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Energy & Fuels 1999, 13, 1021-1029


A Modified Leverett J-Function for the Dune and Yates Carbonate Fields: A Case Study
Ali A. Garrouch
Department of Petroleum Engineering, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwait Received January 11, 1999. Revised Manuscript Received May 5, 1999

Effective medium theory (EMT) has been used to model capillary pressure (Pc) as a function of water saturation (Sw) in porous media. The EMT model results show that both the magnitude and profile of the Pc - Sw profile are strongly affected by changing the pore-size distribution parameters and the rock pore geometry. Tortuosity, which is a function of these parameters, is used in developing a drainage capillary pressure model based on data from the Dune and Yates fields. Capillary pressure is normalized with respect to an average pore radius that includes tortuosity. To minimize the uncertainty caused by the contact angle term, only helium/water capillary pressure curves were considered. The wetting-phase saturation is normalized with respect to an asymptotic irreducible wetting-phase saturation. For the Dune and Yates fields, the development of this type of dimensionless model may be useful as an input for reservoir simulation studies.

Introduction When two immiscible fluids are in contact in the pores of a hydrocarbon-bearing rock, a discontinuity in pressure exists across the interface separating them. Its magnitude depends on the interface curvature at the point. The difference in pressure between the wetting and nonwetting phase at the interface is called capillary pressure. Capillary pressure in porous media is given by the Laplace equation

Pc ) σnw


1 1 + R1 R2



where σnw is the interfacial tension between the wetting and nonwetting fluids and R1 and R2 are the principal radii of curvature of the fluid interface. The capillary pressure which would develop if two immiscible reservoir fluids existed in the same capillary would be

Pc )

2σnw cos θnw r


Here r is the radius of the capillary and θnw is the contact angle. Since the nonwetting phase tends to occupy the larger accessible pores first, capillary pressure curves make an excellent indicator of the sequence of pore filling by the nonwetting phase during a drainage cycle. It is therefore, a good indicator of the pore size distribution.4
(1) Ao, S.; Xie, X. SPE-21890, 1990. (2) Bae, W. The Influence of Macropore Heterogeneity on the Petrophysical Properties of Carbonates. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 1992. (3) Bebout, D. G.; Lucia, F. G.; Hocott, C. R.; Fogg, G. E.; Vander Stoep, G. W. Report of Investigations No. 168. Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1987. (4) Collins, R. E. Flow of Fluids Through Porous Materials. Research and Engineering Consultants Inc., Englewood, Colorado. 1990.

Although the capillary pressure magnitude in most hydrocarbon rocks is not large, knowledge of the effects of capillary forces is extremely important in understanding fluid displacement in these rocks.14 Indeed, the distribution of various fluids in the reservoir rock is greatly influenced by capillary forces during all recovery phases. On a microscopic scale, capillary forces are important in determining the amount of trapped or residual oil in either laboratory or field displacement. This makes capillary pressure one of the most basic rock-fluid characteristics in multiphase flow, just as porosity and permeability are the most basic properties in single-phase flow. Capillary pressure measurements in the laboratory are also useful for estimating a variety of important petrophysical parameters. The measurements can be used to estimate rock wettability by evaluating the USBM index, or the Amott ratio, the irreducible water saturation, depths of fluid contacts, height above the free water level, and transition zone thickness.9 Leverett13 proposed the J-function for scaling drainage capillary pressure curves. This function incorporates the effects of interfacial tension but uses a simple relation for the average pore radius (k/φ)1/2 which does not account for the tortuous nature of reservoir rocks.
(5) Cornell, D.; Katz, D. L. Ind. Eng. Chem. 1953, 45, 2145-2152. (6) Fatt, I. Trans. AIME. 1956, 207, 141-181. (7) Focke, J. W.; Munn, D. SPE-13735, 1985. (8) Galloway, W. E.; Ewing, T. E.; Garrett, C. M.; Tyler, N.; Bebout, D. G. Atlas of Major Texas Oil Reservoirs. The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology Special Publication, 1983. (9) Garrouch, A. A. In Situ. 1996, 20, 1-9. (10) Garrouch, A. A.; Lababidi, H.; Gharbi, R. J. Phys. Chem. 1996, 100, 16996-17003. (11) Heiba, A. A.; Sahimi, M.; Scriven, L. E.; Davis, H. T. SPE11015, 1982. (12) Larson, R. G.; Scriven, L. E.; Davis, H. T. Chem. Eng. Sci. 1981, 36, 57-73. (13) Leverett, M. C. Trans. AIME 1941, 142, 152-169. (14) Longeron, D. G.; Argaud, M. J.; Bouvier, L. SPE- 19589, 1989.

