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Mechanism of Fluid Displacement in Sands

By S. E. BUCKLEY AND M. C. LEVERETT, * MEMBERS A.I.M.E.


(New York Meeting. February 1941)
THE production of oil is accomplished as a
result of its displacement from the reservoir by
either gas or water, and the amount of oil re-
covery is limited by the extent to which the
displacing gas or water accumulates. This
paper describes the mechanism by which the
displacement is effected and the advantages of
water over gas as a displacing agent. In the light
of the results of experimental observations of
the flow of mixtures of oil and/or gas and/or
water through sands, certain conclusions are
drawn relative to the changing character of the
displacement as depletion proceeds, and on
the effects of the properties of the fluids and
of producing conditions on the ultimate oil
recovery.
INTRODUCTION
Crude oil has no inherent ability to
expel itself from the pores of the reservoir
rocks in which it is found; rather, it must be
forcibly ejected or displaced by the ac-
cumulation of other fluids. Accordingly, a
knowledge of the mechanism by which one
fluid is displaced by another is essential to
an understanding of the fundamental
process by which oil is recovered.
The displacing fluids normally available
are gas and water, either or both of which
may exist originally associated with the oil
in a potentially usable form or may be
supplied to the reservoir from external
sources. Gas is present in most oil reser-
voirs. If the quantity is relatively small, it
may exist originally completely dissolved in
the oil, but if the quantity exceeds that
which may be held in solution by the oil at
the prevailing pressure, the excess will be
found in the free state. Most reservoir
Manuscript received at the office of the Institute
Jan. 6, 1941. Issued as T.P. 1337 in PETROLEUM
TECHNOLOGY, May 1941. "\
* Humble Oil & Refining Co .. Houston. Texas.
sands appear to contain some water,! and in
the majority of fields the oil is trapped in
the structure and held over water. In certain
conditions the entrapping water may ad-
vance into the oil zone and displace the oil
therefrom.
This paper describes in a qualitative
manner somt of the characteristics of the
displacement of oil by either gas or water,
with an attempt to elucidate somewhat the
mechanism by which such displacement is
effected.
ROLE OF DISSOLVED GAS
When the pressure on an oil containing
dissolved gas is reduced to the saturation or
bubble-point pressure, gas escapes from
solution and expands, imparting to the oil-
gas mixture a high degree of expansibility
and causing it to flow in the direction of
reduced pressure. This expansibility has
frequently been attributed to the oil; closer
analysis, however, reveals that as gas
escapes from solution the oil phase actually
contracts. Hence, it is the accumulation
and expansion of the liberated gas that
supplies the propelling force for the oil.
It has been shown experimentallyZ-5 that
within certain limits a sand containing oil,
gas and water will permit the simultaneous
flow of all three; the readiness with which
they may flow depends upon the character-
istics of the sand, of each of the fluids, and
upon the relative amounts of the fluids in
the sand. Thus, in the initial stages of
production by the mechanism of dissolved
gas drive, the liberated gas is present in the
sand in low concentration and is unable to
1 References are at the end of the paper.
10 7
r08 MECHANISM OF FLUID DISPLACEMENT IN SANDS
flow because of the low permeability of the
sand to gas, with the result that the initial
produced gas-oil ratio is substantially equal
to the dissolved ratio. As the gas saturation


:;;


0..
..
>
II I-----+------+,,----+-F--+------l
Q;
a:

