You are on page 1of 146

Three-Phase Flow in Porous Media:

A Review of Experimental Studies on Relative


Permeability
1

A.H. Alizadeh and M. Piri

A.H. Alizadeh, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Wyoming,


1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071-2000, USA. (aalizade@uwyo.edu)
M. Piri, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Wyoming, 1000 E.
University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071-2000, USA. (mpiri@uwyo.edu)
10

Department of Chemical and Petroleum

Engineering, University of Wyoming,


Laramie, Wyoming, USA.

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through
the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to dierences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1002/2013RG000433

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Abstract.

We present a detailed, synthesized review of experimental stud-

ies on three-phase relative permeability published since 1980. We provide comprehensive, yet highly focused, analysis of critical aspects of the eld and their
evolution over the last three decades. In particular, we review the eects of
saturation history, wettability, spreading, and layer drainage on the measured
ow properties. We also list all the processes, rock types, uid systems, and
measurement techniques in order to provide a clear map for future studies.
Behavior of the measured three-phase relative permeabilities with respect
to uid saturations, saturation histories, wettability of rock samples, spreading characteristics, interfacial tensions, and other pertinent properties are
carefully discussed. Studies that use a diverse set of experimental techniques
and data analysis to deduce relative permeability are included. The experimental techniques that should be utilized to reduce uncertainty are also explored. We interpret the measured properties and outcomes of dierent studies and compare them to substantiate distinct trends at various saturation
ranges and provide ideas for new studies. This is intended to distill a clear
image of where the eld stands and to allow composition of possible paths
for future investigations. The areas of critical relevance that have not been
investigated or require further studies are accented.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

1. Introduction
The simultaneous ow of uid phases, e.g., oil, gas, and brine, in porous media is
of great interest in many areas of science and technology, such as petroleum reservoir
and environmental engineering. Examples of three-phase ow problems in environmental
engineering include ow of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) or dense non-aqueous phase
liquids (DNAPL) through soils and sequestration of CO2 in geological formations, as a
method of mitigating the global emissions of CO2 from anthropogenic sources, and the
related leakage processes. In petroleum reservoir engineering, the ever-growing demand
for more oil and gas, on the one hand, and the decline in discovery of major new reservoirs,
on the other hand, have led to development of enhanced recovery techniques to produce
at least a portion of the enormous amount of hydrocarbons left behind in the subsurface
after primary and secondary recovery processes. The reservoirs are subjected to a group
of recovery schemes that often involve injection of uids that are not originally present
in the reservoir. In many instances, this leads to creation of three-phase ow conditions.
Water alternating gas (WAG) injection and recovery from gas-condensate reservoirs are
among numerous examples.
Fluid ow through porous media, in particular multiphase ow, involves convoluted phenomena that are often poorly understood. Among all factors aecting uid ow through
a porous medium, permeability is one of the most important ones. Permeability is a
measure of the capacity of the medium to transmit uids. Although the term permeability was initially employed by Henry P. Darcy in 1856 for single-phase ow of water
in a sand lter, it was later extended to multiphase ow by introducing the concept of

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

relative permeability. This multiphase ow property is a manifestation of complicated


pore-level displacement physics and also uid-uid and solid-uid properties. It can be
either measured in the laboratory or estimated using empirical correlations or pore scale
models. The latter two still need experimentally measured data for development and
validation. The measurement of relative permeability data representative of hydrocarbon
reservoirs is a complex task. The most common method for relative permeability determination is laboratory special core analysis. The rst experimental relative permeability
dataset was reported by Wycko and Botset [1936] for a two-phase water-gas system in
an unconsolidated sandpack, and since then many studies have been allocated to twophase ow in porous media. Shortly after Wycko and Botset, Leverett and Lewis [1941]
measured three-phase water-oil-gas relative permeabilities in a similar medium. However,
three-phase relative permeability did not receive much attention over the years as twophase relative permeability did, mainly because its laboratory measurements are almost
prohibitively complicated, costly, and time-consuming.
The absence of well-characterized experimental data relevant to three-phase ow processes is further signied when numerical simulations of enhanced reservoir development
methods are performed. These simulations, which are used to predict the performance of
oil and gas reservoirs under dierent recovery schemes, always need relevant multiphase
ow properties, e.g., three-phase relative permeability, as input to obtain accurate solutions. So far and in the absence of high-quality data, geoscientists and engineers have
been mostly relying on empirical correlations with little or no physical basis to generate
these properties (mainly through interpolation between two-phase relative permeabilities). However, these empirical models have frequently failed to predict the available

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

experimental data, emphasizing the need for more experimental data in order to build
new physically-based correlations. Despite the complexities and diculties involved, the
recent surge in interest for better understanding and design of enhanced oil recovery processes as well as advances in experimental science and technology have led to renewed
eorts in measurements of three-phase relative permeability, and therefore more research
initiatives are currently being dedicated to this subject.
In addition to the scarcity of three-phase relative permeability data, there are several
glaring inconsistencies between already published experimental results, whose cause must
be investigated before they are considered as dependable experimental outcomes. Therefore, it is essential to perform a careful review of all three-phase relative permeability
studies carried out in the past to clarify these inconsistencies and also identify critical
areas that must be investigated more. This type of review will lead to more informed
future research directions as well as development of better experimental procedures.
The primary objective of this paper is to provide a careful and extensive review of
experimental studies on three-phase relative permeability published since 1980. A quick
look at the literature reveals that most of the studies have been focused on less complicated rock-uid systems. On the one hand, less complexity may be considered necessary
in order to develop improved understanding of the fundamentals of three-phase ow, but
on the other hand, the resulting data and the correlations may not take all the complexities relevant to reservoirs into consideration. In addition, there are several aspects that
have not, despite their signicance, received sucient attention, such as wettability and
spreading characteristics. Thus, in this document, we present a clear picture on where
the research eld stands and what the important unexplored topics are. In particular,

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

we will pay attention to the eects of saturation history, rock characteristics, wettability,
spreading, interfacial tension, and viscosity on three-phase relative permeability. At the
end of the document, all important test information is summarized in tables. These tables
ease additional and rapid comparisons of dierent studies.

2. Measurement Techniques
Three-phase relative permeability experiments are generally carried out using steadystate, unsteady-state (dynamic displacement), centrifuge, and gravity drainage methods.
While one may expect to obtain similar relative permeabilities for a rock-uid system using
either of these techniques, comparative studies have sometimes exhibited discrepancies in
the results. A possible reason for the observed dissimilarities is that ow conditions, under
which the underlying fundamentals of each approach are valid, can vary from one method
to another. Moreover, a single approach may not represent all types of ow regimes
that take place in petroleum reservoirs, justifying the need for the other approaches.
During gas injection into an oil reservoir, for example, dierent parts of the reservoir
may experience dierent displacement regimes such as capillary-, gravity-, or viscousdominated. As a consequence, relative permeabilities for each part should be obtained
using a measurement technique that simulates pertinent displacement mechanisms of that
part as closely as possible [Singh et al., 2001].
In the steady-state approach, all phases, e.g., water, oil, and gas, are simultaneously
injected into a porous medium at a variety of xed, metered fractional ows. At each set of
imposed fractional ows, the system is allowed to reach steady state, which is determined
by constant uid saturations and stable pressure drop across the sample. Assuming that
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

uid saturations are uniform across the porous medium, relative permeability to each
phase can then be calculated from multiphase Darcys law:

vj =

Kkrj j
j s

(1)

Oak et al. [1990], Maloney and Brinkmeyer [1992], and Alizadeh and Piri [2014] provided further details regarding how to perform steady-state three-phase experiments. The
direct use of Darcys law in the steady-state method generates the least controversial results compared to other methods, provided capillary end eects, causing non-uniformity
in saturation distributions, are minimized or eliminated.
Although the steady-state method has several advantages over the other methods and
has been widely used to obtain three-phase relative permeabilities, it is often prohibitively
time-consuming. This fact has let the unsteady-state approach become as equally popular
as the steady-state approach, and many studies have used it to conduct experiments (see
Table 1). In the unsteady-state (dynamic displacement) method, usually only one uid
is injected into the core sample during each displacement process, and recovery of phases
together with the pressure drop across the sample is monitored. Relative permeability to
each phase can then be calculated using extensions of the two-phase Welge-JBN method
to three-phase ow. Similar to two-phase ow, simplifying assumptions of incompressible,
one dimensional, isothermal, and immiscible ow with no capillary pressure are invoked
in the derivations of the three-phase extensions of the Welge-JBN method [Sarem, 1966;
Virnovskii , 1985; Grader and OMeara, 1988]. In the rst extension of the Welge-JBN
method to three-phase ow proposed by Sarem [1966], it was assumed that three-phase
relative permeability of each phase was only a function of its own saturation. This asc
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

sumption was later removed by Virnovskii [1985] and Grader and OMeara [1988]. The
methods presented by these researchers are similar except that Virnovskii, as opposed to
Grader and OMeara, considered the formation of saturation discontinuities; hence, his
method is valid from the start of experiments, i.e., before and after breakthrough [Eikje
et al., 1992]. Siddiqui et al. [1996] examined the extended method of Grader and OMeara
experimentally and reported a very good match between saturation proles derived by applying the method to euent recoveries and those obtained by X-ray scanning the porous
medium.
In addition to the aforementioned assumptions that contribute to the uncertainties of
the unsteady-state results, dynamic displacement experiments are usually conducted at
high ow rates, when having restrictions on the length of the porous medium, in order to satisfy the Rapoport and Lease number [Lake, 1989] and mitigate capillary end
eects. High ow rates may in turn increase the chance of viscous ngering. Consequently, the unsteady-state approach is believed to be more suitable to represent ow
conditions of high front-velocity displacements [Singh et al., 2001]. Despite all these facts,
the unsteady-state method is sometimes substituted for the steady-state method mainly
because the later can be very time-consuming, particularly in three-phase ow. Under
these circumstances, alternative results should be utilized with caution in eld scale studies. Saraf et al. [1982] measured steady- and unsteady-state two- and three-phase relative
permeabilities in water-wet Berea sandstone under similar saturation histories. It was
found that steady-state three-phase water and oil relative permeabilities were similar to
those of the unsteady-state tests. Three-phase gas relative permeabilities of the steadystate experiments, however, were less sensitive to gas saturation history. It was also

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

observed that the steady-state gas relative permeabilities were higher compared to the
unsteady-state values for decreasing gas saturation and were much lower for increasing
gas saturation. The researchers explained these observations through the possibly dierent amounts of gas trapping during steady- and unsteady-state ows. They believed that,
since all three phases compete for the same ow channels during steady-state ow, the
chance of uid trapping and accessibility to ow channels in the steady-state experiments
would be lower than the unsteady-state experiments. Nonetheless, use of Sarems [1966]
method to generate three-phase relative permeability data and material balance to measure uid saturations, which might have been aected by capillary end eects, increase
uncertainties of Saraf et al.s observations. Grader and OMeara [1988] used distilled water, benzyl alcohol, and decane representing the water, oil, and gas phases respectively
in order to reduce capillary end eects and viscous ngering, in their three-phase immiscible experiments on glass beads. Although most of the tests were carried out using the
unsteady-state approach and interpreted by the researchers extended method, a limited
number of three-phase benzyl alcohol (oil) relative permeabilities were measured using
the steady-state approach as well, and a good agreement with the unsteady-state results
was observed. This analogy in oil relative permeability was also reported by Sarma et al.
[1994] in their water/oil/gas results produced by using a calculation procedure similar
to Sarems [1966]. Skauge and Matre [1989] measured steady- and unsteady-state relative permeabilities for a brine/oil/microemulsion system in Berea sandstone. Plots of
steady-state relative permeability of each phase with respect to its saturation showed an
almost linear relationship in all three liquid phases, whereas unsteady-state results displayed curvature. Overall, more thorough three-phase studies are required to compare the

