Analog Study of Water Coning
- H.I. Meyer (United Gas Corp.) | D.F. Searcy (United Gas Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 1956
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 61 - 64
- 1956. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.11 Fundamental Research in Reservoir Description and Dynamics
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- 554 since 2007
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The analysis of our previous paper on the behavior of two immiscible fluids separated by gravity into two distinct saturated zones in the porous medium was shown to be theoretically valid only if one of the two fluids was immobile. The practical problems associated with flow of both phases have so far been impossible of solution by these analytic methods. We, therefore, decided to resort to a simulator study to answer the following pertinent questions:
1. If the lighter fluid is produced from a point above the fluid-fluid interface, how long will it take for the heavier fluid to come up to the point where production of both fluids is taking place?
2. After steady-state two-phase production is established, what is the relative production rate of each phase, on what physical variables does this depend, and what are the boundary conditions at the outflow face?
3. A third question was at least partially answered in the course of this investigation: that of the shape of the interface under flow conditions. These questions are of fundamental importance in the fields of hydrology and the reservoir mechanics of oil and gas production.
In order to simplify equipment used and still retain a fair physical representation of these phenomena, it was decided to use a Hele-Shaw type of analogy in which the flow took place between two vertically mounted pieces of plate glass. The advantage of this system is that it eliminates any surface effects between the matrix of the porous medium (e.g. packed sand) and also allows equilibrium conditions to be established more quickly. The principle disadvantage (apart from the obvious one of being one more step removed from the prototype) is that our equipment limited us to two dimensional flow studies.
In spite of these limitations answers to the questions were obtained which seem adequate for our purposes. We would like to see more work of this nature done to verify and to improve our conclusions.
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