This paper deals with the issues related to the modeling of non-equilibrium phase transition in isothermal compositional models. Based on a real case of oil and gas field in the Middle East, the importance to take into account the effects of thermodynamic non-equilibrium are demonstrated with the help of mathematical models proposed earlier.
Theoretical and experimental studies, as well as actual field development data, show that not all phase transition processes take place in the forward and reverse directions at the same rate. For example, the dissolution of gas is much slower than the gas liberation from oil. Non-equilibrium processes are those whose characteristic time is comparable to or exceeding the characteristic time of variation of external conditions. In the classical formulation, it is supposed that thermodynamic processes are equilibrium, but the effect of non-equilibrium in addition to large grid cell sizes of the dynamic model and small-time steps can significantly affect the simulation results. In the case of black oil models, there are extensions of the mathematical model that are often used to describe the non-equilibrium behavior. At the moment, the rate of establishment of thermodynamic equilibrium is not taken into account in the majority of compositional models, the neglection of which in some cases might question the reliability of the simulation results. The practical implementation of the ideas (Indrupskiy et al, 2017), which were stated about how to take into account the non-equilibrium of thermodynamic processes occurring in the reservoir for compositional models, is performed.
The paper presents the results of modeling gas and water injection as a method of pressure support after development under depletion. In the equilibrium approach gas dissolves in oil at gas-oil contact simultaneously with increasing pressure. In practice, gas dissolution in oil occurs extremely slowly, and the dissolution rate decreases as the pressure approach the saturation pressure of the oil. According to laboratory studies, the modeling of such phase transitions requires the implementation of non-equilibrium models. At the same time, usage of the equilibrium models for this type of field leads to dramatic errors in estimates of the oil recovery.