10.1021/ef990005l CCC: $18.00 © 1999 American Chemical Society Published on Web 07/15/1999

4 and 2. 1999 Garrouch 6 show that a knowledge of porosity. Description of the Experimental Data. therefore. This is given by J(Sw) ) Pc σnw k φ (3) It is commonly accepted that the J-function satisfactorily correlates data from unconsolidated sands and sandstones data from the same formation. Lake L. and Fg is a dimensionless pore geometrical factor. 33. F. A. Pet. limited to these two fields. they lack generality and give little insight into the physical causes affecting rock capillary pressure. and a parameter which is a function of the threshold pressure (Pd). 79. These fields. M. .SwA) Here. A. Swanson18 related the coordinates of the point on the capillary pressure curve given by the 45° tangent line (Figure 1) to the pore geometrical factor Fg and the threshold pressure Pd Fg ) [ln(1 . Though the current capillary pressure models can yield reasonable predictions for some cases. H. 32. No. J. however. and (15) Panda. N. This is typical behavior for lime and dolomite grainstones with intergranular porosity. 1960. A petrographic data summary of the core samples used in this study is presented in Tables 1 and 2. Dunlap. SwA and PcA are the coordinates of the point on the Pc curve given by the 45° line. The missing link. The Yates field is located on the south end of the Central Basin Platform. Its use is. Log Anal. (18) Swanson. Geologic Well Log Analysis. It is given by Pc σnw cos θnw k 2 ) φ χ (( ln 1 - -1 Sw .Swr (1 . 1983. J.. M. This makes its use limited to only relatively homogeneous. There is still a rudimentary understanding of the link between the pore size distribution characteristics and the capillary behavior of porous media. Its development is based on experimental data of carbonate rocks from the Dune and Yates fields.. northeastern Crane county in west Texas. W.3 and by Galloway et al. The samples feature a high degree of variation in permeability ranging from 6 to 611 md. F. 2498-2504. (17) Sharma. and saturation at this point suffices to determine the entire capillary pressure curve. Setup. pressure. 5. 5. are well documented by Bebout et al. The purpose of this study is to illustrate the importance of this link by simulating rock capillarity using the effective medium theory and to develop a drainage capillary pressure model by including heterogeneity and pore size distribution parameters. H. J.. is the fact that these coordinates have not been related to the pore size distribution characteristics of the medium and its tortuosity.SwA)]2 2. as well as dolomites Here Sb∞ is porosity. Equations 4. the cementation exponent (m) indicated a rather smooth and moderate variation between 1.1022 Energy & Fuels. M. Garrouch.Swr)(1 + ) )) 1/l (7) Figure 1. It has been noted that the J-function is not satisfactory when capillary pressure data are scaled for rocks that exhibit a great deal of heterogeneity such as in carbonate rocks. For such porosity interval. Sb is porosity times hydrocarbon saturation. S. (16) Pirson.303 (5) (6) Pd ) PcA(1 .3. AAPG Bull. M. J. Pet. A schematic of Swanson’s representation of capillary pressure. 13. Gulf Publishing: Houston. Technol. Ao and Xie1 formulated analytically a dimensionless relationship for capillary pressure that included parameters such as sorting coefficient (l).. This model is dimensionless and is called a modified Leverett J-function in this paper. and Procedures Data for simultaneous capillary pressure and resistivity index measurements obtained from 25 carbonate core samples from the Dune and Yates fields were used as a basis for developing the nondimensional relationship between capillary pressure and water saturation. 1995. characteristic pore neck radius coefficient (χ). Thomeer19 introduced an improved nondimensional model for relatively homogeneous and isotropic consolidated sandstone rocks. He described mercury capillary pressure with a hyperbolic model expressed by Sb ) exp Sb∞ { ( )} Fg Pc log Pd (4) Although this model seems to incorporate characteristics of the rock pore size distribution. 511-526. pp 136-138. 73-77. 12. 1991. (19) Thomeer. The derivation is also based on the assumption that the pore size distribution is normal. the method proposed for estimating the coefficients l and χ is based on iterative techniques that use least-squares approximations using capillary pressure experimental data. well sorted sandstone rocks. which have been the subject of extensive geological and petrophysical studies. Technol. 1981. The porosity varied from approximately 11% to 32%.8 The Dune field is located on the east side of the Central Basin Platform in the Permian Basin. Vol. B. 431-443. The major part of the Yates field is in Pecos county with the eastern tip extending across the Pecos River into Crockett county.

