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ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION
Blackoil models neglect diffusive mechanisms such as The present paper stems from an effort initiated by the
molecular diffusion or mechanical dispersion; this main author [13] to understanding some features of
omission produces a propensity to developing shocks. blackoil (or beta) models [4]; special attention has
This paper aims to carry out an exhaustive been given to the limitations imposed by the
identification of the kind of shocks that can occur simplifying assumptions of such models. In particular,
when blackoil models are applied to problems in they do not incorporate molecular diffusion, nor
which the bubblepoint varies and to establish the mechanical dispersion. A consequence of this
conditions under which they are generated. In addition simplification is a property referred here as the
to shocks of BuckleyLeverett type, two other classes "bubblepoint conservation principle": In the absence
of shocks and a bifurcation mechanism, are identified. of a gasphase, oilparticles conserve their dissolved
Except for shocks of BuckleyLeverett type, all other gas content (oil: gas ratio, or equivalently: bubble
shocks may occur in the presence of capillary forces. point). Physically, this means that, when a gasphase is
The paper contributes to clarify several aspects of not present, two oil particles cannot exchange
blackoil models and to understand pathologies that dissolved gas, independently of how close they may
occur in their numerical implementation. be. This property in turn, produces a propensity of
blackoil models to develop shocks which becomes
apparent in problems wth variable bubblepoint. In the
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2 SHOCKS IN SOLUTION GASDRIVE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
present paper, a gasfront moving into a region Then, a summary of the results presented here, is as
occupied by undersaturated oil as in a solution gas follows:
drive will be considered. In the saturated region, the shocks that can occur are
The effects we are referring to, are quite different to essentially of the type described by the Buckley
those analyzed by BuckleyLeverett theory and, to Leverett theory and they exist only if capillary
make our points more clear, we found convenient to pressure is neglected.
place them in the general perspective of shocks that In the unsaturated region, the bubble point may have
may occur in blackoil models. Thus, the present paper jump discontinuities and such discontinuities
describes a systematic and exhaustiveanalysis of the propagate with the velocity of the oil particles.
different kinds of shocks that can occur in blackoil At a gasfront two possible situations must be
models, and the conditions under which they are distinguished:
generated, without discussing details of the numerical a). A front that advances into an undersaturated
implementation, which have been treated in previous region. At such a front, in general, both the bubble
publications [13] of this sequence (see also [57]). point and the saturation are discontinuous and the
In some respects, this paper is the continuation and to motion of the front is retarded with respect to the
some extent the culmination of lines of thought that gas particles.
were initiated in [13]. However, the presentation here b). A front that recedes from an undersaturated
intends to be selfcontained while avoiding region. At such a front, only the saturation is
unnecessary repetitions. Thus BuckleyLeverett discontinuous and the front moves with the velocity
theory, extensively discussed in many other papers [8 of the gas particles. In addition, when an advancing
12], is not developed in detail, although some of its gas front changes its sense of motion and starts to
results are briefly described and used. Buckley recede, the shock bifurcates, giving rise to two
Leverett theory [810] deals with an important kind of shocks: one moving with the oil velocity and the
shocks which occur in blackoil model applications, other one with the velocity of the gas.
and Cardwell & Sheldon [11,12] explained clearly the It is important to stress that only in one case the
generation mechanisms of such shocks. From a
presence of capillary pressure precludes the
presentday perspective, BuckleyLeverett theory can
occurrence of shocks: in the saturated region where
be thought of as a 'hyperbolic conservation law' [5].
free gas is present, and shocks ocurring in that region
The interested reader is referred to [2,7] for a recent
are described by BuckleyLeverett theory. The other
account of such developments. Additional references
types of shocks may occur even if capillary pressure is
on this subject are given there. The results to be
incorporated in the model. Finally, the jump conditions
presented in what follows indicate that although
shocks of this kind may occur only when capillary that prevail at an advancing gas front are of the same
pressure is absent, this is not the case for other kinds kind as those that apply in Stefan problems [13].
of shocks discussed here, since the presence of It seems that the results presented here may be useful
capillary forces does not preclude their occurrence. on several counts. Firstly, they contribute to clarify
When dealing with variable bubblepoint problems, in some aspects of blackoil models. For example, as
general, in which free gas may, or may not, coexist mentioned before, a consequence of omitting diffusion
with liquid oil, the region of definition of the problem and dispersion is the "bubblepoint conservation
can be divided into three subregions: principle". This property, leads to the preservation of
a).A region where free gas is absent, usually, discontinuities (shocks) of the oil:gas ratio. Further
undersaturated; more, due to the bubblepoint conservation principle,
b).A region where gas is present, necessarily, the manners in which the gasphase can transfer gas to
saturated; and the liquidoil phase, are rather restricted. In this
c).A gasfront; i.e., a boundary between an respect, it has interest to point out that shocks
undersaturated and a saturated region. occurring at an advancing gas front, constitute an
additional mechanism for transferring gas from the
gasphase to oilparticles; thus, relaxing somewhat
430
3 SHUCKS IN SOLUTION GASDR1VE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
such restrictions. Finally, numerical difficulties may oil per unit volume per unit time, while a is the mass
occur in numerical models when pathologies such as of dissolved oil that goes into the gas phase per unit
shocks, are developed. A clear understanding of them volume and per unit time.
