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Reservoir Engineering I

Barham S. Mahmood
E-mail: barham.sabir@koyauniversity.org
Petroleum Engineering Department

Reservoir Fluid

• The pore space of a petroleum reservoir is never filled completely
with hydrocarbons; water is always present in the liquid state, and
the hydrocarbons can exist in one or more states – gas, solid or

• The saturation of a given fluid is defined as the fraction of the pore

space occupied by that fluid. In equation form:

𝑠𝑓 = Eq. (1)

𝑠𝑓 = 𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑙𝑢𝑖𝑑, 𝑓𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑟 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡
𝑣𝑓 = 𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑓𝑙𝑢𝑖𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑟 𝑜𝑟 𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑒, 𝑐𝑚3

𝑣𝑝 = 𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑟 𝑜𝑟 𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑒, 𝑐𝑚3


• Applying the above mathematical concept of saturation to each

reservoir fluid gives:
𝑠𝑜 = Eq. (2)
𝑠𝑤 = Eq. (3)
𝑠𝑔 = Eq. (4)

𝑠𝑜 = 𝑂𝑖𝑙 𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛
𝑠𝑤 = 𝑊𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛
𝑠𝑔 = 𝐺𝑎𝑠 𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛

• Thus, all saturation values are based on pore volume and not on
the gross reservoir volume.

• The saturation of each individual phase ranges between zero to

100 percent (100%). By definition, the sum of the saturations is
100%, therefore:

𝑠𝑜 + 𝑠𝑔 + 𝑠𝑤 = 1.0 Eq. (5)

• The fluids in most reservoirs are believed to have reached a

state of equilibrium and, therefore, will have become separated
according to their density

• oil overlain by gas and underlain by water. In addition to the

bottom (or edge) water, there will be connate water distributed
throughout the oil and gas zones.

• The water in these zones will have been reduced to some

irreducible minimum.

• The forces retaining the water in the oil and gas zones are
referred to as capillary forces because they are important only
in pore spaces of capillary size.

• Connate (interstitial) water saturation Swc is important primarily

because it reduces the amount of space available between oil
and gas.

• It is generally not uniformly distributed throughout the reservoir

but varies with permeability, lithology, and height above the free
water table.

• Another particular phase saturation of interest is called the

critical saturation and it is associated with each reservoir fluid.

• The definition and the significance of the critical saturation for

each phase is described in the next few slides.

Critical oil saturation, Soc

For the oil phase to flow, the saturation of the oil must exceed a
certain value which is termed critical oil saturation. At this particular
saturation, the oil remains in the pores and, for all practical
purposes, will not flow.

Residual oil saturation, Sor

During the displacing process of the crude oil system from the
porous media by water or gas injection (or encroachment) there
will be some remaining oil left that is quantitatively characterized
by a saturation value that is larger than the critical oil saturation.

This saturation value is called the residual oil saturation, Sor. The
term residual saturation is usually associated with the nonwetting
phase when it is being displaced by a wetting phase.

Movable oil saturation, Som

Movable oil saturation Som is another saturation of interest and is
defined as the fraction of pore volume occupied by movable oil as
expressed by the following equation:

𝑆𝑜𝑚 = 1 − 𝑆𝑤𝑐 − 𝑆𝑜𝑟 Eq. (6)

𝑠𝑜𝑟 = 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑖𝑑𝑢𝑎𝑙 𝑜𝑖𝑙 𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛
𝑠𝑤𝑐 = 𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑠𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛

Critical gas saturation, Sgc

As the reservoir pressure declines below the bubble-point pressure,
gas evolves from the oil phase and consequently the saturation of the
gas increases as the reservoir pressure declines. The gas phase
remains immobile until its saturation exceeds a certain saturation,
called critical gas saturation, above which gas begins to move.

Critical water saturation, Swc

The critical water saturation, connate water saturation, and irreducible
water saturation are extensively used interchangeably to define the
maximum water saturation at which the water phase will remain

Measurement of saturation

Measurement of saturation
• The saturation of a fluid in a reservoir seldom remains constant.

• Water can enter the reservoir either naturally - from an adjacent

aquifer - or artificially by water injection.