1999 1023 a Beginning of pellet grainstone facies data.35 2.3 17.2 To avoid polarization and contact resistance effects.73 m 2.75 2.98 2. The porous plate is impermeable to the nonwetting phase as long as the threshold pressure of the membrane is not exceeded.5 in.93 j r µm 6.9 17.9 19.6 15.66 1. As time goes to infinity.2 This data set has been used in this study to develop a modified Leverett J-function.5 in. 13.93 1. Extraction was conducted with fresh solvent which was continuously distilled and condensed before redistribution to the extractors used. however.3 42.55 2.8 14.9 24. The following section.88 2.91 1. The current passing through the rock was measured by placing a 1000-ohm (0.71 1.87 1. Drainage capillary pressuresaturation relationships were measured using a special porous plate setup featuring a number of experimental precautions that ensure both precision and accuracy of the measurements.5 τ 2.12 1. crinoid packstone/grainstone.52 3.5 35. This helps in maintaining good capillary contact with the porous plate.88 1.82 1.0 17. and as the pressure is increased fluid is displaced from the smaller pores.09 2. These are pellet grainstone.6 24. At higher pressures. Its porosity is typically interparticle and moldic.83 1. and the expelled volume is measured. Petrographic Data Summary of Core Samples from the Dune Field depth (ft) 3343a 3347 3348 3364 3365 3398b 3419 3453c 3455 3460 3462 3470 3476 3501 3502 3504 3531 3532 k (md) 67 53 156 169 143 62 12 50 56 67 191 6 7 12 164 127 41 14 φ (%) 13.5 97.61 1. No. c Beginning of crinoid packstone/ grainstone facies data. Core samples from the Yates field are generally characterized by a vuggy cavernous porosity. which contacts the ceramic plate.7 21. capillary equilibrium must be reached before a reading is made of the produced volume of the wetting fluid.5 1377. Cores used were 1 in. A schematic view of the porous plate cell. The pore system is frequently vuggy and moldic.42 2.30 2.41 1. Figure 2.76 4.7 15.9.8 k (md) 387 305 611 296 123 55 356 φ (%) 29.67 3.0 18. illustrates the effects of pore size distribution parameters on the Pc . .40 1.77 2. Two copper O-ring voltage probes were placed in the middle of the core sample and spaced 0.5 22. in diameter and 1. fluid is displaced from the largest pores.93 1.0 17.3 33.44 1.3 1621. Vol. Lucite acts like glue and is favored over epoxy since it does not reverse the core sample wettability.2 73.60 F 41.49 6.77 1. The pressure on the nonwetting fluid is increased stepwise to the threshold pressure of the porous plate.01 1.69 j r µm 4. The latter facies consists of dolostone with anhydrite and gypsum cement. Water evaporation was minimized by placing mineral oil on top of the water column in the measuring pipets. the core sides were painted with Lucite.91 2.38 3.54 3.8 6.34 1.4 1639.29 2.Modified Leverett J-Function Table 1.68 1. b Beginning of fusulinid wackestone facies data.0 19.5 12.66 1.6 15.14 4.41 4. moldic. and fusulinid wackestone.4 15.7 23. The cores were cleaned by toluene and xylene and then were cleaned for the second time by the Dean-Stark extraction technique using a mixture of 78% chloroform and 22% methanol (by volume). The porous plate used (Figure 2) consists of a closed cylinder with a 2 mm thick ceramic porous disk which permits the wetting phase to drain from the sample.79 9. and its matrix has intercrystalline porosity.5 τ 2.2 36. Measurements were performed at a constant room temperature of 70 °F throughout the experiment.96 1.96 1. the fourelectrode technique was used to measure rock resistivity at the same time the outflow behavior was monitored.86 1.60 1.87 1.27 2. the equilibrium outflow volume was estimated by plotting the outflow measurement versus 1/time.75 1.67 1.4 34. long.66 1. The voltage difference in the middle part of the core sample was measured using a voltmeter that has 2 megohms internal impedance. and intercrystalline.15 1.6 14. apart.8 1653. Helium was used because of its low solubility in water.02 1.6 16.5 1380.01 2.0 31.2 with intercrystalline porosity. At each step. Wet filter paper is placed between the sample and the porous plate to ensure capillary contact.73 5.89 3.50 3.0 14. which consists of dissolved Plexiglass in chloroform.03 1.Sw curves which is a central idea in the development of the empirical model. interparticle.8 9.6 16. A brass mesh was used for the top current electrode and the main body of the core holder is the bottom current electrode. The method of analysis of these data as well as development of this J-function are presented later in the text. A synthetic reservoir brine composed mainly of sodium chloride was used as the wetting phase. is ground with fine sand paper to make it as flat as possible.5 1389.0 23.92 F 19.7 The core samples from the Dune field were collected from a producing zone at a depth of 3343 to 3532 ft and represent three different facies.54 6.38 2.9 17. The former facies is a medium to dark brown dolostone with minor anhydrite nodules and cements.63 1.3 18. Helium gas was used as the nonwetting fluid.84 4. 1/time becomes zero. Dolomite is the dominant diagenetic mineral in these rocks.4 Energy & Fuels. This high impedance ensures accurate voltage measurements.7 33. 5.36 m 1. Table 2.0 18.42 10.0 11.87 1.1% precision) resistance in series with the rock sample. Its porosity is typically vuggy. Starting at a low pressure. and an extrapolated value is used for the equilibrium volume displaced which is used to calculate the equilibrium water saturation.22 1. A detailed description of the experimental procedures and a complete data set of capillary pressure and resistivity measurements for these core samples is provided by Bae. The bottom of each core.8 10.8 11. The crinoid packstone/grainstone facies consists of a light-colored to medium gray and brown dolostone with common gypsum cement and anhydrite nodules.4 22.17 To ensure one-dimensional displacement from the top of the core to its bottom.70 2. progressively.9 16.0 21.48 2.5 23. Petrographic Data Summary of Core Samples from the Yates Field depth (ft) 1376.65 1.8 16.21 2.3 24.6 29.30 2.59 2.