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

steady- and unsteady-state techniques under identical ow conditions. In-situ saturation


measurements can signicantly help in this regard by providing saturation proles and
identifying regions inuenced by boundary eects.
Use of the centrifuge is another approach to determine relative permeabilities. This
intrinsically unsteady-state, relatively rapid technique has occasionally been used to measure three-phase liquid relative permeabilities during various gas displacement processes
[Hagoort, 1980; Perry, 1980; van Spronsen, 1982; OMeara and Lease, 1983; Niko et al.,
1989; Grivot et al., 1995]. Hagoort [1980] believed that the conventional viscous displacement of oil by gas could adversely be aected by viscous ngering and capillary end
eects. To overcome these drawbacks, he developed an alternative method in which oil was
displaced by centrifugal forces rather than viscous forces by assuming an exact analogy
between gravitational and centrifugal elds and ignoring capillary pressure. The displacement was considered to be always stable despite the unfavorable gas/liquid mobility ratio,
and a correction procedure was proposed in case the end eects were not negligible. In
the theoretical approach developed, oil relative permeability could be determined only for
oil saturations lower than shock saturation. It was believed that, in almost all gravity
drainage processes, the gas mobility was relatively high, that is, the potential drop in
the gas phase was negligible. Thus, no gas relative permeability could be determined.
van Spronsen [1982] extended Hagoorts [1980] calculation procedure to cases where all
three phases were mobile. The assumption of innite gas mobility, however, did not allow
gas relative permeabilities to be obtained. The other studies essentially utilized similar
calculation procedures to determine three-phase relative permeabilities from centrifuge
experiments.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Apart from the centrifuge technique, a more direct, yet more time-consuming, approach
to determine three-phase relative permeabilities during gas-liquid gravity drainage is the
gravity drainage method [Naylor and Frrup, 1989; Naylor et al., 1991, 1995; Vizika and
Kalaydjian, 1995; Chalier et al., 1995; Sahni et al., 1998; DiCarlo et al., 2000; Dehghanpour et al., 2010; Dehghanpour and DiCarlo, 2011]. To calculate water and oil relative
permeabilities, pertinent equations are generated by combining multiphase Darcys law
and the conservation equation for each phase. The resulting equations require in-situ
saturation measurements as functions of time and distance along the length of the core
sample. For a given location in the core, the oil (or water) ow rate is determined from
the dierence in oil (water) volumes above that location between consecutive saturation
measurements. Although capillary pressure may also be included in the governing ow
equations [Sahni et al., 1998], calculations are frequently made for parts of the medium
where uid saturations are approximately constant with position. Thus, the pressure
gradient of the phase, which embodies the capillary pressure-saturation relationship, is
ignored relative to the gravitational gradient. It should be noted that, in the analysis of
the gravity drainage method, relative permeability to gas is not determined owing to the
assumption of zero gas potential. This is justied from the very low movement of the
gas front [Sahni et al., 1998]. Naylor and Frrup [1989] and Naylor et al. [1991, 1995]
used the gravity drainage method to deduce relative permeabilities during secondary and
tertiary gravity-stable nitrogen injection experiments. Although Naylor et al. [1991] reported that oil relative permeabilities in their studies were insensitive to the location of
measurements, provided they were not inuenced by end eects, Foulser et al. [1990] and
Goodyear and Jones [1993], in their re-analysis of the experimental data of Naylor and

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Frrup [1989] and Naylor et al. [1991] using more improved methods to smooth saturation
prole data, observed that the relative permeability values, for a given oil saturation, were
higher toward the bottom of the core than the top. As a possible explanation, Goodyear
and Jones attributed the distance dependence of the relative permeabilities to the absence
of capillary pressure in governing ow equations. Naylor et al. [1995] later re-conrmed
their observed independency by using more data points obtained with better accuracy.
DiCarlo et al. [2000] also used the gravity drainage method to calculate water and oil
relative permeabilities during three-phase gas gravity drainage experiments in sandpacks.
Due to the inability of the method to yield gas relative permeability, the investigators
obtained this parameter directly through pressure gradients in the gas phase measured in
analog experiments.
Similar to two-phase relative permeabilities, three-phase relative permeabilities may be
determined through numerical simulation of steady- and unsteady-state ow experiments.
The fact that the above-mentioned relative permeability calculation procedures (the direct
use of multiphase Darcys law, the three-phase version of the Welge-JBN method, centrifuge equations, and the combination of Darcys law and the conservation equation) have
been based on several assumptions has encouraged researchers to use numerical methods to
solve three-phase ow equations in conjunction with relevant displacement physics. This
approach allows incorporating capillary pressure terms in the ow equations, whereby capillary end eects can also be accounted for. In general, the method is based on modeling
experiments through a coreooding simulator using initial ow functions and then adjusting the functions in a history matching mode until a good match between estimated and
experimentally measured data is obtained. Despite its advantages, the history matching

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

technique may not always lead to unique results, leaving the obtained relative permeabilities open to question. To analyze their unsteady-state secondary and tertiary gas injection
experiments, Moulu et al. [1995, 1997, 1999] combined history matching with a calculation
procedure called pseudo steady-state to obtain three-phase relative permeabilities representative of the displacements. In the pseudo steady-state method, it was hypothesized
that uid saturations along the core were uniform after gas breakthrough and varied very
slowly with time; therefore, the pressure drop and ow rates measured at a given time
corresponded to a stable state of ow. Thus, relative permeability to each phase was
determined using the pressure drop and ow rates deduced from production curves. The
pseudo steady-state results were then used as initial data for the history matching process. Vizika and Lombard [1996] simulated their secondary gravity-assisted gas injection
experiments using a compositional simulator to obtain oil and gas relative permeabilities.
It was assumed that matching both production data and saturation proles would guarantee the uniqueness of the results. Nordtvedt et al. [1997] used an optimization method
together with history matching to simultaneously produce three-phase relative permeability and capillary pressure functions for steady-state two- and three-phase coreooding
experiments. Their approach, rst presented by Mejia et al. [1996] and further developed
by Nordtvedt et al. [1996], could incorporate the eects of uid compressibility, capillary pressure, gravity, and heterogeneity. Naylor et al. [2001], Drummond et al. [2001],
Egermann et al. [2004], and Petersen Jr et al. [2004] also employed the history matching
technique to deduce relative permeabilities during depressurization experiments. More
examples of use of this method can be found in Table 1.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

3. Eects of Saturation History


For a given rock-uid system and under xed experimental conditions, relative permeabilities are not unique functions of phase saturations, but may depend upon saturation
history as well. Saturation history is dened as a saturation path taken to reach the
current phase saturation values in a given sequence of ow processes. For each phase,
the taken path can approach the current phase saturation either from lower saturation
values or from higher values. Figures 1(a) and 1(b) schematically illustrate how relative permeability to phase j can vary under dierent saturation histories. In Figure 1a,
phase relative permeability is the same regardless of the path taken to approach point A.
However, dierent paths in Figure 1b have resulted in two distinct relative permeability
values. The latter behavior is referred to as relative permeability hysteresis.
In two-phase ow, the study of the eect of saturation history on relative permeability
is fairly simple since there is only one independent phase saturation. Thus, there are two
saturation histories in two-phase ow; saturation of phase i increases and saturation of
phase j decreases, or vice versa. However, the problem of saturation history in threephase ow is more challenging as there are two independent phase saturations, increasing
the number of process paths. When three phases are present, similar to two-phase ow,
the saturation of each phase can increase or decrease to reach a given value. In addition
to these two states, i.e., increasing saturation and decreasing saturation, the saturation
of a phase can remain unchanged. Therefore, there are more than two saturation histories in three-phase ow. Similar to Oak et al. [1990], we here adopt Saraf et al.s [1982]
nomenclature (i.e., D = decreasing, I = increasing, and C = constant) to label saturation histories. For instance, DCI indicates a saturation history wherein water saturation

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

decreases, oil saturation is constant, and gas saturation increases. The term constant
(denoted by C) is used for a phase that is immobile prior to a process but may be mobilized and displaced during the process because of pore-level displacement mechanisms.
The problem with Saraf et al.s nomenclature is that it does not usually provide detailed
information concerning previous saturation paths followed before the current path. In
the ternary saturation diagram of Figure 2, for example, although the two DDI saturation histories (shown by solid lines) are of the same category, they have started following
two distinct saturation paths resulting in dierent initial uid congurations. Due to
this drawback, some researchers avoid utilizing the above-mentioned notation and merely
describe saturation paths.
Saraf et al. [1982] measured two- and three-phase relative permeabilities in water-wet
red Berea sandstone using both the steady- and unsteady-state methods under similar
saturation histories. Three-phase unsteady-state gas relative permeability was found to
be a function of gas saturation and gas saturation history. In other words, for the same direction of gas saturation change, the gas isoperms plotted on the ternary diagram resulted
in straight lines parallel to lines of constant gas saturation. Three-phase unsteady-state
relative permeability to water showed a little scatter; however, no specic trend was identied and it was inferred to be only a function of water saturation and almost independent
of saturation history. In the case of unsteady-state relative permeability to oil, the threephase data were not strongly dependent on the direction of saturation change of liquid
phases, but inuenced by the gas saturation history. The resulting isoperms showed slight
deviations from straight lines although the scatter in the data would make the dierences
marginal. It was observed that, for a given oil saturation, three-phase oil relative perme-

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

ability was higher for decreasing gas saturation than for increasing gas saturation. This
implies that gas trapping may facilitate oil ow further. Oil recovery was also better
when the core was ooded by gas and then water. In the steady-state experiments, it
was found that three-phase water and oil relative permeabilities were similar to those
of the unsteady-state tests. Three-phase gas relative permeabilities of the steady-state
experiments, however, were less sensitive to gas saturation history (less hysteresis), and
therefore oil relative permeabilities were not signicantly inuenced by the direction of
gas saturation change. Flow of uids through similar paths during steady-state ow,
as opposed to unsteady-state ow, was believed to be a reason to suppress the eect of
saturation history.
Skauge and Matre [1989] measured three-phase relative permeabilities for a brine-oilmicroemulsion system in Berea sandstone. Qualitative evidence suggested that excess
brine was most likely the wetting phase. The researchers reported a strong hysteresis
in the wetting phase (brine) and the non-wetting phase (oil) relative permeabilities with
generally greater values where the saturation of either was increasing. The observed
hysteresis eect in wetting phase relative permeability, however, is contrary to the general
ndings in the literature. This may be attributed to an incorrect judgment about the
wettability of the system. Using an identical rock-uid system, Kvanvik et al. [1992]
later performed Amott tests [Amott, 1959] and observed that both the excess brine and
microemulsion phases demonstrated intermediate-wetting behavior whereas excess oil was
the non-wetting phase compared to the other phases.
Maini et al. [1989] carried out a series of steady-state relative permeability experiments on a water-wet sandpack at elevated temperature and pressure. In addition to

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

gas-displacing-oil runs in the presence of irreducible water saturation, two saturation histories of increasing water and gas saturations and decreasing oil saturation (IDI) and
the opposite direction (DID) were examined. It was observed that, despite considerable
scatter, three-phase water relative permeability depended only on water saturation. Gas
relative permeability was also a function of only gas saturation in each saturation history.
At low gas saturations, it was smaller in the direction of decreasing gas saturation. Threephase relative permeability to oil also showed some hysteresis and was found to vary with
the other phase saturations as well. Oil isoperms were concave toward the oil apex in the
ternary diagram.
Oak et al. [1990] examined primary DDI and IID saturation histories by conducting
steady-state experiments on a water-wet red Berea core. They used the prex primary
in order to specify the initial two-phase condition of the DDI saturation history being
studied as opposed to secondary DDI in which the two-phase oil-displacing-water test is
performed after a primary oil-displacing-water and a water-displacing-oil test. The experimental results (Figure 3) showed dierent functional relationships for each saturation
history. For the primary DDI, two- and three-phase relative permeabilities to gas (nonwetting phase) diered at low oil saturation. The three-phase oil (intermediate-wetting
phase) relative permeabilities were signicantly dierent from those in two-phase ow as
reected by somewhat stretched S-shaped isoperms in the ternary diagram. In the direction of increasing water and oil saturations with gas saturation decreasing (IID), oil and
gas relative permeabilities were mainly functions of their own saturations. These suggested that oil and gas relative permeabilities were dependent on the saturation history

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

in this study. Nevertheless, relative permeability to water (wetting phase) was the same
in both directions and mainly a function of its saturation.
Oak [1989a, b, 1990] continued the study reported by Oak et al. [1990] and measured two- and three-phase relative permeabilities in two other water-wet red, yet highpermeability, Berea sandstone cores for a large number of saturation histories (see Table
1). Results obtained from the two high-permeability samples were also compared with
the results of the low-permeability sample already presented by Oak et al. [1990] (see
Figure 4). Plotting all three-phase water permeabilities of the low- and high-permeability
cores as a function of water saturation indicated that they were even less sensitive to the
saturation history than two-phase water data. The three-phase water permeabilities were
mainly functions of water saturation and almost the same as two-phase water permeabilities (only slightly lower) at a given water saturation. In the case of the high-permeability
cores, the three-phase gas relative permeabilities depended mainly on gas saturation as
well as the direction of gas saturation change. Three-phase oil relative permeabilities were
also categorized into two groups similar to the gas phase but based on their dependency
upon saturation. In the rst group including primary DDI, IID, IDI, DID, IDD, and IDC,
the relative permeability to oil was considerably greater than that in the second group
(i.e., secondary DDI and DII) at the same water and gas saturations. This behavior was
attributed to the fact that, in the rst group, the oil phase was initially mostly continuous
in the presence of gas while in the other group it was mostly trapped before gas injection.
It was postulated that if the gas phase was already present in a pore (e.g., in IID, IDD
and DID cases), oil could not be trapped in the same pore when being displaced by water.
The three-phase oil relative permeabilities in both groups were dependent on other phase