Water Saturation. Per cent
FIG. I.-EFFECT OF SATURATION ON RELA-
TIVE PERMEABILITIES TO WATER AND OIL IN
UNCONSOLIDATED SANDS.
in the sand increases, owing both to
augmentation by the release of additional
gas from the oil and by expansion of the pre-
viously liberated gas as a result of further
decline in reservoir pressure, the permeabil-
ity of the sand to oil rapidly decreases while
the permeability to gas simultaneously
increases, permitting the gas to flow along
with the oil and escape. The period of low
produced gas-oil ratio is therefore followed
by a period of rapidly increasing ratio dur-
ing which a major part of the original store
of dissolved gas is dissipated. As exhaus-
tion of the reservoir proceeds, the permeabil-
ity of the sand to gas continues to increase
and the permeability to oil to decrease;
however, in the final stages of depletion
the decline in reservoir pressure offsets
the changes in permeability by virtue of the
fact that whereas the volume of gas flowing
in the sand per unit of oil flowing is still
increasing continuously, the actual weight
or amount of gas contained in unit volume
is decreasing, with the result that the
produced gas-oil ratio, with the gas volume
corrected to a standard base pressure,
passes through a maximum and thereafter
declines.
Production from a reservoir by the mecha-
nism of dissolved-gas drive alone is thus
characterized by low initial gas-oil ratio,
followed by rapid increase to a maximum
ratio, with a declining ratio as the supply of
gas and the pressure approach exhaustion.
This mechanism is fundamentally ineffi-
cient and the amount of oil that can be
recovered thereby is seriously limited. This
inefficiency arises from the following
conditions:
1. The oil saturation decreases and the
gas saturation increases simultaneously and
more or less uniformly throughout the
reservoir.
2. The displacing fluid is thus able to
compete for production on an equal basis
with the oil.
3. Since the gas is disseminated through-
out the oil sand, it cannot be excluded by
mechanical means from the oil-producing
wells.
It is thus a natural and unavoidable
result that by this mechanism the gas is
completely dissipated, leaving in the
reservoir no force other than gravity to
expel the remaining oil. Production by
gravity drainage alone, although in some
reservoirs it may in time lead to substantial
oil recovery, is usually exceedingly slow.
DYNAMICS OF DISPLACEMENT BY FREE
GAS OR BY WATER
Under certain conditions, particularly at
very low rates of production and in
highly permeable sands, vertical segrega-
tion brought about by gravitational forces
may be superimposed upon the dissolved-
gas drive mechanism, leading to the forma-
tion in the upper part of a structure of
"free gas" zones, which in reality are zones
of higher gas saturation and lower oil
saturation than exist in the lower part of
the reservoir. Such segregation leads to the
S. E. BUCK.LEY AND M. C. LEVERETT 10
9
possibility of some degree of mechanical
selection in production.
If the areas of high gas saturation can be
made to increase in extent through con-
tinued segregation or by the return of
produced gas to the reservoir, and con-
trolled by production of only the wells low
on structure, a displacement of oil in the
reservoir may be effected during which the
area of high gas saturation will encroach
on the area of high oil saturation until the
latter becomes too small to permit effective
control of the gas production. During the
final stages of production, the gas again will
be dissipated, but the deferment of such
dissipation and the increased gas ac-
cumulation brought about thereby will
increase correspondingly the quantity of
oil produced.
The mechanism by which the area of high
gas saturation invades the area of high oil
saturation is very similar to that by which
water encroaches into and displaces oil from
a sand. In either case the displacing fluid
moves from a region of high saturation into
one of lower saturation and in so doing
removes oil and converts the invaded
region to one higher in saturation of the
displacing fluid. It should be borne con-
tinuously in mind that whether the dis-
placing fluid be gas or water it does not
behave as a piston ejecting oil from the
pores and occupying the space vacated, but
that in all cases both the oil and the
displacing fluid flow together and simul-
taneously through the same pores. Dis-
placement, therefore, can never be complete.
The actual amount of oil displacement
during the process depends upon the rela-
tive ease with which the two fluids can
move. As mentioned previously, the
readiness with which a fluid flows through
a sand increases with its saturation in the
sand. Hence, as displacement begins, the
oil saturation in the sand may be high and
the saturation of the displacing fluid may
be low; oil will flow readily and the dis-
placing fluid to a small extent only, if at all.
At this stage, the displacing fluid will be
almost 100 per cent effective. As displace-
ment proceeds the permeability of the
sand to oil will continuously decrease

C 80 4
8

E
il
60
..
iii
<ft
go
f
2
..
g
..!'20
Sw. Water Saturation: Per cent
FIG. 2.-fw AND dfw/dSw AS FUNCTION OF SW
FOR UNCONSOLIDATED SAND.
and the permeability to the displacing
fluid will continuously increase, until
during the latter part of the process large
volumes of dis[>lacing fluid will effect re-
moval of only a slight amount of additional
oil. The oil recovery obviously is determined
by the availability of the displacing
fluid and by its net accumulation during
the displacement process.
At this stage in the process, the net rate
of accumulation of the displacing fluid,
which is equal to the net oil displacement, is
proportional to the difference between the
rate at which the displacing fluid enters
the sand and that at which it leaves. If we
confine our attention to unidirectional flow
through a small element of sand within a
continuous sand body, the foregoing may
be expressed algebraically by a material
balance equation, as follows:

lJ) = _.!I!.. (aJ ") [1]