is important to design adecuate numerical treatments Clearly
and effectively overcome such difficulties previous
studies did not deal with such pathologies explicitly g7g + gt =0 (3 )
(see for example [1416]). for mass conservation.
There are situations in which it is necessary to
THE BLACKOIL MODEL
consider discontinuous solutions. Surfaces on which
discontinuities take place are usually referred to as
For simplicity, we consider a "blackoil" or "beta"
"shocks" and will be represented by E; its unit normal
model, consisting of two phases, liquid oil and gas
(whose particle velocities are denoted by v° and vg , vector will be n . Mass conservation requires the jump
conditions [1,2]:
respectively), based on the following assumptions:
Gas is soluble in liquid oil; i.e., the gas phase [ 0 P„ (1)°. — E )]• rj= 0 (4a)
consists of only one component, while the liquid r
oil is made up of two components (dissolved gas p„,SoRs(y1 —E,M• pi =4g (4b)
and nonvolatile oil). This implies that the total A
rA7: 1, !fog
431
4 SHOCKS IN SOLUTION GASDRIVE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
Law for multiphase systems is frequently expressed in are more easily derived applying the equations gi
terms of Darcy velocities defined by: here.
Now let us restrict our attention to situations in wt
ua = ; a=o and g (7 ) a gas front divides the region of study into 1
Then, subregions: one in which free gas is present (the "
region") and the other in which there is c
paua =— AaVpa, a = o,g (8)
undersaturated oil (the "unsaturated oil region").
where the parameters A, „ and A g are defined by be specific, at the gas front, the unit normal vec
(n) will be taken as pointing towards the gas region.
kk By a complete system of governing equations
A= , a= 0,g (9)
mean that when such a system is complemented v
a
appropriate initial and boundary conditions well po
Here pastands for the viscosity of the different phases. problems are defined. In Section 5, initialvi
Note that in the presence of Eq. (2a) one can write problems in one dimension will be considered. '
region of definition of such problems will be
Osopoi(is)+1,(1•v—R1.,g7g (10) interval [0,1], for t>0, and the gas region will
located at the righthand side of the gas front. In 1
OpgSg instead of Eq. (2b). Also, adding Eqs. (2c) and case, several combinations of initial and bound
(10), one gets: conditions lead to well posed problems. For exam
one such set is:
0S. P:1(7? 3 ) +V+ 0S g p g + OpS g = 0 ILInitial conditions.
432
5 SHOCKS IN SOLUTION GASDRIVE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
B). The shock occurs at the unsaturated oil region, so
that the gasphase is absent from both sides of the
[R,]p„,S,,(1):—El)• n+pg+SgAit —vL)•n —
shock; pg_Sg_(vf—vx)•n= 0
C). The shock occurs at the gas region, so that the by virtue of Eq. (13) and the definition of the jump of
gasphase is present at both sides of the shock. a function. Thus
The shock velocities. Let us present a unified formula
for the velocity of propagation of the shock, applicable
to cases A) and C), in which gas is present on at least [Rs]p„,,S0+(y:—Ej• n+[pgSg](v+—y_j•Li
one side of the shock. To this end, define the +pg_Sg_kgi• /1=0
parameters e,3 and y by mean of the equations
Introducing the definitions of Eq. (15), one gets
(vz — v:)•n = 4 —
vg+ vo+). n,
e[Ripo+So++(e1)[pgSg]3pg_Sg_ =0
Solving for e, the first of formulas (16) is obtained.
vg • n= 14vg, — v:.) n, To obtain the second formula, note that the jump
condition (4a) can be written as
v° • n = —y(vg, v:)• n —
I + Rs 1 { ) ;s5: 2 )
433
1
E=
1+Rp"4___________S"+
Pg+''g+ The first of these equations
for the factor E, was first derived in [3] (Eq.
49). It implies that e51, in the case we are
considering, and it is necessary to
distinguish two possibilities.
y=(1—S0+—+1E (17)
P,
6 SHOCKS IN SOLUTION GAS•DRIVE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
A
compatible both with this equation and with the jump pressure. On the other hand, where the gas phase is
condition (4a), if and only if v°• n is continuous and absent the liquid oil will usually be undersaturated and
R, can take any value below the saturation curve (Fig.