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

saturations as well and qualitatively approximated by concave and linear isoperms in the
rst and second groups, respectively (Figures 4(b) and 4(c)). It should be noted that
the primary DDI and IID saturation histories were performed on the low-permeability
core in the previous study [Oak et al., 1990] where Oak et al. separately illustrated their
relative permeability results respectively with somewhat S-shaped and linear isoperms
(Figures 3(c) and 3(d)). However, in the present study, Oak combined all together with
the other saturation histories from the other cores. It is not unexpected that, when the
three-phase saturation histories are examined individually in their own small saturation
regions in the ternary diagram, they may exhibit somewhat dierent trends from the
general approximate trend obtained when all are included together. It was also reported
that the reduction of residual oil saturation in waterooding in the presence of trapped
gas was greater than that in the simultaneous injection of water and gas. This suggests
that low residual oil saturations may be achieved only in some certain saturation paths
and that the water and gas injection sequence can be important in oil recovery. Baker
[1995] re-analyzed Oak s data [Oak , 1989a, b, 1990; Oak et al., 1990] by plotting phase
relative permeability surfaces in triangular prism diagrams (Figure 5). While the side
view of the oil relative permeability plot for the water-wet cores (Figure 5b) exhibited a
large amount of scatter, suggesting the dependence upon saturation history as reported
by Oak, rotation of the prism indicated that almost all the two- and three-phase oil data
fell on a smooth curved surface and showed little hysteresis. This discrepancy reveals the
signicance of three-dimensional representation of relative permeability data.
Oak [1991a, b] also measured steady-state two- and three-phase relative permeabilities
in intermediate-wet Berea sandstone. In this study, the core was initially saturated with

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

oil and then waterooded to minimum oil saturation. Three-phase experiments were conducted in the direction of increasing and decreasing gas saturation to investigate DDI and
IID saturation histories. It was observed that two- and three-phase relative permeabilities
to water were essentially the same at the same water saturation; however, the three-phase
water data exhibited no hysteresis contrary to the two-phase data. Gas relative permeabilities also depended primarily upon gas saturation as well as gas saturation history.
For the oil phase, relative permeabilities in both saturation histories signicantly deviated from two-phase data and the relative permeabilities in the gas-saturation-increasing
direction were slightly lower than those in the reverse direction at given saturations. In
general, the three-phase oil relative permeabilities were lower than the two-phase oil permeabilities. Convex oil isoperms of the DDI saturation history (Figure 6), when viewed
from the oil apex of ternary diagram, implied that the residual oil at the end of waterooding was most likely the minimum oil saturation attainable during three-phase ow
in the intermediate-wet core. The convexity of the oil isoperms also suggested that the
presence of gas had a detrimental eect on oil relative permeability. Despite the above
observations, Baker [1995] reported that, in the triangular prism diagram, Oak s oil relative permeability for the intermediate-wet condition exhibited much less scatter and a
atter surface than the oil data of the water-wet condition. In other words, oil behaved
more like a wetting phase with oil permeability depending primarily on oil saturation.
To complete his previous studies, Oak [1992] also investigated several saturation histories in oil-wet reservoir core samples from Tensleep in Wyoming. It was believed that
presence of connate water residing in the smallest pores had minor eects on ow behavior
of oil-wet reservoirs, and moreover there was no simple method for its re-establishment

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

in an oil-wet core. Therefore, all experiments wherein oil was present were initiated from
fully oil-saturated cores. Three-phase ow experiments were divided into two groups depending upon the saturation history of the two-phase water-oil ow prior to gas injection.
In the rst group including primary DDI, the oil-saturated core was partially waterooded
and then gas was injected. In the second group of experiments, started after waterooding
the oil-saturated cores to minimum oil (constant historical maximum water saturation),
secondary DDI and DIC saturation histories were examined. Saturation history strongly
aected two- and three-phase water and gas relative permeabilities; however, its inuence
on oil relative permeability was minor. When water (or gas) was displaced by either of
the other two phases, its initial saturation was an important factor suggesting the key
roles of both the water and gas saturation histories for three-phase ow in oil-wet media.
Using a brine/oil/microemulsion uid system and Berea sandstone, Kvanvik et al. [1992]
conducted three-phase experiments by injecting the third phase to displace the second
phase in the presence of residual saturation of the rst phase. Amott tests [Amott,
1959] demonstrated intermediate-wetting behavior for excess brine and microemulsion
and non-wetting behavior for excess oil. It was observed that three-phase water relative
permeability was generally higher in the direction of increasing water saturation than
in the opposite direction. Contrary to water relative permeability, week hysteresis was
reported for both microemulsion and oil relative permeabilities.
Skauge and Larsen [1994] studied secondary and tertiary water alternating gas (WAG)
injections in Berea and North Sea reservoir sandstones under various wettability conditions. In the water-wet cores, water relative permeability was primarily a function of
water saturation and showed a slight dependency upon hysteresis. Gas relative perme-

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

ability in the water-wet cores seemed to depend on all phase saturations as well as the
direction of saturation change. However, in the experiments where gas was injected in the
rst and third injection sequences, very similar results were obtained. In the intermediate
(mixed) -wet core, water relative permeability for the secondary waterood performed in
the second sequence, after gas injection, was signicantly lower than that for the primary
waterood. Oil relative permeability seemed to be dependent on all saturations. Also, it
was highest in the primary gas injection and lowest in the subsequent waterood. Limited data prevented a denitive statement about the behavior of gas relative permeability;
however, gas injection after waterooding led to a considerable reduction in gas relative
permeability compared to gas injection conducted in the rst sequence. Water relative
permeability in the oil-wet core exhibited a strong dependency on saturation history especially when comparing waterooding in the second sequence with gas injection in the
third sequence. However, due to wettability change toward water wetness over the displacements, it was dicult to draw a rm conclusion. Despite varying wettability, initial
observations demonstrated that relative permeability to oil in the oil-wet rock was a function of only its own saturation and slightly inuenced by saturation history. Contrary to
the oil phase, relative permeability to gas in the primary gas injection was notably higher
than that in the tertiary gas injection. In general, gas relative permeability exhibited
strong hysteresis eects in all the wettability conditions, and gas relative permeabilities
were lower in the decreasing-gas-saturation direction than those in the opposite direction.
As observed above, multicycle three-phase processes such as WAG, involving successive
increasing and decreasing phase saturations, may exhibit another type of relative permeability hysteresis called cycle-dependent hysteresis [Larsen and Skauge, 1998]. In the

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

conventional hysteresis phenomenon, phase relative permeability at a given phase saturation diers between increasing- and decreasing-saturation paths (i.e., during one cycle)
whereas in the cycle-dependent hysteresis, phase relative permeability is dierent between
two cycles for the same saturation direction. Figure 7 exemplies two cycles of a displacement process where phase saturation increases and then decreases in each cycle. As seen,
relative permeabilities not only show conventional hysteresis in each cycle but also are
dierent between the two cycles for the same saturation direction. Cycle-dependent hysteresis is a common phenomenon in WAG injection and must be taken into consideration
when simulating this oil recovery process. Larsen and Skauge [1998] proposed an empirical
model accounting for irreversible hysteresis cycles during three-phase ow.
Munkerud and Hoimyr [1995] conducted WAG displacement experiments on mixed-wet
North Sea reservoir sandstone at reservoir conditions and observed that gas relative permeability diminished not only by switching from gas injection to water injection during
the rst cycle, but also from the rst cycle to second cycle. Egermann et al. [2000] performed alternate brine and gas injection experiments on water-wet Estaillades limestone.
The results showed that hysteresis did not aect water relative permeability. However,
gas relative permeability was strongly inuenced by saturation history. Similar to the
rst cycle of increasing and decreasing gas relative permeability corresponding to the rst
gas injection and waterood, the second cycle was also irreversible and shifted to higher
gas saturations with respect to the rst couple of curves. At a given gas saturation, gas
relative permeability decreased with chronology of the displacements, no matter they were
drainage or imbibition and what the initial condition was. Element et al. [2003] carried
out a laboratory study of secondary and tertiary water alternating gas injection on a

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

water-wet and an intermediate-wet Berea core. Results of the water-wet core showed that
endpoint gas relative permeability decreased when comparing each gas injection with its
previous gas injection, and each cycle was shifted to higher gas saturations compared to
its previous cycle. This irreversibility also took place for the water phase between the rst
cycle and the subsequent cycles, and the other endpoint water relative permeabilities, approximately equal to each other, were smaller than the rst endpoint. The increase in the
remaining water saturation after the rst gas injection might have happened due to capillary holdup. It was observed that, in general, the irreversibility in relative permeabilities
was more profound for the water-wet core than the intermediate-wet core. Shahverdi et al.
[2011a, b] conducted several WAG experiments under water-wet and mixed-wet wettability conditions. Each experiment included three cycles of water injection and gas injection.
The results showed that for both wettability conditions gas relative permeability during
gas injection decreased as the number of cycles increased; however, the dierences reduced
with increasing the cycle number. This observation was ascribed to the detrimental eect
of preceding wateroods on gas mobility leading to increases in gas trapping. Contrary
to the gas injections, gas relative permeabilities during the wateroods did not exhibit
cycle-dependent hysteresis and almost lay on one another. Water relative permeabilities
of the second and third wateroods were the same in the water-wet medium whereas they
were dierent in the mixed-wet medium. On the other hand, water relative permeabilities
during gas injections showed cycle-dependent hysteresis in the water-wet medium, but
were independent of hysteresis in the mixed-wet medium. In the water-wet case, while
oil relative permeability of the third waterood was higher than that of the second waterood, oil relative permeabilities of gas injections decreased as the number of cycles

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

increased. It was believed that starting a waterood with higher gas saturation would
result in higher trapped gas saturation leading to further oil recovery. No oil relative
permeability was reported for the mixed-wet situation.
Alizadeh and Piri [2014] investigated the eect of dierent saturation histories (relevant
to various oil displacement processes including secondary and tertiary gas injections) on
steady-state three-phase water/oil/gas relative permeabilities of water-wet Bentheimer
sandstone, the stability of spreading oil layers, and residual oil saturation. Water, oil,
and gas relative permeabilities are shown in Figure 8. Three-phase relative permeability
to water (wetting phase) depended only on its own saturation and saturation history
had a minor impact on it. Saturation history strongly aected three-phase gas (nonwetting phase) relative permeability; however, gas relative permeability was found to
be only a function of gas saturation in each direction of gas saturation change. Threephase oil (intermediate-wetting phase) relative permeability appeared to depend on all
phase saturations and was independent of saturation history. Independency of oil relative
permeability to saturation history in a water-wet medium was ascribed to the narrow pore
size distribution of Bentheimer sandstone limiting the range of pore sizes that oil might
occupy due to various saturation histories. In addition, three-phase relative permeability
to oil showed weak sensitivity to initial oil saturation prior to gas injection, which was
again attributed to the narrow pore size distribution.
Although there are some discrepancies in the literature, it is generally concluded that
relative permeability of the most wetting phase is a function of only its own saturation and
saturation history has a minor impact on it. Relative permeabilities to the intermediatewetting and the most non-wetting phases, however, can be aected by saturation history

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

of their respective phase. Dependence on saturation history of the other phases may also
be possible. When saturation of a phase increases and decreases successively in a displacement process such as water alternating gas injection, the likelihood of the occurrence
of hysteresis must be considered among all cycles as well as in each cycle.

4. Eects of Rock Characteristics


It is well known that relative permeability is not a unique ow function for all hydrocarbon reservoirs and can be aected by rock properties, even throughout a single
reservoir. Although the degree of this dependency for three-phase relative permeability
has not thoroughly been investigated, it is believed that the type of porous media may
shift saturation envelops and change their sizes in ternary saturation diagrams [Grader
and OMeara, 1988]. Maloney et al. [1990], in their extensive study on petrographic,
rock-uid, and permeability characteristics of Berea and Bentheimer sandstones, conducted two- and three-phase steady-state ow experiments on a red sample of each rock
type to investigate the eects of rock characteristics on relative permeability. Reasons for
selection of Berea and Bentheimer sandstones were that they had similar absolute permeabilities but slightly dierent petrographical properties, and that their high permeability
could minimize the impact of capillarity on relative permeability results. Water, oil, and
gas relative permeability isoperms are shown in Figure 9.
Water relative permeability in both sandstones was a function of water saturation alone;
however, it was lower in Berea than in Bentheimer at a given saturation condition. The
dierence between the two rock types increased with decreasing water saturation so that
at high water saturations, Bentheimer water relative permeabilities were twice as high as
those of Berea were, but they had about an order of magnitude dierence at lower water
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

saturations. This observation was ascribed to a greater degree of microporosity in Berea,


causing resistance to water ow in small pores. As a result, three-phase residual water
saturation and the water relative permeability envelop were lower and larger, respectively,
for the Bentheimer core. In this study, microporosity was dened as pore features with
dimensions in the submicron range. While oil isoperms for both cores were concave toward
the oil apex in the ternary diagram, the concavity at low gas saturations was much more
profound for Bentheimer, implying a stronger dependence of oil relative permeability on
gas saturation. While Berea and Bentheimer oil relative permeabilities were similar at
low oil saturations, the Berea sample displayed much greater oil relative permeability
at high oil saturations. The abrupt reduction in Bentheimer oil relative permeability at
high oil saturations, when increasing gas saturation, was attributed to the fact that the
Bentheimer sample had a larger number of medium-sized pores (60-140 m) and a lower
number of pore diameters greater than 140 m (referred to as megaporosity) compared
to the Berea sample. The mobile oil-saturation envelope was broader for Bentheimer.
Although Bentheimer gas isoperms exhibited a slight concavity toward the gas apex,
gas relative permeability in both rock types was believed to depend primarily on gas
saturation. As the other two phases, the mobile gas-saturation envelop was larger for
Bentheimer.
Oak [1989a, b, 1990] measured two- and three-phase relative permeabilities on three
red Berea sandstone cores of 200, 800, and 1000 mD. The two high-permeability cores
behaved essentially the same, but the low-permeability one showed some appreciable differences for gas relative permeability in the direction of increasing gas saturation. In
their brine/oil/microemulsion ow experiments on Berea sandstone, Kvanvik et al. [1992]

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

reported a signicant eect of absolute permeability on three-phase oil relative permeability. No systematic trend, however, was observed for the brine and microemulsion
phases. DiCarlo et al. [2000] reported the insensitivity of oil relative permeability to initial saturation conditions in their water-wet sandpacks. Weak sensitivity of oil relative
permeability to initial oil saturation was also reported by Alizadeh and Piri [2014] in
water-wet consolidated Bentheimer sandstone. DiCarlo et al. [2000] and Alizadeh and
Piri [2014] attributed their observations, which are contrary to the general nding in the
literature, to narrow pore size distributions of their porous media.
As seen, research on the eects of rock properties on three-phase relative permeability is
limited to only one extensive study and a few sparse observations in other studies. While
it is clear that the pore size distribution can aect residual phase saturations and threephase relative permeability functions, there is still a need for more detailed research on
this subject. Despite its importance, the eect of microporosity on wetting phase relative
permeability is nearly overlooked in three-phase ow literature.

