p ^ .22 >. the log-log straight line .21 m CO o c £ 10^h^^ 3 CO CO ^off =3.

We shall use n = 0.11). because of the two-dimensional nature of flow through a fracture. and adjust Aeff.( . We shall assume the standard model of parallel smooth sides for the fractures (see Fig. calculated normally by the cubic law. H = 0. we may use the same form of the viscosity function as in equation (2. Flow through fractured media is of fundamental importance in many subsurface systems. and underground waste storage in naturally fractured reservoirs. equation (2.22.019 Pa-s^"^^. the permeability was known. low-effective-porosity fracture system surrounding blocks of rock matrix. However. 4. 1963). This is the simplest model. Here. It can be shown (Wu. The fracture model is given in Fig. . the long time asymptotic solution by Ikoku and Ramey again gives a good approximation for the power-law index n.. and is often used to approximate more compUcated fracture networks in reservoirs. 10).122 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media of the pressure-time curve. such as the exploitation of hydrocarbon and geothermal energy. we can calculate the consistency.21. The study of fluid flow in naturally fractured reservoirs has been a challenging task. /leff is replaced by where Kf is the effective fracture permeability used in the Darcy's equation.11). Therefore.7). 1990) that the modified Darcy's law for the flow of a power-law fluid in fractures can also be described by equation (2. the modified Darcy's law.^ f " (4. holds for flow in the reservoir.11).13) derived from the capillary model. Therefore. Then. 9. equation (2. with a slope m = 0. cannot be employed directly in fracture flow. 10 for a horizontal system of parallel-plate fractures. and this yields an effective mobility Aeff = 3. as Mnn = ^ ^ ^ ^ i ^ (6/2)(«->. For this case. ^ = 88md.3. the result is shown by the dashed curve in Fig. and considerable progress has been made since the 1960s (Barenblatt et al. The rheological model for a powerlaw fluid.5) 3 n \ dz/ where b is aperture of the fracture. a modified Darcy's equation for a power-law fluid in a parallel-plate fracture is presented here. and Warren and Root.46. In four more test runs. from a core analysis. Most studies of flow in fractured reservoirs use the double-porosity concept and consider that global flow occurs primarily through the high-permeabiUty.22 is approximately parallel with that of the observed curve where the slope m = 0. 1960. Transient flow of a power-law fluid through a fractured medium A numerical study of theflowof a power-law non-Newtonian fluid in a fractured medium is performed in order to obtain some insight into its flow behavior. These results further illustrate the errors that can occur in the analysis of field data using the approximate analytical solutions of Ikoku and Ramey (1979). is used for flow in the matrix system. Odeh and Yang (1979). if the power-law model. such as equation (1. However.99 x 10~^\ and a slope m = 0.

. For isothermal single phase Newtonian fluid flow. for more comphcated flow problems. and Warren and Root and has been used by many subsequent authors. Schematic of a horizontal fracture system. the so-called interporosity flow. The matrix blocks contain the majority of the formation storage volume and act as local source or sink terms connected to the fracture system.Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids Injection Well w w w w w v N NNNN\N\N\\NN 123 Horizontal Fracture Basic Section (a) Basic Model . this assumption was shown to give accurate results by Kazemi (1969) using a numerical model. However. such as those involving heat exchange between matrix and fractures.Uniform horizontal fracture V C< v^C'^ C's v V\ \ vXJv: \ \ <'^\ * (b) Basic Section sivv Cv: v \ ^ Fig. A very important characteristic of a double-porosity system is the nature of the fluid exchange between the two constitutive media. The conventional treatment of the interporosity flow between matrix and fractures resorts to an approximation that a quasi-steady state exists in the matrix elements at all times. with the interporosity flow rate being proportional to the difference of the average pressures in matrix and fractures. The quasi-steady assumption was originally proposed by Barenblatt et al. 10. The fractures are interconnected and provide the main fluid flow path to injection or production wells.

One should expect a strong effect of the non-linearity in non-Newtonian viscosity onflowbehavior. the apparent viscosity of thefluidinside the matrix and at the matrix-fracture interfaces depends on the pore velocity. As the number of subdivisions in the matrix system increases. respectively. a comparison of the MINCcalculations with the conventional double-porosity results is given here to demon strate that the double-porosity approximation is generally not suitable for simulat ing non-Newtonian fluid flow in fractured media. representing fracture and matrix. whose volume was taken as 1% of the total matrix volume. we can check the apphcabiUty of the doubleporosity concept to the injection of a power-law fluid into a fractured reservoir. The same horizontal fracture model is used. 1985) developed a "multiple interacting continua" technique (MINC). 1983b). etc. except the element connected with the fracture. Under these conditions. The fluid and formation parameters for this power-law fluid injection are given in Table 2. The basic section of the horizontal fracture system is first partitioned into "primary" volume elements (or grid blocks) such as would be employed for a porous medium.11). transient interporosity flow conditions may last a long time (decades) before reaching quasi-steady state. Also.) which drive the interporosity flow. Pruess and Narasimhan (1982. and were calculated for different levels of subgridding with 2-10 continua. For the flow of a single phase power-law fluid in a fractured medium. tempera ture. 1986). The flow inside the matrix system and between matrix blocks and fractures is assumed to be vertical. The matrix subgridding in this numerical simulation employs the MINC-technique and is generated by a mesh generator—GMINC (Pruess. Therefore. it is possible to resolve the details of the gradients (of pressure. or pressure gradient. It is obvious that the double-porosity approximation (MINC2) introduces larger errors during the early transient time and only approaches the correct solution at long injection times. 1983a) and multiple phase flow problems (Wu and Pruess. Let us consider the flow of a power-law fluid in a fracture system where the matrix blocks are permeable. as shown in Fig. Using appropriate subgridding in the matrix blocks. the secondary elements are a number of horizontal layers parallel to the fracture in each primary element. it is necessary to treat the flow inside the blocks and at the block-fracture interface as a transient process. The interblock flow connections are then assigned to the fracture continuum. The MINC-method has been success fully apphed to a number of geothermal reservoir (Pruess. The reason the double-porosity . A comparison of wellbore injection pressures is shown in Fig. and each primary grid block is sub-divided into a sequence of "secon dary" volume elements. 10. The matrix block was sub-divided into equal-volume subdomains in this calculation. as described by equation (2. Therefore. meshes with eight sub-divisions are used in the following study. in which fully transient flow in the matrix and between matrix blocks and fractures is described by a numerical method. the MINC-method wiU be used in simulating the interporosity flow of a power-law fluid.124 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media and for multiple phase flow with strong mobihty effects. the results become more accurate. 11. and httle improvement could be obtained after eight sub-domains were used. The MINC-method contains the double-porosity approximation as a special case by defining only two continua in each primary grid block. Here. Therefore.

The interporosity coefficient is defined (Lai.Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian TABLE 2 Parameters for power. 1963) as.014 X 10"^^ m^ Cf = 4. which treats the matrix as a single continuum with locally uniform pressure and fluid distributions. and the result is a higher viscosity for this shear-thinning fluid. which gives a distribution of the pressure increases in the fractures after t= 10 sec. which are sufficient to characterize a fractured medium in the double-porosity approximation. as pointed out by Warren and Root (1963). such as MINC. A.7) .443 X 10"'^ P a Pi = 972.78 kg m"^ Qm = 2x 10"^ kg S-' rw = 0. A =.^ (4. and some method of transient interporosity flow. *^^^ 0mCm + </>fCf (4. in general.6) where Cf and Cm are total compressibiHties of fracture and matrix systems. When the number of subdivisions is small. is distinguished on semi-log plots of pressure buildup by two parallel straight Unes.3xl0-^m D = 0. the storage coefficient. 1985) as. the double-porosity prediction overestimates pressures in the fractures. The transient flow of a Newtonian fluid in fractured reservoirs.869 X 10"^^ m^ /Cf = 1. (o.law fluid injection in a double-porosity system Initial pressure Fracture aperture Half fracture spacing Matrix porosity Fracture porosity Matrix permeability Effective fracture permeability Fluid compressibility Rock compressibility Initial fluid density Injection rate Wellbore radius Power-law index Power-law coefficient Pi = 3 X 10^ Pa 6 = 2. = 9. This indicates thatflowinto the matrix system is underes timated by the double-porosity approximation.10 m n = 0.20 0f = 2.3 X 10"^ i^„.5 /f = 0 .s " fluids 125 method is inaccurate for non-Newtonian fluid flow is apparent on Fig. the double-porosity method cannot be used for the analysis of non-Newtonian fluid flow in fractured media.557 X 10"^^ Pa" Cr = 5. The pressure gradient and pore velocity into the matrix from this calculation are smaller than it should be. This phenomenon is similar to that obtained using the double-porosity method for multiple phase flow in fractured reservoirs. 1 0 P a . respec tively. The storage coefficient is defined (Warren and Root. We shall use the same two parameters to discuss the flow behavior of a power-law fluid in a fractured medium.5m 0m = 0. It is concluded that. will have to be utilized instead. as discussed by Wu and Pruess (1986). and the interporosity flow coefficient. This enables one to determine two parameters. 12.

The characteristic curves of transient pressure behavior for power-lawfluidflow in this ideaUzed fracture model.126 10 I—I I miii|—I I Iiiiii|—I Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media I i iiiii|—i i Iiiiii|—1 iiiiiii CL < CD CO 03 O S CD u. instead of the semi-log straight lines obtained for Newtonian flow. calculated with MINC-8 subgridding. 13 if) U) CL CD O MINC . Figure 13 shows that the flow of a power-law fluid in a fractured medium is now characterized by two parallel log-log straight Hues.2 (Double Porosity) 5 •MINC-6 MINC-8 MINC-10 5x10' I I t mill I I I mill I I I mill i i i mill ■ i i m" 10" 10 10^ 10" Injection Time (s) 10'* 10=" Fig. 13 and 14 indicate that the power-law flow behavior is also controlled by the same two dimensionless parameters.2) with m' = 0. the pressure responses are dominated by flow only in the fractures. The fluid and formation parameters in these calculations are summarized in Table 2. Transient pressure responses in a double-porosity system during a power-law fluid injection. at very early times. Interestingly. The coefficient A governs the interporosity flow and . This indicates that.20. 13 and 14. effects of subdivisions of the matrix system on interporosity flow. 11. are given in Figs. and the behavior approaches that of an equivalent system of a homogeneous reservoir at long times. the slopes of the straight Hues of log(AP) versus log(0 during the early and long injection times are also described by equation (4. The results on Figs. (o and A.

