An Experimental Study of Three-Phase Trapping in Sand Packs
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The trapped saturations of oil and gas are measured as functions of initial oil and gas saturation in water-wet sand packs. Analogue fluids—water, octane and air—are used at ambient conditions. Starting with a sand-pack column which has been saturated with brine, oil (octane) is injected with the column horizontal until irreducible water saturation is reached. The column is then positioned vertically and air is allowed to enter from the top of the column, while oil is allowed to drain under gravity for varying lengths of time. At this point, the column may be sliced and the fluids analyzed by gas chromatography to obtain the initial saturations. Alternatively, brine is injected through the bottom of the vertical column to trap oil and gas, before slicing the columns and measuring the trapped or residual saturations by gas chromatography and mass balance. The experiments show that in three-phase flow, the total trapped saturations of oil and gas are considerably higher than the trapped saturations reported in the literature for two-phase systems. It is found that the residual saturation of oil and gas combined could be as high as 23 %, as opposed to a maximum two-phase residual of only 14 %. For very high initial gas saturations, the residual gas saturation, up to 17 %, was also higher than for two-phase displacement. These observations are explained in terms of the competition between piston-like displacement and snap-off. It is also observed that less oil is always trapped in three-phase flow than in two-phase displacement, and the difference depends on the amount of gas present. For low and intermediate initial gas saturations, the trapped gas saturation rises linearly with initial saturation, followed by a constant residual, as seen in two-phase displacements. However, at very high initial gas saturations, the residual saturation rises again.
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Al-Mansoori, S.; Iglauer, Stefan; Pentland, C.; Blunt, M. (2009)We measure the trapped saturations of oil and gas as a function of initial saturation in water-wet sand packs. We start with a water-saturated column and inject octane (oil), while water and oil are produced from the ...
Al-Mansoori, S.; Iglauer, Stefan; Pentland, C.; Blunt, M. (2009)We perform a series of experiments in water-wet sand packs to measure the trapped saturations of oil and gas as a function of initial saturation. We start with brine-saturated columns and inject octane (oil) to reach ...
Al-Mansoori, S.; Iglauer, Stefan; Itsekiri, E.; Pentland, C.; Bijeljic, B.; Blunt, M. (2010)We measure the trapped non-wetting phase saturation as a function of the initial saturation in sand packs. The application of the work is for CO2 storage in aquifers where capillary trapping is a rapid and effective ...