5. Eects of Wettability
Wettability is one of the main factors that aects uid occupancy and, as a consequence,
uid ow in the pore space. While the inuence of wettability on two-phase relative
permeability is well established, there are merely a few experimental studies that have
investigated three-phase relative permeability under various wettability conditions. In
the three-phase relative permeability literature, experimental studies, in particular early
studies, have mostly been limited to water-wet porous media (see Table 1). However, the
fact that a large number of oil reservoirs exhibit non-water-wet behavior has motivated
studies to focus on other wettabilities. During primary oil migration, oil displaces residing
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

water from the reservoir, leaving a thin lm of water on rock surfaces. This lm protects
pore walls from direct contact with crude oil. Salathiel [1973] was the rst to suggest
the likelihood of local rupture of the water lms and subsequent wettability alteration,
resulting in a non-uniform wetting situation referred to as mixed-wet (Figure 10). It was
postulated that the non-water-wet paths along pore surfaces were connected, allowing oil
to ow even at very low saturations.
It is believed that the collapse of the aqueous lm rstly depends on the local magnitude of oil-water capillary pressure. This means that if the capillary pressure is not
suciently high, the water lm remains stable and distance-dependent attractive forces,
if any, between the oil-water interface and the solid surface will not be strong enough
to rupture the wetting phase. Stable wetting lms typically located at high-curvature
corners of pores and throats are generally called wetting layers and have an appreciable
impact on ow. Based on the above-mentioned hypothesis, Jerauld and Rathmell [1997]
and Jerauld [1997] explained the wettability transition observed within the Prudhoe Bay
reservoir. They reported that the wettability of the reservoir varied from water-wet low
on structure, near the water-oil contact where water saturation was high, to mixed-wet
higher on structure. Increasing oil wetness was correlated to decreasing water saturation.
After the water lm collapses, the wettability of that part of the surface, which has
come into contact with crude oil, can fall into a broad wetting spectrum ranging from
less water-wet to strongly oil-wet. Hence, referring to a porous medium as mixed-wet
may not precisely describe its true wettability, and more details reecting the induced
wetting condition are required. Quantitative wettability measurements are helpful in this
matter. In water-wet porous media, water, oil, and gas are the most wetting, intermediate-

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

wetting, and the most non-wetting phases, respectively; i.e., in a single pore (or throat)
element, water wets the solid surfaces, gas occupies the center of the pore, and oil resides
between water and gas. This picture, however, may vary by departure from the water-wet
condition so that both water and oil for systems close to intermediate-wet, for instance,
have a tendency, with varying degrees, to wet the surface. By moving toward oil-wet
conditions, the rock surface shows a stronger anity to oil than to water, and water and
gas behave as non-wetting phases against oil. While it is conventionally supposed that
gas is the most nonwetting phase under all wettability conditions, there is some evidence
[Oak , 1992; Zhou and Blunt, 1998; Hui and Blunt, 2000; DiCarlo et al., 2000] indicating
that gas is more wetting than water in strongly oil-wet systems. This surprising nding,
which changes the pore-level distribution of uids, may inuence the dynamics of uid
ow during three-phase relative permeability experiments. Figure 11 [DiCarlo et al., 2000]
depicts the expected uid congurations in a uniformly water-wet and a uniformly oil-wet
corner of the pore space. However, it is believed that conguration (b) does not exist as
gas is more wetting than water in oil-wet systems.
One of the most signicant datasets in the three-phase relative permeability literature was provided by Oak et al. [1990] and Oak [1989a, b, 1990, 1991a, b, 1992]. The
results were reported earlier in Section 3, Eects of Saturation History. Although the
researchers obtained steady-state two- and three-phase relative permeabilities of waterwet, intermediate-wet, and oil-wet rocks, measurements were made on dierent sandstones
(Berea and Tensleep), limiting direct comparison of the results. However, based on the
results, it can generally be concluded that the more wetting a phase is, the more nearly the
relative permeability of the phase depends only on the saturation of that phase, regard-

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

less of saturation history. Relative permeability of a non-wetting phase is primarily, but


not entirely, a function of its saturation and saturation history. Dependence on saturation
history of the other phases may also be possible. Relative permeability of an intermediatewetting phase is inuenced by saturation of the other phases as well, particularly when
one of the phases is strongly wetting. It may also show hysteresis.
It should be noted that Oak et al. [1990] and Oak [1989a, b, 1990, 1991a, b, 1992] did
not report any measurements made to quantify their wettability conditions. Wettabilities
were only qualitatively assessed based on endpoint saturations and relative permeabilities
and hysteresis behavior in two-phase ow.
Skauge and Larsen [1994] studied immiscible water alternating gas (WAG) injection by
measuring three-phase relative permeabilities on Berea and North Sea reservoir sandstones
under various wettability conditions. North Sea cores were selected from four dierent oil
reservoirs (R1 to R4). Wettabilities of the cores were assessed quantitatively using Amott
wettability index [Amott, 1959]. It was reported that, in the water-wet Berea, R1, and R4
cores, water relative permeability was primarily a function of water saturation and showed
a slight dependency upon hysteresis. Oil isoperms were concave toward the oil apex in the
ternary diagram. Gas relative permeability in the water-wet cores seemed to depend on all
phase saturations as well as the direction of saturation change. Water relative permeability
in the oil-wet Berea core exhibited a strong dependency on saturation history. However,
due to wettability change over the displacements, it was dicult to draw a rm conclusion.
Despite varying wettability, initial observations demonstrated that relative permeability
to oil in the oil-wet rock was a function of only its own saturation and slightly inuenced
by saturation history. Contrary to the oil phase, relative permeability to gas depended

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

upon saturation history. It was observed that R2 behaved as an intermediate (mixed)


-wet medium. Water relative permeability for the secondary waterood, performed after
gas injection, was signicantly lower than that for the primary waterood. Oil relative
permeability seemed to be dependent on all saturations. Also, it was highest in the
primary gas injection and lowest in the subsequent waterood. Limited data prevented a
denitive statement about the behavior of gas relative permeability; however, gas injection
after waterooding led to a considerable reduction in gas relative permeability compared
to gas injection conducted in the rst sequence. In general, gas was regarded as the nonwetting phase in all the wettability conditions examined, and its relative permeability
exhibited strong hysteresis eects in all cases. Measurements of waterood trapped gas
saturation showed no systematic variation with wettability.
Vizika and Lombard [1996] conducted secondary gravity-stable gas injection experiments
on uniformly water-wet, fractionally-wet, and uniformly strongly oil-wet sandpacks using
spreading and non-spreading uid systems, and deduced oil and gas relative permeabilities
through history matching. The fractionally-wet packs were obtained by uniformly mixing
50% water-wet grains, prepared by thoroughly cleaning and rinsing the sand, and 50%
strongly oil-wet grains, prepared by silylating the sand. In general, oil relative permeability at a given oil saturation decreased with changing the wettability from water-wet
toward oil-wet and dropped faster to zero for oil-wet, slower for fractionally-wet, and much
slower for water-wet conditions. Further details regarding the observations are provided in
the section of the eects of spreading characteristics on three-phase relative permeability.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Jerauld [1997], in his extensive study on Prudhoe Bay, presented results of two-phase
experiments, which were conducted in the presence of residual saturation of a third phase,
in order to describe multiphase ow in this mixed-wet sandstone reservoir.
Contrary to water-wet media, the presence of trapped gas in Prudhoe Bay did not
cause residual oil to appreciably decrease. This observation was mainly attributed to the
weakly mixed-wet nature of the reservoir. In addition, trapped gas did not inuence oil
relative permeability, and oil relative permeability was nearly a function of its own saturation. However, water relative permeability was diminished by the presence of trapped
gas. Competition between water and gas to occupy larger pores in the mixed-wet porous
medium was believed to be the reason. Water mostly invades the larger pores before
smaller pores as they provide the least resistance to ow. The eect of initial water saturation on oil relative permeability in oil-gas ow was similar to the literature at moderate
and high, but not low, liquid saturations. Oil relative permeability was approximately a
function of total liquid saturation alone at higher oil saturations, provided that water was
immobile, and mainly a function of oil saturation at low oil saturations and suciently
high water saturations.
DiCarlo et al. [2000] studied the eects of wettability on three-phase relative permeability during gas gravity drainage experiments in uniformly water-wet, uniformly oil-wet,
fractionally-wet, and mixed-wet sandpacks under various spreading and initial saturation
conditions. The fractionally-wet packs were prepared by mixing 50% each of originally
water-wet and crude oil-aged oil-wet sands. Dierent initial spreading coecients of oil
on water (+3.5, 0.3 and 3.1 mN/m) were resulted from use of three dierent oils
(n-hexane, n-octane, and n-decane, respectively). Oil and water Amott wettability in-

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

dices [Amott, 1959] indicated that the oil-wet sand was only weakly oil-wet or almost
neutrally wet. The indices in the mixed-wet medium also suggested a weakly water-wet
or neutrally-wet condition. To within experimental scatter, three-phase water and oil
relative permeabilities were independent of initial saturation conditions, except for water
in the mixed-wet medium. Insensitivity of oil relative permeability to the initial condition in a water-wet medium was contrary to the general nding in the literature and
attributed to the narrow pore size distribution of the sandpacks. Oil relative permeability
in the water-wet cores also appeared to depend only on its own saturation. For the most
wetting uid (water in the water-wet medium and oil in the oil-wet medium), two- and
three-phase relative permeabilities were the same, and kr S a with a 5 for the whole
saturation range. However, the minimum oil saturation in the oil-wet pack was lower than
the minimum water saturation in the water-wet pack. This observation can be explained
by the minimum radius of curvature of gas-liquid interfaces in each medium. Oil relative
permeability in the water-wet cores for saturations greater than waterood residual oil
and water relative permeability in the oil-wet cores for saturations greater than oilood
residual water were similar and exhibited kr S a with a 4. Despite the similarity
observed at the high saturations, the two relative permeabilities diered signicantly at
saturations lower than waterood residual oil of the water-wet packs and oilood residual
water of the oil-wet packs. In the water-wet condition and for n-hexane and n-octane as
the oil phase, oil maintained its connectivity to oil saturations as low as 1%, representing
the layer drainage mechanism, and showed a relationship kro Soa where a 2. However, in the oil-wet condition with n-octane, water relative permeability fell very steeply
to zero at water saturations around 10%. The latter behavior was related to the fact

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

that water is less wetting than gas in an oil-wet medium and not able to form spreading
layers. Figure 12 shows the conguration of the three phases on water-wet and oil-wet
surfaces. The water relative permeability in the oil-wet medium resembled the oil relative
permeability for n-decane, as a non-spreading oil, in the water-wet medium. The layer
drainage regime was present in neither of the cases. n-Octane relative permeability in
the mixed-wet medium was similar to that in the water-wet medium at low oil saturations and was the largest at moderate saturations among all the wettability conditions.
Formation of oil layers sandwiched between the other phases at low oil saturations was
thought to be the reason for the observed similarity. No explanation was found for the
oil relative permeability trend at moderate oil saturations. Water relative permeability of
the mixed-wet pack was the smallest of all the wettabilities, which was related to the large
water entrapment during drainage. Figure 13 shows measured three-phase oil and water
relative permeabilities with n-octane as the oil phase for water-wet, oil-wet, mixed-wet,
and fractionally-wet sandpacks.
In two-phase gas-water experiments, gas relative permeability in the oil-wet and
fractionally-wet media was roughly a factor of two smaller than that in the water-wet
medium at a given gas saturation. However, in two-phase oil-gas experiments, wettability
did not inuence gas relative permeability. Three-phase gas relative permeability for the
oil-wet medium lay between the two-phase gas relative permeability of the gas-water system and the two-phase gas relative permeability of the gas-oil system. Although gas in the
water-wet medium, unlike in the oil-wet medium, is strongly non-wetting to both water
and oil and its relative permeability is expected to be a function of only gas saturation,
the results revealed that two- and three-phase gas relative permeabilities in the water-wet