13). the long time straight line may never form. The other parameter o) is the ratio of the storage capacity of the fracture to the total storage capacity of the medium and is related to the vertical displacement between the parallel straight lines (see Fig. 13. such as welibore storage and skin effects. A and (o. as shown in Fig. depending on the fluid and formation properties. on pressure response helps in the analysis of well test data with powerlaw fluid flow in fractured reservoirs. determines the time frame when the transitional period in the pressure plot will occur between the two log-log straight lines. . because of welibore flow conditions. Knowing these effects of the two dimensionless parameters. the log-log straight lines may not be evident when the interporosity flow parameter A is large. 12. Distributions of pressure increases in the fracture system for different subdivisions of the matrix system. For a finite system with a small value of A. At early time. there may be only one of the two straight lines that develops on the log-log plot.Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids 201 127 T T 18 16 MINC .2 (Double Porosity) MINC-6 MINC-10 T-o—u-^10 20 30 40 Distance From Welibore (m) 50 Fig. In a real field test of power-law fluid flow in a fractured reservoir.

equation (2. For the same fracture system with a Newtonian fluid.1 i MMHII t HMHII i t mm! i mmi ^?L= 3.89x10"^ in CD k. 1969). Flow behavior of a general pseudoplastic non-Newtonian fluid The apparent viscosity of a general pseudoplastic fluid is assumed to be de scribed by the Meter four-parameter model.128 W Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media I I iiiiii|—I I iiiin|—1 I iiiiiij—I I iiiiii| I I iiiiii{—I 1 i i i i i i | — I I Mill ?. = 3. The difference between Newtonian and power-law non-Newtonian fluid flow is that no straight line develops on the log-log plot for Newtonian flow. the usual semi-log plot of pressure increase versus time will exhibit two parallel straight hues (Kazemi.89x10 C X 1 Q4 I t t i m i i l iMimil I I mini 10'^ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ lO"^ 10^ 10^ Injection Time (s) Fig. effects of interporosity flow coefficient A.5 H =0. . Characteristic curves offlowbehavior of a power-law fluid through a double-porosity medium. 13. It is apparent that flow resistance in the fractured medium increases more rapidly with a power-law fluid than with a Newtonian fluid.= 3. 4. CL CD t. O C =1.15x10" O n =0. Figure 15 shows the results for pressure increases in the same fracture system with a Newtonian fluid having a constant viscosity ^ine = 10 cp.4.89x10"^ 03 D< CD CO CO CD k- o CD CO X / > .13) (Meter and Bird. There is a significant difference in the log-log plot for a Newtonian fluid.

needed in equation (2. As shown in Fig. the viscosity is determined by equation (3. effects of storage coefficient (o. respectively.23). viscosities calculated from equation (3. Let us now consider the problem of injecting a pseudoplastic fluid into a horizontal porous formation through a well. A log-log plot of pressure increase versus .Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids 10^ I I iiiiii| I I iiiin| I I iinii|—I I iinii| I I iiiin|—i i u i n i | y i i \\\i / 129 05 C = 2. 1987a. for small and large values of pressure gradient.23) for the pseudoplastic fluid depend on pressure gradients and approach constants /IQ and ^Loo. It should be mentioned that.25x10"" O / CL < if> CO Q) b CD X =3. The fluid and formation properties for this study are given in Table 3. =3 CO CO CL CD k. 1964).89x10 n =0.. The shear rate function. 1 5 x 1 0 " ' 8x1tf I I mini I I I mill l nmill » i MMIII \ mmil i i fnnil i nmn 10"^ 10° 10^ 10^ 10^ 10"^ Injection Time (s) 10^ 10^ Fig.13) for single phase onedimensional flow of a power law fluid is given by equation (2. Hirasaki and Pope. the non-Newtonian parameters used here are in a reasonable range for polymer solution flow in porous media.5 H =0.12) (Camilleri et al.58x10"^ O CO = 1 . Then. 16. 14.1 Vertical Displacement u. Characteristic curves of flow behavior of a power-law fluid through a double-porosity medium.. based on the Uterature. This is physically more realistic than the power-law model because the power law predicts an infinite viscosity in the limit of vanishing shear rate. 1974). £ "53 ^^ O C = 4.

a comparison of the pressure responses is given in Fig. \ Newtonian Fluid in 0) V. Comparison of pressure responses between Newtonian and non-Newtonian power-law fluid through a double-porosity system. /Xoo. the flow resistance for a power-law fluid increases more rapidly than for a pseudoplastic fluid under the same flow condition. O S 3 (f) CD k. Q. < CO 05 CD Jlne = 10cp (0 =1. It is evident on this figure that the minimum viscosity parameter. The slopes of the pressure-time curves decrease as injection time increases. has Uttle influence on wellbore pressure as long as Ao <^ /XQ.98x10'^ n =0. 17. showing the effects of maximum viscosities. a log-log straight line develops on the transient pressure curve at late times for power-law fluids.130 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media W r r m n ] — i i i i n i i | — i i i i i i i i | — i i iiiiii| i i iiiiii|—i i iiiiii{—i i iiiiii 05 a. 0) o 5x10 » I Himl \ \ \\m\ I t imiil i i mini \ i mini i niinii 1 iiiiiii 10"^ 10" 0 10' 10^ 10" 10" Iff . This simply means that the flow is essentially dominated by the low pore tc velocity (or shear rate) zone near the pressure penetration front. If we keep the maximum viscosity constant dii iM) = 100 cp. and change the minimum viscosities. As discussed in Section 4. where the vis cosity is close to the maximum viscosity fx^ for this radial flow case. no log-log straight hnes develop on the curves of Fig. injection time is given in Fig.15x10-3 ■K =3. 17.5 H =0.2. 18. . Therefore. ^too.01 u. /IQIt is evident that even at large injection times. 15.5 ^^6 10" Injection Time (s) Fig.

20 h = Im A: = 9.557 x l O . C O Q.O V-» U) QL i3 O "D Q. by Meter's model.Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids 200| I I iiiiii|—I iiiiiii| I iiiiiii| I I iiiiii| I I iiuii| I I iniii| I I iMiii 131 CL O ^ 100 0) o o c CD u. 16.92 kg/m^ Qm = 0. 13 CD CO CL 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10" 10^ Pressure Gradient (Pa/m) Fig.' ^ P a " ^ Ct = 2 X 10" PaPi = 975.10 m « = 0. TABLE 3 Parameters for Pseudoplastic fluid injection in a porous medium Initial pressure Initial porosity Formation thickness Permeability Fluid compressibility Rock compressibihty Initial fluid density Injection rate Wellbore radius Power-law index Pi = 1 X 10^ Pa (/)i = 0. effects of the exponential parameter j8. < •g LL .05 kg/s rw = 0.5 . Apparent viscosity curves of a general pseudoplastic fluid.869xl0-^^m^ Cf = 4.

132 5x10'

iiiiiiii{ iiiiiiii| iiiiiiii| iiiiiiii|

**Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media
**

iiiiiiii| iiiiiiii{ iiiiiiii{ iiiiiiiii

P =2

03

OL

10' / \ o = 1 000 cp

<

|io=10cp

2x10'

111 mill

I III

111 mill I nmiil

i iiiiiiil

i iiiiiiil

i ii

I niiiiil

10'^

10^

10^

10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ Injection Time (s)

10^

10^

Fig. 17. Transient pressure behavior of pseudoplastic fluid flow in porous media, effects of the maximum viscosity /IQ-

The effects of the parameter, 71/2, are shown in Figs. 19 and 20. It serves as a shift factor on these log-log curves of both viscosity versus pressure gradient and pressure increase versus injection time. The exponential parameter, j8, in equation (2.13), affects the flow behavior more significantly, as shown in Fig. 21. The magnitude and shapes of the wellbore pressure-time plots both change as j8 changes. Meter and Bird (1964) discussed a method for determining the parameters of the four parameter model, equation (1.8), by analyzing laboratory experiments. However, flow properties obtained from core experiments are usually quite differ ent from those observed for a reservoir in the field. Therefore, well test techniques are used in many appUcations to find the in-situ flow parameters for the system of interest. As the number of physical parameters increases, analysis of well test data becomes more difficult to perform and the results may not be unique. In

**Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids
**

10 [ I Miiiii| Miiiiii| iiiniii| i uiiin| Mniiii| i uiiiii| iiiiiiii| iiiiniii |io = 1 0 0 c p

133

P =2 :10S-^

CO Q-

<

CD W CO CD

w.

o

Z3 CO CO CD

CD

i—

I

o

OOO JIoo = 1 CP

JIoo = 0.1 Cp

10

'mtiiil

itiiiml

ttttmil

t miml itmnil

i mmti > mriiii

i numl

10"^ 10°

10^

10^

10^

lO"^

10^

10^

10^

Injection Time (s)

Fig. 18. Transient pressure behavior of pseudoplastic fluid flow in porous media, effects of the minimum

viscosity JJLOO.

practice, it is very important to reduce the number of unknowns so that a successful well test may be obtained. For the pseudoplastic non-Newtonian fluid flow problem, the semi-log plots of pressure increase versus time are given in Fig. 22, in which the pressure-time data are the same as those in Fig. 21. It is encouraging to note that semi-log straight Unes develop at long injection times. This indicates that at long time, the behavior of pseudoplastic fluids tends toward that of a Newtonian fluid. For j8 = 2 and 3, the semi-log straight Unes are almost parallel to each other; their slopes are measured to be m|/3=2 = 9.21 x 10^ Pa and m|^=3 = 9.51 x 10^ Pa per log-cycle, respectively. By using the standard semi-log analysis method (Earlougher, 1977; Matthews and Russell, 1967), we can calculate the equivalent Newtonian viscosity ^teqv at long times as.

134 200

**Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media
**

I I l l l l l l | — I I l l l l l l | — I I l l l l l l | — I I llllll| I I llllllj—rTTTTl

TnTT

^ 100

'(0

Z:

1',/a = 5s-l

Shift

Ho =100cp Roo = 10cp

o o c

0)

\^

05 CL OL

1;^=ios-i

<

UL .0

%-*

CO

i5

Q. O "D 13 Q) CO

a.

10

^

I niml

1 I timil

1 1 lllllll

10^

lO''

10" 10" 10" 10' i a Pressure Gradient (Pa/m)

» ntunl 1 mmil rx6

1 1 until

1 1 mm

B

10"

Fig. 19. Apparent viscosity curves of a general pseudoplastic fluid, by Meter's model, effects of the coefficient 71/2.

M'eqv

AirKhm ^ 4 x TT x 9.869 x 10"^^ x 9.51 x 10^ 2.303 X 0.05/975.92 2.3030 ~

99.95 (cp)

(4.8)

where Q is the constant volumetric injection rate. This calculated equivalent viscosity value is close to /XQ? i-^-? i^eqv~Mo = 100 cp. Therefore, this further confirms that the long time flow behavior is controlled by the low flow velocity and high viscosity region far from the well. This indicates that the maximum viscosity parameter /XQ for flow of a pseudoplastic fluid can be obtained approxi mately by a semi-log analysis of pressure drawdown tests. 4.5. Summary A numerical study of transient flow of single-phase power-law fluids has been carried out in this Section. The semi-analytical test analysis method is discussed

and is characterized by the two-parallel straight Unes on a log-log plot of wellbore pres sure increases versus injection time. this study presents the fundamentals of the behavior of power-law fluid flow in a fractured medium. Transient flow of a power-law fluid in a double-porosity system is controlled by the two dimensionless parameters. effects of the coefficient 71/2. 20. The slopes of the straight Unes are related to . Transient pressure behavior of pseudoplastic fluid flow in porous media. One pubUshed example of well test data was analyzed by using this method to demonstrate its appUcation to field problems.20 s'' K) X y 0 / / o/ / / / 0 J 1 H 1 1 CD &.Single-phase flow of power-law non-Newtonian fluids lU 1 llllllll| llllllll| llllllll| llllllll| Mllllll| llllllll| llllllll| 1 Mlim 135 I *€? D-^ CL Ho=100cp H« = 1 cp ^ B =2 o o / y 1 o Z^ O ^ x * " ^ #H o3^<-^1 >^ •^ < CD C O 05 0) o / / o / / o 10^ 3 to CO CD Y . the storage coefficient oi and the interporosity parameter A. O o / / o // / f / i M/2 . By using an idealized fracture model. and recommended for transient pressure analysis of power-low fluid injectivity tests. The results show that considerable improvement on the existing analysis techniques has been obtained for more accurate fluid and formation properties.o / / / Shift H J 1 o / / r < // / / ^ / / / / in5 ' /' Niitiil iimtiil tntiinl i itmiil n mm! i miml i miml 1 i i mml '^10"^ 10° 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^* 10^ Injection Time (s) 10^ 10^ Fig.^ ^ "o ^ . This method combines the log-log analysis technique by Ikoku and Ramey with numerical simulation.

