Gravity drainage mechanism in naturally fractured carbonate reservoirs; review and application

Faisal Awad Aljuboori*, Jang Hyun Lee, Khaled A. Elraies, Karl D. Stephen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
270 Downloads (Pure)


Gravity drainage is one of the essential recovery mechanisms in naturally fractured reservoirs. Several mathematical formulas have been proposed to simulate the drainage process using the dual-porosity model. Nevertheless, they were varied in their abilities to capture the real saturation profiles and recovery speed in the reservoir. Therefore, understanding each mathematical model can help in deciding the best gravity model that suits each reservoir case. Real field data from a naturally fractured carbonate reservoir from the Middle East have used to examine the performance of various gravity equations. The reservoir represents a gas–oil system and has four decades of production history, which provided the required mean to evaluate the performance of each gravity model. The simulation outcomes demonstrated remarkable differences in the oil and gas saturation profile and in the oil recovery speed from the matrix blocks, which attributed to a different definition of the flow potential in the vertical direction. Moreover, a sensitivity study showed that some matrix parameters such as block height and vertical permeability exhibited a different behavior and effectiveness in each gravity model, which highlighted the associated uncertainty to the possible range that often used in the simulation. These parameters should be modelled accurately to avoid overestimation of the oil recovery from the matrix blocks, recovery speed, and to capture the advanced gas front in the oil zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3699
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2019


  • Dual porosity system
  • Gravity drainage
  • History-matching
  • Naturally fractured carbonate reservoirs
  • Qamchuqa formation
  • Transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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