A schematic of a pore segment. M. 1994. 1988.rt)sin L 0exeL (8) A schematic of the representation of a pore segment is shown in Figures 3 and 4. The pore throat is assumed to have a sinusoidal shape and the pore body can be approximated by a cube of size 2rb Figure 4.12 The computational procedure for wetting-phase saturation and capillary pressure is as follows: First we fix Xd and compute the corresponding rd using eq 11. the pore reduces to a cylindrical tube with constant radius. Adjacent pore bodies are connected by pore throats. E. The actual porous medium is replaced by a three-dimensional network having pore throats distributed according to a given probability function.21 The following is an adaption of EMT for modeling capillary pressure of porous rocks. As ar goes to 1. The local coordination number Z. The fraction of pore segments allowed by capillarity to be occupied by oil at a stage during drainage is characterized by rd. M. The EMT model was developed to quantify the individual effects of rock statistical parameters on the capillary pressure profile. the accessibility function of three-dimensional networks was approximated by the accessibility function for a Bethe tree with the same percolation threshold. let us consider primary drainage in water-wet rocks.. throat-size distribution is used here: f(rt) ) 2 σ π 1 + erf [ 1 ( )] µ σ 2 exp - [ ( )] 1 rt . Presented in the 29th SPWLA Annual Logging Symposium. water forms thin films on the surfaces of the pores drained by oil. The relation between throat radius rt and pore length L is allowed to be of a form used by Fatt6 in his network resistor model: This type of distribution would be expected if the depositional environment provided the only source for grain sorting. A schematic of a two-dimensional representation of a pore segment. Sharma. This is a good approximation and is useful to apply since Xa for a Bethe tree can be calculated analytically. As an example. it enters the largest pores first. paper G. the model is identical to the bundle of capillary tubes model. in accordance with capillarity. H. G. During the drainage process it is assumed that oil and water occupy distinct flow channels (except for the presence of nonflowing thin films). For example. Because oil is the nonwetting phase. The ratio rb/rt is referred to as the aspect ratio (ar). Scriven. June 5-8. Then .. The elementary pore throat segment is assumed to be a converging-diverging capillary tube characterized by a throat radius (rt) and a pore-body radius (rb). For this study. when Z goes to infinity. 13. 5..1024 Energy & Fuels. the nonwetting phase flows in large pores and the wetting phase flows in small pores. 46-54. Davis. Eval. a normalized Gaussian (20) Toledo.µ 2 σ 2 (10) πx r ) rb . 9. P. L. rb is specified by rt. which is the number of pore throats connected to a pore body. defines the connectivity. (21) Wang. No.11 and by Wang and Sharma. The porous medium is represented by a network of randomly distributed pore throats (bonds) and pore bodies (sites). For the case of a strongly water-wet rock. Vol. T. Xnd ) Xa(Xd) (12) Here Xa(Xd) is the accessibility function. For a given ar value. and this network is in turn replaced by an effective network in which all pore throats have the same conductivity.(rb . and is given by Xd ) ∫r∞f(r)dr d (11) L ) crω t (9) Xd is the fraction of pore space allowed to be invaded by the nonwetting phase during drainage. Modeling Capillary Pressure Profiles Using the Effective Medium Theory The effective medium theory (EMT) formulation for simulating fluid transport in porous media is well documented by Heiba et al. Modeling of the drainage process is based on a fluid filling sequence. The fraction of pore segments accessible to the nonwetting phase (actually occupied by the nonwetting phase) is given by where c and ω are arbitrary constants. SPE Form. A larger value of Z implies better connectivity. 1999 Garrouch Figure 3. In the limit. For describing the statistical variation of pore sizes. Y.