semi-log straight lines on the pressure-time plots develop at late times. Some insights into transient flow of a general pseudoplastic non-Newtonian fluid in porous medium have also been obtained in this work. the power-law index n. Instead. no straight lines appear in log-log plots of pressure increase versus injection time during pseudoplastic fluid injection.136 1 0 [_llllllll| i lllllll| "I lllllll| llllllll| Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media llllllll| l l l l l l l l | llllllll| Nllllllj Ho =100cp |^cx> = 1 C P Y. UnUke power-law fluid flow. effects of the exponen tial parameter j8. . the double-porosity approximation will result in large errors for the early time pressure prediction. Transient pressure behavior of pseudoplasticfluidflowin porous media. Therefore.^ = 10s-^ P = 1 (Newtonian) •jO^l iiniiiil iitiiml tiiiHiil iinmil MIIIIHI iiniinl i miiiil iiniml 10*^ 10^ 10^ rcf 10^ 10"^ 10^ Injection Time (s) 10^ 10*^ Fig. the long time flow behavior of pseudoplastic fluids approaches that of an equivalent Newtonian sys tem and is essentially determined by the low flow velocity and high viscosity zone far from the injection well. In general. 21.

1980).g. 22. Pruess. e. 5. Semi-log plot of transient pressure behavior of pseudoplastic fluid flow in porous media.. The integral method. and Witherspoon.1. An approximate solution of the heat transfer problem is then obtained from simple principles of the continuity and conservation of heat flux. 1992).Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid 8 x 1 0 I iiiniii| iiiiiiii| Mmiii[ ininii| iiiiiiii| Miiiiii| iiiiiin| 11111111] 137 7x10' |io =100cp 0. This solution satisfies the governing partial differential . which has been widely used in the study of unsteady heat transfer problems (Ozisik.0 MMiml Minml iiiumi t mmil t nnini iiitniil i i mini itiiinil 10*^ 10° 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^^ 10^ 10^ 10^ Injection Time (s) Fig. The integral approach to heat conduction utilizes a simple parametric representation of the temperature profile. by means of a polynomial. which is based on physical concepts such as a time-dependent thermal penetration distance. Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid 5. is appUed here to obtain an approximate analytical solution for Bingham fluid flow in porous media. Introduction This chapter presents an integral analytical method for analyzing non-linear Bingham fluid flow in porous media (Wu.

it is encouraging to note that many integral solutions to heat transfer and fluid mechanics problems have an accuracy that is generally acceptable for engineering apphcations (Ozisik. The numerical model in Section 3 is also used to examine the analytical results from the integral solution for general non-hnear problems. a new method for well test analysis of Bingham non-Newton ian fluids has been developed.138 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media equation only in an average. are functions of pressure only. and the simulated well test data are analyzed using this new technique. The analytical results reveal the basic pressure responses in the formation during a Bingham fluid production or injection operation. This pressure profile is able to provide very accurate results for transient fluid flow in a radial system. and is expressed in a radial coordinate system as Kd\p{P)UP r drV /Xb Vdr \ = j[p{P)<f>{P)] ot (5. two examples of pressure drawdown and buildup tests are created by the numerical and analytical simulations. and the porosity. When applied tofluidflowproblems in porous media. 1980). In addition. . of the Bingham fluid. The integral solution obtained in this section for Bingham fluid flow has been checked by comparison with solutions for a special linear case where the exact solution is available.1) The density.7). Based on the analytical and numerical solutions. 5.2. and (4) constant fluid properties. It is found that the accuracy of the integral solution is surprisingly good when compared with both the exact solution and the numerical results for Bingham fluid flow through an infinite radial system. a new pressure profile for integral solutions is proposed for radial flow in porous media that is better than what is typically recommended for heat conduction in radial flow systems (Lardner and Pohle. The effects of non-Newtonian properties on flow behavior during a sUghtlycompressible Bingham fluid flow are discussed using the integral solution. The governing flow equation can be derived by combining the modified Darcy's law with the continuity equation. the integral method consists of assuming a pressure profile in the pressure disturbance zone and determining the coefficients of the profiles by making use of the integral mass balance equation. To formulate the flow problem. Governing equation and integral solution The problem concerned here is the flow of a Bingham fluid into a fully penetrat ing well in an infinite horizontal reservoir of constant thickness. appUes with the viscosity function of equation (2. which can be used to determine reservoir fluid and formation properties.14) for the Bingham fluid. p(P). In order to demonstrate the use of the new approach. However. (3) Darcy's law. (2) horizontal flow of a single-phase fluid without gravity effects. of formation. 1961). the following basic assumptions are made: (1) isothermal. isotropic and homogene ous formation. integral sense. <i>{P). equation (2. in which the formation is initially saturated with the same fluid.

5) where pi = p(Pi).4) where 1 = 1 + d(t)/ry.4) and (5. For sUghtly compressible fluid flow. PQ. t = 0) = Pi (constant) (r ^ r^) fluid 139 (5.3) where PQ = Po(t) = P(r^. t). the accuracy of the integral solution obtained in Section 5. + i + 2r. are determined by solving equation (5. and 8(t).4) by setting r = ry^ and the following integral equation simultaneously r'-w+sCO Jrw ft 27Thrp{P)(t>{P)dr = Jo QJit)dt + irhpMir^ + 8{t)f " ^w] (5. Equation (5.. the unknown wellbore pressure. and (/>! = (/)(Pi). In this section. InC^.^] l n ( ^ ^ ) ) | = 0 Solving equations (5.^)G - QsMl^^limih x.3. The unknowns.. .5) is simply a mass balance equation in the region of pressure disturbance.6) with r = r^ simultaneously for d{t) and Po(0 and substituting them back into equation (5.) ..V 6 ' 2 ' 3/ /iCpCPo) V 25(0/rw / (5.i ^3 ^ 1 ^ _ l u eooM. 1992) P(r. Veriflcation of integral solutions The solution from the integral method is approximate and needs to be checked by comparison with an exact solution or with numerical results. the fluid is produced at a given mass production rate (2m(0 lirr^KhpjPo) UP Ph L ar ^ = Gm(0 (5. w| .Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian The initial condition is P(r. r = r^. .2 is examined and confirmed by comparison with an exact solution for a special case and with numeri cal calculations in general. the 7 pressure penetration distance. + (r .hr^Gi .. n±2m!j:A Jo A'-v'.6) x ( .2) For the inner boundary at the wellbore. 0 = P. the wellbore pressure. The integral solution for the radialflowinto a well at a specified mass production rate Q^it) is (Wu et al.4T. 2 + r .^ [1 . the expUcit expression of the integral mass balance equation is given by r Q^m+PAcAi.4) give the final solution for Bingham fluid flow in a sUghtly compressible system.n(2^-(^J) (5.^ r . 5.

The input parameters used for the fluid and formation are given in Table 6. and excellent agreement has been obtained in all cases. and the parameters are summarized in Table 5. with G = 0. the minimum pressure gradient G. (b) Comparison with numerical solution: For the radial flow problem of Bingham fluid production with G > 0.140 TABLE 4 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media Parameters used for checking with exact solution Initial pressure Initial porosity Initial fluid density Formation thickness Fluid viscosity Fluid compressibility Rock compressibiUty Mass injection rate Permeability Wellbore radius Pi = 10^ Pa (/>i = 0. the flow resistance increases with an increase in the minimum pressure gradient G in the reservoir. The pressure distribution in the formation after 1. the Theis solution can be used to check the integral solution.1 m {a) Comparison with exact solution: For the special case of minimum pressure gradient G = 0. 23 and 24. 26.35132 x 10~^ Pa • s Q = 4. 27 while a Bingham fluid is produced at a constant mass production rate. 5. and the Bingham plastic coefficient fi^. is presented in Figs.2. .000 sec. A comparison of the exact Theis solution and the integral solution using parameters as given in Table 4. a Bingham fluid becomes Newtonian.869 x 10"^^ m^ r^ = 0.9 kg/m^ /i = 1 m IM = 0. Then. It is interesting to note that the agreement between the approximate integral and numerical results is excellent for the entire transient flow period.4. There are only minor errors near the pressure penetration front of the pressure profile after 1. Flow behavior of a Bingham fluid in porous media The flow of a Bingham fluid in a porous medium is characterized by the two non-Newtonian parameters. also matches the numerical predictions extremely well. Essentially. Many additional comparisons using different fluid and formation properties have been performed between the integral and Theis solutions. The effects of the non-Newtonian rheological properties on the flow behavior in an infinite radial formation can be discussed using the integral solution of Section 5.20 Pi = 975.557 x 10"^° Pa~^ C^ = 5 x 10"^ Pa~^ 2m = 1 kg/s K = 9. 24). 25. The wellbore flowing pres sures calculated from the integral and numerical solutions are shown in Fig. as shown in Fig. Physically. the results from the integral solution have been examined by comparison with numerical simulations. no differences can be observed between the wellbore pressures calculated from the two solutions in Fig.000 seconds of injection (Fig. Pressure drawdown at the wellbore is shown in Fig. 23.

It should be noted in the semi-log plot of the pressure distributions on Fig. Comparison of injection pressures during Newtonian fluid injection. 27.Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid "I "1 0|—I > uini|—I I iiiuii—I 1 iiiiii|—I I niiii|—I I limn—I 111 mil—i i iiiiii|—i i iiiiii|—rv 141 109h 108h co 107 Exact Solution Integral Solution Si 101 ^ Q Q I ' I I ■mil ■ ■ 1111 111 t I mini I i tiiiiil I iiiiiiil | | t||ll< I I tiiitil i ■mini i 10° 10^ 10^ 10^ 10"^ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ Injection Time (s) Fig. 29 that parallel semi-log straight Unes of pressure versus log(r) in the formation exist near the wellbore for various values of G. are shown in Fig. The pressure profiles at different values of G after continuous production of 10 hr are given on Figs. 28 and 29. 23. calculated from the exact theis solution and the integral solutions with pressure profiles recommended in this work. 30. fi^. The pressure drops penetrate less deeply into the formation as the minimum pressure gradient increases. The effects of the Bingham plastic coefficient. 27 that in order to maintain the same production rate. This coefficient becomes the viscosity of a Newtonian fluid if G = 0. It can be seen from Fig. This suggests that the conventional semi-log analysis method to calculate flow and formation properties can be used. The apparent . the wellbore pressures will decrease more rapidly as G increases. Semi-log straight Unes are also developed in the pressure drawdown curves of Fig.

