The studies used the DHD™ direct hydrodynamics pore flow simulation component of digital SCAL services to obtain relative permeability vs. water saturation curves for a wide range of rock types—including coarse-grained and fine-grained sandstones as well as carbonates—and to verify the results through a comparison with relative permeability data produced from laboratory experiments. The study used both a basic rock model (with porosity resolved in meso- and micropores by microcomputed tomography [microCT]) and an advanced model combining resolved porosity, micrometer porous matrix, and solid rock components.
DHD simulation computes multiphase flow by solving density functional hydrodynamic (DFH) equations. The pore-scale flow simulator uses digital rock imaging and fluid data that enables detailed digital routine core analysis (RCA) and SCAL, as well as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) agent optimization. Digital rock imaging uses high-resolution X-ray scanning along with images from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to construct digital rock models that reveal the complex pore geometry of real rocks. Constructed rock models are then used with digital models of reservoir and injection fluids to model multiphase hydrodynamic processes at the pore scale.
The study was executed in three phases for each reservoir rock sample. First, RCA properties were established using DRA and compared with the experimental lab data. During the second phase, a set of steady-state relative permeability digital experiments was performed using fluid data, flow rates, pressures, and temperature conditions that replicated experimental lab tests.
The DRA models were fully saturated with brine and then desaturated to irreducible water saturation (Swi). After this, a steady-state flooding cycle was performed using varying oil and water injection ratios for different core wettability scenarios. Next, SCAL data was compared with Eni-provided experimental laboratory data. In the final phase, a further sensitivity study was performed to evaluate the effects of micrometer porosity on multiphase transport properties.