Near-Critical Gas–Liquid Flow in Porous Media: Monovariant Model, Analytical Solutions and Convective Mass Exchange Effects

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We examine a class of hydrocarbon reservoirs whose thermodynamic state remains close to the critical point during the all period of reservoir exploitation. Such a situation is typical for the so-called gas–condensate systems, in which the liquid phase is formed from gas when pressure decreases. Due to proximity to critical point, the mixture contains many components which are neutral with respect to the phase state. This determines a low thermodynamic degree of freedom of the system. As the results, the mathematical flow model allows a significant reduction in the number of conservation equations, whatever the number of chemical components. In the vicinity of a well, the system may be reduced to one transport equation for saturation. This nonlinear model yields exact analytical solutions when the flow is self-similar. In more general case of flow, we develop partially linearized solutions which are shown to be sufficiently exact. The spectrum of examined cases covers the flow in a medium with a sharp heterogeneity and a sharp variation in the flow rate. A significant relative gas flow past liquid gives rise to a convective mass exchange phenomenon which appears highly different from that observed in static. In the case of a medium discontinuity, the convective mass exchange gives rise to a phenomenon of condensate saturation billow formation. A sharp variation in the flow rate leads to a hysteretic behavior of the saturation field.

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