0 100. and the coefficient.Both of them can be . Well testing analysis of Bingham fluid flow An analysis approach of transient pressure tests during a Bingham fluid produc tion from and injection into a well can be developed.0 -T J—1 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media I I I M I 1 1—I I « I 11| 1 1—r' I I III. /Xb.142 105. based on the integral and numerical solutions.0 10-^ Distance From Wellbore (m) Fig.0 101.14). Therefore.5 100. G.5. Comparison of pressure distributions of Newtonian fluid injection. as given by equation (2. The most important factors of controlling Binghamfluidflow through porous medium are the two characteristic rheological parameters: the minimum pressure gradient. calculated from the exact Theis solution and the integral solutions with pressure profiles recommended in this work. as )Ltb increases. 5. the flow resistance increases. Exact Solution Integral Solution t = 1000 s w 102. 24.5 101. and the pressure drops more rapidly to satisfy the constant production rate at the well. viscosity of a Bingham fluid is proportional to fi^. 30 also shows that semi-log straight lines exist during the eariier transient times which can be used to estimate the value of fi^. Fig.

Comparison of wellbore pressures during Bingham fluid production. calculated from the numerical solution and the integral solution (G = 10000 Pa/m). to CO k- 3 C D QL V. B5 C D O X) 80 C D ^ G = 1 xlO'^Pa/m • Numerical Solution Integral Solution 65'—' ' " " " ' 1 10° 10^ 1 1 1 1 lilt 1 t i l l "1 ' »t i I t t unil t I I inJ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ Production Time (s) Fig.869 X 10"^^ m^ r^ = 0.1m G = 10^ 10^ 10^ Pa m"^ .9 kg/m^ h = lm /Ab = 5 X 10"^ Pa • s Ct = 3 X 10"^ P a " ' Qm = OAkg/s /C = 9. 25.Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid 143 100 r^ n\ 1 I I mii| 1 \ I iiiii| I m m — I I »imi| 1 I I liin C O JD 90 *CD^ — u. TABLE 5 Parameters used for checking with numerical solution Initial pressure Initial porosity Initial fluid density Formation thickness Bingham plastic coefficient Total compressibility Mass production PermeabiUty Wellbore radius Minimum pressure gradient Pi = 10^ Pa <> = 0.20 /i Pi = 975.

0 10 20 30 40 Distance From Wellbore (nn) Fig.0xlO~^Pa-s f^bCf = 4. calculated from the numeri cal solution and the integral solution.55575 X 10"^^ Pa~^ Cr = 2 . 26.1m 10^ 10^ 10^ Pa m" G .144 100 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media G = 1 x10 Pa/m Numerical Solution Integral Solution 94 0.20 Pi = 1000. TABLE 6 Parameters for a Bingham fluid flow through a porous medium Initial pressure Initial porosity Initial fluid density Formation thickness Bingham plastic coefficient Fluid compressibiUty Rock compressibility Mass production rate PermeabiUty Wellbore radius Minimum pressure gradient Pi = 10^ Pa <^i = 0.0 kg m"^ h = lm 1.5 kg/s :0. Comparison of pressure distributions of Bingham fluid production. 0 x 10"^°Pa~^ Q^ = 0.

Physically.Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid 1 0 0 1 — I I I ii"i}—I I I rmi|—I I 1 mii|—I I I mil)—i i i iiiiij—i i iiiiii|—i i i iiiii 145 G = 0 (Theis) 2) o G = 1x10^Pa/m-V "oj 70 65 h 60 L 55 50 ' 10° ' ■«""< ' ' """' « «"""' \ \ mUti t t t nmt * t t iiiml 1 t ttini -^. This is confirmed by a numerical study of the pressure buildup. the pressure in the system after a long enough shut-in period will buildup until a new equihbrium is reached. Transient wellbore pressure behavior during Bingham fluid production. After a period of production. \ H G = 1x10'*Pa/m\ \ \ tib=''cp 10^ 10^ 10^ 10"^ 10^ 10^ 10^ Production Time (s) Fig. discussed below. the well is shut in. and therefore is recommended for field appUcations. there is a stable pressure drop formed from wellbore to a certain pressure penetration distance. However.000 seconds of Bingham fluid production from a . Let us consider the pressure buildup behavior at a producing well in an infinite horizontal formation. effects of the minimum pressure gradient. 27. after t^ = 1. It is always possible to obtain these parameters by trial and error. 31. the following approach is more accurate and convenient to use. and the pressure gradient everywhere in the pressure drop zone is expected to be equal to the minimum pressure gradient. Then. as shown in Fig. using the integral or numerical solutions to match the observed pressure data. determined by a well-designed single well pressure test.

7) where AP = Pi .Pw. 88 86 500 1000 1500 2000 Distance From Wellbore (m) Fig. effects of the minimum pressure gradient. the minimum pressure gradient of the system can be calculated (Wu. 28.• G = 1 X 10^ Pa/m ■G = 5x10^ Pa/m G = 1 X 10"'Pa/m e. and measure the stable wellbore pressure P^ at a long time after stopping production from the well. c 05 96 V-* JD 'B 94 b « CO CD 3 CO 92 <D 90 Rb =1cp t =10hrs. the stable pressure drop at wellbore. measured at a long time after well shut-in. well. 1990) by G = :^{Trhr^PickQ{^Pf + i[^Thr^Pi(kQi^Pff + 47ThpAQ{^P)W^} (5. It is interesting to note that the minimum pressure gradient . If we know the cumulative mass production rate Qc before the well is shut in. The flow and formation properties used are provided in Table 7. Pressure distributions in a linear plot of Bingham fluid production.146 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media Pressure Penetration Front \ 100 / V / S Slope = G G = 0 (Theis) '~V< /.

1 kg/s until the production time tp = 1. the minimum pressure gradient can be calculated by equation (5. and the stable wellbore pressure is found to be P^ = 0. at a long well shut-in time from the simulated test.000 sec. A test example of Bingham fluid buildup has here been created by the numerical simulator. 29. equation (5. to illustrate the procedure of calculating the value of G.7) . and then the well is shut in. 13 CO CO 0 G = 5x10'Pa/m / * G = 1x10"'Pa/m 88 86 t =10hrs.7). Pressure distributions in a semi-log plot of Bingham fluid production. The input data are from Table 6. since the equiUbrium is obtained in the system. such as permeabiUty K. •♦-• CO b CD k. 84 10'' I I n ml I t I I tttt 10° 10^ 10^ 10^ Distance From Wellbore (m) Fig.97474 X 10^ Pa. determined by the pressure buildup method. and the coefficient /Xb. is independent of the flow properties. A Bingham fluid is produced at a mass rate 2m = 0. effects of the minimum pressure gradient.Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid Pressure Penetration Front 1001—'—I I 11 i i i j — I — I I 111ii|—I—I I 11 i i i | 147 A CO X2 3 JD 'i. Thus.

1737423 x 10^ + (1. Transient wellbore pressure behavior during Bingham fluid production. CL CD i» •J % O "55 70 h 65 h 60 hG = 1 x10^Pa/m 5 % % *% % % % J "^ 55h 1 501 10° 1 1 1 lllitt 1 i 1 tllltl __l _ l _ L l J J J l J 1 > 1 1 Mill 1 1 1 mill 1—J tJAAJ 10^ 10^ 10^ lO'' 10^ 10^ Production Time (s) Fig.000.14 (Pa/m) This is very accurate compared with the input value. effects of the Bingham coefficient m.377671 x 10« + 3. \ Hb = 3 c p \ ••. 30.000 Pa/m.. Then. in the numerical calculation.14 The pressure distribution after a long time shut-in calculated from the mass balance is also shown in Fig.9) d(t) = — = = 25. .000.26 (m) G 10. \ 1 O) O) 80 75 hh % 0) I. by the soUd line curve. .526 X 10^ ^^^^^ ^ (5. the pressure penetration distance under the equihbrium is . The analytical and numerical results are essentially identical to each other in the figure. G= X (1.148 T" 1 1 m m 1 1 1 nun 1 i i inii| Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media 1 i u iiir]—'"TTTTTTT] 1 i i niii 95. 31. AP 2. . j^« 90 _g 85 u CD V. G = 10.953165 x lO^^xm^ 200 = 10.

1kg/s iC = 9.1m .5 %• — iw 98.0 Q CD ^r 1 97.20 Pi = 975.9 kg/m^ h = Im /Xb = 5. 31.0 X 10"^ Pa • s Ct = 9. Pressure distribution at long-time of well shut-in after 1000 sec of Bingham fluid production.Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid lUU. 97.0 96.0 X 10"^ Pa~' G„.OxlO'^Pa/m rw = 0. TABLE 7 Parameters for well testing analysis Initial pressure Initial porosity Initial fluid density Formation thickness Bingham plastic coefficient Total compressibility Mass production rate PermeabiUty Minimum pressure gradient Wellbore radius Pi = 10^ Pa (t>i = 0.869 X 10"^^ m^ G^l.U r I 149 1 1 ^ 1 99.5 99.5 QfiO 1 1 G = 1 xlO'^Pa/m = 5cp = 1000 s « Numerical Solution J 1 1 I 1 1 1 0 5 10 15 20 25 Distance From Wellbore (m) 30 Fig.5 CD a.0 to X i Slope G 1 "1 1 98. = 0.

05xlO-'"(m^/Pa-s) (5. then the apparent mobiUty can be obtained using . 32. 27. Then.000 Pa/. Matthews and Russell. is a flow property of the system. In the simulated test. The top curve is calcu lated from the integral solution. 1967) can be used to estimate the value of (K/fiiy) for a Bingham fluid flow problem fjL^y Airhm where m is the slope of the semi-log straight line.9 ^ ^^ lo/ 2 = 2. do result in a longer straight line even for the large minimum pressure gradient. K/fjLi. Therefore. based on the superposition principle. A simulated pressure drawdown test is generated by the integral solution.24 x 10"^ Pa/logio-cycle. and the slope m of the semi-log straight hne part of the curve G = 100 Pa/m. we have K 2. The pressure drawdown curves of the test are shown in Fig.24 x lO'' . However.17 x 10"^ logio-cycle.5/1000 ^ ^^^ ^ ^^_.o fjLy. the semi-log straight Unes occur in the pressure drawdown curves during the early transient period. the relative errors introduced into the results are only 0.1/975. Kl^x^.97 x 10"'^ m^/Pa • s.8% errors in the result by comparison with the input value.303 X 0.1415926 x 1 x 9. For a large value of minimum pressure gradient.17 x 10' b This value introduces only 3. and the parameters used are the same as in Table 6. 1977. and the slope of the curve G = 1. and Q is the constant volumetric production rate. there hardly exist semi-log straight hues in the pressure drawdown plots of Fig. when minimum pressure gradi ent. 27. {Kljx^). 32 can be measured as. 4 X 3.^^ . m = 9. It is obvious that the superposition technique cannot be used for the non-linear problem of Bingham fluid flow.12) Mb IX 10"" So. The semi-log straight Hues are almost in parallel with the straight line from the Theis solution (G = 0) on Fig. 27 and 30. Then.150 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media The apparent mobility. G. can be estimated as k_ ^ 2. If no straight lines have developed in both pressure drawdown and pressure buildup curves in a well test. the pressure buildup curves. if the semi-log straight line is developed during the earUer flow time in the transient drawdown analysis plot. The slope of the semi-log straight line of Fig. is measured as 9. and may be determined by only the transient flow tests of pressure drawdown and buildup. G = 10. As shown in Figs. as shown in Fig. 27.13) M 4 X 3. G. is not very large. the actual input is K 0.1415926 x 1 x 9. the conventional analysis technique of pressure drawdown (Earlougher.9869 X 10 -12 = 9.303x0.95 x lO'* Pa/logio-cycle.000 Pa/m is 9.5% from the calcu lation. in a system. = 1. in which the pressure buildup test is conducted by the numerical code.87 X 10"'" (m^/Pa • s) (5.

