The operation of an aquifer gas storage can be distinguished from the production of a classical gas field by two fondamental points:

  • the flow rates in an aquifer storage are much more important, with gas/water displacement sometimes becoming instable

  • the alternating movement of fluids brings about variations in petrophysical properties despite apparently identical conditions

These two principal problems need to be carefully treated to correctly forecast and strictly monitor the development and operation of an aquifer storage.

This paper presents the results of a study which was conducted on a small scale model of metric size, allowing the visualization and quantification of the different phenomena observed. The effect of different parameters (inclination angle, gas flow-rate, number of cycles, etc.) on stability, geometric characteristics of the gas bubble, the allowable quantity of gas injected, and the Trapped Gas Ratio were investigated. Results were enhanced by the use of video-taping as interpreted by image processing.

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