Modeling of two-phase flow in heterogeneous wet porous media

Yihang Xiao, Yongming He, Jun Zheng, Jiuyu Zhao

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The characterization of two-phase flow has been commonly based on homogeneous wet capillary models, which are limited to heterogeneous wet porous media. In this work, capillary pressure and relative permeability models for three heterogeneous wet systems are derived, which enable the analysis of the effect of oil-wet ratio on the two-phase flow mechanism. The capillary pressures, relative permeabilities and water cut curves of three systems are simulated at the primary drainage stage. The results show that water-wet and oil-wet systems exhibit drainage and imbibition characteristics, respectively, while heterogeneous wet systems show both of these characteristics, and a large oil- wet ratio is favourable to oil imbibition. Mixed-wet large and mixed-wet small systems have water-wet and oil-wet characteristics, respectively, at the end and the beginning of oil displacement. At the drainage stage, the oil-wet ratio can significantly decrease oil conductivity, while water conductivity is enhanced. The conductivity difference between oil and water firstly decreases and then increases with rising water saturation, and the difference diminishes with the increase in oil-wet ratio. The oil-wet ratio can reduce water displacement efficiency, and its effects on the water cut curves vary between the three systems due to wettability distribution and pore-size mutation. The mixed-wet small system has the strongest oil imbibition ability caused by the largest capillary pressure in oil-wet pores and the smallest drainage pressure in water-wet pores, and high water conductivity causes the greatest water cut. The trend of variations in the mixed-wet large system is opposite to that in the mixed-wet small system, and the fractional-wet system is located between the other two systems.

Cited as: Xiao, Y., He, Y., Zheng, J., Zhao, J. Modeling of two-phase flow in heterogeneous wet porous media. Capillarity, 2022, 5(3): 41-50.


Heterogeneous wet system, two-phase flow, capillary bundle model, capillary pressure, relative permeability

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