• Oil saturation decreases with oil production and the replacement of

oil by another fluid such as water.

• Gas saturation could increase with gas injection into the reservoir
or as gas evolves naturally from the oil when the pressure drops.

• The saturations of the different fluids in a reservoir are, therefore,

measured periodically employing direct and indirect methods.

Direct methods
• Direct measurement methods rely simply on the removal of all
liquids – by evaporation or extraction - from a core sample and
determining their individual volumes.

• Dividing each fluid volume by the pore volume of the sample yields
the saturation of that fluid.

• One device used commonly for this purpose is the Modified ASTM
Extraction Unit (Fig.1).

• The procedure starts with placing the core sample in a paper

thimble and weighing them together.

• The thimble is then placed in the flask, the heater is turned on, and
water flow through the condenser is started. As the toluene in the
flask boils, its vapors rise and exit the flask, condense in the
condenser and accumulate in the condenser’s graduated tube.

Fig.1: ASTM extraction unit


• Once the tube is full, excess toluene refluxes back into the flask
flowing through the thimble.

• Oil present in the core sample is extracted by the refluxing toluene

and ends up dissolved in the bulk toluene mass.

• The water present in the sample evaporates and condenses back

into the graduated tube. Since water is heavier than toluene, it
sinks to the bottom of the tube rather than returning to the flask.

• Extraction is continued until no more water accumulates in the tube

at which point heating is stopped and the volume of water is read.

• When the unit cools down, the sample and thimble are removed
and placed in a vacuum oven to dry, after which they are both
weighed again. The mass of the oil is computed by a mass balance
on the core sample before and after extraction as follows:

𝑚𝑜 = ∆𝑚𝑐 − 𝑣𝑤 𝜌𝑤 Eq. (7)

𝑣𝑜 =
𝑚𝑜 = 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑖𝑙 𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑, 𝑔
∆𝑚𝑐 = 𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑙𝑒, 𝑔
𝑣𝑜 = 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑖𝑙 𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑, 𝑐𝑚3
𝑣𝑤 = 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑒𝑥𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑, 𝑐𝑚3
𝜌𝑜 = 𝑜𝑖𝑙 𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦, 𝑔/𝑐𝑚3
𝜌𝑤 = 𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦, 𝑔/𝑐𝑚3

The pore volume of the sample is determined by one of the

methods described in lecture 2 & 3 and the liquid saturations are
then computed. It should be noted that if oil and water saturations
do not add up to 100%, gas must have been present in the sample.

Example 1:
A sandstone core sample 4” long, 1” in diameter with an absolute
porosity of 23% was cleaned in an extraction unit. The reduction in the
sample’s mass was 7.4 g, and 3.2 ml of water were collected. If the oil
and water densities are 0.88 and 1.02 g/cm3, respectively, compute
the fluid saturations.

𝑚𝑤 = 𝑣𝑤 𝜌𝑤 → 𝑚𝑤 = 3.2 𝑥 1.02 = 3.26 𝑔𝑚

𝑚𝑜 = ∆𝑚𝑐 − 𝑣𝑤 𝜌𝑤

𝑚𝑜 = 7.4 − 3.26 = 4.14 𝑔𝑚

𝑚𝑜 4.14
𝑣𝑜 = → 𝑣𝑜 = = 4.7 𝑐𝑚3
𝜌𝑜 0.88

𝑣𝑝 = (1)2 𝑥 4 𝑥 0.23 = 0.723 𝑖𝑛3 = 11.84 𝑐𝑚3
𝑣𝑜 4.7
𝒔𝒐 = = = 0.397 = 39.7%
𝑣𝑝 11.84
𝑣𝑤 3.2
𝒔𝒘 = = = 0.27 = 27%
𝑣𝑝 11.84

𝑠𝑜 + 𝑠𝑔 + 𝑠𝑤 = 1.0

0.397 + 𝑠𝑔 + 0.27 = 1.0

𝒔𝒈 = 0.333 = 33.3%

A sandstone core sample (Vb = 49 cm3, Vp = 8.8 cm3,
total mass = 115.2 g) contains both oil and water (ρo =
0.82 g/cm3, ρw = 1 g/cm3). Compute the fluid
saturations. What are the uncertainties in your answer?

