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New correlations for prediction of viscosity and density of Egyptian oil


Article  in  Fuel · October 2013

DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2013.05.045


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A. N. El-hoshoudy Omnia Ali

Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute Helwan University


S. M. Dessouky
Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute


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Fuel 112 (2013) 277–282

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

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New correlations for prediction of viscosity and density of Egyptian oil

A.N. El-hoshoudy b,⇑, A.B. Farag a, O.I.M. Ali a, M.H. EL-Batanoney b, S.E.M. Desouky b, M. Ramzi b
Helwan University, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry, Ain Helwan, Cairo, Egypt
Department of Production, Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute, Naser City, Cairo, Egypt

h i g h l i g h t s

 Evaluate the existing density and viscosity correlations.

 Conducting PVT analysis at reservoir conditions.
 Measuring oil density and viscosity at different reservoir conditions.
 Develop new empirical correlations.
 Test accuracy of developed correlations by statistical and graphical error means.

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Density and viscosity are of the most important governing parameters of the fluid flow, either in the por-
Received 23 April 2012 ous media or in pipelines. Ideally, viscosity and density determined experimentally in the laboratory on
Received in revised form 9 May 2013 actual fluid samples taken from the field under study. However, in the absence of experimentally mea-
Accepted 14 May 2013
sured data, especially during the prospecting phase, or when only invalid samples are available, one
Available online 29 May 2013
can resort to empirically derived PVT correlations. Correlations are also needed for the calculation of mul-
tiphase flowing pressure gradients which occur in pipe. These calculations require the prediction of fluid
properties at various pressures and temperatures. Even though laboratory measurements of these prop-
Oil density
Oil viscosity
erties may be available as a function of pressure, they are usually measured under isothermal conditions.
PVT correlation The behavior of these properties as a function of temperature is usually predicted by using empirical cor-
Live oil relations. So it is of great importance to use accurate correlations to calculate the crude oil density and
Dead oil viscosity at various operating conditions. During the last decades, several correlations have been devel-
oped to estimate density and viscosity of oil at different reservoir conditions. However, these correlations
may be useful only in regional geological provinces and may not provide satisfactory results when
applied to crude oils from other regions since oil properties differ according to its source, origin and core
type .Also, crude oil composition is complex and often undefined. Therefore, based on Egyptian oil reser-
voirs data; new correlations have been developed for predicting density and viscosity of dead and live
crude oil. Validity and accuracy of these correlations have been confirmed by comparing the obtained
results of these correlations and other ones with experimental data for Egyptian oil samples. Checking
results of these correlations show that correlations developed by this study revealed more accurate
results than the literature correlations.
Ó 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction crude at a specified pressure and temperature, mass/volume.

While, crude oil viscosity is defined as the internal resistance of
Crude oil density and viscosity are important physical proper- the fluid to flow [1]. Crude oil density and viscosity are a strong
ties that control the flow of oil through porous media and pipe function of many thermodynamic and physical properties such as
lines; also used in designing the production separation facilities the reservoir temperature, pressure, bubble point pressure, oil
and their values substantially affect crude oil volume calculations. gravity, gas gravity, gas solubility, and composition of the crude
The crude oil density is defined as the mass of a unit volume of the oil. Whenever possible, oil density and viscosity should be deter-
mined by laboratory measurements at reservoir temperature and
pressure [2]. The oil density and viscosity usually reported in stan-
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +20 21226153276. dard PVT analyses. Increasing pressure always cause increase in
E-mail address: (A.N. El-hoshoudy).

0016-2361/$ - see front matter Ó 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
278 A.N. El-hoshoudy et al. / Fuel 112 (2013) 277–282


API stock tank oil API gravity Pres reservoir pressure (psia)
Tres reservoir temperature (F) Pb bubble point pressure (psia)
qsc oil density, gm/cc at standard conditions cg gas specific gravity, air = 1
co oil specific gravity, water = 1 cgs separator gas gravity @100 psi, air = 1
Rs solution gas/oil ratio, scf/STB Rsb solution gas/oil ratio at bubble point (scf/STB)
lod dead oil viscosity (cp) lob gas-saturated oil viscosity (cp)
qod dead oil density (gm/cc) lo live oil viscosity (cp)
qo live oil density (gm/cc) qob gas-saturated oil density (gm/cc)
Er average percent relative error MWSTO molecular weight of stock-tank oil
Ea average absolute percent relative error S standard deviation
Emin. minimum absolute percent relative error Erms the root mean square error
Emax. maximum absolute percent relative error R correlation coefficient