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

pack were not the same. The reason for this behavior was unknown. In the fractionallywet condition, water, oil, and gas relative permeabilities showed behavior intermediate
between the water-wet and oil-wet media. For a spreading oil such as n-octane, similar to
the other wettability conditions, oil relative permeability at the late stages of the displacement asymptotically approached zero remaining oil saturation. Oil wetting and spreading
layers are responsible for this trend in oil-wet and water-wet media, respectively. However,
only when small pores, corners, and crevices are water-wet and water lled, the very low
oil saturations are attainable at nite capillary pressures. Remaining water saturation,
at the end of gravity drainage, was slightly greater in the fractionally-wet medium than
in the oil-wet medium. This was attributed to the poor connection of oil-wet patches in
the fractionally-wet condition leading to higher water entrapment. Zhou and Blunt [1998]
investigated this observation in more details.
Cinar et al. [2007] investigated the eects of wettability and interfacial tension on threephase relative permeability using three liquid phases and naturally water-wet glass bead
packs and Berea sandstone. The composition of the three liquids was systematically
changed by adding isopropanol or sodium chloride in order to mimic ow behavior of
water, oil, and gas under water-wet and oil-wet conditions. While the analog gas phase was
the most non-wetting phase in water-wet condition, it was dealt with as the intermediatewetting phase in the oil-wet condition. The analog gas relative permeabilities showed
similar trends in both oil-wet and water-wet systems, but with dierent magnitudes in
each wetting condition. It was observed that oil recovery from the unconsolidated waterwet system was greater than that from the unconsolidated oil-wet system, and the analog
water relative permeability in the water-wet system had a shape similar to the analog oil

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

relative permeability in the oil-wet system. More experimental results from this research
group are discussed in Section 7, Eects of Interfacial Tension.
Shahverdi et al. [2011a, b] conducted two sets of water alternating gas (WAG) injection
experiments under water-wet and mixed-wet wettability conditions using a sandstone
core and a uid system whose gas-oil interfacial tension was low at the prevailing nearlymiscible condition. It was reported that three-phase relative permeabilities to water, oil,
and gas were functions of all saturations in both wettability conditions. While water
relative permeabilities of waterood cycles were the same in the water-wet medium, they
were dierent in the mixed-wet medium. On the other hand, water relative permeabilities
of gas injection cycles showed hysteresis in the water-wet medium, whereas they were
independent of hysteresis in the mixed-wet medium. For both wettability conditions,
two-phase water relative permeability during the oil displacement was lower than threephase water relative permeability during the subsequent wateroods in the presence of oil
and gas.
As observed, wettability has not received much attention despite its signicance, and
research on its impact on three-phase relative permeability has been limited to only a
few studies. Even among these studies, variations in porous media and/or experimental
conditions have further precluded from drawing denitive conclusions. For instance, while
it is generally believed that relative permeability of the intermediate-wetting phase (e.g.,
oil) in water-wet systems is a function of saturation history as well as all phase saturations,
several studies [Baker , 1995; DiCarlo et al., 2000; Alizadeh and Piri, 2014] have found
dierent behavior.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Accurate assessment of wetting characteristics of a rock-uid system is an important


aspect that requires consideration before conducting ow experiments. Delshad et al.
[1987], Skauge and Matre [1989], Eikje et al. [1992], and Kvanvik et al. [1992] measured
three-phase brine-oil-microemulsion relative permeabilities in Berea sandstone. Fluid systems of Eikje et al. and Kvanvik et al. were respectively close to and the same as that
of Skauge and Matre. While Delshad et al., based on some qualitative evidence, believed
that microemulsion was probably the most wetting phase, Skauge and Matres two-phase
relative permeability results suggested that excess brine was most likely the wetting phase.
Following Skauge and Matre, Eikje et al. also assumed that excess brine was the wetting
phase. Kvanvik et al., however, performed Amott tests [Amott, 1959] and observed that
both the excess brine and microemulsion phases demonstrated intermediate-wetting behavior whereas excess oil was the non-wetting phase compared to the other phases. This
body of studies implies how overlooking wettability assessment may lead to misinterpretation of the results and thus anomalous conclusions. A possible change in wettability
after several experiments is another concern, which must be taken into account during a
study. Performing quantitative and/or qualitative tests at the end of each series of ow
experiments can increase the reliability of the results.

6. Spreading Characteristics and Layer Flow


As mentioned earlier, during primary oil invasion into a water-saturated water-wet pore,
oil occupies the center of the element, leaving water as lms and layers on the solid surface.
For the sake of simplicity, we rst assume that the system remains water-wet. During
subsequent gas injection, while gas occupies the center of the element, there is a possibility
for oil to form a layer between gas and water. These layers, which are called spreading
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

layers, are typically a few microns in thickness and, similar to wetting layers, maintain
phase continuity and have a non-negligible hydraulic conductivity.
The ability of oil to spread on water in the presence of gas is described by the spreading
coecient, which is a representation of the force balance where the three phases meet. If
the interfacial tensions are found by contacting pairs of pure uids in the absence of the
third, the spreading coecient is called initial and is dened by [Adamson, 1990]:

i
Cso
= gw (go + ow )

(2)

where is the interfacial tension between two phases labeled w, o, and g to stand for
water, oil, and gas, respectively. The initial spreading coecient can vary from positive
to negative values. When three phases are simultaneously present, the interfacial tensions
are dierent from those in two-phase systems. For instance, the gas-water interfacial
tension may be signicantly lower than its two-phase value because oil may cover the
interface by a thin lm of molecular thickness [Zhou and Blunt, 1997]. The other twophase interfacial tensions may also vary when the third phase is present. If the three
phases remain long enough in contact, thermodynamic equilibrium will be reached when
liquids become mutually saturated. In these circumstances, the spreading coecient,
which is either negative or zero, is named equilibrium and given by the following equation
[Adamson, 1990]:

eq
eq
eq
eq
Cso
= gw
(go
+ ow
)

(3)

When water, oil, and gas come into contact, their congurations may follow one of the
i
< 0: the three
following types (see Figure 14) [Hirasaki , 1993]: (a) Non-spreading, Cso

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

phases meet at a point (or a line in three dimensions), and the oil blob remains stationary
i
eq
on water; (b) Spreading, Cso
> 0 and Cso
0: in this case, oil spreads on water, and

excess oil makes the lm thicker and thicker. When the thickness of the oil lm is larger
than the range of intermolecular forces, the equilibrium spreading coecient becomes
i
eq
> 0 and Cso
< 0: where a quick initial spreading
zero; and (c) Partially spreading, Cso

happens and then, when the water surface is covered by a thin oil lm, oil retracts to
a lens. The lm is in equilibrium with the macroscopic oil blob, but the drainage rate
through it is very small.
Similar to the above discussion, the spreading coecient can be dened for water on oil
in the presence of gas:

eq
eq
eq
eq
Csw
= go
(gw
+ ow
)

(4)

eq
For most systems, gw is signicantly greater than go , and hence Csw
 0; i.e., water

does not generally spread on oil [Zhou and Blunt, 1998]. From this, it can be shown that
water is less wetting to an oil-wet surface than gas, implying that, in oil-wet systems, gas
is the intermediate wetting phase and water is the most non-wetting phase.
Formation of spreading oil layers sandwiched between water and gas in water-wet and
mixed-wet pores is an important feature of three-phase ow through porous media. Flow of
oil through these spreading layers, even though slowly, can lead to very low oil saturations,
thereby improving recovery eciency. While it was initially supposed that only spreading
oils could form layers in the pore space, there is some evidence [Keller et al., 1997; Hayden
and Voice, 1993; Dong et al., 1995] indicating that spreading oil layers can also be present

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

in a non-spreading system; however, they tend to be stable for a more restricted range of
capillary pressures.
While spreading and layer ow are not new concepts in uid ow in porous media and
a large number of studies have focused on their inuences on residual oil saturation and
recovery eciency, only a few studies have been dedicated to examination of three-phase
relative permeabilities under both spreading and non-spreading conditions. The results of
these studies are summarized in this section. In the following discussions, the spreading
coecient of a uid system is referred to as the initial coecient of oil on water in the
presence of gas, unless otherwise specied.
Munkerud and Hoimyr [1995] investigated the eect of spreading coecients on oil and
gas relative permeabilities in Berea sandstone, rendered oil-wet by silanization, during
steady-state secondary gas injection. Both oil and gas relative permeabilities were reported to be lower for a negative spreading coecient than for a positive coecient. The
observed eect of spreading coecients on oil relative permeability in an oil-wet medium
is contrary to the general nding in the literature where spreading characteristics of oil,
as the wetting phase, do not essentially aect oil relative permeability and oil recovery.
The reported behavior may be ascribed to wettability of the medium not being oil-wet.
As mentioned in the section of the eects of wettability on three-phase relative permeability, lack of quantitative assessment of wettability in some studies may lead to anomalous
conclusions.
Vizika and Lombard [1996], in an investigation of the eects of spreading and wettability on recovery eciency of gravity drainage, performed secondary gravity assisted inert
gas injection experiments on uniformly water-wet, fractionally-wet, and uniformly strongly

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

oil-wet sandpacks using spreading and non-spreading uid systems. Initial spreading coefcients of oil on water were +8.5, 4.5, and 1.3 mN/m. Gas and oil relative permeability
curves are shown in Figure 15. For the water-wet condition, oil relative permeability was
nearly the same at high oil saturations for both the spreading and non-spreading systems
but showed dierences at low oil saturations where layer ow manifested its role. While
oil relative permeability was greater for the spreading uid system and decreased gradually down to 104 at low oil saturations, it was smaller for the non-spreading system and
fell abruptly to zero at a higher oil saturation. At high gas saturations, gas relative permeability was also higher for the positive spreading coecient than for the negative one.
Similar to production curves, the spreading coecient of oil on water had virtually no
impact on oil and gas relative permeabilities in the oil-wet media. In the fractionally-wet
sandpacks, gas relative permeability was very similar for both the spreading and nonspreading uid systems whereas oil relative permeability demonstrated greater values for
the positive spreading coecient.
Kalaydjian et al. [1997] studied the eects of spreading and non-spreading conditions
on oil and gas relative permeabilities and residual oil saturation in water-wet outcrop
Fontainebleau and Clashach sandstones. Spreading coecients of oil on water of +3
and 3.6 mN/m were obtained by using two dierent uid systems. After conducting
two-phase water-oil primary drainage, imbibition, and secondary drainage processes, the
cores were gasooded followed by oilooding to establish residual trapped gas and measure maximum oil relative permeability. Gas-oil relative permeability experiments were
then performed in the presence of irreducible water and trapped gas using steady- and
unsteady-state approaches, in the direction of increasing gas saturation. Steady-state

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

results for Fontainebleau indicated that oil relative permeability at its maximum value
was higher in the non-spreading system than that in the spreading system; however, by
increasing gas saturation, the trend reversed and oil permeabilities became smaller in the
non-spreading system. At low oil saturations, while both uid systems yielded similar oil
relative permeabilities, relative permeability to gas was higher for the positive spreading
coecient. It was concluded that the impact of spreading coecient strongly depended
upon the saturation of the phases. In the unsteady-state experiments, it was generally
observed that oil relative permeability, gas relative permeability at low oil saturations, oil
production, and the rate of oil production were lower for the non-spreading system than
for the spreading system.
Sahni et al. [1998] performed a series of three-phase gas gravity drainage experiments on
a water-wet uniform sandpack and a water-wet layered Berea sandstone core using spreading and non-spreading systems and under various initial saturation conditions. Dierent
initial spreading coecients of oil on water (+3.5, 0.3, and 3.1 mN/m) were resulted
from use of three dierent oils (n-hexane, n-octane, and n-decane, respectively).
Despite some scatter in the experimental data, water relative permeability was a function of water saturation alone and independent of initial conditions. It fell very steeply
with decreasing water saturation, and krw Swa with a 5. Similar to water relative
permeability, oil relative permeability was primarily a function of oil saturation and independent of initial conditions; however, the functionality was dierent depending upon
the spreading coecient. In general, kro Soa that a varied with the spreading coecient
as well as the range of oil saturation. At high oil saturations, i.e., oil saturations higher
than waterood residual oil, a was about 4 for all the three oils (Figure 16) whereas, at