more pronounced at low Sw values than at high Sw values. Figure 6a suggests that the shape of Pc . the more likely pore throats with small sizes will be invaded by the nonwetting phase. and Z on the magnitude of capillary pressure. the capillary pressure increases in value by approximately 40% for a fixed saturation. truncated log-normal pore size distributions were used such as 1 ln(rt + rmin) 2 µ f(rt) ) ln(rmax) ln(rmin) (rt + rmin)σ π erf . In summary. the flatter the profile of Pc Sw becomes and the smaller the value of Pc becomes.20 For varying the coefficient of skewness (γ). the capillary pressure increased unevenly by as much as 17% at high Sw values to reach an increase of approximately 33% at low water saturation values. capillary pressure is scaled with respect to tortuosity which. and γ. This is obtained by setting the network percolation threshold equal to that of Bethe tree. Vol.Modified Leverett J-Function Energy & Fuels. No. For strongly waterwet rock. A rock with a small value of γ yields a flatter Pc . When this happens. the aspect ratio (ar) and the coordination number (Z). For a thin film thickness h. The effect of the skewness coefficient is.20 In general.1 µm. In this analysis. The water saturation Sw (drainage cycle and waterwet rock) is given by Sw ) 1. carbonate rocks have an attractive porosity with either poorly connected segments or with pore bodies connected mainly by small pore throats. σ.0 - Xnd Xd ∫r∞(Vp .(rb .1 where Zb is the equivalent Bethe tree coordination number.Sw profile. since a rock with a large mean value indicates that all rock pore throats have larger values causing entry pressure for every pore throat to decrease. as will be shown in the next section.5 µm. Low coordination number values and high aspect ratio values are likely to represent a carbonate medium heavily altered by diagenesis. statistical parameters for rock throat size distribution have a significant effect on both the magnitude and profile of capillary pressure curves. the capillary pressure is given by eq 2 with r replaced by rd.5 (corresponding to a truncated log-normal distribution). and rcd is solved for by setting Xc ) ∫0r cd f(r)dr (18) A relatively low value of coordination number (Z varying between 5 and 15) and a relatively high value of aspect ratio (ar varying between 3 and 10) were used to mimic qualitatively the behavior of porous media.rt) π [ ] 3 (16) The volume of one pore segment is given by 16rb 4 1 (17) Vp ) π r2 . the volume of the thin film Vf is given by 2 Vf ) 2πhL rb . 1999 1025 we compute Xnd using the following equation: Xnd ) Xd 1 - [ ( ) X* Xd 2σb/σb-1 ] (13) Here X* is solved for by setting X*(1 .rt)rb + (rb . 13. turns out to be a direct function of µ.rt)2 CrR + b t π 2 Z [ ] The capillary pressure Pc between the flowing fluids is the key parameter for displacement. As the coefficient of skewness (γ) varies from zero (corresponding to a bell-shaped throat-size distribution) to a value of 0.(rb . 5. however. Figure 6 shows histograms that summarize the effects of µ. σ. The higher the value of µ is. however. similar with an approximately constant 10% increase in capillary pressure values as the standard deviation is reduced from 1.Sw profile which appears to be sensitive to the mean (µ). A change in both profile and magnitude takes place as ar is changed from 3 to 10. the standard deviation (σ). γ. The model results assert the unequivocal relationship between the pore size distribution characteristics and the Pc .X*)3 ) Xd(1 . That being the case. Comparing capillary pressure response for two water-wet simulated porous media having different aspect ratio values. rcd is determined by the percolation threshold Xc ) 2/Z. water is left in the pores with throat radius e rcd. The following section details the scaling procedures and introduces the modified Leverett J-function. The primary drainage process ends when the displaced water loses its ability to flow. This is true.erf µ 2 µ 2 (19) 2 2exp - { [ [ ( ] [ )] ]} In these simulations rmin takes the value of 1.23 µm and rmax is equal to 49.Vf)f(r)dr d ∫0∞Vpf(r)dr (15) Figure 5. . Figure 5 shows the effects of aspect ratio variation which are more pronounced at low saturations than at high saturations. The effect of the standard deviation is.Sw curve remains unchanged as µ is reduced from a value of 5 to 2. This is because the larger the value of γ is.5 to 1 µm.Xd)3 (14) and σb ) Zb . These effects are associated with a change in profile in some cases.