000 Pa/m Slope m = 9. Pressure buildup during well shut-in after 1000 sec of Bingham fluid production. 97 G = 10. which can be determined by trial and error using the integral solution. In this proce dure. CD u. G. (K/jji^).17x10 4 I O Numerical Solution I t > I Mill t I I t f Hit t t I I tml t i I I mil 1 t I m ia^ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10^ 10"* 10^ Shut-In Time (s) Fig. Then. the integral solution to match the observed transient pressure data.6. should be calculated first by the mass balance calculation of equation (5. Therefore. the only unknown is the apparent mobility. the minimum pressure gradient G.1 Mini) 1 I 111111} I r I nun ' ' ' '""I ' 151 Based on Superposition ^ CD 98 CO (D (/) a. and the coefficient fjUb. and its accuracy is confirmed by comparison of the integral results with the exact and numerical solutions. The analytical and numerical studies show that the transient flow behavior of a sUghtly compressible Bingham fluid is essentially controlled by the non-Newtonian proper ties. the . respectively.Transient flow of a single-phase Bingham non-Newtonian fluid 100 T 1. the minimum pressure gradient. 5. 32. which is always appUcable. Summary An integral solution has been presented for analysis of flow behavior of Bin ghamfluidsthrough a porous medium.7).

A fundamental understanding of immiscible displacement of Newtonian fluids in porous media was contributed by Buckley and Leverett (1942) in their classical study of the fractional flow theory. Davis and Scriven. uses these flow test data to estimate the non-Newtonian flow properties in the system. A well testing analysis technique. 1978). microemulsions. surfactant flooding (Larson and Hirasaki.1. Kamath and Reed. The behavior of multiphase flow. Non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid immiscible displacement occurs in many EOR processes involving the injection of non-Newtonian fluids. such as polymer solutions. 6. Rubin and Radke. An extension to more than two immiscible phases dubbed "coherence theory" was described by Helfferich (1981).152 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media transient pressure data will provide some important information related to the non-Newtonian fluid and formation properties. which can easily determine the sharp saturation front without the difficulty of the multiple-valued saturation problem for a uniform initial saturation distribution. A frequently encountered property of the BuckleyLeverett method is that the saturation becomes a multiple-valued function of the distance coordinate. polymer flooding (Patton. as compared with singlephase flow. This difficulty can be overcome by consideration of a material balance. Introduction Immiscible flow of multiphase fluids through porous media occurs in many subsurface systems. some special analytical solutions for immiscible displacement including the effects of capillary pressure were obtained by Yortsos and Fokas (1983). The Buckley-Leverett solution gave a saturation profile with a sharp displacement front by ignoring the capillary pressure and gravity effects. developed from the integral solution. and alkaline flooding (deZabala. a simple graphic approach was invented by Welge (1952). The integral method with the pressure profile used in this work will find more appHcations for transient radial flow problems in porous medium. and Yortsos. Following the work of Buckley and Leverett (1942). x. mechanism of chemical methods (Larson. detergent flooding (Payers and Perrine. Coats and Colegrone. 1982). displacement of oil and water by alcohol (Wachmann. no non-Newtonian behavior has been considered in any of these works. macroemulsions. 1959). More recently. The Buckley-Leverett fractional flow theory has been appUed and generalized by various authors to study the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) problems (Pope 1980). Taber. Saneie. 1961). 1964. 1982). Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 6. 1986). displacement of viscous oil by hot water and chemical additive (Karakas. Vislocky. is much more compHcated and is not well understood in many areas due to the complex interactions of different fluid phases and heterogeneous nature of porous materials. and foam solutions. It is especially useful when the flow equation is non-linear and other analytical approaches cannot apply. Almost all the . and McWhorter and Sunada (1990). Chen (1988). However. 1971).

which because of the velocity-dependent effective viscosity of a non-Newtonian fluid now becomes dependent on injection rate. based on the analytical solution. In this Section. the mechanism of immiscible displacement involving non-Newtonian fluids in porous media is stiU not wefl understood. and dispersion and adsorption on the rock are ignored. Analytical solution for non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid displacement Two-phase flow of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids is considered in a homogeneous and isotropic porous medium. 1991). a numerical method has been used to simulate non-Newtonian and Newtonian multiple phaseflowusing the integral finite difference approach (Pruess and Wu. 1988). as compared with Newtonian fluid flow. There is no mass transfer between non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids. or fluid velocity. and Witherspoon. an analytical solution describing the displacement mechanism of non-Newtonian/Newtonian fluid flow in porous media will be presented for onedimensional linear flow (Wu. 1991).5) . Then. Therefore. The validity of the numerical method has been checked by comparing the numerical results with those of the analytical solution. Very little re search has been published in the English literature on multiphase flow of nonNewtonian and Newtonian fluids through porous media (Bernadiner. The numerical model can take into account aU the important factors which affect the flow behavior of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids. The resulting procedure can be regarded as an extension of the Buckley-Leverett theory to the flow problem of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media. To the best of our knowledge. but also by the inherent complexities of non-Newtonian fluids. and excellent agreement has been obtained using power-law and Bingham non-Newtonian fluids. Pruess. In addition.2.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 153 theoretical and experimental studies performed on non-Newtonian fluid flow in porous media have focused on single non-Newtonian phase flow. 6. The analytical results reveal how the saturation profile and the displacement efficiency are controlled not only by the relative permeabiUties. The analytical solution will find appUcation in two areas: (1) it can be employed to study the displacement mechanisms of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid in porous media. the governing equations are given by equation (3. such as capillary pressure. Our approach follows the classical work of Buckley and Leverett (1942) for immiscible displace ment of Newtonian fluids. very few studies have been conducted (Gencer and Ikoku. and (2) it may be used to check numerical solutions from a simulator of non-Newtonian flow. as in the Buckley-Leverett solution. A practical procedure for evaluating the behavior of non-Newtonian and Newtonian displacement is also provided. not many analytical solutions are available on this subject. which is similar to the graphic method by Welge (1952). Even using numerical methods. The different rheological models for non-Newtonian fluid flow in porous media can easily be incorporated in the code. The major difference due to non-Newtonian behavior is in the fractional flow curve. 1984). complicated flow geometry and operation conditions.

from the definition of saturation.154 . (3) the viscosity of non-Newtonian fluids is a function of pressure gradient and saturation only. 33.7) Une=-iC—(VPne-Pneg) Mne (6.1) ot for the Newtonian fluid .7) dx dt where Wne and Unn are the volumetric flow velocities of Newtonian and Newtonian fluids.2) can then be changed to read = < p dx and dt (6.5) kne. (2) the capillary pressure gradient is negligible. Pruess and Witherspoon. the flow velocity is .2) ot for the non-Newtonian fluid.V • (PneUne) = " (Pne5ne0) Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media (6. 1991): (1) the two fluids and the porous medium are incompressible. as shown in Fig.15). For the Newtonian phase. equation (2.4) The pressures in the two phases depend on the capillary pressure Pc(Snn) = Pne " ^nn (6.1) and (6. we have 5ne + 5nn = 1 (6. and a non-Newtonian fluid is injected at the inlet. as described in equation (2.3) and Unn=-iC—(VPnn-Pnng) Mnn (6. and (4) one-dimensional linear flow. Equations (6. the following additional assump tions are made (Wu. The flow for Newtonian and non-Newtonian phases is described by a muhiple phase extension of Darcy's law. knn ^ud Pc ^rc assumcd to be functions of saturation only. It is further assumed that gravity segregation is negUgible and stable displacement exists near the displacement front. The system is initially saturated with both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids.6) For the derivation of the analytical solution. The flow system is a semi-infinite linear reservoir with a constant cross-sectional area A.V • (PnnUnn) = " (Pnn5nn<^) (6. Also. respectively.

11) where 5nnir is the initial immobile non-Newtonian fluid saturation.c = 0 are M0. In this problem. the Newtonian fluid is at its maximum saturation in the system. The boundary conditions at . Schematic of displacement of a Newtonianfluidby a non-Newtonian fluid. To complete the mathematical description of the physical problem. which is generally a function of injection time r. (6. the following condition must be imposed as or -> oo 5ne^l-5„nir (6.14) and 5nn^5„nir (6. 33.5nnir(-^) (6.15) .10) Here a is the angle between the horizontal plane and the flow direction of the x coordinate. which can be treated as a special case.9) and for the non-Newtonian phase Wnn = . 0 ) = 1 .13) In this semi-infinite system. the initial and boundary conditions must be specified. Initially.0 = ^ A M0.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 155 (horizontal) Fig.0 =0 (6.12) (6. we are concerned with continuously injecting a non-Newtonian fluid at a known rate q(i). 5'„e(:'::.K — + PnngSin a (6. 5nmr is usually zero. For most practi cal field problems.

as outlined by Willhite (1986). 1986). for a given injection rate. The fractional flow of a phase is defined as a volume fraction of the phase flowing at x and t to the total volume of the flowing phases (Willhite.From a volume balance. the sum of equations (5. . dx gsin(a) = 0 (6. U{t) (6.17) where u(t) = M„e + Unn.156 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media The solution procedure follows the work by Buckley and Leverett (1942).17) yields Jne ' / n n ^ (6. -'^rnnWnn/ Mne 5nn)" [AKkm^(Sn^Vt^eq(t)Vip 1 + '^rnn Pnn)gsin(Q:) (6.19) indicates that the fractional flow/nn for the non-Newtonian phase is generally a function of both saturation and potential gradient. IJinnid^/dX.16) and for the non-Newtonian phase ^nn nn "ne + "nn ^nn . The fractional flow concept is also used to simplify the governing equations in terms of saturation only in this study.5„n)" where the component of the potential gradient VO along the x coordinate for the non-Newtonian fluid is 8 $ dP — = — + pnngsma dx dx (20) Equation (6. 5 n n ) - Equation (6.21) shows that the flow potential gradient and the saturation are .16) and (5. and fluid and rock properties. For the Newtonian phase.19) (^nn)irM'nn(a^/aX. However.21) + K Pnef^rn&y^nn) L fine Pnn^rnny^nn) /Xnn(d$/aX.. this can be written Un Jne u{t) (6.18) The fractional flow function for the non-Newtonian phase may be written in the following form (Willhite. 1986) 1 /nn 1 + '^rne iSnn)Mf^n{d^/dX. the potential gradient at a given time can be shown to be a function of saturation only under the BuckleyLeverett flow condition ^(0 + AK ^rne(^nn) Mne +■ ^rnny^nnj Snn).

