Pore Level Investigation of Steam Injection Processes; Visualization of Oil Entrapment and Steam Propagation

Etemad, S., Behrang, A., Mohammadmoradi, P., Kantzas, A.

DOI: 10.1016/j.petrol.2017.08.057
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 158, September 2017, Pages 603-615.


The objective of this work is to model the steam injection process and examine the displacement physics at the grain-level. The primary focus is to quantify the oil entrapment behind the swept zone and investigate the pore-level steam propagation and chamber growth. A digital two-dimensional micro-model is reconstructed and fed into a finite element VOF-based solver. The solver is developed by adding necessary source terms to the Navier Stokes equation. The phase change is simulated using the Lee phase change model assuming that mass is transferred in a constant pressure and a quasi-thermo-equilibrium state. For each phase in the multi-region model, the mass conservation, Navier-Stokes momentum, and energy equations under non-isothermal conditions are solved simultaneously. In post-processing results, steam chamber development, vapor condensation over the oil-steam interface, and oil viscosity reduction due to the heat diffusion are demonstrated properly. The simulated oil entrapment behind the swept zone as well as the temperature distribution throughout the medium are in good agreement with the experimental datasets.

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