density and viscosity above the bubble point due to compression of collected sample is non representative, (4) quality check lab anal-
the oil. However below the bubble point, increasing pressure cause ysis, (5) lab analyses are in error, (6) estimating the potential re-
an increase in solution gas, which in turn decrease the oil density serves to be found in an exploration prospects, and (7)
and viscosity. At atmospheric pressure and reservoir temperature, evaluating the original oil in place and reserve for a newly discov-
there is no dissolved gas in the oil [i.e., Rs = 0] and therefore the oil ered area before obtaining the laboratory analysis to justify a pri-
has its highest density and viscosity values. Thus, oil density corre- mary development plan [5]. All correlations were concerned with
lations all belong to three categories: dead oil, saturated oil, under- crudes from different locations and presumably of different charac-
saturated oil density correlations, also, oil viscosity correlations all teristics. Each study claimed that the resulting correlation would
belong to three categories: dead oil, saturated oil, undersaturated provide the best approximation of PVT properties for the local re-
oil viscosity correlations. Numerous correlations have been pro- gion compared to the other commonly used correlations. Studies
posed to calculate the oil density and viscosity [3]. These correla- performed by Macary and Batanony [6], Hanafy et al. [7], Glasso
tions are categorized into two types. The first type refers to black [3], Dokla and Osman [8], Marhoun [9], Labedi [1] all supported
oil type correlations which predict density and viscosity from this conclusion [5].
available field-measured PVT data, such as reservoir temperature, Multiple linear/nonlinear least-squares regression analysis will
oil API gravity, solution gas–oil ratio, saturation pressure, reservoir be used to develop the new correlations. In addition, accuracy of
pressure. The second type refers to oil composition models which developed correlations determined by comparing the obtained re-
derive mostly from the principle of corresponding states and its sults with the published ones through statistical error means (Er,
extensions. In these correlations beside previous properties, other Ea, Emax, Emin, S, Erms, and r) and graphical error means (cross plot
properties such as reservoir fluid composition, molar mass, critical analysis). Furthermore, the new correlations will be validated
temperature and acentric factor of components are used [4]. The using other experimental data sets not used in the correlations
reservoir fluid data have many applications in different areas of development [10].
the Exploration and Production process. While reservoir engineers
generally have the greatest claim on such data, reservoir fluid anal-
2. PVT correlations
yses are also quite valuable to geologists and production special-
ists. The process of collecting fluid samples may be repeated
The frequently used empirical correlations for the prediction of
during different phases of a field since discovery till its mature
dead, saturated and undersaturated oil densities and viscosities are
phase. A geologist may use correlations along with an oil or gas
reviewed in the following sections. For Egyptian oils, Hanafy et al.
gravity measurement from a near-by well for help in obtaining
[7] reported that Ahmed [11] correlation is the most accurate for
an estimate of the potential reserves to be found in an exploration
determining undersaturated oil density while Katz [12] and Stand-
prospect. After the exploration well is drilled and successful, a well
ing [13] correlations are the best to estimate dead and gas satu-
test may allow those same correlations to be used with the known
rated oil densities respectively, also, correlation after Beggs and
gravity, gas–oil ratio, and pressure data from the discovery well. In
Robinson [4] is the best to estimate dead oil viscosity while, the
an ideal situation, a fluid sample may be recovered from the dis-
gas saturated and undersaturated oil viscosities are best deter-
covery well for analysis. This more precise information on the
mined with Khan’s [14] correlations.
properties of the hydrocarbon accumulation may be used by geol-
ogists and engineers to justify further development drilling. One or
several of the development wells may then be completed and res- 2.1. Dead oil density correlations
ervoir fluid samples retrieved. The laboratory analysis of such sam-
ples provides the more accurate information needed to help plan Standing expressed the mathematical form of Katz’s chart for
the development of the field, design production facilities, deter- dead oil density [12]. Ahmed published two correlations; one cor-
mine the size and cost of equipment, and thereby make economic relation uses the stock tank oil molecular weight while the second
decisions. After production has been established, further sampling correlation approximates the estimation of dead oil density if the
and analysis may by requested by the engineer to evaluate poten- stock-tank oil molecular weight is not available [11].
tial improved recovery projects, consequently, empirical correla-
tions are of great importance to determine these physical 2.2. Gas saturated oil density correlations
properties with high precision at each stage. One can resort to
empirical PVT correlations to estimate the reservoir fluid data in Standing [13] by using 105 data points [22 fields], published his
the following cases: (1) inability to obtain a representative sample, correlation, In this correlation, a weighted average separator and
(2) sample volume is insufficient to obtain a complete analysis, (3) stock tank gas specific gravities should be used for cg, however
A.N. El-hoshoudy et al. / Fuel 112 (2013) 277–282 279

the use of separator gravity gives adequate results. Hanafy et al. [5] Table 1
correlated the bubble point oil density to the bubble point oil vol- Data ranges of Egyptian crude oils.