ae u cpA au 8
where SD = saturation of displacing fluid
() = time
u = distance along path of flow
qT = total rate of flow through
section
110 MECHANISM OF FLUID DISPLACEMENT IN SANDS
cf> = porosity
A = cross-sectional area
iD = fraction of flowing stream
comprising displacing fluid
This equation may be transformed to
(
au) qT (aiD)
ao SD = cf>A as-; 6
which states that the rate of advance of a
plane that has a certain fixed saturation is
proportional to the change in composition
of the flowing stream caused by a small
change in the saturation of the displacing
fluid.
If, for simplicity, we neglect for the time
being effects due to gravity and to capillary
pressure differences, i D, the fraction of
displacing fluid in the flowing stream at any
point, is related to the properties of the
system by the equation
I
fD =
1+ KO/J.D
KD/J.o
where Ko and KD are the permeabilities
of the sand to oil and to the displacing
fluid, and /J.o and /J.D are the viscosities of the
two, respectively. Since the relations be-
tween the relative permeabilities of a sand
to oil, gas, and water and the respective
saturations have been determined experi-
mentally for several sands, including a
consolidated sandstone,2-6 it is possible
from equation 3 and the experimentally
determined permeability ratios to derive
the relation betweeniD and SD and thence
b
aiD f .
etween aSD and SD or a given system. In
the absence of capillary and gravitational
effects, i D for a given sand and fluids varies
only slightly with factors other than SD,
and it may be assumed that under these
d
. aiD. I . I I d
con ItJons aS
D
IS a so umque y re ate to
SD, being constant for fixed SD. Referring
back to equation 2, it may be seen that a
plane at which the saturation i[' SD moves
along the path of flow at a constant
I
I qT diD 'fh b .
ve OClty equa to - - _... e aS1C equa-
cf>A dSD
tion relating position along the path of
flow, saturation, and time then may be
written
A =.!l!:... (diD) AO
u cf>A dS
D
or, in terms of QT, the total amount of
displacing fluid entering the system:
A _ QT diD
U - cf>A dS
D
[5]
As an example of the application of this
equation to the qualitative determination
of the course of a displacement, a typical
example will be worked out for the satura-
tion distributions during the flooding of a
sand section by water.
Fig. I shows the experimentally deter-
mined relation between K o, K"" and S'"
for a typical unconsolidated sand con-
taining only water and oil.
Fig. 2 shows the relation between i", and
S'" and between :t and S'" assuming the
ratio of the viscosity of the oil to that of
water to be 2.0.
Fig. 3 shows the initial vertical distribu-
tion of water and oil in the sand, calculated
from experimentally determined relations
between capillary pressure and saturation
and assuming the following: sand permea-
bility, I darcy; sand porosity, 25 per cent;
interfacial tension w - 0, 35 dynes per
cm.; density difference w - 0, 0.3 gm. per
cubic centimeter.
The water saturation at any point in
the sand after the entry of a quantity of
water Ql is obtained graphically by laying
off at any saturation SWI on the curve of
saturation vs. distance shown in Fig. 3 a
line a parallel to the distance, u, axis and
equal in length to ~ ~ : ~ : 1 1 . The ends of a
succession of such lines are then joined by a
smooth curve representing the new curve for
water saturation vs. distance. The construc-
tion of the new curve is illustrated in Fig. 3.
S. E. BUCKLEY AND M. C. LEVERETT III
The new computed curve is S-shaped
and is triple-valued over a portion of its
length, obviously a physical impossibility.
The correct interpretation is that a portion
though in the regions of gradual transition
of saturation with distance the capillary
pressure gradient may be small in compari-
son to the other forces, at any saturation

