Effect of Directional Permeability on Sweep Efficiency and Production Capacity
- Bobby L. Landrum (Texas Petroleum Research Committee) | Paul B. Crawford (Texas Petroleum Research Committee)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1960
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 67 - 71
- 1960. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 5.4.3 Gas Cycling
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Theoretical and potentiometric model studies have been made of the effect of non-uniform lateral permeabilities on pattern sweep efficiency and production capacity in waterflood and gas-cycling programs.
It is shown that a difference in directional permeability by a factor of three may result in a sweep efficiency of only 43 per cent for a five-spot pattern or a sweep of either 79 or 38 per cent for a direct line-drive square pattern, depending on the direction of the line-drive flood. Changes in the pattern conductivity varied from about 0.8 to 1.34 over this same permeability variation, depending on the pattern used.
It is suggested that measurements be made to determine the possible magnitude and extent of the directional permeability phenomenon early in the field development and certainly prior to the initiation of any fluid-injection program.
Irregularities in reservoir sand properties long have been a major difficulty to anyone attempting to explicitly describe the field characteristics of oil production. In particular, it is well known that vertical and lateral permeabilities often differ appreciably; however, the existence of large regions with lateral permeability variation is not widely recognized. A number of years ago, extensive studies were conducted by the Secondary Recovery Research Laboratory of the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Oil Association, primarily on the Bradford field. Johnson and Hughes reported a permeability trend in the northeast-southwest direction. They indicated that flow in the preferred direction may be 25 to 30 per cent greater in that direction than in the northwest-southeast direction. They also reported that similar effects may be found in other nearby fields. The origin of the permeability variation has been discussed by Griffith. Hutchinson described the results of laboratory tests on limestone cores, pointing out that preferential directional permeabilities were significant in one-half of 10 formations studied and that the average permeability ratio was 16:1.
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