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

oil saturations lower than waterood residual oil, a was around 2 for only n-hexane and
n-octane (Figure 17). In three secondary gravity drainage tests (each carried out using
one of the oils), residual oil saturation to gas was very low in the cases of n-hexane and
n-octane. For n-decane, residual oil saturation to gas reached a value close to waterood
residual oil saturation in the sandpack and was approximately one order of magnitude
greater than those for the other two oils. At a given oil saturation lower than waterood
residual oil saturation, relative permeability to oil was slightly higher for n-hexane than
n-octane. The proportionality of oil relative permeability with oil saturation squared at
low oil saturations in water-wet porous media was also observed by re-plotting the experimental results of Naylor et al. [1995] for Clashach sandstone and Grader and OMeara
[1988] for bead packs. Goodyear and Jones [1993] obtained similar results as well. This
functional form of relative permeability was related to drainage through oil layers, of
order of microns in thickness, sandwiched between the wetting and non-wetting phases
in crevices of the pore space. Pore network modeling and simple analysis can yield the
functional forms observed in this study [Piri and Blunt, 2005a, b]. Note that although
n-octane had a slightly negative initial spreading coecient, it showed the layer drainage
regime, similar to n-hexane, leading to very low nal oil saturation. This was attributed
to its probably close-to-zero equilibrium spreading coecient resulting in formation of oil
layers in the pore space. Decane layers, if ever formed, were hypothesized to be unstable
and hence no oil recovery through layers. It was believed that the range of capillary pressures for which layers are stable decreases with decreasing spreading coecient. Absence
of the layer drainage regime for the wetting water phase at low water saturations was
ascribed to poor connectivity between pore elements lled with water.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Moulu et al. [1999] performed secondary and tertiary gas injection experiments in an
oil-wet Vosges sandstone core using uid systems generating positive and negative spreading coecients of oil on water of +4.8 and 3.5 mN/m. While the experimental results
were analyzed by presuming the oil wetness of the porous medium, qualitative evidence
suggested that the altered wettability core was fairly water-wet rather than oil-wet. The
results were also compared with water-wet results of Moulu et al. [1997] obtained on the
same rock under spreading conditions. At high water saturations, water relative permeability was of the same order for both water-wet and oil-wet conditions, but dropped
sharper in the oil-wet case as the water saturation decreased. This quick reduction was
attributed to the non-spreading behavior of brine on oil. Compared to the water-wet
condition, endpoint gas relative permeability in the oil-wet core, for the spreading system, was much lower, although endpoint gas saturation was similar for both wettability
conditions. This observation was related to gas blockage by brine not spreading on oil.
DiCarlo et al. [2000] extended the work of Sahni et al. [1998] to dierent wettabilities
including uniformly water-wet, uniformly oil-wet, fractionally-wet, and mixed-wet. The
results were described earlier in Section 5, Eects of Wettability.
Cinar and Orr [2005], in a study of the eects of interfacial tension on three-phase
relative permeability in water-wet bead packs, used a three-liquid uid system composed
of hexadecane-rich, n-butanol-rich, and water-rich to represent the aqueous phase, the oil
phase, and the gas phase, respectively. Three dierent compositions of the uids, resulting
in spreading coecients of oil on water of 0.071, +0.362, and +0.011 mN/m, were
selected for displacement experiments. It was reported that n-butanol-rich (intermediatewetting phase) relative permeabilities did not show a quadratic functional form at low

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

phase saturations, and all the data were matched with third-order polynomials over the
whole range of saturation change. The researchers believed that layer drainage had not
probably taken place in their unsteady-state experiments because of the rapidity of the
displacements.
Alizadeh and Piri [2014] studied the stability of spreading oil layers by measuring steadystate three-phase water/oil/gas relative permeabilities under various saturation histories
including secondary and tertiary gas injections. Interfacial tension between pairs of phases
was measured at equilibrium, i.e., in the presence of the third phase. Based on the measured interfacial tensions, it was found that the equilibrium spreading coecient for the
uid system used was close to zero, implying that the oil phase would spread forming thick
layers between the wetting aqueous and the non-wetting gas phases. It was observed that,
at high oil saturations where networks of oil-lled elements governed oil ow, oil relative
permeability showed a quartic form with oil saturation (kro So4 ). At low oil saturations where the layer ow was dominant, oil relative permeability varied quadratically
with saturation (kro So2 ). The quadratic form of three-phase oil relative permeability is
consistent with the theoretical interpretation of layer drainage at the pore scale [Fenwick
and Blunt, 1998b; Piri and Blunt, 2005a, b]. However, the researchers believed that the
observed trends might vary from one medium to another.
As observed, spreading is an important factor that must be considered along with wettability to optimize the design of improved/enhanced oil recovery processes, in particular
gas injection. The eectiveness of spreading is linked to wettability so that if the inuence of either one on the pore-level distribution of uids is not well understood, a totally
dierent picture of recovery may be resulted. The non-spreading behavior of water on oil

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

in oil-wet reservoirs, constricting the range of pore and throat elements invaded by gas, is
an example emphasizing the signicance of both parameters in the design, optimization,
and analysis of oil displacement processes.
In order to mitigate the diculties associated with laboratory three-phase relative permeability measurements, especially at reservoir conditions, it is sometimes preferred to
utilize a simpler uid system instead of reservoir uids [Maini et al., 1989; Hustad and
Holt, 1992] to carry out the experiments. In these circumstances, the spreading coefcient of the substituted uid system must be similar to the original system. It also
recommended that spreading coecients are obtained at equilibrium to reinforce conclusions drawn from experimental observations. Moreover, ow of oil through spreading
layers at low oil saturations is very slow, and therefore the detection of saturation changes
requires accurate measurements. In-situ saturation measurement techniques are the best
option in this regard.
The primary impact of spreading characteristics on three-phase relative permeability
functions is through the spatial distribution of uid phases and formation of spreading
layers. The fact that whether spreading oil and water on one another can inuence
the way relative permeabilities are determined, i.e., through steady- or unsteady-state
method, has remained almost unexplored. Kalaydjian et al. [1997] compared their steadyand unsteady-state relative permeabilities obtained under spreading and non-spreading
conditions. It was observed that steady-state results were higher than unsteady-state
ones, especially for the non-spreading system and at low oil saturations. This observation
was ascribed to dierent uid distributions in the pore space.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

It is clear that the use of physically-based three-phase relative permeability models


in reservoir engineering calculations is inevitable. However, most conventional models
included in reservoir simulators have little or no physical basis; e.g., they do not take
the layer drainage mechanism into consideration. To account for such phenomena, more
improved models such as Blunt Model [Blunt, 2000] are required.

7. Eects of Interfacial Tension


Lowering interfacial tensions between displacing and displaced uids, thereby decreasing
capillary forces, during some enhanced oil recovery processes such as chemical ooding
and miscible gas injection can lead to improvement in microscopic displacements and
recovery eciency through modication of relative permeability curves. Accordingly, the
study of the behavior of three-phase relative permeabilities at dierent and/or reduced
interfacial tensions is of practical importance.
Delshad et al. [1987] presented steady-state two- and three-phase relative permeability
results of Delshad [1984] and Delshad [1986] measured for a low-interfacial-tension uid
system on Berea sandstone at constant high capillary numbers of about 102 . The uid
system was made of a brine/oil/surfactant/alcohol mixture and had interfacial tensions
in the order of 104 mN/m. Results showed that residual phase saturations were not
zero despite the ultralow interfacial tensions. Also, relative permeabilities exhibited an
upward curvature for the excess brine and excess oil phases and an opposite curvature
for the microemulsion phase. At a given saturation, microemulsion relative permeabilities
were higher than those of excess brine and excess oil. Comparison of two- and three-phase
data indicated that brine, oil, and microemulsion relative permeabilities were functions
of only their own saturations and independent of saturation histories. Skauge and Matre
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

[1989] measured steady- and unsteady-state relative permeabilities on Berea sandstone


using a brine/oil/microemulsion system with interfacial tensions of about 102 mN/m.
While plots of steady-state relative permeabilities of each phase with respect to its saturation showed an almost linear relationship in all three phases, unsteady-state relative
permeabilities demonstrated curvature. The researchers reported a strong hysteresis in
brine and oil relative permeabilities with generally greater values where the saturation of
either was increasing. They pointed out that relative permeability of each phase appeared
not to be a function of its own saturation alone. Kvanvik et al. [1992] extended the work
of Skauge and Matre [1989] by conducting several more unsteady-state experiments and
then interpreted new data together with previously reported results. It was observed
that three-phase excess water relative permeabilities were generally higher in the direction of increasing water saturation than in the opposite direction. The water data yielded
concave isoperms, suggesting the dependence on other phase saturations as well. Water
relative permeability was also believed to be aected by the capillary number as experiments conducted at dierent capillary numbers led to some discrepancies. Both excess oil
and microemulsion relative permeabilities showed weak hysteresis. Microemulsion relative permeability was a function of all three phases. In addition to being generally higher
than brine and oil relative permeabilities, microemulsion relative permeability plotted as a
function of microemulsion saturation displayed a slightly concave downward curvature for
advancing microemulsion, whereas it was linear for receding microemulsion. In the latter,
if there was any curvature, it was concave upward. Eikje et al. [1992] used a uid system
closely resembled that of Skauge and Matre [1989] to perform unsteady-state experiments
on Berea cores. It was reported that microemulsion relative permeability was not aected

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

by hysteresis whereas oil relative permeability displayed quite dierent curves. The discrepancy was thought to have been caused by a dierent evolution of water saturation.
Drainage and imbibition water relative permeabilities were also dierent. The drainage
water relative permeabilities depended only on water saturation. Foulser et al. [1992a, b]
presented results of steady-state relative permeability measurements made on Clashach
sandstone using a low-interfacial-tension surfactant system. Pressure drop was kept constant during the oods to determine relative permeabilities at a constant high capillary
number. Micellar relative permeability displayed an opposite curvature to that of the
aqueous phase, i.e., concave downward, when plotted as a function of its saturation. The
researchers believed that ultralow tensions are not always a consequence of a critical point
and miscibility, and relative permeability curves may show a curvature at these situations.
Cinar and Orr [2005] studied the eects of interfacial tension on three-phase relative
permeability using a quaternary liquid system composed of hexadecane, n-butanol, water,
and isopropanol. Isopropanol was added to the mixture of the components in order to
vary interfacial tension. Interfacial tension measurements showed that, compared to the
other two pairs, the tension of the water-rich/n-butanol-rich pair was very sensitive to the
overall concentration of isopropanol in the mixture. By comparing interfacial tensions of
their uid system with those of a brine/oil/gas system, the investigators also inferred that
hexadecane-rich, n-butanol-rich, and water-rich could represent the aqueous phase, the oil
phase, and the gas phase, respectively. Therefore, it was believed that the selected uid
system could resemble a situation similar to multicontact-miscible gas injection where oil
and gas have low interfacial tension whereas oil-water and gas-water tensions are much
higher. To simulate uid ow in a water-wet oil reservoir using the created uid system,

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Teon beads were chosen to build an oil-wet porous medium. Contact angle measurements
in Teon capillary tubing as well as capillary rise tests indicated that hexadecane-rich,
n-butanol-rich, and water-rich were the most wetting, the intermediate-wetting, and the
most non-wetting phases, respectively. The results showed that three-phase relative permeability to the wetting hexadecane-rich phase was not inuenced by interfacial tension
variations between the non-wetting phases, mainly because this phase had almost no
interaction with the other phases as the composition was changed. In contrast to the
hexadecane-rich relative permeability, relative permeabilities to the n-butanol-rich and
water-rich phases were clearly dependent on interfacial tension. For interfacial tensions
ranging from 0.03 to 2.3 mN/m, an approximately 10-fold increase in the intermediatewetting phase and non-wetting phase relative permeabilities was observed against an
approximately 100-fold decrease in the interfacial tension. Figure 18 shows the changes
in the oil relative permeability as a function of interfacial tension (IFT) at determined
saturation values. Similar trends were found for the gas relative permeability. It was also
observed that lower interfacial tension between water-rich and n-butanol-rich led to lower
residual n-butanol-rich saturations.
To mimic ow behavior of low-interfacial-tension gas-oil displacements in oil-wet porous
media as well as water-wet media, Cinar et al. [2007] extended the work of Cinar and Orr
[2005] and conducted additional experiments on naturally water-wet glass bead packs and
Berea sandstone using two similar hydrocarbon/alcohol/water uid systems. In both uid
systems, the three equilibrium uids of water-rich, n-butanol-rich, and hexadecane-rich
reected characteristics of the wetting, intermediate-wetting, and non-wetting phases, respectively, in water-wet media. In the hexadecane/n-butanol/water/isopropanol system,

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

interfacial tension between the wetting water-rich and intermediate-wetting n-butanolrich phases showed appreciable variations compared to moderate changes in the other
uid pairs, and therefore this uid system was employed to simulate uid ow under the
oil-wet condition; with an analogy that the water-rich, n-butanol-rich, and hexadecanerich phases in naturally water-wet media could undertake the role of oil, gas, and water,
respectively. For the water-wet condition, isopropanol was replaced with sodium chloride
in order to have a wide variation range of interfacial tension between the intermediatewetting n-butanol-rich and non-wetting hexadecane-rich phases. For the water-wet condition, only the results of the glass bead pack were reported, and relative permeabilities
showed behavior similar to the results of Cinar and Orr [2005]. However, the change
in non-wetting hexadecane-rich phase relative permeability with interfacial tension was
relatively smaller than the change in intermediate-wetting n-butanol-rich phase relative
permeability, which was ascribed to dierent viscosities of the two analog gas phases used
in these studies. In the analog oil-wet media, relative permeability to the non-wetting
aqueous phase showed moderate changes at high saturations but dropped sharply at low
saturations. Contrary to the hexadecane-rich relative permeability that, at a given phase
saturation, decreased as the interfacial tension between the analog oil and gas phases
decreased, the water-rich and n-butanol-rich relative permeabilities showed an increase
with the interfacial tension reduction. However, the impact was relatively small on the
n-butanol-rich relative permeability, which was attributed to the detrimental eect of the
non-wetting phase trapping on the mobility of the intermediate-wetting phase. It should
be noted that in both studies of Cinar and Orr [2005] and Cinar et al. [2007] other
physical properties of the analog liquids such as density and viscosity did not properly

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

represent the properties of reservoir uids. Additionally, while all the pore space in the
analog oil-wet media of Cinar et al. [2007] had the same wettability, small pores, corners,
and crevices remain water-wet in so-called oil-wet hydrocarbon reservoirs. In other words,
non-water-wet reservoirs are essentially mixed-wet.
The eect of interfacial tension on three-phase relative permeability has received little
attention. While there are a few studies examining three-phase brine/oil/microemulsion
relative permeabilities under low (or ultralow)-interfacial-tension conditions, there is virtually no study investigating three-phase oil/gas/brine relative permeabilities under these
conditions. This is true despite the fact that a considerable number of gas injection
projects are conducted under miscible and nearly-miscible conditions. In addition, while
it is believed that the presence of the third phase can change the interfacial tension between the other two phases, almost all interfacial tension data reported in the three-phase
relative permeability literature have been measured in the absence of the third phase.