ume factor, to account for the compression of the oil above the Parameter Minimum Maximum Average
bubble-point pressure; the density of the crude is first calculated [Pres.] psig 793.00 10393.00 4120.00
at the bubble-point pressure and reservoir temperature. The calcu- [Tres.] F 119.00 301.00 227.00
lated density is then adjusted by using the isothermal compress- [Pb] psig 46.00 4804.00 2415.00
ibility coefficient. Rsb [SCF/STB] 10.00 7890.00 1390.00
APIo[degree] 21.00 52.00 38.00
Rs [SCF/STB] 9.00 7834.00 1361.00
2.3. Undersaturated oil density correlations cg [air = 1] 0.71 1.46 0.99
co 0.77 0.94 0.83
Vasquez and Beggs [15] by using 4036 data points published his MWSTO 113.00 200.00 145.00
correlation which derived from the isothermal oil compressibility cgs 0.62 1.55 0.93
qsc [lb/ft3] 48.00 58.00 52.00
correlations and is similar to the undersaturated oil formation vol- qod [g/cc] 0.70 0.87 0.77
ume factor correlation. Ahmed [11] published his correlation qob [lb/ft3] 10.00 54.00 39.00
which derived from the isothermal oil compressibility correlations. lod [CP] 0.54 8.26 1.88
lob [CP] 0.02 5.69 0.69

2.4. Dead oil viscosity correlations

Beal [16] reported a correlation using 753 data points for his
analysis. He correlated oil gravity and temperature covering a
range of 100–220 F. Beggs and Robinson [4] presented their corre-
lation using 460 dead oil observations. Petrosky and Farashad [17]
developed a correlation with an average absolute error of 14.47%.
Glasso [3] also developed a correlation using temperature range
of 50–300 F for 26 crude oil samples. Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt
[2] developed the dead oil viscosity correlation based on data bank
consisting of 661 samples. The correlation parameters were the oil
API gravity and reservoir temperature. The data used in developing
this correlation was ranging from 0.506 to 682 cp.

2.5. Gas saturated oil viscosity correlations

Chew and Connally [18] presented their work for predicting oil Fig. 1. New model for dead oil density.

viscosity at the bubble point as a function of the solution gas–oil

ratio. Their data sets of 457 data points covered samples from
South America, Canada, and the U.S. Khan [14] estimated the oil
viscosity at or below the saturation pressure. An average error of
1.33% was reported for this correlation. Abu-Khamsin and Al-
Marhoun [19] developed new correlation based on Canadian and
Middle Eastern oil data with an average absolute error of 4.91%
and standard deviation of 5.76. Almehaideb [20] published his
bubble point oil viscosity correlation by using 57 PVT data points
collected from 15 different reservoirs in UAE. The average absolute
error and standard deviation of this correlation were estimated to
be 13.0% and 16.26%, respectively. Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt [2],
developed the live oil viscosity correlation based on data bank con-
sisting of 5321 data points ranging from 0.097 to 586 cp. De Ghetto
et al. [21] developed the saturated oil viscosity correlation based on
data bank ranging from 0.07 to 295.9 cp. Fig. 2. Cross plot of dead oil density correlations.

