An improved three-phase relative permeability and hysteresis model for the simulation of a water-alternating-gas injection

Hamid Reza Shahverdi, Mehran Sohrabi Sedeh

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    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection in waterflooded reservoirs can increase oil recovery and extend the life of these reservoirs. Reliable reservoir simulations are needed to predict the performance of WAG injection before field implementation. This requires accurate sets of relative permeability (kr) and capillary pressure (Pc) functions for each fluid phase, in a three-phase-flow regime. The WAG process also involves another major complication, hysteresis, which is caused by flow reversal happening during WAG injection. Hysteresis is one of the most important phenomena manipulating the performance of WAG injection, and hence, it has to be carefully accounted for.

    In this study, we have benefited from the results of a series of coreflood experiments that we have been performing since 1997 as a part of the Characterization of Three-Phase Flow and WAG Injection JIP (joint industry project) at Heriot-Watt University. In particular, we focus on a WAG experiment carried out on a waterwet core to obtain three-phase relative permeability values for oil, water, and gas. The relative permeabilities exhibit significant and irreversible hysteresis for oil, water, and gas. The observed hysteresis, which is a result of the cyclic injection of water and gas during WAG injection, is not predicted by the existing hysteresis models.

    We present a new three-phase relative permeability model coupled with hysteresis effects for the modeling of the observed cycle-dependent relative permeabilities taking place during WAG injection. The approach has been successfully tested and verified with measured three-phase relative permeability values obtained from a WAG experiment. In line with our laboratory observations, the new model predicts the reduction of the gas relative permeability during consecutive water-and-gas injection cycles as well as the increase in oil relative permeability happening in consecutive water-injection cycles.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)841-850
    Number of pages10
    JournalSPE Journal
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


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