We measured three phase relative permeabilities for gravity drainage using a dual-energy medical CT scanner modified to scan vertical cores. Independent measurements of two saturations as a function of time and distance along the length of the core were made from which relative permeabilities were found. Three phase (air/oil/water) gravity drainage experiments were performed on systems with different spreading coefficients and at different initial conditions. Experiments were run on both consolidated and unconsolidated porous media. The results were compared to measurements of three phase flow in capillary tubes, micromodels and to predictions from network modeling.
We find that at low oil saturation kro for hexane and octane as the oil phase. This functional form of relative permeability is consistent with the drainage of oil layers. wedged between the water and gas in crevices of the pore space. For decane, which is non-spreading, the layer drainage regime was not observed. At higher oil saturations kro with a for spreading and non-spreading systems. Within the scatter of the experimental data, oil and water relative permeability are functions only of their own saturations and independent of initial conditions.