2.6. Undersaturated oil viscosity correlations

function of oil density, the oil viscosity and the oil density curves
Khan [14] correlation indicated an average error of 2%. Almehai- are typically similar above and below the bubble point pressure.
deb proposed his undersaturated oil viscosity correlation by using Therefore, this correlation can be used to estimate oil viscosity at
328 PVT data points collected from 15 different reservoirs in UAE. any specified pressure by inserting the corresponding value of oil
The average absolute error and standard deviation of this correla- density. This is an important function to use when the volume of
tion were estimated to be 2.90% and 4.07%, respectively [20]. Kar- oil sample is insufficient to perform the lab measurements of oil
toatmodjo and Schmidt developed the undersaturated oil viscosity viscosity.
correlation based on data bank consisting of 3588 data points col-
lected from 661 different crude samples. The used data was rang- 3. Experimental data
ing from 0.168 to 517 cp [2]. De Ghetto tested the reliability of
published correlations then modified the best correlation to apply In this study, PVT experimental data of one thousand oil sam-
it to the Agib’s oils. It gave an average absolute error and a standard ples from Egyptian oil reservoirs have been used. Reservoir oil den-
deviation of 7.3% and 13.7%, respectively. The data base used in sities have been measured at various pressures above and below
developing the De Ghetto correlation was in the range from 0.13 the bubble point pressure till atmospheric pressure at reservoir
to 354.6 cp [21]. Hanafy et al. [5] correlated the oil viscosity as a temperature via high pressure density meter [DMA HP]. While,
280 A.N. El-hoshoudy et al. / Fuel 112 (2013) 277–282

Fig. 3. New model for live oil density. Fig. 7. New model for live oil viscosity.

Fig. 8. Cross plot of live oil viscosity Correlations.

Table 2
Statistical accuracy of dead oil density correlations for the data used in model
Fig. 4. Cross plot of live oil density Correlations. validation.

Correlation Er Ea Emax Emin S Erms r

1. Standing and 9.3055 10.5068 34.8998 0.6534 9.4803 13.1709 0.7246
2. Ahmed [no 9.6855 11.2338 38.1113 0.7075 10.1508 13.9073 0.6107
3. Ahmed [with 11.8267 12.4224 38.3196 1.5129 9.0528 14.8017 0.5710
4. This study 0.1381 0.2869 1.2187 0.0252 0.3696 0.38878 0.9941

Table 3
Statistical accuracy of live oil density correlations for the data used in model

Correlation Er Ea Emax Emin S Erms r

Fig. 5. New model for dead oil viscosity. 1. Standing 28.1876 28.1876 64.3313 2.0757 14.8663 31.7519 0.7804
and Katz
2. Standing 0.6791 5.1230 18.2144 0.0084 7.1197 7.0329 0.9513
3. Hanafy et al. 0.4012 3.9851 9.5632 0.1254 4.5231 4.213 0.9231
4. This study 80.2764 3.4480 8.5539 0.0525 4.1358 4.0757 0.9636

4. Development of the proposed correlations

Proposed correlations based on real data, which almost covers

Egyptian oil types. The developed correlations are a strong function
of reservoir temperature, reservoir pressure, solution gas oil ratio,
API gravity, molecular weight of stock tank oil and saturation pres-
sure. Multiple least-square regression analysis was utilized to de-
velop these new density and viscosity correlations. Developed
Fig. 6. Cross plot of dead oil viscosity Correlations. correlations in this study are as follow:
Reservoir oil viscosities have been measured at various pressures
above and below the bubble point pressure till atmospheric pres- 4.1. Dead oil density correlation
sure at reservoir temperature via rolling-ball viscometer.
Tables 1 gives basic characteristics of Egyptian crude oils data ln½qod  ¼ b0 þ b1 ln½API þ b2 ln½MW STO  þ b3 ln½T res:  ð1Þ
considered here. In general, this data set covers a wide range of
PVT parameters. where b0 = 3.465, b1 = 0.185, b2 = 0.008, b3 = 80.461.
A.N. El-hoshoudy et al. / Fuel 112 (2013) 277–282 281

Table 4
Statistical accuracy of dead oil viscosity correlations for the data used in model validation.

Correlation Er Ea Emax Emin S Erms r

1. Beal’s 97.6631 97.6631 98.6572 96.0851 0.6224 97.6650 0.8220
2. Begg’s and Robinson 12.3358 17.1124 36.6856 0.6004 15.7841 19.8244 0.7548
3. Glasso’s 32.5232 32.5232 42.3750 17.1736 6.9522 33.2337 0.4817
4. Kartoatmodjo 43.5652 43.5652 56.8354 23.9309 9.7111 44.5992 0.1601
5. Modified Kartoatmodjo 62.5488 62.5488 70.2440 46.6093 6.2811 62.8529 0.3020
6. Petrosky and Farashad 21.8659 21.8659 29.9305 5.7767 6.0344 22.6565 0.7571
7. This Study 3.0964 9.8855 31.0060 2.0134 12.0744 12.2686 0.9285

Table 5
Statistical accuracy of live oil viscosity correlations for the data used in model validation.