•!1_=11.L1, on E (19) 1). This provides some insight into the initial
Situations in which shocks of these characteristics conditions associated with wellposed problems. When
may occur are discussed in the next section. free gas is present, the oil is saturated and the pressure
Case C.
In this case gas is present on both sides of the shock. determines Rs so that it is not necessary to include this
Thus the liquid oil is saturated at both sides of the parameter in the initial conditions. On the other hand,
shock. Assuming, as is usually the case, that R is a if the oil is undersaturated Rs is not determined by the
pressure and must be prescribed as an initial condition.
continuous function of p,,,[R,]= 0, because p° is One point which is relevant for our discussions is that
continuous across E (Eq. (6) of Section 2). This the prescribed initial or boundary values of R„ may be
implies that discontinuous. In this case a shock in the
unsaturaturated region would be introduced, as it will
be seen in what follows.
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7 SHOCKS IN SOLUTION GASDRIVE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
One property of "oil particles" which move in the periods spent by the particle in regions where the gas
interior of a region occupied by undersaturated oil is phase is present, while the latter ones correspond to
that they conserve their bubblepoint. This property periods spent by the particle in undersaturated regions
will be used in the sequel. where the gas phase is necessarily absent. Thus, if a
particle starts at state "n" Fig. 1 a, so that it is
BUBBLE POINT CONSERVATION PRINCIPLE undersaturated initially, and if it is then depressurized,
it moves along a horizontal line towards the left until it
In the absence of a gas phase, oil particles conserve reaches the saturation curve. If depressurization of the
their bubblepoint. particle continues, it bubbles and liberates gas. If
Proof. When a gas phase is not present the mass depressurization is stopped, the free gas is removed
exchange term gL nerPqqnrily vAnishPs in the and the oil is repressurized, so that the state of the
particle in the Rs po plane moves along a horizontal

governing differential equation (10), and therefore line, this time towards the right. It finally reaches a
(Rs) +—v° •VRs =0 (23) state such as "n+1" (Fig. la).
This path is reversible: we could start at state "n+1"
Thus the "material particle derivative" of R, vanishes. and by successive depressurization and
Clearly this implies that Rs (i.e., the bubble point) repressurization, reach state "n". The point at which
remains constant on liquid oil particles. the mixture leaves the saturation curve when it is
If the liquid oil is initially undersaturated, R, is repressurized depends on the amount of free gas
prescribed as part of the initial conditions. If the initial available. In actual reservoirs, this amount of gas is
conditions are discontinuous and the liquid oil supplied by the gas phase, which in turn is determined
by the relative motion of the liquid oil phase with
particles retain their Rs values, then the discontinuity respect to it.
will propagate with velocity v*, as required for the On the other hand, on the RSp° plane the states of an

jumps, loy the mass conservation condition (Case B of oil particle cannot follow a path such as the one
Section 3, Eq. (19)). Thus shocks of this kind can be joining states"n" and "n+1" (Fig. lb) since this would
produced by the initial or possibly by the boundary
imply that Rs changes without reaching the bubble
conditions. Later in this section, it will be seen that
they can also be generated when an advancing gas point. That is, RS would change when the gas phase is
front stops and starts to recede. absent and the bubblepoint conservation principle
would be violated.
AT A GAS FRONT At an advancing gas front
At first glance, the previous discussion suggests that in
The bubblepoint conservation principle is very a beta model the only way in which an undersaturated
restrictive condition and at a gas front shocks are oil particle may become saturated is by
generated when undersaturated particles reach the depressurization to the bubble point. This would imply
front and become suddenly saturated. This would that the beta model is a very limited model, especially
happen at an advancing gas front, but not at a gas when considering problems in which the bubblepoint
front that is receding from a region occupied by varies, since it cannot mimic the processes by which an
undersaturated oil, as is explained next. undersaturated particle of oil receives gas from other
The evolution of R, on an oil particle is restricted by particles. However, such limitation is somewhat
the "bubblepoint conservation principle". The paths in relaxed by the fact that in a beta model an oil particle
the Rs po plane described by the values of R, consist

may become saturated, in another manner: it may
of fragments of the saturation curve or of horizontal follow a discontinuous path on the Rs plane, as
segments, only (Fig. I a). The first ones take place in illustrated in Fig. 1 c. This corresponds to an oil
particle which is initially undersaturated (point "n") so
435
8 SHOCKS IN SOLUTION GASDRIVE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
that the gas phase is absent. At some point the oil discontinuous variable is the bubblepoint. This
particle is reached by a gas front (point SH) and phenomenon is illustrated in Fig. 2. At an advancing
becomes suddenly saturated; under further gas front, the bubblepoint and the saturation are both
pressurization R, moves along the saturation curve. discontinuous, so that when the sense of motion of the
Such a path has a discontinuity at SH and therefore front changes and it starts to recede, the
1: _r n 1    16
uiscontinuities of it s anu a c , coinciue, at Inc point En
[R,}* 0, there, in actual reservoir models. Clearly this
bifurcation; x=x B , in Fig. 2a. However, as the
corresponds to a discontinuous front or shock. In this receding motion of the front progresses, these
case, the shock itself constitutes a mechanism for discontinuities split apart because one moves with the
transferring gas from the gasphase to the oilparticles. velocity of the oil while the other one moves with the
At an advancing gas front, due to the bubblepoint velocity of the gas. This is illustrated in Fig. 2b, where
conservation principle, a shock of this kind generally
the discontinuity of the bubblepoint (Rs) is located at
will occur even if the initial conditions are continuous.
