The critical gas saturation was directly determined using micro-CT flow experiments and associated image analysis. The critical gas saturation is the minimum saturation above which gas becomes mobile and can be produced. Knowing this parameter is particularly important for the production of an oil field that during its lifetime falls below the bubblepoint, which will reduce the oil production dramatically. Experiments to determine the critical gas saturation are notoriously difficult to conduct with conventional coreflooding experiments at the Darcy scale. The difficulties are primarily related to two effects: The development of gas bubbles is a nucleation process which is governed by growth kinetics that, in turn, is related to the extent of pressure drawdown below the bubblepoint. At the Darcy scale, the critical gas saturation at which the formed gas bubbles connect to a percolating path, is typically probed via a flow experiment, during which a pressure gradient is applied. This leads not only to different nucleation conditions along the core but also gives no direct access to the size and growth rate of gas bubbles before the percolation. In combination, these two effects imply that the critical gas saturation observed in such experiments is dependent on permeability and flow rate, and that the critical gas saturation relevant for the (equilibrium) reservoir conditions has to be estimated by an extrapolation. Modern digital-rock-related experimentation and modeling provides a more elegant way to determine the critical gas saturation. We report pressure-depletion experiments in minicores imaged by X-ray computed microtomography (micro-CT) that allowed the direct determination of the connectivity of the gas phase. As such, these experiments enabled the detection of the critical gas saturation via the percolation threshold of the gas bubbles. Furthermore, the associated gas- and oil relative permeabilities can be obtained from single-phase flow simulations of the connected pathway fraction of gas and oil, respectively.
Determination of Critical Gas Saturation by Micro-CT
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Berg, Steffen, Gao, Ying, Georgiadis, Apostolos, Brussee, Niels, Coorn, Ab, van der Linde, Hilbert, Dietderich, Jesse, Alpak, Faruk Omer, Eriksen, Daniel, Mooijer-van den Heuvel, Miranda, Southwick, Jeff, Appel, Matthias, and Ove Bjørn Wilson. "Determination of Critical Gas Saturation by Micro-CT." Petrophysics 61 (2020): 133–150. doi: https://doi.org/10.30632/PJV61N2-2020a1
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