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Fluids
Fluids
Fluids in a reservoir
Description of the Hydrocarbon
Reservoir Pressure
Reservoir Temperature
Hydrocarbon phases
Fluid Production
Formation Volume factors
Surface tension forces
Wettability
Relative permeabilities

JJ Consulting 1997

Notes

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Definitions

Reservoir fluids need to be described in a different way from the rocks.


The first definition is one of contacts, where the fluids would be in
equilibrium. These are the gas-oil-contact, the oil-water-contact and the
gas-water-contact. The latter is only possible in a well with gas and water
(no oil).
The second figure is the oil in place, the amount of hydrocarbon in the
reservoir.
The final figure is one of the hydrocarbon properties, the gas-oil-ratio;
how much gas is in the oil. Due to the complexity of the hydrocarbons in
the reservoir there are many other parameters which are needed to fully
describe the fluids.

Fluid Contacts

Oil in Place

OIP

Notes

The volume of oil in the


reservoir in barrels or cubic metres.

Gas/Oil Ratio

GOR

The gas content of the oil.

API Gravity

API

Oil gravity.

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Fluids in a Reservoir

Other gases can be found in wells, these include, helium, carbon dioxide
and hydrogen sulphide. In most cases these occur as traces together with
the hydrocarbon and water normally found.
The formation water is uniquely described by its salinity. This varies from
500 ppm Chlorides to 250000ppm; a wide range.
The major rock property involved in production is the permeability.

A reservoir normally contains either water or


hydrocarbon or a mixture.
The hydrocarbon may be in the form of oil or gas.
The specific hydrocarbon produced depends on
the reservoir pressure and temperature.
Notes

The formation water may be fresh or salty.


The amount and type of fluid produced depends
on the initial reservoir pressure, rock properties
and the drive mechanism.

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Hydrocarbon Structure

Another way to describe the hydrocarbons is by the mixtures of the


groups of hydrocarbon structure types. The three major groups are shown.
The simplest and most abundant is the paraffin series, with the more
complex structures in varying proportions.

The major
constituent of
hydrocarbons
is paraffin.

Notes

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Hydrocarbon Composition

Hydrocarbons vary widely in their properties. The first classification is by


fraction of each component. This ranges from a dry gas which is mostly
C1 (methane) to tar which is mostly the heavier fractions. The black oil
normally found is between the two extremes, with some C1 and some
heavier fractions.
Every hydrocarbon extracted from a reservoir is of a different
composition.

Typical hydrocarbons have the following


composition in Mol Fraction
Hydrocarbon C1

C2

C3

C4

C5

C6+

Dry gas

.045

.045

.01

.01

.01

Condensate .72

.08

.04

.04

.04

.08

Volatile oil .6-.65

.08

.05

.04

.03

.15-.2

Black oil

.41

.03

.05

.05

.04

.42

Heavy oil

.11

.01

.01

.04

.8

.88

Tar/bitumen

.03

Notes

1.0

The 'C' numbers indicated the number of carbon


atoms in the molecular chain.
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Hydrocarbon Classification

The API (American Petroleum Institute)gravity is a weight.

Hydrocarbons are also defined by their weight


and the Gas/Oil ratio. The table gives some
typical values:
GOR

Oil is more complex than gas and has to be defined in a more complete
manner. The Gas-Oil Ratio, GOR (symbol Rs) is a measure of how much
gas is in the oil and hence how light it is. This is measured at a specific
pressure, for example the reservoir pressure.

API Gravity

Wet gas

100mcf/b

50-70

Condensate

5-100mcf/b

50-70

Volatile oil

3000cf/b

40-50

Black oil

100-2500cf/b

30-40

Heavy oil

10-30

Tar/bitumen

<10

Notes

The API gravity of an oil is defined as:

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Gas specific gravity with respect to air should not be confused with the
specific gravity with respect to water.

Hydrocarbon Gas
Natural gas is mostly (60-80%) methane, CH4.
Some heavier gases make up the rest.
Gas can contain impurities such as Hydrogen
Sulphide, H2S and Carbon Dioxide, CO2.
Gases are classified by their specific gravity
which is defined as:
Notes

"The ratio of the density of the gas to that of air


at the same temperature and pressure".

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Reservoir Pressure

The pressure in the reservoir is controlled by the aquifer as it is assumed


that it is, somewhere, connected to surface. This means that the pressure in
the water is effectively continuous controlled by the pressure gradient.
The pressure gradient depends on the salinity of the water, the temperature
and the regional tectonic stresses. It is usually constant over a large area..
If the depth in the water is 10000 feet and the water gradient is 0.45psi/ft,
the pressure is 10000*0.45 = 4500 psi.