c
..
<.>

6
60
-=
e
:>

=:-
i40

i
(f)
20
0 5 10 15 20 25
U, Distance: Arbitrary Units
FIG. 3.-CALCULATION OF SATURATION HISTORY DURING WATER FLOOD.
of the curve is imaginary and that the real
saturation-distance curve is discontinuous.
The imaginary part of the curve is dotted in
Fig. 3 and the real distribution curve is
shown by the solid line labeled Q!, dis-
continuous at Uj. The position of the plane
Ul is determined by a material balance, the
shaded area between the original and the
new saturation curve being equal to
In any actual displacement of oil from
sand by gas or water, no such saturation
discontinuity as that indicated in Fig. 3
can exist in a uniform sand. The capillary
forces arising from the interfacial tension
between oil and the displacing fluid and
the curvature of the interfaces in the sand
tend in all cases to maintain uniform
saturation throughout any continuous
homogeneous sand body. The degree of
equalization obtained depends upon the
combined effects of the capillary pressure
gradient, gravitational pressure gradient,
and the impressed pressure gradient. AI-
discontinuity the capillary pressure gradi-
ent would become exceedingly large, with
the result that the plane of saturation
discontinuity would be converted into a
zone of more gradual transition in satura-
tion, the width of the zone depending for a
given system primarily upon the rate of
displacement. For many cases a slight
rounding off of the corners of the curve
illustrated in Fig. 3 will represent a reason-
able approximation to the conditions
encountered in practice.
INITIAL AND SUBORDINATE PHASES OF
DISPLACEMENT
Fig. 3 indicates that at a plane in the
sand some distance away from the point of
entry of the water, no substantial change
in the water saturation results as the
water first advances. Then a very rapid
rise in water saturation takes place as
the transition zone reaches and passes the
plane. This period of rapid increase of water
saturation may be considered the initial
112 MECHANISM OF FLUID DISPLACEMENT IN SANDS
phase of the displacement. During this
phase the displacement is quite effective;
most of the water reaching the plane re-
mains in the sand, ejecting oil. Following

ceases and the oil that remains is unrecover-
able. The quantity of unrecoverable oil has
been referred to as the residual oil and is a
useful index to the recovery efficiency.
6
220%
8Z5%
75.0%


e
::I

j
20
Vs = Totol Pore Space in Sand.

Height Above Bottom of Oil Zone: Feet
FIG. 4.-SATURATION HISTORY OF OIL-BEARING SAND UNDER WATER FLOOD.
this period further increase in water satura-
tion is much more gradual. This final period
of gradual water accumulation may be
termed the subordinate phase of the dis-
placement. During this period water flows
more readily than does the oil, so that
relatively large volumes of water flowing
through the sand effect the removal of only
small and continuously decreasing volumes
of oil.
The course of a typical water flood is
illustrated in Fig. 4, in which curves are
shown for the water saturation-distance
distribution at successive periods during the
displacement. The gradual increase in
water saturation and decrease in oil satura-
tion during the subordinate phase of the
displacement may be seen from the progres-
sively increasing volumes of water required
to effect minor saturation changes during
the later stages. As the ratio of the oil
permeability of the sand to the water
permeability approaches zero with decreas-
ing oil saturation, flow of oil eventually
CONDITIONS AFFECTING RELATIVE
MAGNITUDES OF INITIAL AND
SUBORDINATE PHASES OF
DISPLACEMENT
Viscosity.-Since the rate of advance of a
plane of given water saturation is directly
proportional to and since f w is related
to the ratio of the viscosity of oil to that of
water as well as to the relative permeabili-
ties of the sand to oil and to water, the
course of the curves of water saturation vs.
distance is influenced by the oil viscosity.
The more viscous the oil, the less readily it
flows under a given pressure gradient.
Increased oil viscosity therefore results in
the attainment of a lower water saturation
during the initial phase of the displacement
as well as a more gradual approach to the
residual oil saturation during the subordi-
nate phase of the displacement. The cal-
culated effect of the ratio of the viscosity of
the oil to that of water on the water satura-
tion reached during the initial phase of the
s. E. BUCKLEY AND M. C. LEVERETT
II3
displacement in a typical sand is shown in
Fig. 5.
The effect of viscosity is best illustrated
by the differences between displacement by
free gas, such as occurs with an expanding
gas cap or as a result of gas injection in gas-
drive operations, and that by water drive.
In Fig. 6 are shown the gas saturation-
distance curves after the admission of
various amounts of gas, calculated for a
typical sand assuming a viscosity ratio of
gas to oil of 0.009. During the initial phase
of the displacement the gas saturation
attains a value of only about IS per cent of
the pore space as contrasted to a compara-
ble water saturation of about 60 per cent for
an oil of the same viscosity.
Effect of Initial Fluid Saturation.-If
before invasion by the displacing fluid
the saturation of the displacing fluid in
the sand exceeds that which would be
obtained during the initial phase of the
displacement, this phase will be absent
and only the subordinate phase will occur.
Such a condition would be encountered
in a water-drive operation where the
original or connate-water content of the
sand is excessive and in practice is most
likely to be met in tight sands, with
viscous oils, or in thin oil sands immediately
overlying water. It is not possible to
produce oil free from water in the part
of the sand where this condition prevails.
In gas-drive operations such a condition
is found if prior to the injection of gas the
reservoir pressure has declined to such an
extent as to permit the accumulation of gas
released from solution in the oil to an
amount exceeding the saturation that
would be attained during the initial phase
of the displacement. Such a condition is
almost invariably encountered in gas-drive
operations inaugurated late in the life of a
field or after primary exhaustion. Fig. 7
illustrates the variations in produced gas-
oil ratio that would occur under: (a) dis-
placement by gas at the original reservoir
pressure, and (b) displacement by gas after
appreciable decline in reservoir pressure.
In the first instance the produced gas-oil
ratio remains equal to that dissolved in the
~ J O O
&
, ~
---
r--
2 4 6
Oil Viscosity / Water Viscosity
8 10
FIG. 5.-EFFECT OF OIL VISCOSITY ON EFFI-
CIENCY OF INITIAL PHASE OF WATER FLOOD.
oil until the gas front reaches a producing
well, when a sudden increase in the ratio
occurs during the initial phase of the dis-
placement, followed thereafter by a con-
tinuous increase in ratio. In the second
instance the produced gas-oil ratio follows
the typical course of production by dis-
solved-gas drive prior to the start of the gas
injection. The injection of gas halts the
natural increase in ratio until such time as
the injected gas reaches the producing wells,
when the gas-oil ratio begins to increase
continuously at an accelerating rate. The
initial phase is absent and only the subordi-
nate phase of the displacement occurs.
No generalizations are possible concern-
ing the advantages of either method of
operation over the other; however, for
any given set of conditions it should
be possible to determine the relationship
between gas-oil ratio, pressure, and
production with sufficient accuracy to
determine an economically sound program
of operation.
Capillary and Gravitational Effects.-
Capillary forces tend to oppose the for-
mation of saturation discontinuities in a
114 MECHANISM OF FLUID DISPLACEMENT IN SANDS
homogeneous sand, while gravitational
forces tend to promote complete vertical
segregation of oil, gas, and water. Thus in
any reservoir in which water is advancing
60
degrees of heterogeneity are encountered
in natural reservoirs, ranging from more or
less definite sand layers, each relatively
uniform within itself but different in tex-
i ~
Legend:
t---
~
a. 40
'0
~
~ 30
~ ~
--
Porosity = 20 %
Viscosity Gas I Viscosity Oil = .009
o = Volume of Gas (Measured Under
t---
Reservoir Conditions) Which has
Invaded Unit Crosssection
of Oil Sand.
. ~
~ 2 0
~
~ 10
0=107
r\
0=20./
'\
0=30
J
'-0=40
\
100 200 300 400
\

