Fluid substitution in heavy oil rocks
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Published by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
Copyright © 2008 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
The link to the journal’s home page is: http://segdl.aip.org/geophysics
Heavy oils are defined as having high densities and extremely high viscosities. Due to their viscoelastic behavior the traditional rock physics based on Gassmann theory becomes inapplicable. In this paper, we use effective-medium approach known as coherent potential approximation or CPA as an alternative fluid substitution scheme for rocks saturated with viscoelastic fluids. Such rocks are modelled as solids with elliptical fluid inclusions when fluid concentration is small and as suspensions of solid particles in the fluid when the solid concentration is small. This approach is consistent with concepts of percolation and critical porosity, and allows one to model both sandstones and unconsolidated sands. We test the approach against known solutions. First, we apply CPA to fluid-solid mixtures and compare the obtained estimates with Gassmann results. Second, we compare CPA predictions for solid-solid mixtures with numerical simulations. Good match between the results confirms the applicability of the CPA scheme. We extend the scheme to predict the effective frequency- and temperature-dependent properties of heavy oil rocks. CPA scheme reproduces frequency-dependent attenuation and dispersion which are qualitatively consistent with laboratory measurements and numerical simulations. This confirms that the proposed scheme provides realistic estimates of the properties of rocks saturated with heavy oil.
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