Reservoir Pressures are normally controlled by


the gradient in the aquifer (water table).
The pressure in the water is given by

P = h*Gw
Notes

where
h - depth
Gw - water gradient
Gw, normally ranges from 0.43 - 0.5 psi/ft.

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Reservoir Pressure

The pressures in the oil and gas depend on the gradients (densities) of
these fluids. The difference in gradients with the water gradient depends
on the specific gravity with respect to water.
Calculations could be done using the oil and gas gradients, however it is
easier to use the regional gradient and the specific gravities.

Notes

The pressures in the oil and gas are controlled by


the relevant gradient which is controlled by the
regional water gradient.
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The static pressures anywhere in the reservoir can be calculated using


these formula.
The calculation starts at the bottom of the zone in the water, specifically at
the OWC. The pressure here is simply the depth times the water gradient.

Reservoir Pressure Calculation

The pressure at the GOC is the pressure at the OWC minus the pressure
du to the oil column. This is given by the thickness of the oil column
times the water gradient times the specific gravity of the oil.
A similar calculation can be made for the gas zone.

Powc
Powc

Notes

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Find the pressures at the OWC, GOC and Top.

Reservoir Pressure Example

Notes

Water gradient

= 0.433 psi/ft

Oil Specific Gravity = 0.85


Gas Specific Gravity = 0.2

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Calculate the pressure on surface of


- oil produced from the GOC
- gas produced at the Top of the reservoir.

Reservoir Pressure Example 2

Notes

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Salt domes occur in the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Persian Gulf and
several other places in the world. Pressures in the surrounding formations
can greatly exceed the expected values.

Overpressured Zones
Abnormal pressures can occur when the aquifer
is completely sealed and the tectonic forces
increase the pressure.
Salt domes exert an extra pressure as they have
pushed up from below.
Very high pressures are common in these
environments.
Notes

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Reservoir Temperature Gradient

Temperature in wells depends on a regional gradient. There can be local


hot spots where this is sharply increased. The temperature is measured
during each logging run.
Temperatures gradients are greatest near the edges of the plates and lowest
near the centres of the old continental plates as these are the thickest
points of the crust.

Notes

The chart shows three possible temperature


gradients. The temperature can be determined if
the depth is known.
High temperatures exist in some places. Local
knowledge is important.
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Fluid Phases

The pressure and temperature are two quantities that can be easily
measured. Thus it is useful to describe the fluids behaviour during
production in these terms. Experimentally it is easier to measure pressure
and volume hence the classical experiment is done using these parameters
at a constant temperature.

A fluid phase is a physically distinct state, e.g.:


gas or oil.
In a reservoir oil and gas exist together at
equilibrium, depending on the pressure and
temperature.
The behaviour of a reservoir fluid is analyzed
using the properties; Pressure, Temperature and
Volume (PVT).
There are two simple ways of showing this:
Pressure against temperature keeping the
volume constant.
Pressure against volume keeping the
temperature constant.
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Notes

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PVT Experiment

The easiest experiment is to keep the temperature constant, measuring


volumes and pressures.
The fluid used is a pure, single component hydrocarbon. (This is not
found in a reservoir fluid which consists of a number of components.)
Starting in the liquid and increasing the volume, the pressure drops rapidly
with small changes in volume until the first bubble of gas occurs.
This is the Bubble Point.
Further increase in the volume causes no change in the pressure until a
point is reached where all the liquid has vaporised.
This is the Dew Point.
Increasing the volume beyond this point causes the pressure to drop, but
much slower than with the liquid phase.

Notes

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Phase Diagram -single


component

This is a plot for the single hydrocarbon component used in the


experiment. The Vapour pressure curve terminates in the Critical Point.
This is a unique point for any substance, pure or a mixture.
The plot describes how this fluid behaves with changing pressure and
temperature.

The experiment is conducted at different


temperatures.
The final plot of Pressure against Temperature is
made.
The Vapour Pressure Curve represents the
Bubble Point and Dew Point.
(For a single component they coincide.)

If it starts in the liquid and the pressure is reduced, keeping the


temperature constant, it will cross the vapour pressure curve and become a
gas. Starting as a liquid at constant pressure and increasing the
temperature will also change it to a gas.

Notes
Liquid

Gas

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Phase diagram Oil


The Pressure/Temperature (PT) phase diagram for an oil
reservoir:
Point 'A' is the initial reservoir condition of pressure and
temperature.
If the reservoir is produced at a constant temperature
until the fluid reaches the wellbore, the line to Point 'B' is
drawn. This represents the flow of fluid from the reservoir to the
borehole. The fluid travelling to surface now drops in both
temperature and pressure arriving at he "separator conditions"
(s) with a final volume of oil and gas.

