The Application of the Buckley-Leverett Frontal Advance Theory to Petroleum Recovery
- Stephen G. Dardaganian (A&M College of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 1958
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 49 - 52
- 1958. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.3.4 Reduction of Residual Oil Saturation, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements
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Basically, the Buckley-Leverett theory involves two systems which are similar in nature but are differentiated by time. These systems may be described by the fractional flow and frontal advance equations which essentially characterize the mechanics of oil movement while being expelled from the reservoir.
The fractional flow equation originally developed by Leverett may be expressed in the more usable form
The development of this equation is based on Darcy's law describing fluid flow through porous media and applies to the flow at only one point (it is a point function). For simplification, the fractional flow equation is written in the above form because the capillary forces always increase the fractional flow of the displacing phase regardless of the direction of flow or the displacing phase.
Applications of the Frontal Advance Theory to Petroleum Recovery
Two general applications of the Buckley-Leverett frontal advance theory involve the system in which the oil is being displaced by an expanding gas cap overlying the oil zone and that in which the oil is being displaced by water.
Displacement by Gas in the Presence of an Immobile Water Saturation
A system in which gas is the displacing phase may be thought of as having two forces effecting the displacement process. These forces are the gravitational force and that force exerted by the displacing gas. The gravitational effects control the displacing efficiency of the gas. The gravitational effect will be less at higher rates of flow, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the displacement of the oil by the gas. The more efficient displacements occur at flow rates which are less than the gravity free fall rate. Capillary forces can be neglected without materially changing the magnitude of the gas saturation.
The Mile Six pool is used herein to illustrate the calculating procedures in evaluating gas drive-gravity drainage field performance. These calculations represent the determination of the gas-oil contact when the distribution of the hydrocarbon pore volume is considered.
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