Simulation of Foam Displacement in Porous Media

by A. R. Kovscek, Tadeusz W. Patzek, C. J. Radke
Year: 1993


Kovscek, A. R., T. W. Patzek, and C. J. Radke. Simulation of foam displacement in porous media. No. LBL--34466; CONF-931088--3. Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States), 1993.


Foam is an excellent fluid for achieving mobility control of gas in porous media. Practical application of foams for EOR processes, however requires a predictive model of foam displacement. Further, quantitative information on foam-flow behavior at reservoir flow rates and pressures is required as input to any field-scale modeling. An experimental and mechanistic-modeling study is reported for the transient flow of foam through 1.3 {mu}m{sup 2} (1.3 D) Boise sandstone at backpressures in excess of 5 MPa (700 psi) over a quality range from 0.80 to 0.99. Total superficial velocities range from as little as 0.42 to 2.20 m/day (1.4 ft/day to 7 ft/day). Sequential pressure taps and gamma-ray densitometry measure flow resistance and in-situ liquid saturations, respectively. We garner experimental pressure and saturation profiles in both the transient and steady states. Adoption of a mean-size foam-bubble conservation equation along with the traditional reservoir simulation equations allows mechanistic foam simulation. Since foam mobility depends heavily upon its texture, the bubble population balance is both useful and necessary as the role of foam texture must be incorporated into any model which seeks accurate prediction of flow properties. Our model employs capillary-pressure-dependent kinetic expressions for lamellae generation and coalescence and also a more » term for trapping of lamellae. Additionally, the effects of surfactant chemical transport are included. We find quantitative agreement between experimental and theoretical saturation and pressure profiles in both the transient and steady states.


Petroleum Porous Materials Fluid Flow Foams Sandstones Enhanced Recovery Mobility Control Simulation Mathematical Models Experimental Data Drilling And Production