Distance
\
600 700 800 900 1000
FIG. 6.-SATURATION HISTORY OF OIL-BEARING SAND UNDER GAS DISPLACEMENT.
upward or gas downward to displace oil,
the capillary and gravitational effects
oppose each other and tend somewhat to
cancel. At high rates of displacement the
frictional forces may exceed both, with the
result that their effects are ob:;;cured and
the flow is regulated primarily by the relative
permeabilities and viscosities as was indi-
cated in equation 3. At extremely low
displacement rates, however, the frictional
forces may be negligible and the balance
between capillary and gravitational forces
control the saturation distribution. In
this case the vertical distribution in the
reservoir may remain substantially similar
to that obtained under static conditions, in
which the capillary pressure is constant at a
given depth and the entire reservoir is in
capillary-gravitational equilibrium.
7
CAPILLARY EFFECTS IN HETEROGENEOUS
SANDS
The effects of capillary forces are most
noticeable in the production by water drive
of reservoirs containing intercommunicat-
ing sands of variable permeability. All
ture and permeability from adjacent beds,
to conditions such as more permeable or
less permeable zones or lenses within a
continuous sand. These lenses may be so
small and so numerous as to constitute,
together with the enclosing sand, a bed of
very irregular properties, or they may
be large and fairly uniform within them-
selves. Since the recovery from the reservoir
as a whole depends upon the efficiency with
which all parts of the sand are flushed, a
study of the mechanism by which water
penetrates and floods irregular sand bodies
is extremely important.
Prior to production the reservoir may be
assumed to be in capillary equilibrium; Le.,
at the same horizontal level the capillary
pressure is the same in all sands and the
capillary pressure and gravity are balanced
vertically. At equilibrium the water satura-
tion throughout the reservoir is not uni-
form, but at the same level is greater in
the finer, less permeable sands. When water
advances into the reservoir as a result of oil
production, the level of zero capillary pres-
sure rises, creating a tendency for the
s. E. BUCKLEY AND M. C. LEVERETT
water saturation throughout the reservoir
to increase in order to attain a new balance
between capillary pressure and gravity.
The relationship between capillary pres-
effIciency to the rate of production, or to
any of the other pertinent variables. The
factors involved, however, may be illus-
trated in a qualitative fashion by consider-
OC
0- & E
C .,
I
/
.sdl
1----+----+----+--- 0.,_ 0 a.-t--J-----i
t. g /
.2
C
0::
(5
,
<n
o
<.!)
.Q
C
0::
(5
,
<n
o
<.!)
Produclion a I Low Gas-Oil Ralio
Prior to Time Gas Front
Reaches Producing Wells
a.
o.!!! .8_
fO/ 0
_0
6-


