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IF: 1.49 5-Year IF: 1.159 SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.58

ISSN Print: 1091-028X
ISSN Online: 1934-0508

# Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.2019028864
pages 167-181

## NUMERICAL INVESTIGATIONS ON FORMATION CONDITIONS OF THE THIEF ZONE BY LEVEL SET METHOD

Shuoliang Wang
School of Energy Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, 100083, China; Key Laboratory of Marine Reservoir Evolution and Hydrocarbon Enrichment Mechanism, Ministry of Education
Hui Zhao
College of Petroleum Engineering, Yangtze University, 1 Nanhuan Road Jingzhou Hubei, 434023, China
Chunlei Yu
Shengli Oilfield Exploration and Development Research Institute, Dongying, Shandong, 257000, China

### ABSTRACT

The injection water flowing along the thief zone directly affects oil field development efficiency and oil production. The formation condition of the thief zone is an issue worth studying. In this paper, first, the two-phase displacement experimental results are obtained through a one-dimensional microtube experiment and a two-dimensional glass etching plate experiment. Then, based on the experimental device size, a numerical simulation model of the Level set is established. By comparing the calculated results of the Level set method with the laboratory experimental results, it is proved that the Level set calculation method can be used to calculate the free surface tracking problem of oil–water two-phase in porous media. Based on this foundation, a mathematical model of parallel tubes is established using the Level set method. The influence factors of injection water channeling are analyzed in a microcosmic viewpoint. After calculating parallel microtube numerical simulation models, it is found that the greater the displacement pressure, the greater the crude oil viscosity, the bigger the wetting angle, the smaller the interfacial tension, and the easier it is to form the thief zone. In this paper, the authors are first to innovatively present the critical tube diameter ratios in different conditions and the formation conditions of channeling under different pressures, oil–water viscosity ratios, wetting angles, and interfacial tensions in a microcosmic viewpoint.

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