A Parametric Model for Predicting Relative Permeability-Saturation-Capillary Pressure Relationships of Oil–Water Systems in Porous Media with Mixed Wettability

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A parametric two-phase, oil–water relative permeability/capillary pressure model for petroleum engineering and environmental applications is developed for porous media in which the smaller pores are strongly water-wet and the larger pores tend to be intermediate- or oil-wet. A saturation index, which can vary from 0 to 1, is used to distinguish those pores that are strongly water-wet from those that have intermediate- or oil-wet characteristics. The capillary pressure submodel is capable of describing main-drainage and hysteretic saturation-path saturations for positive and negative oil–water capillary pressures. At high oil–water capillary pressures, an asymptote is approached as the water saturation approaches the residual water saturation. At low oil–water capillary pressures (i.e. negative), another asymptote is approached as the oil saturation approaches the residual oil saturation. Hysteresis in capillary pressure relations, including water entrapment, is modeled. Relative permeabilities are predicted using parameters that describe main-drainage capillary pressure relations and accounting for how water and oil are distributed throughout the pore spaces of a porous medium with mixed wettability. The capillary pressure submodel is tested against published experimental data, and an example of how to use the relative permeability/capillary pressure model for a hypothetical saturation-path scenario involving several imbibition and drainage paths is given. Features of the model are also explained. Results suggest that the proposed model is capable of predicting relative permeability/capillary pressure characteristics of porous media mixed wettability.

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