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Journal of Porous Media

Impact factor: 1.035

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

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Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.v15.i3.20
pages 211-232

NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF FREE FALL AND CONTROLLED GRAVITY DRAINAGE PROCESSES IN POROUS MEDIA

Sohrab Zendehboudi
Memorial University
Ali Shafiei
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Ioannis Chatzis
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2l 3G1, Canada
Maurice B. Dusseault
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada

ABSTRACT

Multiphase flow simulation in porous media requires understanding of the physics of transport, tools for managing complicated scale-dependent structures, and effective solution methods. Complex two-phase flow in porous media under gravity drainage is addressed in this paper; mathematical simulation of the process in homogeneous and fractured porous media was carried out using COMSOL. A new approach is proposed to simulate time-dependent drainage in vertical porous physical models to investigate aspects of gravity drainage (free fall or controlled gravity drainage) on oil saturation distribution and oil production history. The effect of permeability heterogeneity in the form of fractures on the drainage process, as well as the evolution of relative permeability of the wetting and non-wetting phases, capillary pressure, and some other significant parameters, was mathematically investigated. The results obtained are compared with experimental data from laboratory tests were reported in the literature, showing a good agreement.