Correlation Er Ea Emax Emin S Erms r

1. Abukhamsim and Al-Marhouns 11.5921 35.1331 94.0414 6.715 39.4577 40.4894 0.6838
2. Chew and Connally 19.852 22.2226 130.252 1.1143 29.3155 34.9978 0.6443
3. Khan [Saudi Arabia oil] 8.8797 24.5772 72.4407 0.1875 30.4939 31.2687 0.5414
4. Al mehaideb 7.0268 21.3407 65.471 0.0642 27.3851 27.8266 0.6754
5. Kartoatmodjo -Schmidt 5.6613 26.6204 101.076 3.4108 33.9713 33.8767 0.8244
6. De Ghetto et al. 1.7194 19.5142 97.6768 0.5446 27.2923 26.8886 0.8883
7. Petrosky and Farashad 132.79 133.26 223.511 7.0701 57.9201 144.485 0.4993
8. Modified Kartoatmodjo [heavy oil] 192.59 192.595 375.171 41.453 79.3603 207.8 0.0105
9. Modified Kartoatmodjo [medium oil] 20.9461 39.8803 74.1595 4.513 40.6925 45.16 0.4509
10. Hanafy et al. 2.9310 19.6521 55.6851 2.3561 19.0231 17.7025 0.9063
11. This study 2.4421 11.2281 54.4077 0.3053 17.7485 17.6202 0.9493

4.2. Live oil density correlation 5.1.2. Graphical error analysis

Graphical means help in visualizing the accuracy of a correla-
tion. Cross plot graphical analysis technique was considered in this
ln½qo  ¼ b0 þ b1 ln½Rs  þ b2 ln½T res:  þ b3 ln½qod  þ b4 ln½P b  þ b5
study for comparative evaluation of the existing correlations with
 ln½Pres:  ð2Þ the new correlation [22]. The cross plots of estimated values versus
experimental values of the density and viscosity correlations are
where b0 = 1.432, b1 = 0.119, b2 = 0.231, b3 = 1.646, b4 = 0.065,
shown in Figs. 1–8.
b5 = 0.02.
5.2. Validation of the new correlations
4.3. Dead oil viscosity correlation
In order to examine the applicability and reliability of the newly
ln½lod  ¼ b0 þ b1 ln½1=API þ b2 ln½MWSTO =T res:  ð3Þ developed empirical correlations of crude oil viscosity and density,
it was validated using [30] data sets that were not used in the
where b0 = 13.239, b1 = 3.18, b2 = 0.846. development of the newly correlation.
Tables 2–5 summarize the results of statistical error analysis of
4.4. Live oil viscosity correlation the published correlations and the newly developed models. The
errors in the existing correlations using the new data sets are con-
sidered very close to the errors resulted from the data sets used to
ln½lo  ¼ b0 þ b1 ln½Rs  þ b2 ln½T res:  þ b3 ln½lod  þ b4 ln½Pb  þ b5 develop the new correlations.
 ln½P res:  ð4Þ At this point, it should be mentioned the proposed correlations
are only applicable to Egyptian oils and their applicability to other
where b0 = 8.419, b1 = 0.364, b2 = 1.128, b3 = 0.595, b4 = 0.058, regions should be checked.
b5 = 0.077.
6. Conclusion
5. Results and discussion
Based on the above results, the following conclusions can be
5.1. Accuracy of the proposed correlations drawn:

The accuracy and reliability of each mentioned correlation was 1. A new empirical correlations employed a multiple linear regres-
checked by using both statistical and graphical error means sion analyses were developed to estimate the physical proper-
analyses. ties of crude oils such as oil density and oil viscosity with an
excellent accuracy using field production and experimental
5.1.1. Statistical error analysis data for the Egyptian crude oil systems.
The accuracy of fluid property correlations relative to the exper- 2. The development approach of these new correlations is based
imental data of Egyptian oils is determined in this study using se- on some readily available properties and parameters. Most of
ven statistical means (Er, Ea, Emax, Emin, S, Erms, and r), where lower these parameters were not considered in the existing
values of Er and Ea implies a better correlation. The correlation correlations.
coefficient (r-value) lies between zero and one; a value close to 3. Comparative evaluation of the developed correlations and the
one indicate a good correlation among the given dependent and existing correlations from the literature was made using statis-
independent variables [5]. tical and graphical error analyses. It indicates that:
282 A.N. El-hoshoudy et al. / Fuel 112 (2013) 277–282

(a) The new correlations are much simpler and outperform the symposium on oil field chemistry held in Houston, Texas, 18–21 Febreuary,
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