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Introduction to

Capillary Pressure

Some slides in this section are modified from NExT PERF Short Course Notes, 1999.
However, many of the slides appears to have been obtained from other primary
sources that are not cited by NExT. Some slides have a notes section.
Applications of Capillary
Pressure Data
Determine fluid distribution in reservoir (initial conditions)
Accumulation of HC is drainage process for water wet res.
Sw= function of height above OWC (oil water contact)
Determine recoverable oil for water flooding applications
Imbibition process for water wet reservoirs
Pore Size Distribution Index,
Absolute permeability (flow capacity of entire pore size
distribution)
Relative permeability (distribution of fluid phases within the
pore size distribution)
Reservoir Flow - Capillary Pressure included as a term of flow
potential for multiphase flow gZ
w po w
Pc,ow ; Z , water wet
D
Input data for reservoir simulation models
DRAINAGE AND IMBIBITION
CAPILLARY PRESSURE CURVES DRAINAGE

Fluid flow process in which the saturation


of the nonwetting phase increases

Mobility of nonwetting fluid phase


increases as nonwetting phase saturation
increases
Drainage IMBIBITION

Fluid flow process in which the saturation


of the wetting phase increases
Pc
Mobility of wetting phase increases as
wetting phase saturation increases
Pd
Four Primary Parameters
Si = irreducible wetting phase saturation
Imbibition Sm = 1 - residual non-wetting phase saturation
S
Sm Pd = displacement pressure, the pressure
i
required to force non-wetting fluid into largest
0 0.5 1.0 pores
Swt = pore size distribution index; determines
shape
Modified from NExT, 1999, after
DRAINAGE PROCESS
Fluid flow process in which the saturation of the nonwetting
phase increases
Examples:
Hydrocarbon (oil or gas) filling the pore space and
displacing the original water of deposition in water-wet rock
Waterflooding an oil reservoir in which the reservoir is oil
wet
Gas injection in an oil or water wet oil reservoir
Pressure maintenance or gas cycling by gas injection in a
retrograde condensate reservoir
Evolution of a secondary gas cap as reservoir pressure
decreases
IMBIBITION PROCESS
IMBIBITION
Fluid flow process in which the
saturation of the wetting phase increases

Mobility of wetting phase increases as


wetting phase saturation increases
Examples:
Accumulation of oil in an oil wet reservoir
Waterflooding an oil reservoir in which the reservoir is
water wet
Accumulation of condensate as pressure decreases in
a dew point reservoir