This is because the continuity of the initial values does ;Ens , to the left of x8, while the discontinuity of the
not prevent oil particles, carrying values of Rs below saturation is located at x1. , to the right of x8.
the saturation value, from reaching the gasfront,
AT REGIONS \Iv—HERE FREE GAS IS PRESENT
where Rs necessarily equals the saturation value. This
is the mechanism of shock generation at an advancing This kind of shocks are generated by a mechanism that
gas front. was originally described by BuckleyLeverett [8,9]
At a receding gas front and further discussed by many authors. They occur
At a front that is receding, on the contrary, R, is when characteristic curves carrying different values of
necessarily continuous because the gas phase leaves saturation instersect, giving rise to multivalued
saturated oil behind it, as it goes away. Since Rs is solutions which are not physically admissible. A very
continuous, the only discontinuous variable is the clear discusion of this process was presented by
saturation. Setting [Rs ]=0 in the first of Eqs. (17) Sheldon and Cardwell [12]. A recent account, from a
presentday perspective, is given in [2].
yields e= 1, which implies v1 = vg; i.e., the gas front Note that in a region where freegas is present, such
moves together with the gas particles that constitute shocks only develop when capillary pressure is
it. Note that if an advancing gas front changes its neglected. If capillary pressure is present, the
sense of motion, thus becoming a receding one, at the continuity condition of Eq. (6) must be satisfied by
point where it stops and starts to recede, a both the pressure of the oil and of the gas. This is
discontinuity of Rs at the oil phase remains. In general, possible only if the capillary pressure is continuous.
at later times such a shock will be located inside the This implies the continuity of saturation, since
unsaturated region, since the gas front withdraws from capillary pressure is a continuous function of So.
it. According to the results of Section 3, such shocks However, other kinds of discontinuities that were
move with the velocity of the oilparticles. This is a discussed above may be generated even if capillary
mechanism of generation of the kind of shocks that pressure is incorporated in the model. This is because
occur in the undersaturated region and that have been in the other cases considered, the gas phase is not
described above in this Section. required to satisfy Eq. (6), since the gas pressure is
A bifurcation mechanism not defined at least at one side of the shock.
On the other hand, this analysis also indicates that
where an advancing front stops and starts to recede SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
the shock "bifurcates", giving rise to two shocks:one
in which the only discontinuous variable is the
saturation and the other one in which the only
436
9 SHOCKS IN SOLUTION GASDRIVE RESERVOIRS SPE 029136
Blackoil models do not incorporate molecular close. This property, leads to the preservation of
diffusion, nor mechanical dispersion. A consequence discontinuities (shocks) of the bubblepoint.
of such omission is a propensity of such models, to Another point to be made is that due to the bubble
developing shocks. This behavior becomes apparent point conservation principle, the manners in which the
when these models are applied to problems with oil:gas ratio of an oil particle can vary, are rather
variable bubblepoint, such as a solution gasdrive, and restricted. In this respect, it has interest observe that
then several kinds of shocks may develop. one class of shocks, here presented, constitutes a
This effect is considerably different to that described mechanism by which gas is transferred to oilparticles.
by BuckleyLeverett theory and occurs when a gas Finally, nnmerinal difficulties occur in numerical
front moves into, or recedes from, a region occupied models when pathologies such as shocks, are
by undersaturated oil. To make our points more clear, developed; a clear understanding of them is important
the results are placed in the general perspective of an to design adequate numerical treatments and
exhaustive classification of shocks that may be found effectively overcome such difficulties.
in blackoil model applications; three kinds of shocks
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FIGURE CAPTIONS
FIGURE 1. Paths in the R p plane.
FIGURE 2. The bifurcation mechanism.
a) The bifurcation point at xB .
b) The two shocks, after bifurcation.
0
438
Fig. 10
Rs n+i
_.....______
Fig. lb
......>p
Fig. IC
1
xs
XB
>X
X1 Rs Xis