r---,.Eo
.3<t2
0
0
--(/)
o
C .2


a:&G3"
11/
I I
Amount of Oil Produced
a
<=1

"0
'"
.Q (l)CI)=

- 0 Q,) -
0:""
0
-
r--5
6::>0
'g it
,
'" C '" 000
0:0=0
.,
E 00.

CI)
I
gJ::o



i _L
I I I /
I
I V
I
---

Amount of Oil Prod\lced
b
j
/
/
FIG. 7.-VARIATIONS IN GAS-OIL RATIO DURING DISPLACEMENT OF OIL BY GAS.
a. Displacement at high pressure.
b. Displacement at low pressure.
sure, water saturation, and permeability
is such that the tendency is for the fine
sands always to maintain higher water
saturations at equilibrium than the ad-
jacent coarse sands at the same level.
The complexity of natural reservoirs pro-
hibits the formulation of any single quan-
titative expression relating over-all flushing
ing the behavior of a small lens of tight, fine
sand embedded in a coarse, more permeable
sand at some distance above the original
water table. If the rate of production is
such that the water table rises slowly
enough to permit the maintenance of capil-
lary equilibrium, the water saturation in
the coarse sand will gradually increase
II6 MECHANISM OF FLUID DISPLACEMENT IN SANDS
simultaneously with the rise in the water
table. As the water saturation in the
adjacent coarse sand increases, the tight
lens will imbibe water and expel oil, both
b- High Production Rate
FIG. S.-EFFECT OF PROD1.:cTIOK RATE 0"
FLOODING OF OIL BY WATER FRO,,[ A I.my-
PERMEABILITY LENS.
by absorbing water at the bottom and
expelling oil at the top and by counterflow
of water and oil over the entire surface of
the lens, tending always to maintain a
higher water saturation than that reached
by the surrounding coarse sand. Thus the
tight sand will at all times be more com-
pletely flushed than the coarse sand and
will become depleted while oil is still flowing
in the surrounding sand.
The higher the rate of production the
more nearly the advancing water table
assumes the sharp front described in the
first part of this paper. Instead of a con-
tinuous increase in water saturation, no
sensible increase takes place until just be-
fore the advancing water front reaches a
given position, whereupon the water satu-
ration rises rapidly during the initial phase
of the displacement. Under such conditions
the tight lens just considered will have no
opportunity to imbibe water from the
beginning of production, but will become
somewhat suddenly surrounded by a zone
of high water saturation when it is reached
by the flood. Oil may then escape from the
tight sand exclusively by counterflow of
water and oil between the two sands, an
exchange that is slow at best. Furthermore,
any oil that escapes from the tight lens may
enter the surrounding coarse sand so slowly
and into a region of such high water satura-
tion that this oil will not be recovered. Thus,
although in time the lens undoubtedly will
expel its oil and become substantially
water-saturated. as a practical matter it
may be considered that the oil was trapped
and lost. The conditions under both low
and high displacement rates are illustrated
in Fig. 8. For this particular situation, it
is evident that the slower the rate of
water advance, the higher the recovery.
It is readily apparent that in any natural
reservoir composed of heterogeneous sands
the over-all recovery is related to the rate
of advance of the water. The magni-
tude of the effect depends upon the degree
and nature of the irregularities of the sand
and upon the viscosity of the oil.
REFERENCES
1. R. J. Schilthuis: Trans. A.I.M.E. (1938) 127. I9<;).
2. R. D. Wyckoff and H. G. Botset: Physics (1936) 7.
325.
3. H. G. Botset: Trans. A.I.M.E. (1940) 136.91.
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