fill the intergranular pores and increase the porous medium specific surface area and tortuosity. The above equation gives a thorough representation of flow tortuosity of a consolidated permeable medium since it uses a significant number of rock petrographic properties characterizing the throatsize distribution. Dp. h ) 0.001 µm. φ and k are the porosity and permeability. depending on their chemical and crystallographic properties.0. No. µm. The end result is a major transformation in both the magnitude and profile of the capillary pressure-saturation curve of the rock. porosity.001 µm. σ ) 1.0 µm.0. The base case data is ar ) 3. using the capillary tube model. Z ) 10. Pb. µ ) 2. µ ) 2.1026 Energy & Fuels. j r ) 2τ 2k φ (21) . In an effort to separate the effects of throat-size distribution. respectively.. Pf are the amounts of pore-bridging. and the skewness coefficient of the particle size distribution. Z ) 10.5 to 1.e. (a) Histogram showing the relative change in capillary pressure as µ varied from 5 to 2. Scaling Procedures Rock pore geometry usually changes drastically upon diagenesis because of compaction and cementation. and γ ) 0. and γ ) 0. and γ represent h the statistical parameters of the particle size distribution. 1999 Garrouch Figure 6.5 µm. The capillary pressure is. h ) 0. (c) Histogram showing the relative change in capillary pressure as γ varied from 0 to 0. A simple material balance. i. (b) Histogram showing the relative change in capillary pressure as σ varied from 1.φ) + (avbPb + avlPl + avfPf)Dp(γC3Dp + 3C2Dp + 1) h ]} 2 (20) pore-lining. h ) 0. leads to the following expression for this mean pore radius: Here. and permeability. σ ) 1. Compaction causes a reduction of the available intergranular porosity while cements. avf are the specific surface areas of pore-bridging. respectively. Z ) 10. avb.5. and pore-filling cements.5. 13. The effective tortuosity (τ) of a consolidated permeable medium is deduced from Panda and Lake15 as τ ) D2 φ3(γC3Dp + 3C2Dp + 1)2/ hp { 2k(1 . respectively. CDp. therefore.0.5. normalized with respect to an average pore radius for the rock that is a function of tortuosity. the mean grain size.5. µ ) 2. 5.5. σ ) 1. Pl.5. (d) Histogram showing the relative change in capillary pressure as Z varied from 15 to 5. h ) 0. Z ) 10. Vol. The base case data is ar ) 3. µ ) 2. its coefficient of variation which is the mean divided by the standard deviation. and filling cement.001 µm. lining. a modified Leverett J-function is proposed for drainage capillary pressures. and γ ) 0.φ)2 6 [ (1 + C2Dp)(1 . avl.φ0) (1 . σ ) 1. The base case data is ar ) 3.5. and γ ) 0. respectively. expressed as a fraction of total solid volume. The base case data is ar ) 3.