8. Eects of Viscosity
Parmeswar et al. [1988] studied the eect of oil viscosity on steady-state three-phase
brine/oil/gas relative permeabilities of Berea sandstone using two oil mixtures with different viscosities of 4.1 and 47 cp. The results demonstrated that although brine relative
permeability was a function of water saturation in both uid systems, it decreased by
approximately a factor of ten when increasing the oil viscosity ten-fold. Oil isoperms for
the low-oil-viscosity system and gas isoperms for the high-oil-viscosity system displayed
a more pronounced degree of concavity (dependency on all uid saturations) compared
to their counterparts in the other system. The brine, oil, and gas relative permeability
isoperms obtained for the low and high viscosity systems are shown in Figure 19.
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Maloney et al. [1989] examined the eect of viscous forces on steady-state three-phase
relative permeabilities of Berea sandstone by varying oil and brine viscosities between 1.2
and 47 cp and 0.97 and 10.8 cp, respectively. Results of oil viscosity variations in two
similar cores showed that only gas relative permeability was dependent upon oil viscosity,
so that it was considerably lower for higher oil viscosity. This was believed to have
possibly taken place due to slug-type ow of gas. To investigate the repeatability of the
above observations, the experiments were repeated on a new core using three dierent oil
viscosity values. Although brine and oil relative permeabilities corroborated the previous
ndings, substantial scatter in gas data precluded a denitive conclusion. Variations in
brine viscosity profoundly inuenced brine relative permeability so that it increased with
increasing viscosity. At rst glance, this observation could not be exclusively attributed
to the viscosity variation as brine-oil interfacial tension varied appreciably. However,
other evidence including capillary pressure curves and unaected oil relative permeabilities
reinforced the likelihood of the eect of viscosity. Gas relative permeabilities also increased
for high viscosity brine, which was again ascribed to the slug-type ow.
As observed, investigation of the eects of viscosity on three-phase relative permeability
is limited to only two published studies with some discrepancies in their results, justifying
the need for more detailed investigation. As Maloney et al. [1989] pointed out, varying
viscosity while keeping interfacial tension constant is very dicult, if not impossible. Thus,
during examination of the eects of viscosity on relative permeability, possible variations
in rock-uid and uid-uid properties must be considered.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

9. Experimental Considerations for Relative Permeability Measurements


Measurements of two- and three-phase relative permeabilities in the laboratory require
due consideration in order to fulll the fundamentals and assumptions based on which the
governing ow equations have been developed. However, the diculties and complexities
associated with laboratory determination of relative permeabilities, particularly in threephase ow, as well as macroscopic and microscopic heterogeneities of porous media could
result in measurements that may not satisfy the underlying principles. Thus, knowledge
of these fundamentals is essential in order to generate accurate experimental data. Below,
we attempt to briey address some important problems that are common in laboratory
measurements of relative permeability. We also present recommendations to minimize
them.
When gas is used as one of the uid phases in ow tests, there is a high chance of
gravity segregation between the gas and other liquid phases in the core sample, violating
the assumption of saturation uniformity in relative permeability measurement techniques.
The spatial distribution of uids within the pore space is a consequence of the interplay
of capillary, buoyancy, and viscous forces. During displacement experiments, if capillary
forces are dominant, the non-uniformity in the distribution of uids may considerably
diminish. This situation is satised when capillary number (the ratio of viscous to capillary
forces) [Hilfer and ren, 1996]:
Nca =

K p
L

(5)

and Bond number (the ratio of buoyancy to capillary forces) [Morrow and Songkran, 1981]:
Bo =

gK

(6)

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

are suciently low (e.g., 106 ), that is viscous and buoyancy forces have a negligible
impact on uid congurations, and uid ow is capillary controlled. More details as well
as examples of uniform saturation distributions during steady-state three-phase relative
permeability experiments can be found elsewhere [Alizadeh and Piri , 2014].
It should be noted that the above-mentioned conditions may not always result in
uniform saturation distributions due to natural heterogeneities in porous media. It is
known that many porous materials, such as reservoir rocks, have a directional quality in
their pore structure aecting uid distributions and multiphase ow properties. Although
there are several experimental studies [Krevor et al., 2011, 2012; Pini et al., 2012] on
the eect of capillary heterogeneities on ow properties, there is still a need for more
extensive studies on this subject, especially on relative permeability functions. Although
capillary heterogeneity is very common in porous rocks, the laboratory measurements
are inevitably interpreted based on the assumption that the ow is uniform and onedimensional. In these cases, core samples should be scanned using imaging techniques to
identify apparent bedding planes and macroscopic heterogeneities. Heterogeneous samples
should be excluded from the subsequent analysis. Alternatively, measurements should be
carried out on, if possible, potions of the sample that might be less heterogenous and
could represent a certain facies in the reservoir.
Accurate assessment of wetting characteristics of a rock-uid system is an important
point that requires consideration before conducting ow experiments. As observed in
Section 5, in those studies where non-water-wet conditions were examined, wettability
was only qualitatively determined and almost no quantitative assessments were reported.
Lack of quantitative assessment of wettability may lead to misinterpretation of the results
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

and thus anomalous conclusions. In addition, a possible change in wettability after several
ow experiments is a concern that must be taken into account during a study. Performing
quantitative and/or qualitative tests at the end of each series of experiments can increase
the reliability of the interpretations.
In order to mitigate the diculties associated with laboratory three-phase relative
permeability measurements, especially at reservoir conditions, it is sometimes preferred
to utilize a simpler uid system instead of reservoir uids to carry out the experiments.
In these circumstances, the spreading coecient of the substituted uid system must be
similar to the original system.
While it is believed that the presence of the third phase can change the interfacial
tension between the other two phases, almost all interfacial tension data reported in the
three-phase relative permeability literature have been measured in the absence of the
third phase. It is recommended that all interfacial tensions are determined when all three
phases are present and at equilibrium with one another. This insures that the ranges of
interfacial tensions being studied are representative of those prevailing in the three-phase
displacements.
Flow of oil through spreading layers (or wetting layers) at low oil saturations is very
slow, and therefore the detection of saturation changes requires accurate measurements.
Sensitive in-situ saturation measurement techniques are the best option in this regard.
Capillary end eect (capillary liquid holdup) is a laboratory artifact that aects
both pressure and saturation data and must be minimized or eliminated during ow
experiments. To eliminate this artifact from pressure data, core holders in which pressures
are recorded away from end faces of the core are widely employed. Using in-situ saturation
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

measurement techniques is a reliable solution in order to reduce or eliminate the impact


of capillary holdup from saturation data. For short cores where capillary end eects
can span over a large portion of the sample, the Penn-State method in which the core
is placed between two end-section cores to move boundary eects to the auxiliary cores
is recommended. In this method, good capillary contact between the main core and
the end-section cores is essential. Performing experiments at high ow rates in order to
minimize capillary end eects is not always possible due to the preference to maintain a
low-capillary-number ow regime, a condition relevant to ow in hydrocarbon reservoirs.
Dom-loaded back pressure regulators are widely used for ow experiments in order
to maintain the outlet pressure of the core at a given pressure value. However, these
regulators can lead to large variations in the outlet pressure of the sample, particularly
when using three uids with very dierent viscosities and ow rates. This can in turn
lead to undesired variations in saturation history. Using an accurate pressure maintenance
module as a back pressure regulator (for instance, see Piri [2012]) is recommended.
Before an experiment, all the uids must be equilibrated with each other at experimental conditions in order to avoid interphase mass transfer in the core sample during the
experiment. Full recirculation of the mixture of all uids for a sucient period of time is
recommended.
Many studies use mineral oil rather than crude oil to avoid wettability alteration
during the ow tests. However, commercial mineral oils may have polar components that
can change the wettability of the medium. In this situation, the oil should be cleaned
before use. Silica gel and alumina can be used for this purpose.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

10. Summary and Final Remarks


Although experimental studies on two- and three-phase relative permeabilities were
started almost at the same time, the number of papers published on two-phase relative
permeability is substantially higher than the number of papers published on three-phase
relative permeability. Over the last three decades, only less than 100 studies have been
published on three-phase relative permeability. This is related to diculties and complexities of measurements, the high cost of development of appropriate experimental apparatus,
and a limited number of research groups focusing on this topic. The lack of high-quality,
well-characterized experimental data on three-phase ow has therefore hindered the establishment of improved understanding of associated phenomena. This in turn has hampered
development of rigorously validated, physically-based pore-scale models and empirical correlations to predict three-phase relative permeabilities for various saturation histories in
dierent rock samples with varying wettabilities.
Although three-phase relative permeability can be aected by various factors, such as
saturation history and rock, uid, rock-uid, and uid-uid properties, each of these
factors has scarcely been touched in the context of three-phase relative permeability.
While the signicance of wettability in three-phase ow and uid occupancy has long
been recognized, there are merely a few experimental studies that have investigated threephase relative permeability under various wettability conditions. Also, despite the fact
that a large number of oil reservoirs exhibit non-water-wet behavior, only less than 40%
of the studies over the last three decades have been dedicated to non-water-wet mediums.
Research on the eects of rock properties on three-phase relative permeability is limited to
only a few observations. Although many geologic formations of interest include limestone

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

facies, only less than 10% of the studies have been allocated to these rocks. This may be
justied due to the high degree of heterogeneity observed in carbonate rocks; nevertheless,
this shortcoming must be addressed in future studies.
While some factors may be relevant to both two- and three-phase ow, there are some
phenomena, e.g., spreading and layer drainage, that only take place when all three phases
are present. Although spreading and layer ow are not new concepts in uid ow in
porous media and a large number of studies have focused on their inuences on residual oil
saturation and recovery eciency, only a few studies have been dedicated to examination
of the impact of spreading characteristics on three-phase relative permeabilities.
Low-interfacial-tension displacements taking place in chemical ooding and miscible
gas injection processes are of practical importance; however, the eect of interfacial tension on three-phase relative permeability has received little attention. While there are a
few studies examining three-phase brine/oil/microemulsion relative permeabilities under
low (or ultralow)-interfacial-tension conditions, there are virtually no studies investigating three-phase oil/gas/brine relative permeabilities under these conditions. This is true
despite the fact that a considerable number of gas injection projects are conducted under
miscible and near-miscible conditions.
Three-phase relative permeability studies using uids systems other than those reported in Table 4 are lacking. Examples of uid systems relevant to important applications that should be investigated include live crude oil/CO2 /brine (CO2 ooding into
oil reservoirs as an enhanced oil recovery technique), NAPL (DNAPL)/air/brine (remediation of NAPL- (DNAPL-) contaminated subsurface systems), liquid CO2 /gaseous

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

CO2 /brine (leakage of supercritical CO2 to the surface and associated phase change), and
gas condensate/CH4 /brine (recovery from retrograde gas reservoirs).
Three-phase studies of ow and transport in shales and mudstones are anticipated to
become more important. This may require development and utilization of substantially
dierent experimental procedures and instruments, considering considerably more complicated pore structure and transport processes involved. This could include utilization
of ultra-high speed centrifuges and ultra-high resolution pore-space imaging technologies
at micrometer and nanometer scales as well as the use of very small core samples and
precision pumps.
There is a very large number of underlying uid and porous media properties that
three-phase relative permeabilities depend on. It is impractical to investigate all these
dependencies through traditional core-scale experimental studies of three-phase ow in
porous media considering the often prohibitive nature of diculties encountered during
these types of studies. It is therefore critically important to develop new experimental
techniques and truly predictive pore-scale models that will signicantly improve our ability to investigate these dependencies in more reasonable amounts of time and levels of
resources. Such new techniques may, for instance, involve high-resolution microtomography of pore-scale uid occupancy and direct pore-level modeling of hydraulic phase
conductivities.