Reservoirs do not have simple single-component hydrocarbons. Their


Pressure/Temperature diagrams are more complex.
The Bubble Point and Dew Point curves still meet at the critical point.
There is now an envelope where two phases, oil and gas, exist in
equilibrium. This is due to there being both heavy and light components in
the fluid.
This typical diagram is used to describe how the oil at reservoir conditions
behaves when it is produced to surface.

Liquid

Notes

Pressure

Critical Point

B
Bubble Point Curve

Separator Conditions
Gas
Dew Point Curve

Temperature

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Phase Diagram Condensate/Gas


Point 'C' is at the initial reservoir conditions. The
reservoir is produced at a constant temperature
from C to D. Fluids flowing up the well now drop
in temperature and pressure, crossing the Dew
point line and liquid condenses out.
At separator conditions (s) the result in both
liquid and gas on the surface.

Notes

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This is the final diagram for the reservoir fluids. This is a dry gas which
never enters the envelope under any normal producing conditions.

Gas Reservoir
In a gas reservoir the initial point is A. Producing
the well to separator conditions B does not
change the fluid produced.
The point B is still in the "gas region" and hence
dry gas is produced.

Notes

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Downhole, pressures and temperatures are high, on surface they are much
lower hence the fluids will change in volume.
Gas come out of the oil depending on the gas-oil ratio.

Hydrocarbon Volumes

Water will only have dissolved gas in a gas well near the gas-water
contact.

Fluids at bottom hole conditions produce


different fluids at surface:
Oil becomes oil plus gas.
Gas usually stays as gas unless it is a Condensate.
Water stays as water with occasionally some
dissolved gas.

Notes

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Fluid Sampling

Downhole sampling has the advantage that it is possible to measure the


fluid being sampled hence avoid unwanted production, of, for example,
free gas by coning.
There are a number of tools to perform a bottomhole sample.

The properties of hydrocarbons are obtained in


labs using samples of produced fluids.
The best method of sampling is downhole as near
to reservoir temperature and pressure as
possible.
If this is not possible, a separator sample, is
taken. The oil and gas are recombined at the
proper pressure and temperatures.
Notes

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FVF Oil and Gas

The volume change has to be quantified. Surface volumes are measured


(production rates); these need to be converted to downhole conditions in
order to compute how much has been produced at reservoir conditions and
hence how much is left.
Bw is around 1, as water is nearly incompressible. Bo is measured in a
PVT laboratory experiment, it is just over 1, a typical value would be 1.2.

There is a change in volume between downhole


conditions and the surface.
The volume of the fluid at reference conditions is
described by the Formation Volume Factor:

Bg can be measured in the laboratory or using empirical charts. This


figure depends very much on the pressure and is always very small of the
order of 10-3.

Volume at downhole Conditions


FVF =

Volume at reference Conditions

Notes

Bo = formation volume factor for oil.


Bw = formation volume factor for water.
Bg = formation volume factor for gas.

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The fluid in the reservoir will contain light fractions. The reference
conditions are surface temperature and pressure.

FVF Oil, Bo

the volume downhole conditions includes any


dissolved gas
reference conditions are:
Notes

60 degrees F and 14.7 psia


Bo is determined from PVT measurements on a
reservoir fluid sample.

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PVT Plot, Oil

This is a typical plot obtained from a PVT laboratory measurement. The


only change is an exaggeration of the increase in Bo from reservoir
pressure to bubble point pressure.
Note the volume of liquid shrinks from reservoir conditions to surface.

Notes

A typical PVT plot showing the solution


GOR, Rs and the FVF, oil Bo plotted
against the pressure.
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The measurement of the gor and Bo are done at discrete points of


pressure. The pressure is reduced to the required value and the gas
allowed to escape. The resultant fluid is then measured.

Description On Bo/Rs Plot


GOR, Rs
The GOR does not change going from the
reservoir pressure to the bubble point pressure.
(There is no change in the amount of gas in the
oil.)
Below the bubble point pressure gas comes out of
solution, hence there is less than before and the
GOR decreases.
At the reference pressure, Rs = 0.
FVF, Bo
The Bo increases slightly from the
reservoir pressure to the bubble point pressure as
the lighter components expand.
Below the bubble point pressure, some of the gas
has escaped hence the volume is reduced leading
to a decrease in Bo.
At the reference pressure Bo = 1.
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Gas Laws

In an ideal gas the equation links pressure and volume to the temperature,
T, and two constants, n and R. Hence two different states can be
compared, e.g. downhole and surface.
There are no ideal gases in the reservoir as they are all compressible,
hence the factor, z.