as described by equation (6.8) subject to the boundary and initial conditions (6. Pruess and Witherspoon.25) A direct use of equation (6. Aci>\s:^-s-j (6. The location Xs^n of any saturation 5nn travehng from the inlet at time t can be determined by integrating equation (6.22) \dtJsnn (l>A\dSnJt This is the frontal advance equation for the non-Newtonian displacement.7) and (6. However. which can be handled by a mass balance calculation. The governing equations (6. the dependence of the fractional flow /nn for the non-Newtonian displacement on saturation is not only through the relative permeability. 1959) provides the velocity of the front dx\ ^ £ ( 0 / £ L z £ ^ ) dtJs. wiU result in a multiple-valued saturation distribution. 1991) to apply to a non-Newtonian fluid displacement by integration of the mass balance of the fluid injected into the system and incorporating the result of equation (6.11)-(6. An alternative Welge (1952) graphic method of evaluating the above solution has been shown (Wu. Equation (6.23) where Sf is the front saturation of the displacing non-Newtonian phase. as in the Buckley-Leverett solution. but also through the nonNewtonian phase viscosity.. which yields Acf) \dSnJsnn where Q(t) is the cumulative volume of the injected fluid Q(t) = I q{k)dk Jo (6. The additional work in applying this method is to take into account the contribution of a velocity-dependent apparent viscosity of the non- . the saturation for a vanishing capillary pressure gradient will in general become a triple-valued function of distance near the displacement front (Cardwell. and defines the potential gradient in the system as a function of saturation implicitly. Pruess and Witherspoon. 1991) 1^] = ^ f ^ ) (6.22) will then fail to describe the velocity of the shock saturation front. since dfnJ^Snn does not exist on the front because of the discontinuity in 5nn at that point.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 157 dependent on each other for this particular displacement system. et al.22) with respect to time.24). Consideration of material balance across the shock front (Sheldon. given x and t.24). for a given time and a given injection rate. As in the Buckley-Leverett theory. The superscripts " + " and " — " refer to values ahead of and behind the front. a particular non-Newtonian fluid saturation profile propagates through the porous medium at a constant velocity.19).15) can be solved to obtain the following solution (Wu.1959). respec tively. and interestingly it is in the same form as the Buckley-Leverett equation.22) shows that. Equation (6.

non-Newtonian fluid displacement in porous media is controlled not only by relative permeabiUty data. The apparent viscosity for a power-law fluid is represented by equation (2. For a given operating condition. 34. we can obtain the following relationship for the pressure gradient corresponding to a particular value of 5nn using equation (6.Then.24) is evaluated to obtain the saturation profiles with the sharp-front saturation determined by equation (6. Then. which is initially saturated only with a Newtonian Fluid. as in Newtonian fluid displacement.28) is incorporated in the calculation of the fractional flow to solve potential gradients corresponding to saturations under different flow conditions. from ^ = 0.24) for a given problem.158 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media Newtonian fluid on the fractional flow curve. the analytical solution presented above is used to look at displacement phenomena of a Newtonian fluid by a power-law. and it may be extended to the two-phase flow by replacing permeability K by phase permeabiUty Kkmn and porosity (f) by <^(5nn ~ 5nnir).11) for single-phase flow.( ^ + ^^^-(5nn) ^^^^ ^^^A ^ 0 \A fine / (g 28) where /Xeff is defined as ^eff = ^ (9 + . but also by the rheological properties of the non-Newtonian fluid. the non-Newtonian fluid saturation at the moving saturation front is determined by ^/nn\ dSnn^Sf _ /nn|5f ~/nn|5nnir Of — Onnir x .29) 12 \ n/ Equation (6. x = 0. The relative permeability curves used for all the calculations in this chapter are shown in Fig. and the properties of rock and fluids are given in Table 8.27) dSnn^ -'nn *-'nnir where 5nn is the average saturation of the non-Newtonian phase in the swept zone. Displacement of a Newtonian fluid by a power-law non-Newtonian fluid In this section.21) fine \ dX/Snn \ Meff / W ^^^nn / . A constant volumetric injection rate of a power-law fluid is imposed at the inlet. The solution (6.) [ISOKk^USnnMSnn " ^^nir)]^' " " ^ ' ' (6. the complete saturation profile can be determined using equation ((6. rs^\ and the average saturation in the displaced zone is given by (6. The physical flow model is a one-dimensional linear porous medium.3. . Therefore. 6. non-Newtonian fluid.26).

01 Pa • s" .8 1.9 ^ 0.4 0. Relative permeability functions used for evaluation of displacement by a non-Newtonian fluid.7 >. TABLE 1 Parameters for linear power-law fluid displacement Porosity Permeability Cross-sectional area injection rate Injection time Displaced phase viscosity Irreducible Newtonian saturation Initial non-Newtonian saturation Power = law index Power-law coefficient (j) = 0.6 0.00 n = 0.3 0.2 0. ^ 15 C D 159 0.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 1.0 Jrr 0. 34.4 0.0 E DL C D C D •4—' > JO CL 0) 0.2 0.0 Non-Newtonian Fluid Saturation Fig.6 0.8 0.5 0.8233 X 10"^ m^s"^ r=10hr Mne = 5 cp 5„eir = 0.5 H = 0.20 5„„ir = 0.1 0.20 K= 1 darcy Im^ ^ = 0.0 I 0.

and the coefficient. 36. which are the exponential index. 0<n<l. At both high and low values for the non-Newtonian phase saturation. 35. Some fundamental aspects of power-law non-Newtonian fluid displacement will be discussed using the results from the analytical solution.0 0. For a pseudoplastic shear-thinning fluid.0 0. the fluid is Newtonian. on linear horizontal displacement can be quite significant. and the resulting fractional flow curves are shown in Fig. Figure 38 presents the derivatives of the fractional flow function with respect to saturation for different values of n. The apparent viscosities of several power-law fluids with different power-law indices n are given in Fig. I f « = l.4 0. H.6 0. the pressure gradients become smaller because the flow resistance decreases as the flow tends to single phase flow. n. Fig. The effect of the power-law index. n. 35 shows that pressure gradients are changed significantly as a function of saturation for different values of n under the same flow condition. 37.2 0.8 1. There are two para meters that characterize the flow behavior of a power-law fluid.160 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media 0. Saturation profiles after a 10-hr injection .0 Power-Law Fluid Saturation Fig. Effects of the power-law index on pressure gradients.

is usually determined by experiment or from well test analysis. These results show how difficult it will be to use a numerical code to match experimental data from non-Newtonian displacement investigations in the laboratory. because of the extreme sensitivity of the core saturation distribution to the value of n. it may be helpful to match experimental saturation profiles using the analytical solution. H.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 12. Effects of the power-law index on non-Newtonian phase apparent viscosity. H acts as a scaling factor of the viscosity for a given powerlaw index. The pressure gradients and the viscosities as functions of saturation will change with changes in H. Fig. n.0 Power-Law Fluid Saturation Fig. some errors cannot be avoided in determining the values of n. 39. As described by equation (6. Using the parameters of Table 8. n = 1. 40 exhibits .0 u a = 1 x10' m/s =0 ^^ne = 4 Cp < CL ■g LL I O CD DL 1. The effects of the consistence coefficient. The sensitivity of the displacement behavior to the power-index suggests that in determining the index for flow through porous media. C O Q. Since the power-law index.29). Note the significant decreases in terms of sweeping efficiency as the power-law index n is reduced. 36. n.01 T 161 & lO. period in the system are plotted in Fig.OH o o c 0) u. are also examined.

37. or in the shear rate. the displacement is quite different when a non-Newtonian fluid is involved. the linear-scaling effect of H on the fractional flow curves for three values of H. The results indicate that the effects of H on the displacement process are also significant. Changes in the injection rate will result in changes in the pore velocity. in turn affect the viscosity of the non-Newtonian phase and therefore alter the fractional flow curve. For a stable Newtonian displacement in porous media. which reflect the sweep efficiency. Fig. The horizontal lines in this figure stands for the average saturations in the swept zone. "cB c o (0 Power-Law Fluid Saturation Fig. the injection rate has no effect on displacement efficiency or sweep efficiency by the Buckley-Leverett theory. However. Effects of the power-law index on non-Newtonian phase fractional flow. 42 gives non-Newtonian viscosity versus saturation curves for three different injection rates in a semiinfinite linear horizontal system. 41. The calculated saturation profiles corresponding . The resulting saturation profiles after 10 hr of injection are shown in Fig.162 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media LL I O CD OL c c u. Using the fluid and rock parameters in Table 8 (differences will be indicated on the figures).

the larger the viscosity of the displacing phase.0 1.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 8.2 is used to obtain some insights into the physics behind the displacement of a Bingham fluid by a Newton ian fluid under isothermal condition. Effects of the power-law index on derivative of fractional flow with respect to non-Newtonian phase saturation. Since the only varying parameter in this calculation is the injection rate. One application of this study is to look at the production process of heavy oil from oil reservoirs by waterflooding when .0 0.4.0 k n = 0.0 u = 1 x 1 0 m/s a aO Une = 4 cp 163 7. 43.6 3.4 0.0 0. 43 indicate that the injection rate has a significant effect on displacement. 6. the lower the injection rate.0 H n = 0. For a displacement process with this type of shear thinning fluid.8 Power-Law Fluid Saturation 1.2 0.8 / \ / \ A /^\ \ I I / A/y \ \ \ / \ \ \ \ 1. to the injection rates are shown in Fig.0 6.2 5. the analytical solution of Section 6. Displacement of a Bingham non-Newtonian fluid by a Newtonian fluid In this section. and the higher the displacement efficiency will be. 38.0 Fig.6 0. the saturation distributions in Fig.4 n = 0.0 0.0 h '-X n = 0.

The flow physical model is a one-dimensional linear porous system with a constant cross-sectional area.14). Kasraie et al.0 4.0 Distance From Inlet (m) Fig. 39. 34.0 F/ow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media 1 1 u = 1 x 1 0 m/s a =0 ^lne = 4 Cp c o "to 0) x: CO CO a. effects of the power-law index on displacement efficiency. O 2.. and .0 8. The rheological model for the flow of a single-phase Bingham plastic fluid in porous media. from r = 0. heavy oil flow through porous media can be approximated by a Bingham fluid (Mirzadjanzade et al. The fluid and rock properties are summarized in Table 9. The relative permeabilities used are given as functions of saturation of the displacing Newtonian fluid by Fig. and a Newtonian fluid is injected at a constant volumetric rate at the inlet. equation (2.. and the effects of capillary pressure gradient are ignored.164 1. the system is saturated with only a Bingham fluid. is extended to this two-phase case. 1989). 1971.0 6.30a) for |aO/djc|>G. /^nn Mb l-GI\d^ldx\ (6. Initially. Non-Newtonian phase saturation distributions. x = 0. A.

2 0.01 p LL 0.3 L : r 0.pn^g sin(a) (6.1 L r \ 0.005 X / # •^--H = 0. Effects of the coefficient H on non-Newtonian phase fractional Flow.9 — i r y^ • • y^^ • 165 • .0 0.0 Power-Law Fluid Saturation Fig.6 h- /i / / 1 / 1 -J 0) / / o «4— o c c 0.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 1. the corresponding flow potential gradient for the non-Newtonian phase can be derived by introducing equation (6.0 1 ^^-** // ^/ ' / /1' ** *' I / y ^ ** / / // // •'' ' ' / ' / 1 1 ' 1 '1 ' » 1 1 ' ' ' = 0.4 V- r 1 ' ' 1 !1 ': 1 1 / / / ' / / / f 1 1 1 1 ' * ' ! / / / 1 1'' ': ' 1 1 : / 1 ' f f / / « « « « • < « f H = 0.8 1. =4cp n u H H / 1 1 ! 1 0.0 0.6 0.5 L 5 o LL 15 c '•♦—• r 0.21) as — -— + = -Pnngsin(a:) G+ pneg sin(a) + ^rne(*^ne) .8 0. For a particular saturation 5ne of the Newtonian phase.5 = 1 x10"^m/s a =0 ^^ne.02 "H •^ _j 1 o 0.2 L r LL 0.30a) in equation (6. ^rnnV^ne) ^—'. Mnn (6.4 0.31) + The apparent viscosity for the Bingham fluid is determined by using equation . 40.30b) for |aO/ax|^G.^ ** r : ^ ^ ^' ^ *♦^* H = 0.7 r 0.