15 with a standard deviation of 0.. Tortuosity Models authors Wyllie and Winsauer et al. appears to mimic the Dune and Yates field data reasonably well. Contact angle measurements. Petrol. 359403.2 τ ) Fφ τ2 ) (Fφ) The calculated mean pore radius for the core samples used had an average of 4..Sw data generated using helium and water were used in this study. For these cleaned core samples (Tables 1 and 2). W. where F is the rock formation factor defined as the ratio of the fully brine-saturated rock resistivity to the brine resistivity. According to Collins.Swr (23) All of the capillary pressure curves used in this analysis reached vertical asymptotic lines at which the wetting phase saturation values remained constant even though capillary pressure values kept on increasing. tortuosity averaged 2. 1999 1027 Table 3. which has been well substantiated by experimental evidence. The w model proposed for the modified J-function is as follows: Figure 8. β. J. The modified Leverett J-function is now given by J ) 2τ Pc 2k φ σnw cos θnw (22) Pirson’s method16 has been used in this analysis for estimating tortuosity values using rock resistivity measurements (Table 1). P. 36. 5. A Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm10 is implemented to find a nonlinear model that adequately describes the relationship between J and S/ . Am. As shown in Figure 7. 13. For the core samples used. H.Modified Leverett J-Function Energy & Fuels. in the presence of helium. There is still some controversy in the petroleum industry over adequate models that best represent reservoir rock tortuosity. 253-277. This is consistent with carbonate rocks that have a positively skewed pore size distribution. A comparison between proposed model and experimental data from the Dune and Yates fields.5. O. B. William. water acts as the wetting phase and the term cosθnw is approximately one. M. Shearin.5 for unconsolidated sands. only Pc . η are all positive constants and are given in the Appendix. Pirson’s model yielded the least data scatter.3 µm and a standard deviation of 2. Originally these data appear to have great variation in capillary pressure response which showed a lot of scatter using the conventional Leverett Jfunction (Figure 8). λ. Leverett J-function versus wetting phase saturation for the Dune and Yates fields. R.23 Table 3 gives a summary of these models.22. Drainage capillary pressure curves are transformed into a plot of the modified Leverett J-function versus a reduced wetting phase saturation S/ given by w Figure 7. To remove the uncertainty caused by the contact-angle term in eq 22. Geol.4 tortuosity takes a value of 1.16.2 The wetting phase saturation at the asymptotic line was taken to be Swr. M. (23) Wyllie.Swr 1 . Assoc. R. performed on mineral crystals. The proposed J-function versus dimensionless wetting phase saturation. is given by τ2 ) Fφ.. S/ ) w Sw . Masson. 1952. δ. the model (22) Winsauer. For this particular carbonate rock data set. A maximum tortuosity value of 3. The model predicts increasing J values as the wetting phase saturation decreases. Bull.22 Cornell and Katz5 Pirson16 Spangler23 year 1952 1952 1953 1983 model τ ) (Fφ)2 τ2 ) (Fφ)1. AAPG Bull. His relationship. No. These measurements are very sensitive to contaminants present in the nonwetting phase and to rock roughness. the J-function increases asymptotically to large values. usually do not reflect the actual wettability conditions of the rock. H. Vol. A plot of modified J versus dimensionless wetting phase saturation on semilog paper (Figure 9) illustrates vividly the conformity of the model to the physics of capillary behavior in porous rocks.53. M. κ. 36.4 µm (Tables 1 and 2). the model features a secondary plateau which indicates . M. J ) R + exp -β + λS/ + w [ κ + δ exp(S/ ) w S/ w η sinh(S/ ) (24) w ] Here.. 1952. Spangler. At low J values. As the dimensionless wettingphase saturation approaches zero.35 was obtained (Tables 1 and 2).