Ideal Gases
PV = nRT
or to compare two different states
P1V1

T1

P2V2
T2

Notes

Non Ideal gases


P1V1
z1T1

P2V2
z2T2

z is a compressibility factor which depends on


the composition of the gas
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The correlation charts can be found in most textbooks, a number exist.


These methods will work on standard gases, usually just the dry gas.

Gas Compressibility factor

The gas compressibility factor, z, is needed to


compute how the gas will behave going from
downhole to surface conditions.
It can be measured at the PVT labs on a
recovered sample of gas or estimated from
empirical charts or equations.

Notes

The charts and equations are based on


experimentation and correlations done on
samples of a number of representative gases.

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FVF gas,Bg

The equation from the previous pages is rearranged to give the ratio of
volume downhole to the volume at reference. This leads to an equation
with pressure, temperature and z, all of which are easy to measure.
In this equation some terms already have values,
p1 = 14.7, T1 = 520 degrees R, z1 = 1.
p2 and T2 are the measured downhole figures. The only factor remaining
is z2 which can easily be found.
Bg is a very small number controlled mainly by the pressure. This figure
is often reversed to give 1/Bg.

the reference conditions are:


Notes

60 degrees F and 14.7 psia


p1, p2 are the pressures
T1, T2 are the temperatures
z1, z2 are the compressibility correction factors
Charts are used to solve the equation
the units are scf/scf or cu m/cu m
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The pseudo reduced pressures and temperatures are essentially a


mathematical method of creating a chart which will suit most situation but
remain a reasonable size.

Calculating z
A typical chart is that of Standing and Katz.
This is entered with a value of pressure, Ppr the
pseudo-reduced pressure and a value of
temperature, Tpr, the pseudo-reduced
temperature.
These are given by the following formulae;

TPR=

T
Tpc

PPR =

Notes

P
Ppc

Where
T and P are the relevant temperatures and
pressure.
Tpc and Ppc are the critical temperature and
pressure.
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Critical Properties calculation


Component

Fraction

Critical

CH4
C2H6
C3H8
i-C4H10
n-C4H10
i-C5H12
n-C5H12
C6H14

0.813
0.067
0.032
0.023
0.0086
0.022
0.0054
0.029

Pressure
343
550
666
735
765
829
845
913

The critical pressure and temperature of any (known) mixture can be


approximated using this method. The critical pressures and temperatures
and pressures of each component is constant. The method involves
summing the contribution of each individual component.

Critical
Temp
668
708
616
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490
489
437

Pseudo-critical pressure =

Notes

Ppc = y1Pc1 + y2Pc2 + ....... = 653 psia

Pseudo-critical temperature =
Tpc =

y1Tc1 + y2Tc2

+ ....... = 410 R

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Example
Component

Fraction

Critical

CH4
C2H6
C3H8
i-C4H10
n-C4H10
i-C5H12
n-C5H12
C6H14

0.892
0.021
0.024
0.032
0.007
0.002
0.011
0.011

Pressure
343
550
666
735
765
829
845
913

Find Bg for this gas mixture at the downhole temperature and pressures
given.
(Remember add 460 to the temperature to convert to R)

Critical
Temp
668
708
616
529
551
490
489
437

T2 = 234F
p2 = 3467psia

Notes

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In most cases the figure of 1 is adequate.

FVF water, Bw

The formation volume factor for water, Bw


depends on the compressibility of the water.
In most cases this is very small and hence
Bw = 1.
If there are a lot of dissolved salts or gases the
value will change.
Notes

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The porosity has to be split between the fluids occupying the pore space.
Saturation is the name given to the fraction of a given fluid.
The normal representation is as a percentage, in equations a fraction must
be used.

Saturation
Formation saturation is defined as the fraction of
its pore volume (porosity) occupied by a given
fluid.
Volume of a specific fluid
Saturation =
pore volume
Definitions
Sw = water saturation.
So = oil saturation.
Sg = gas saturation.
Sh = hydrocarbon saturation = So + Sg

Notes

Saturations are expressed as percentages or


fractions, e.g.
Water saturation of 75% in a reservoir with
porosity of 20% contains water equivalent to
15% of its volume.
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The graphical representation shows the simple porosity model split now
between water and hydrocarbon.
The volume of a fluid is the porosity times the saturation.