For this particular displacement system.19). 41. The maximum displacement saturation occurs at the point of the fractional flow curve where /ne = 10. 44 and 45).166 1.2. For the given operating conditions similar to those used in the Buckley-Leverett theory. as in Newtonian fluid displacement.30). effects of the coefficient H on displacement efficiency.0 3. the non-Newtonian fluid displacement is described by the analytical solu tion in Section 6.0 4. which is controUed not only by relative permeability effects. The displacement involving a Bingham fluid is also determined only by the fractional flow function.0 2.0 5.0 0.0 Distance From Inlet (m) Fig. initially saturated only with the Bingham fluid.H = 0. in which Snn is replaced by 5ne for this problem. .02 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media n u a =0. S^ax.005 1. Non-Newtonian phase saturation distributions.9 0.5 -5 = 1 x 1 0 m/s =0 V-ne = 4 Cp H = 0. A basic feature of the displacement process of a Bingham fluid in porous media is the existence of an ultimate or maximum displacement saturation.31) in equation (6. (6. but also by the nonNewtonian rheological properties of Bingham fluids. and then the fractional flow curves are calculated from equation (6. for the displacing Newtonian phase (see Figs.8 k.

there always exist some regions .0 0. the displacing saturation cannot exceed the maximum value Smax. Consequently.5 1 -5 — o ^ CL 4."1 A I 0) 2.0 Power-Law Fluid Saturation Fig. at which the apparent viscosity is infinite. The flow condition in reser voirs is more comphcated than in this hnear semi-infinite system.0 R 1. no improvement of sweep efficiency can be obtained no matter how long the displacement process continues.5 h 1 1 "2 -A o 1 a. once the maximum saturation has been reached in a flow system.5 3.0 3.0 M 1 5 2 i TO ^1 11 1 \ \ u^ = 0. 45.0 n ~ l — —1 u 4. Then the only flowing phase is the displacing Newtonian fluid.2 0.5 H 0.5 H M \ 1 h 1 n \ M I -yn r=0. In contrast.5 r. as shown by the curve for G = 0 in Fig.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 167 5. Since oil wells are usually drilled according to certain patterns. It is obvious that the sweep efficiency decreases rapidly as G increases. 42. Q.The resulted saturation distributions are given in Fig. 45 for the different minimum pressure gradients G.6 0. 1 1 t 1.5 X 10 m/s Ug = 1 x10'^m/s U3 =2x10'^m/s a =0 ^ne = 5cp 1 H • 1 Q.0 1 1 K — 1 • « % « « 1 % « 0. the ultimate saturation of the displacing fluid is equal to the total mobile saturation of the displaced fluid. Effects of injection rates on non-Newtonian phase apparent viscosities. Physically. < '3 2.8 j 1. for Newtonian displacement.4 0.0 I i 1 i 0. the phenomenon of ultimate displacement saturation occurs as the flow potential gradient approaches the minimum threshold pressure gradient G. ^ • \ .

8 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media n =0.168 1.20 / K= 1 darcy Im^ ^=1.20 /Ab = 4.0xlO~^m^s~' r=10hr fine = 1 Cp Snnir = 0. TABLE 9 Parameters for linear Bingham fluid displacement Porosity PermeabiUty Cross-sectional area Injection rate Injection time Displacing Newtonian viscosity Irreducible saturation Bingham plastic coefficient Minimum pressure gradient <) = 0.0 cp G = 10. 43. Non-Newtonian phase saturation distributions. effects of injection rates on displacement efficiency.000 Pa m"^ .0 0.9 0. u^ s C S x I C m / s U = 1 xlO'^m/s g U =2x10"Ws g a =0 ^lne=5cp 2 4 6 8 10 Distance from Inlet (m) Fig.5 «-5.

and the apparent viscosity for the displaced Bingham fluid will be .6 L 0. 44. the average saturations in the swept zones are quite different for different values of ^tbEffects of injection rates can also be revealed by the analytical solution. effects of the minimum pressure gradient.0|1 0. the ultimate displacement saturation phenomenon will contribute to the low oil recovery observed in heavy oil reservoirs developed by water-flooding. since ultimate displacement saturation is essen tially determined by the minimum pressure gradient G.3 0.0 1 0. It is interesting to note that the ultimate displacement saturations hardly change with /Xb.2 0. The presence of the ultimate displacement saturation for a Bingham fluid displacement indicates that no oil can be driven out of these regions. However.01 1/^ 0.4 ! 0. 46. Fractional flow curves for a Bingham fluid displaced by a Newtonian fluid.8 0.55 'c o CD c 1 r [ 0. the pressure gradient in the system will increase.ef ^ • ! h ^jj = ^ X 1 u H J 0.6 \ 0.5 f* 1 7 t i l l / * / nl / / u^i — Q v i n ^ ^^vj = o x lU Do/m ra/m ra/m "1 2 CD C J / •' / //' / / • r*~r 1 ^.7 j .8 1.0 Newtonian Fluid Saturation Fig. the Bingham plastic coefficient ^Lb? are shown in Fig.^-^—^ A " =2x10 Ws ^b =4cp ^ A H 0.4 r 03 C *<4—• r0 = 1 X 1 U rcJul 0.Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 169 1.9 \'3 rri / • y\ 1 / l.1 o hi / 1 ! 1 Q 1 / niax H L /■''/ r /// / t'/ /// 0./ / // / 1/ / . in addition to effects from the high oil viscosity. If water injection rate at the inlet is increased. with low potential gradients between production and injection wells. Therefore. The effects of the other rheological parameter.2 uZ 0.

170 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media Pa/m 0. Figure 47 presents the saturation profiles after injection of 10 hr with the different rates. which defines non-Newtonian phase viscosity as a function of the local fluid potential gradient and saturation. Newtonian phase saturation distributions. Therefore. The analytical solution is applicable . It is interesting to note that both the sweep efficiency and the ultimate displacement saturation can be greatly increased by increasing the injection rate alone. 6. a better sweep efficiency will result.0 1.5. 45.5 Distance From Inlet (m) Fig. reduced. effects of the minimum pressure gradient on displace ment efficiency of a Bingham fluid by a Newtonian fluid.5 1. A general viscosity function for non-Newtonian fluids is proposed and used in the solution. and is suitable for different rheological models of non-Newtonian fluids. Summary A Buckley-Leveret type analytical solution for describing the displacement of a Newtonian fluid and a non-Newtonian fluid through porous media has been presented.

46. Newtonian phase saturation distributions. effects of Bingham's coefficient /ib on displacement efficiency of a Bingham fluid by a Newtonian fluid. .Multiphase immiscible flow involving non-Newtonian fluids 1.1 0. no further displacement can be obtained regardless of how long the displacement lasts for a given operating condition. and Bingham fluids in porous media. Once the saturation approaches the ultimate saturation in the formation. The analytical solution has been used to obtain some insight into the physics of displacement involving power-law. in addition to relative permeabiUty curves as in New tonian fluid displacement. to displacement of a non-Newtonian fluid by a Newtonian fluid or to displacement of a non-Newtonian fluid by another non-Newtonian fluid. The calculated model results reveal that non-Newtonian displacement is a compUcated process.0i 171 0.4 0.2 0. which is essentially determined by the minimum pressure gradient G. The fundamental feature of immiscible displacement involving a Bingham plas tic fluid is that there exists an ultimate displacement saturation. and the injection condition.3 0.6 Distance From Inlet (m) Fig.5 0. controlled by the rheological properties of non-Newtonian fluids used.

0 Distance From Inlet (m) Fig.^ </ "1 -u = 2x10"^m/s — L. it is impossible to develop a universal approach for handling allflowproblems invoving various non-Newtonian fluis in porous media. effects of injection rates on displacement efficiency of a Bingham fluid by a Newtonian fluid. or pore velocity in a porous medium in a complex way. ■ 1 4.^ ^. The non-Newtonian rheological behavior is quite different for different fluids and/or for different porous materials. Concluding remarks The primary objective of the present work was to present a methodology to investigate transport phenomena of non-Newtonian fluids through porous media.0 2. G = 1 xlo'^Pa/s Hb =4cp Une = 1 Cp t =10hrs. the flow problem will become non-linear because the apparent viscosity used in the Darcy equation is a function of shear rate.3 0.^ u = 4 X 10"^m/s J ^^ ^'"*^.0 3.5 Ll.4 o 1 1 J 1 >V ^ — I t 0. The viscosity function for a non-Newtonian fluid depends on shear rate. \ \ N ^N \\ — \ u = 8> .Ul 1 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media —1 1 1 0..8 \ 8 0-7 \ \ 'To V.10"^m/s 'v» '5 0. 7. Whenever non-Newtonian fluids are involved in porous media. ! ! L.172 l. under some special circumstances. Newtonian phase saturation distributions. analytical solutions have been proven here to be possible to be obtained for describing non- .0 1.9 0. Therefore. J c 'c 0. 47.0 0.. H H -^ •1 0-61 CO 73 .1 hn n X \ ^^.2 — 0. However.

and (ii) to verify the numerical code in this work. An integral method has also been presented for analysis of non-Unear single phase Bingham fluid flow through porous media. To apply this theory to afieldproblem. a well test analysis method for Bingham fluid flow is constructed to determine the rheological and formation properties. The integral method. this numerical investigation has improved the existing well test analysis technique of power-law fluid injectivity tests for general appUcability. since they are the most likely to be encountered in reservoirs. Second. In this study. inhomogeneous porous media. Therefore.Concluding remarks 173 Newtonian flow in porous media. The non-Newtonian fluid viscosity is assumed to be a function of the local flow potential gradient and saturation. In this work both analytical and numerical methods have been employed. in analogy with the Buckley-Leverett theory for Newtonian fluid displacement. This new simulator is capable of modehng both single and multiple phase non-Newtonian fluid flow through porous or fractured media. such as capillary pressure. the integral solution has been examined numerically to give very accurate results for the Bingham fluid flow. widely used in the study of unsteady heat transfer problems. Using a newlyproposed pressure profile. compUcated flow domains. The vaHdity of the numerical method has been checked by comparing the numerical results with analytical solutions for displacement of a Newtonian fluid by a power-law fluid. The non-Newtonian behavior is found to generate two parallel log-log straight Unes on a wellbore pressure-time plot. Different non-Newtonian rheological models have been incorpor ated in the code. an analytical solution for one-dimensional immiscible displacement of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids in porous media has been obtained. A further theoretical study has been performed for transient flow problems of power-law fluids by using the numerical code. Among the theoretical methods contributed from this work. Along with the numerical technique. this code has been successfully appHed to numerical investigations of transient flow of power-law fluids and to verification of the integral solution for Bingham fluid flow. a graphic procedure for evaluating displace ment of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids has also been developed from the analytical solution. and various well oper ation conditions. This solution has been used: (i) to study the physical mechanisms of immiscible flow with power-law and Bingham fluids. an idealized fracture model has been used to study the transient flow of a power-law fluid through a double-porosity medium. this solution is generally applicable to various non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluid displacement. instead of two parallel semi-log straight . a fully impHcit three-dimensional integral finite difference model has been developed by modi fying the general numerical code "MULKOM" to include the effects of nonNewtonian viscosity. The resulting method can be regarded as an extension of the Buckley-Leverett-Welge theory to the flow problem of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media. Based on the integral solution. First. The numerical model can take account of all the important factors which affect the flow behavior of non-Newtonian and Newtonian fluids. is appHed to derive an approximate analytical solution for radial flow of a Bingham fluid. and major attention has been paid to power-law and Bingham plastic fluids.