These consist of porosity.372 Nomenclature avb avl avf C CDp Dp h f F Fg h J k L l m n Pb Pc Pd Pf Pl PcA r j r rb rcd rd R1 R2 rmin rmax rt Sb Sb∞ Sw SwA Snw Swr Vp Vf Xc Xd Xnd Xa Z Zb R β δ φ γ κ λ µ specific surface area of pore-bridging cement specific surface area of pore-lining cement specific surface area of pore-filling cement pore-throat constant coefficient of variation mean pore diameter normalized pore size distribution resistivity formation factor dimensionless pore geometrical factor thin film thickness dimensionless capillary pressure rock permeability pore length sorting coefficient cementation exponent saturation exponent amount of pore-bridging cement. Tortuosity. To minimize the uncertainty caused by the contact angle. The EMT model is free of spatial bias and accounts for the existence of thin films. a bimodal throat-size distribution that is typically associated with carbonate rocks. its standard deviation. Summary The study presents an empirical nondimensional model for capillary pressure based on data from the Dune and Yates fields generally characterized by vuggy. This empirical model can be used to provide a basis for generating one representative capillary pressure curve for reservoir simulation studies. The dependence of capillary pressure profile on statistical parameters such as the mean throat radius.005 δ ) 77. Appendix: Constants for Eq 24 R )0. moldic. irreducible water saturation. The pore size distribution is accounted for by including rock tortuosity obtained from electrical measurements. 1999 Garrouch λ ) 162. interparticle. The result is a normalized capillary pressure that is independent of pore-size distribution effects. a direct function of the coefficients of variation and skewness of the pore size distribution. a fraction of total solid volume capillary pressure threshold pressure amount of pore-filling cement. No.4 β ) 74. The author thanks Kuwait University for its financial support of project EP-015. a fraction of total solid volume Swanson’s capillary pressure point radius of capillary tube mean pore radius pore body radius maximum radius that nonwetting phase can penetrate tube radius controlling drainage process principal radius curvature of the fluid interface principal radius curvature of the fluid interface minimum throat radius maximum throat radius pore throat radius porosity times hydrocarbon saturation in Thomeer’s notation porosity in Thomeer’s notation wetting phase saturation (water saturation) Swanson’s wetting phase saturation point nonwetting phase saturation irreducible wetting phase saturation volume of a pore segment volume of a thin film percolation threshold fraction of pore space allowed to be invaded by the nonwetting phase fraction of pore segments accessible to the nonwetting phase accessibility function coordination number equivalent Bethe tree coordination number Figure 9. a fraction of total solid volume amount of pore-lining cement.7771 η ) 258. The model accounts for the effects of interfacial tension and pore size distribution. Vol.402 κ ) 0. 13. is included in scaling the modified Leverett J-function. and the coefficient of skewness of the pore size distribution is illustrated qualitatively using an effective medium theory model. and resistivity formation factor. Acknowledgment. The proposed J-function model versus dimensionless wetting phase saturation. and intercrystalline porosities. permeability. The proposed formulation for the J-function is dependent on the wetting-phase saturation and involves other petrographic parameters that can be obtained either experimentally or from field data.8393 Greek Symbols constant in the modified constant in the modified constant in the modified rock porosity coefficient of skewness constant in the modified constant in the modified mean throat radius J-function J-function J-function J-function J-function . 5. only water-wet samples were considered in this study.1028 Energy & Fuels.

Vol. 1999 1029 contact angle a pore-throat constant a function of the threshold pressure characteristic pore-neck radius coefficient EF990005L . 13.Modified Leverett J-Function η σ σb σnw τ constant in the modified J-function throat size standard deviation a function of coordination number interfacial tension between wetting and nonwetting fluids rock tortuosity θnw ω χ Energy & Fuels. 5. No.