Saturation-dependencies of three-phase relative permeabilities in mixed-wet and fractionally wet systems

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    The saturation-dependency behaviour of three-phase relative permeabilities is of central importance for modelling three-phase displacement processes in porous media. In this paper, and in related work, a method has been developed to determine the saturation-dependencies of three-phase relative permeabilities. This is Method is suitable for all types of mixed-wet and fractionally wet porous systems that contain clusters of oil-wet and water-wet pores with constant but different oil-water contact angles, reflecting weakly wetted conditions. Based on the classification of all allowed pore occupancies in a completely accessible porous medium, saturation-dependencies of the corresponding relative permeabilities are derived. Furthermore, three-phase relative permeabilities that appear to depend only on their own saturations are either linked to the corresponding two-phase relative permeabilities or it is shown that such a link cannot be established. A comparison has been made with existing relative permeability models with respect to their saturation-dependencies. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)365-384
    Number of pages20
    JournalAdvances in Water Resources
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Contact angles
    • Fractionally wet
    • Interfacial tensions
    • Mixed-wet
    • Relative permeability
    • Saturation-dependency
    • Three-phase flow
    • Weakly wetted pores


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