the sweep efficiency can be improved by reducing injection rates of the power-law fluid. this assumption needs to be confirmed experimentally. Since most of the laboratory studies of non-Newtonian flow in the Uterature were conducted using only single-phase non-Newtonian fluids. For displacement of a Newtonian fluid by a shearing-thinning power-law fluid. there certainly is a need for further experiments under multiphase flow condition. This work has focused on the theoretical aspects of non-Newtonian fluid trans port through porous media. Therefore. Power-law and Bingham plastic fluids are the most commonly encountered nonNewtonian fluids in porous media flow problems. and its emphasis is on the physical insights in "nonNewtonian" behavior of porous media flow. in addition to relative permeabiUty. It has been known from Buckley-Leverett theory that injection rate has no effects on displacement effi ciency for Newtonian fluids under the stabilized condition. The non-Newtonian immiscible displacement is a compUcated process. The finding is that the transient pressure responses in the flow system tend to an equivalent Newtonian system at long times. However. the displacement is characterized by an ultimate sweep saturation. many of the results in the theoretical development depend on the assumptions on rheological properties. such as in oil produc tion by polymer flooding. a detailed study has been made on the displacement behavior of these two fluids in order to obtain an understanding of the physics behind the immiscible flow process. this is a natural extension of the single phase flow theory to a multiple phase flow problem. with a practical example of heavy oil recovery by water flooding. As discussed in this work. which is quite different from a power-law flow problem. Physically. Such experimental studies should be designed to provide us with rheological models for the non-Newtonian fluid and porous materials of interest. The physical mechanisms of non-capillary displacement with non-Newtonian fluids in porous media are revealed by the Buckley-Leverett type analytical solu tion. The third problem is to obtain some insights into pseudoplastic fluid flow through porous media. a fundamental difference between Newtonian and Non-Newtonian displace ment is that the non-Newtonian displacement is flow rate dependent because of changes in non-Newtonian viscosity with pore flow velocity. which is controlled by the rheological properties of the non-Newtonian fluids and the flow condition. and no further improvement can be achieved when the saturation approaches the ultimate satur ation under the same flow operation. Apphcation of the theory has been demonstrated for analysis of two simulated pressure drawdown and buildup tests. A new theory for analyzing single phase Bingham fluid flow in porous media has been developed. As to a Bingham fluid displaced by a Newtonian one. As a result of this.174 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media lines for Newtonian fluid flow. Just as in multiple phase Newtonian fluid flow. The Meter four-parameter rheological model was used for calculating apparent viscosity of the pseudoplastic fluid. the apparent viscosity for multiphase flow of non-Newtonian fluids is taken as a function of flow potential gradient and saturation. In the present study. The transient flow of a shghtly-compressible Bingham fluid has been shown to be determined essentially by the Bingham rheological properties. based on the integral analytical and numerical solutions. the . which are based on the previous experimental research.

Department of Energy. Such as for a polymer solution. the influence of capillary pressure becomes important. This can be done by using the numerical code since it has the abiUty to include capiUary effects. the new analysis method proposed for analyzing Bingham fluid flow was here used to interpret only the simulated well testing examples. Effects of capillary pressure on immiscible non-Newtonian fluid flow have been ignored in the analytical analysis. a beter understanding of the physics of non-Newtonian fluid flow and chemical transport in porous media needs many more experimental and theoretical studies. For Newtonian displacement. phenomena of adsorption and dispersion of chemicals in non-Newtonian fluids during flow through porous media must be understood first before a reaUstic theoretical model can be developed. Herndon. Inc.. The chemical composition effect is not included in this work. Among other factors. U. DEAC03-76SF0098. transient pressure tests are needed in certain heavy oil reservoirs. a heuristic procedure suggested by the analogy with single phase flow. Wen and Yim. changes in polymer concentration will result in changes in its viscosity. various investigators have concluded that for high flow rates the Buckley-leverett non-capillary theory gives a good approximation of the actual saturation distribution. and by HydroGeoLogic. Such an investigation will depend heavily on experimental and numerical approaches. 1973. At low flow rates. experimental work is required to verify this speculation. under Contract No. Virginia. similar experimental studies should also be carried out to look at capillary effects. Acknowledgements This work was supported by the director. It is obvious that the study of non-Newtonian flow coupled with chemical transport is a whole new area for further research efforts in this field. which are very important for heavy oil development and numerous other apphcations. as long as the capiUarity data are obtained from experiments. there is few quantitative approaches in the petroleum engineering and groundwater literature for well test analysis on Bingham fluid production or injection operations in reservoirs.Acknowledgements 175 extension of Darcy's law to multiple phase flow is. In order to verify applicability of the well testing analysis approach on the transient flow of Bingham type non-Newtonian fluids in porous media. Currently. Therefore. very few studies have been reported on dispersion of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media (Payne and Parker. For non-Newtonian displace ment. Many mechanisms which govern non-Newton ianfluidflowcoupling with chemical transport process are very poorly understood.S. Office of Basic Energy Sciences. 1971). Then. in fact. Further efforts should be made to obtain flow properties of Bingham fluid in porous media. Non-Newtonian fluid flow in porous media usually is affected by the chemical concentration in the fluid. Yu-Shu Wu . Since no well test data can be found for Bingham oil flow in the literature. Office of Energy Research. which is necessary to develop the BuckleyLeverett type solution. Even though many results of chemical adsorption during polymer solution flow in porous media can be found in the petroleum hterature.

nm flux tcrm of fluid j8 between V^ and V^ (m/s) g magnitude of the gravitational acceleration (m/s^) g gravitational acceleration vector (m/s^) G minimum pressure gradient (Pa/m) h formation thickness (m) H power-law consistence (Pa • s") K absolute permeability (m^) Kf fracture permeabihty (m^) Km matrix permeability (m^) kne relative permeabihty to Newtonian phase /cnn relative permeabihty to non-Newtonian phase A:rw relative permeability to water phase L length of a system or a core (m) m Gogarty's permeabihty constant m slope of semi-log curves (Pa) M mass of fluid (kg) m' slope of log-log curves Mn average value of mass in Vn (kg/m^) Mp mass accumulation for fluid j8 (kg/m^) M^ .n mass of fluid j8 in Vn (kg) ^ n power-law exponential index A^p cumulative displaced fluid (m^) n' Mungan's coefficient n unit outward normal vector Pc capillary pressure (Pa) Pfw(0 wellbore flowing pressure (Pa) Pi initial formation pressure (Pa) Pne pressure of Newtonian phase (Pa) .176 Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media acknowledges guidance from Paul Witherspoon for the research conducted at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. The authors are grateful to Suzann Heinrich for her help in preparing the manuscript. Glossary A cross-sectional area (m*^) Anm surface element between V^ and V^ (m^) b fracture aperture (m) B Gogarty's constant (s^^ " ^^'^) Cf fluid compressibility Pa~^ Cf total compressibility of fracture (Pa~^) Cm total compressibility of matrix (Pa~^) Cr formation compressibility (Pa~^) Ct total compressibility (Pa"^) D half fracture spacing (m) Dp particle diameter of porous material (m) D rate-of-deformation tensor (s~^) Dij i/th component of D (s~^) Dnm distance between V^ and Vm (m) /ne fractional flow of Newtonian phase /nn fractional flow of non-Newtonian phase f{K) permeabiUty function Fjs mass flux for fluid j8 (m/s) ^/3 . California.

coordinate (m) radius of a tube (m) wellbore radius (m) velocity gradient function (s~^) saturation surface of a volume saturation at displacement front ultimate displacement saturation Newtonian phase saturation irrcducible Newtonian fluid saturation non-Newtonian fluid saturation C o u n a t c nou-Ncwtonian phase saturation water saturation average non-Newtonian saturation time (s) tortuosity of porous media time at level k (s) time step (s) Darcy velocity (m/s) Darcy velocity vector (m/s) Darcy velocity of Newtonian phase (m/s) Darcy velocity of non-Newtonian phase (m/s) Darcy flux of Newtonian phase (m/s) Darcy flux of non-Newtonian phase (m/s) velocity vector (m/s) component of V in the Xi (m/s) volume of a system (m^) pore velocity (m/s) pore velocity vector (m/s) velocity gradient (s~^) width of fracture (m) distance from inlet. X2 = y . and ^^3 = z (m) primary variable of numerical equations distance to saturation 5nn (m) Gogarty's exponential coordinate (m) coordinate (m) 111 Greek symbols a angle with horizontal plane a exponential coefficient aI WilUamson model coefficient (s~^) a2 WiUiamson model exponential ^2 exponential coefficient .n Q Q{i) Qc Qm{t) r R A-w s S S Sf ^max 5ne 5neir Snn '^nnir 5w •^nn t T t^ At u u Wne Wnn Une Unn V Vi Vn Up Vp VV W X Xf Xi A^i^p Xs^^ y y z pressure of non-Newtonian phase (Pa) pressure difference (Pa) pressure gradient (Pa/m) source for fluid /3 (kg/(m^s)) source for fluid j3 in Vn (kg/(m^s)) volumetric injection (m^/s) cumulative fluid of injection (m^) cumulative mass production (kg) mass injection/production rate (kg/s) radial distance.Glossary Pnn AP VP qp qp . coordinate (m) distance to shock saturation front (m) Xi = X.

= l/2po (Pa) J stress tensor (Pa) (j) porosity 4) flow potential (Pa) <tH porosity of fracture <t>{ initial formation porosity (^m porosity of matrix V4) flow potential gradient (Pa/m) VOe effective flow potential gradient (Pa/m) (i) storage coefficient Subscripts a apparent a average b Bingham fluid e equivalent eff effective eqv equivalent f fluid f fracture f displacement front .178 T{x) y % 70 d{t) ^f 5i 82 A A Aeff /I Flow of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media gamma function or factorial function shear rate (s~^) average shear rate (s~^) low hmiting shear rate (s~^) pressure penetration distance (m) fluid relaxation time (s) interpolated value of V ^ (Pa/m) interpolated value of V ^ (Pa/m) rigidity modulus (Pa) interporosity coefficient effective mobility (m^"^"/Pa • s) viscosity (Pa • s) /Aa apparent viscosity (Pa • s) /Ab Bingham plastic coefficient (Pa • s) /jLeff power-law coefficient (Pa • s"-m^~") M-eqv equivalent viscosity (Pa • s) /if fluid viscosity (Pa • s) /Xoo viscosity at infinite shear (Pa • s) /imax higher Umit viscosity (Pa • s) jLtmin lower limit viscosity (Pa • s) jXnn non-Newtonian apparent viscosity (Pa • s) /io viscosity at zero shear (Pa • s) /Ai viscosity at |V<^| = 61 (Pa • s) jLL2 viscosity at |V4>| = 82 (Pa • s) 71 77 = 1 + 5(0/rw ^ dimensionless aspect factor pi initial fluid density (kg/m^) pne density of Newtonian fluid (kg/m^) Pnn density of non-Newtonian fluid (kg/m^) T shear stress (Pa) Tm meter model coefficient (Pa) Trx shear stress function of r (Pa) Tw shear stress at wall (Pa) Ty yield stress (Pa) T1/2 shear stress for p.

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