Relative permeability and capillary pressure are important parameters in reservoir simulations because it helps in understanding and anticipating oil and/or gas production scenarios over the years. They are both obtained in a laboratory after establishing the required initial conditions. As a matter of fact, before measuring imbibition relative permeability and capillary pressure, it is recommended to set initial rock reservoir conditions by establishing appropriate initial water saturation (Swi) and by aging the core to restore the reservoir wettability. There are several conventional techniques to establish Swi. Viscous flooding is a fast technique, but it may create a non-uniform saturation profile and, in some cases, be inefficient in reaching low Swi targets. Centrifugation is a capillary-driven technique that is also very fast; however, the possibility of not desaturating the outlet face is a significant constraint. In both cases, reversing flow direction is generally performed to flatten the saturation profile; however, this phenomenon is poorly controlled. The application of capillary pressure by porous plate allows targeting a specific value of Swi and generates a uniform saturation profile; however, it is a very time-consuming method. In this paper, we present the Hybrid Drainage Technique (HDT), which couples viscous flooding and porous plate approaches, significantly reducing the experimental duration when setting Swi. Another advantage of the method is the possibility of setting a uniform saturation profile at the targeted Swi. A specific core holder, adapted to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging and capable of performing both viscous flooding and porous plate testing without unloading the rock, was designed. Using this core holder enables performing aging and imbibition coreflood testing with no further manipulation of the core sample. Monitoring saturation profiles was made possible by using an NMR imaging setup. The method has been tested and validated on two outcrop samples from Bentheimer (sandstone) and Richemont (limestone), drastically reducing the experimental time of the primary drainage step in comparison to classical porous plate drainage but also leading to uniform water saturation profiles. The experiment duration is reduced, and it enables the realization of coreflooding; therefore, this technique may be used for larger samples classically used in relative permeability experiments. This approach is preferred as it provides faster and more reliable measurements of saturation.
Hybrid Technique for Setting Initial Water Saturation on Core Samples
Fernandes, Victor, Nicot, Benjamin, Pairoys, Fabrice, Bertin, Henri, Lachaud, Jean, and Cyril Caubit. "Hybrid Technique for Setting Initial Water Saturation on Core Samples." Petrophysics 64 (2023): 325–339. doi: https://doi.org/10.30632/PJV64N3-2023a1
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