Numerical Simulation Study of Relative Permeability Hysteresis in a Fractured Carbonate Reservoir Subjected to Water-Alternating-Gas Injection (WAG-CO2)

D. E. S. Menezes, V. E. Botechia, S. M. G, Santos, A. Skauge, D. J. Schiozer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The hysteresis phenomenon in relative permeability curves is an important aspect when modeling WAG- CO2 processes. Although experimentally validated, this phenomenon is often overlooked in numerical studies. Furthermore, the impact of hysteresis on oil recovery is a complex issue, which may hinder or contribute to the sweep efficiency. This work evaluates different hysteresis scenarios for a comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon in a synthetic fractured carbonate field analogous to a pre-salt field in Brazil (UNISIM-II-D). The hysteresis is applied in two different scenarios: (i) in low-permeability porous medium (LK); (ii) also included to a lesser extent in high-permeability layers (LSK). The work initially presents sensitivity analyses based on attributes of the Larsen-Skauge WAG hysteresis model. The results reveal that the impact of hysteresis on oil recovery differ for different production strategies. The sensitivity profile of each hysteresis attribute also differs notably between the two assessed hysteresis scenarios, with the effect being more pronounced in the LSK scenario, even at low attribute values. Then, a nominal optimization of reservoir development and management variables is presented for each hysteresis scenario and for the scenario with no hysteresis. We verified that the application of an optimized solution in a non-corresponding scenario may compromise economic and production indicators. The results demonstrate the importance of incorporating the hysteresis phenomenon into models used in life cycle optimization processes (LCO), as the field should be operated differently when hysteresis is identified as a real phenomenon. Finally, the impact of hysteresis on an ensemble of 197 models under uncertainty was evaluated considering two approaches: (i) hysteresis scenario as uncertainty; (ii) values of the Larsen-Skauge's hysteresis model as uncertainty. In both cases, the NPV risk curves were similar to the original one, in which hysteresis was not included as uncertainty. However, changes were observed for some production indicators and the impact may be more significant for different cases. The results also revealed that different hysteresis scenarios can impact the NPV and production indicators differently when applied to an ensemble of reservoir scenarios, resulting in either positive or negative trends. In this benchmark, hysteresis in low-permeability porous medium at immiscible conditions tend to cause a slight decrease of oil recovery, while hysteresis in Super-k promoted a better mobility control of gas and water in these layers, favoring the production and economic outcomes. Hence, this numerical study provides an extensive analysis of the effects of different hysteresis scenarios on applications that have not been previously explored, such as hysteresis in high- permeability layers, in reservoir life-cycle optimizations, and in a probabilistic approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2023
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781613999929
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2023
EventSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2023 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: 16 Oct 202318 Oct 2023


ConferenceSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio


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