Matrix–Fracture Transfer through Countercurrent Imbibition in Presence of Fracture Fluid Flow

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Abstract

Although a lot of research has been done in modeling the oil recovery from fractured reservoirs by countercurrent imbibition, less attention has been paid to the effect of the fracture fluid velocity upon the rate of oil recovery. Experiments are conducted to determine the effect of fracture flow rate upon countercurrent imbibition. A droplet detachment model is proposed to derive the effective water saturation in a thin boundary layer at the matrix–fracture interface. This effective boundary water saturation is a function of fluid properties, fluid velocity in the fracture and fracture width. For a highly water–wet porous medium, this model predicts an increase in the boundary water saturation with increase in fracture fluid velocity. The increase in boundary water saturation, in turn, increases the oil recovery rate from the matrix, which is consistent with the experimental results. The model also predicts that the oil recovery rate does not vary linearly with the boundary water saturation.

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