Characterizing Flow in Oil Reservoir Rock Using Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics
Author(s)Holmes, David W.; Williams, John R.; Tilke, Peter G.
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In this paper, a 3D Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulator for modeling grain scale fluid flow in porous rock is presented. The versatility of the SPH method has driven its use in increasingly complex areas of flow analysis, including flows related to porous rock for both groundwater and petroleum reservoir research. Previous approaches to such problems using SPH have involved the use of idealized pore geometries (cylinder/sphere packs etc.). In this paper we discuss the characterization of flow in models with geometries acquired from 3D X-ray microtomograph images of actual porous rock. One key advantage of SPH is realized when considering the complexity of multiple fluid phases (e.g., water and oil). By incorporating interfacial physics such as surface tension and wettability, it is possible to model the capillary behavior of multiple fluid phases with accuracy. Simulation results for permeability will be presented and compared to those from experimentation and other numerical methods showing good agreement and validating the method. By accurately reproducing the flow characteristics of actual porous rock samples, this work has made significant progress towards validating SPH for such applications.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
3rd International Conference Porous Media and Its Applications in Science, Engineering, and Industry
American Institute of Physics
Tilke, Peter G., David W. Holmes, and John R. Williams. “Characterizing Flow in Oil Reservoir Rock Using Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics.” Ed. Kambiz Vafai. AIP Conference Proceedings 1254.1 (2010): 278-283.
Author's final manuscript