Saturation Definition

Notes

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Wettability is caused by surface tension forces between the fluid


molecules.
Most reservoirs are water wet, mainly because the water was there first,
the rocks being deposited in water. The hydrocarbon which migrated in at
a later date displaces most of the water but rarely wets the rock as the
surface tension forces in the water are stronger.

Wettability

The wettability defines how a fluid adheres to the


surface (or rock in the reservoir) when there are
two fluids present, e.g. water and air.
The angle measured through the water is the
"contact angle".

Notes

If it is less than 90 the rock is water wet; greater


than 90 the rock is oil wet.
Most reservoir rocks are water wet.

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The capillary pressure experiment is a simple one. The controlling factor


is the radius of the capillary tube. The smaller the tube the greater the
capillary pressure.

Capillary Forces

Pc = capillary pressure.
= surface tension.
q = contact angle.
rcap = radius of capillary tube.

Notes

In a simple water and air system the wettability


gives rise to a curved interface between the two
fluids.
This experiment has a glass tube attached to a
reservoir of water. The water "wets" the glass.
This causes the pressure on the concave side
(water) to exceed that on the convex side (air).
This excess pressure is the capillary pressure.
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In a reservoir the pore spaces act as capillary tubes pulling the water up
into the oil column.

Capillary Forces and Rocks


In a reservoir the two fluids are oil and water
which are immiscible hence they exhibit capillary
pressure phenomena.
This is seen by the rise in the water above the
point where the capillary pressure is zero.

Notes

The height depends on the density difference and


the radius of the capillaries.
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Irreducible Water Saturation


In a formation the minimum saturation induced
by displacement is where the wetting phase
becomes discontinuous.
In normal water-wet rocks, this is the irreducible
water saturation, Swirr.
Large grained rocks have a low irreducible
water saturation compared to small-grained
formations because the capillary pressure is
smaller.

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There is always water in the hydrocarbon zone. This water is stuck to


the rocks by surface tension forces, it is wetting the rocks. The water
will never be produced under normal production conditions, hence the
term irreducible.
The amount of irreducible water depends on the grain size and on the
mixture of grains. A rock with a mixture of small grains and large grains
can have water in the small grains and oil in the pore space associated
with the large grains.

Notes

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Transition Zone

The transition zone is a phenomenon seen in all reservoirs. The thickness


of this zone varies from less that the resolution of the standard tool to very
long, hundreds of feet.
The size of the pores also controls the permeability, small pores mean low
permeability. Hence a long transition zone means a low permeability
formation.

The phenomenon of capillary pressure gives rise


to the transition zone in a reservoir between the
water zone and the oil zone.
The rock can be thought of as a bundle of
capillary tubes.
The length of the zone depends on the pore size
and the density difference between the two fluids.
Notes

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Permeabilities

In the reservoir the definition of permeability is no longer valid as there


are usually more than one fluid present. Only in the water zone can the
absolute permeability be used. Irreducible water is present is all other
parts of the system, hence the other two definitions.

Absolute permeability
- a rock property
- measured with a fluid saturating 100%
of the pore space
Effective permeability
- a rock/fluid property
- the permeability of a fluid which does not
saturate the rock to 100%
Relative Permeability
- a rock/fluid property
- the ratio of the effective permeability to
the absolute permeability

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Note that there can only be a permeability for a specific fluid if there is a
flow of that fluid.

Effective Permeabilities

Notes

effective permeability is always less than the


absolute permeability

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This is a simple mathematical utility to limit the range of the permeability


as the relative permeability varies from 0 to 1.

Relative permeabilities

Notes

The relative permeability is the effective


permeability divided by the absolute
permeability.

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The four stages are 100% water, oil and water mixture, residual oil and
irreducible water.
The first stage represents a water zone only. The last represents an oil
zone. The residual oil stage is a reservoir that has been completely
produced.

Relative Permeability

The other stage is an intermediate stage, either a production stage or


somewhere in the transition zone.

Take a core 100% water-saturated. (A)


Force oil into the core until irreducible water
saturation is attained (Swirr). (A-> C -> D)
Reverse the process: force water into the core
until the residual saturation is attained. (B)
During the process, measure the relative
permeabilities to water and oil.
Notes

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Relative Permeability Experiment

Initially, the core permeability will be the absolute permeability as there


is only one fluid at 100% saturation.
The relative permeability of water will drop to zero when Swirr is reached
because no more water will move.
The relative permeability to oil will rise but never reach the absolute
permeability because there is still water in the pores.
When water is forced in, the relative permeability of water will rise but
not reach the absolute value for the same reason.

Notes

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