Form the core analysis, the following data were obtained:
 Obtain the mass of the saturated sample = 57 gms.
 Determine the bulk volume by nondestructive means= 25 cc
 Determine the oil density = 0.88 gm/cc d.
 Place the sample in the extraction apparatus and heat the solvent.
Record the volume of water collected and when the reading
becomes constant – stop. Vw = 1.4 ml
 After cooling, remove the core and dry, obtain dry weight = 53 gms.
 Using the saturation method, resaturate the sample with fresh water
(𝜌 = 1.00 gm/cc) and weigh. 58 gms. g.
Calculate the pore volume, porosity and saturation

Indirect method
Fluid saturations can also be estimated through indirect methods such
as measurement of rock resistivity and well logging.

Average Saturation
Proper averaging of saturation data requires that the saturation values
be weighted by both the interval thickness hi and interval porosity 𝝋.
The average saturation of each reservoir fluid is calculated from the
following equations:
𝑖=1 𝜑𝑖 ℎ𝑖 𝑆𝑜𝑖
𝑆𝑜 = 𝑛 Eq. (8)
𝑖=1 𝜑𝑖 ℎ𝑖

𝑖=1 𝜑𝑖 ℎ𝑖 𝑆𝑤𝑖
𝑆𝑤 = 𝑛 Eq. (9)
𝑖=1 𝜑𝑖 ℎ𝑖

𝑖=1 𝜑𝑖 ℎ𝑖 𝑆𝑔𝑖
𝑆𝑔 = 𝑛 Eq. (10)
𝑖=1 𝜑𝑖 ℎ𝑖

Where the subscript i refers to any individual measurement and hi

represents the depth interval to which 𝝋i , Soi, Sgi, and Swi apply.

Example 2:
Calculate average oil and connate water saturation from the following

Construct the following table and calculate the average saturation for
the oil and water phase:

𝑆𝑜 = = 0.7635

𝑆𝑤 = = 0.2365

Factors Affecting Fluid Saturations

• A common method of obtaining fluid saturations is from
measurements taken on core samples. Unfortunately, the fluid
content in the core is altered by two processes:

1) The flushing of mud and mud filtrate into the adjacent formation

2) The release of confining pressure as the core is pulled to surface.

• Figure 2 illustrates on a microscopic level the invasion process of a water-

based mud into an oil-bearing formation.

• The top diagram is prior to being penetrated by the bit, therefore the
saturations present are the connate water and oil. The middle diagram is
after the bit has penetrated the formation and fluid invasion has flushed the
original reservoir fluids.

• Note the increase in water saturation during this time. The final diagram
shows the gas expansion as the core is brought to the surface.

Figure 2. Saturations in
Characteristic sand during
coring and recovery
[CoreLab, 1983]

• An example of saturation changes occurring in the core from insitu

to surface conditions is shown in Figure 3.

• The significant decrease in oil saturation due to the invasion


• Also, note the gas expansion as the core is brought to surface,

subsequently expelling the fluids in the core.

• In this illustration, primarily water is expelled.

• Finally, as the pressure and temperature are reduced, the oil will
shrink in volume, therefore also reducing the saturation.

Figure 3. Example of
saturation changes
occurring in the core from
insitu to surface conditions

• Several solutions have been proposed to address these problems.

To minimize the invasion problem. it is suggested to use oil-based
muds (OBM) as the coring fluid.

• Figure 4 shows a comparison between two different examples,

one using water-based mud and the second using oil-based mud.

• A significant improvement in obtaining original reservoir saturations

occurs using oil-based mud.

Figure 4. Comparison of water- and oil-based muds on the saturation distribution


• Other research has lead to using empirical factors to correct

measured core saturations to original conditions [Amyx, et

• Furthermore, as an alternative to core analysis, geophysical well

logs provide accurate and continuous measurements for the
calculation of insitu saturations.

• Also, capillary pressure measurements on samples provide

saturation results.

• Selection of the proper coring fluid is essential to obtaining

meaningful results. The objectives and desired tests on the core
shown in Table1 provide a guide for using suitable coring fluids.

Thank you
Any questions??