Glossary
Capillary end eect (capillary liquid holdup): is a laboratory artifact and caused
by the discontinuity in capillary pressures in the space between the end of the core sample

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

and the end caps of the core holder. The end eect causes an increase in saturation of
the wetting phase and thus a saturation gradient near the end of the core.
Capillary number: the magnitude of viscous forces to capillary forces.
Drainage process: a process during which saturation of the non-wetting phase is
increased.
Gravity drainage: is referred to as a displacement regime in a porous medium under
which uids are displaced by gas with gravity as the dominant force.
Gravity-stable gas injection: is referred to as gas injection during which gravity
forces dominate and displacement velocities are maintained less than a critical value in
order to establish a stable gas-liquid displacement front.
History matching: a simulation-based method through which relative permeability
curves are obtained by matching the simulators results, such as production and pressure
data, with their experimental counterparts or eld data.
Hysteresis in relative permeability: is referred to as relative permeability exhibiting dierent values at a given saturation depending on whether that saturation is
established by approaching it from a higher value or a lower one.
Imbibition process: a process during which saturation of the wetting phase is increased.
Isoperm: saturation contour of equal relative permeability in a ternary saturation
diagram.
Saturation history: the saturation path taken to reach the current phase saturation
values in a given sequence of ow processes.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Secondary gas injection: is referred to as gas injection into a porous medium saturated with oil at connate water saturation.
Spreading coecient of oil on water in the presence of gas: is dened as Cso =
gw (ow + go ). When the interfacial and surface tensions are measured between pairs
of uids without equilibration with the third phase, the value is called initial spreading
coecient. If they are measured after the three uids are allowed to reach thermodynamic
equilibrium, the value is called equilibrium spreading coecient.
Spreading oil: is referred to as a type of oil when its droplets are placed on the
aqueous phase in the presence of the gas phase, they immediately spread forming a thick
layer sandwiched between the aqueous and gas phases. A non-spreading oil does not
spread on the aqueous phase but forms a lens.
Steady-state method: is an experimental technique in which all phases are simultaneously injected into a core sample at a variety of xed, metered fractional ows. At
each xed fractional ow, the system is allowed to reach steady state, which is judged
by constant saturations and stable pressure drop along the sample. Simple application of
multiphase version of Darcys equation to each phase yields relative permeabilities.
Ternary saturation diagram: is a ternary diagram in which each apex represents
100% saturation of a phase. This diagram is utilized to illustrate the distribution of threephase saturations as well as relative permeability values at dierent saturation points.
Tertiary gas injection: is referred to as gas injection into a porous medium saturated
with oil and water, with this dierence that the medium is subjected to a waterood at
connate water saturation prior to gas injection.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Unsteady-state (dynamic displacement) method: is an experimental technique


in which usually only one uid is injected into a core sample during each displacement
process. Recovery of phases together with the dierential pressure across the sample is
monitored during the displacement. Relative permeability to each phase is then calculated
using the Welge-JBN method or its extensions to three-phase ow.
Viscous ngering: is a phenomenon in which the interface between the displacing
and displaced uids becomes unstable due to the viscosity contrast between the uids.
Under this condition, the displacing uid forms ngers that unevenly propagate into the
displaced uid.

Notation
Bo

Bond number.

C constant.
CDH cycle-dependent hysteresis.
CE conservation equation.
CPE capillary pressure equations.
Cso

spreading coecient of oil on

Csw

water in the presence of gas.


spreading coecient of water

on oil in the presence of gas.


D decreasing.
FGD free gravity drainage.
FW fractionally-wet.
g acceleration due to gravity.
GI gas injection.
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

GPSH gas phase saturation history.


GRAT gamma-ray absorption technique.
GSGI gravity-stable gas injection.
HM history matching.
I increasing.
ISSM in-situ saturation measurement.
IW intermediate-wet.
K absolute permeability.
Kj

absolute permeability to phase

j.
kr -CM relative permeability calculakrj

tion method.
relative permeability to phase

j.
L length.
MAT microwave absorption technique.
MB material balance.
MDL multiphase Darcys law.
MW mixed-wet.
Nca

capillary number.

OBPF overburden pressure and uid.


OW oil-wet.
P primary.
p pressure.
PS pore structure.
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

PSS pseudo steady-state.


PV pore volume.
RTT radioactive tracer technique.
S secondary.
s distance along the ow path.
S/NS spreading/non-spreading.
SH saturation history.
Sj

saturation of phase j.

SMT saturation measurement technique.


SS steady-state.
ss sandstone.
T tertiary.
USS unsteady-state.
v ow rate per unit crosssectional area of the porous
medium perpendicular to the
ow direction.
W wettability.
WAG water alternating gas.
WPSH water phase saturation history.
WW water-wet.
XRAT X-ray absorption technique.
XRCTS X-ray CT scanning.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Greek Letters
uid potential.
porosity.

interfacial/surface tension.

viscosity.
density.

contact angle.

Subscripts
g

gas.

i initial.
j

phase.

me microemulsion.
o oil.
w

water (brine).

Superscripts
a power law exponent.
eq

equilibrium.

i initial.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Acknowledgments. We gratefully acknowledge nancial support of Saudi Aramco,


Total, EnCana, and the School of Energy Resources and the Enhanced Oil Recovery
Institute at the University of Wyoming.

References
Adamson, A. W. (1990), Physical Chemistry of Surfaces, 5th ed., 777 pp., John Wiley
and Sons, New York.
Akin, S., and M. R. B. Demiral (2001), Eect of ow rate on imbibition three-phase
relative permeabilities and capillary pressures, Energy Sources, 23 (2), 127135, doi:
10.1080/00908310151092290.
Akin, S., and M. R. B. Demiral (2005), Limitations of three-phase Buckley-Leverett theory, Energy Sources, 27 (9), 857865, doi:10.1080/00908310490450845.
Al-Wadhahi, M. A. (1994), Interfacial tension behavior of water, n-decane and benzyl
alcohol mixtures, M.S. thesis, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
Alizadeh, A. H., and M. Piri (2014), The eect of saturation history on three-phase
relative permeability: An experimental study, Water Resources Research, 50, doi:10.
1002/2013WR014914.
Amott, E. (1959), Observations relating to the wettability of porous rock, Trans. AIME,
216, 156162.
Baker, L. E. (1995), Three-phase relative permeability of water-wet, intermediate-wet
and oil-wet sandstone, in New Developments in Improved Oil Recovery, vol. 84, edited
by H. J. de Haan, pp. 5161, Geological Society, Special Publications, London, doi:
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

10.1144/GSL.SP.1995.084.01.06.
Blunt, M. J. (2000), An empirical model for three-phase relative permeability, SPE Journal, 5 (4), 435445, doi:10.2118/67950-PA.
Cao, P., and S. Siddiqui (2011), Three-phase unsteady-state relative permeability measurements in consolidated cores using three immisicible liquids, doi:10.2118/145808-MS,
paper SPE 145808 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
Denver, Colorado, 30 October-2 November.
Chalier, G., V. Giry, K. Madaoui, S. Sakthikumar, and P. Maquignon (1995), Three phase
oil relative permeability determination as a key point in the evaluation of a tertiary gas
gravity drainage, doi:10.2118/30761-MS, paper SPE 30761 presented at the SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Texas, 22-25 October.
Cinar, Y., and F. M. Orr (2005), Measurement of three-phase relative permeability with
IFT variation, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 8 (1), 3343, doi:10.2118/
89419-PA.
Cinar, Y., S. Marquez, and F. M. Orr (2007), Eect of IFT variation and wettability
on three-phase relative permeability, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 10 (3),
211220, doi:10.2118/90572-PA.
Dehghanpour, H., and D. A. DiCarlo (2011), Measurements of excess oil ow during tertiary gas ood, doi:10.2118/146603-MS, paper SPE 146603 presented at the SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, 30 October-2 November.
Dehghanpour, H., D. A. DiCarlo, B. Aminzadeh, and M. Mirzaei (2010), Two-phase and
three-phase saturation routes and relative permeability during fast drainage, doi:10.
2118/129962-MS, paper SPE 129962 presented at the 2010 SPE Improved Oil Recovery

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 24-28 April.


Delshad, M. (1984), Relative permeability and dispersion measurements for a three-phase
micellar/polymer mixture, M.S. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
Delshad, M. (1986), A study of transport of micellar uids in porous media, PhD dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
Delshad, M., M. Delshad, G. A. Pope, and L. W. Lake (1987), Two- and three-phase
relative permeabilities of micellar uids, SPE Formation Evaluation, 2 (3), 327337,
doi:10.2118/13581-PA.
DiCarlo, D. A., A. Sahni, and M. J. Blunt (2000), Three-phase relative permeability of
water-wet, oil-wet, and mixed-wet sandpacks, SPE Journal, 5 (1), 8291, doi:10.2118/
60767-PA.
Dong, M., F. A. L. Dullien, and I. Chatzis (1995), Imbibition of oil in lm form over
water present in edges of capillaries with an angular cross section, Journal of Colloid
and Interface Science, 172 (1), 2136, doi:10.1006/jcis.1995.1221.
Dria, D. E., G. A. Pope, and K. Sepehrooni (1993), Three-phase gas/oil/brine relative
permeabilities measured under CO2 ooding conditions, SPE Reservoir Engineering,
8 (2), 143150, doi:10.2118/20184-PA.
Drummond, A., T. Fishlock, P. Naylor, and B. Rothkopf (2001), An evaluation of postwaterood depressurisation of the South Brae Field, North Sea, doi:10.2118/71487-MS,
paper SPE 71487 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
New Orleans, Louisiana, 30 September-3 October.
Ebeltoft, E., J. E. Iversen, K. O. Vatne, M. A. Andersen, and J. E. Nordtvedt (1998), A
novel experimental apparatus for determination of three-phase relative permeabilities at

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

reservoir conditions, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 19 (1-2), 119132,


doi:10.1016/S0920-4105(97)00041-7.
Egermann, P., O. Vizika, L. Dallet, C. Requin, and F. Sonier (2000), Hysteresis in threephase ow: experiments, modeling and reservoir simulations, doi:10.2118/65127-MS,
paper SPE 65127 presented at the SPE European Petroleum Conference, Paris, France,
24-25 October.
Egermann, P., S. Banini, and O. Vizika (2004), Depressurization under tertiary conditions
in the near-wellbore region: experiments, visualization and radial ow simulations,
Petrophysics, 45 (5), 422432.
Eikje, E., S. R. Jakobsen, A. Lohne, and S. M. Skjveland (1992), Relative permeability
hysteresis in micellar ooding, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 7 (1-2),
91103, doi:10.1016/0920-4105(92)90011-O.
Element, D. J., J. H. K. Masters, N. C. Sargent, A. J. Jayasekera, and S. G. Goodyear
(2003), Assessment of three-phase relative permeability models using laboratory hysteresis data, doi:10.2118/84903-MS, paper SPE 84903 presented at the SPE International Improved Oil Recovery Conference in Asia Pacic, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
20-21 October.
Eleri, O. O., A. Graue, A. Skauge, and J. A. Larsen (1995a), Calculation of three-phase
relative permeabilities from displacement experiments with measurements of in-situ
saturation, paper SCA1995-09 presented at the International Symposium of the Society
of the Core Analysts, San Fransisco, California, 12-14 September.
Eleri, O. O., A. Graue, and A. Skauge (1995b), Steady-state and unsteady-state two-phase
relative permeability hysteresis and measurements of three-phase relative permeabilities

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

using imaging techniques, doi:10.2118/30764-MS, paper SPE 30764 presented at the


SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Texas, 22-25 October.
Fenwick, D. H., and M. J. Blunt (1998a), Three-dimensional modeling of three phase
imbibition and drainage, Advances in Water Resources, 21 (2), 121143, doi:10.1016/
S0309-1708(96)00037-1.
Fenwick, D. H., and M. J. Blunt (1998b), Network modeling of three-phase ow in porous
media, SPE Journal, 3 (1), 8696, doi:10.2118/38881-PA.
Foulser, R. W. S., P. Naylor, and C. Seale (1990), Relative permeabilities for the gravity
stable displacement of waterood residual oil by gas, Trans. IChemE, 68 (A), 307315.
Foulser, R. W. S., S. G. Goodyear, and R. J. Sims (1992a), Two- and three-phase relative permeability studies at high-capillary numbers, doi:10.2118/24152-MS, paper SPE
24152 presented at the SPE/DOE Eighth Enhanced Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa,
Oklahoma, 22-24 April.
Foulser, R. W. S., S. G. Goodyear, and R. J. Sims (1992b), Two- and three-phase relative
permeabilities at high-capillary numbers, doi:10.2118/92-72, paper CIM 92-72 presented
at the 1992 Annual Technical Conference of the Petroleum Society of CIM, Calgary,
Canada, 7-10 June.
Goodyear, S. G., and P. I. R. Jones (1993), Relative permeabilities for gravity stabilised
gas injection, paper presented at the 7th European IOR Symposium, Moscow, Russia,
27-29 October.
Grader, A. S., and D. J. OMeara (1988), Dynamic displacement measurements of threephase relative permeabilities using three immiscible liquids, doi:10.2118/18293-MS, paper SPE 18293 presented at the 63rd SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Houston, Texas, 2-5 October.


Grattoni, C. A., R. I. Hawes, and R. A. Dawe (2001), Production of gas from waterood
residual oil: gas saturation build-up and relative permeabilities, Petroleum Geoscience,
7 (2).
Grivot, P., L. Bouvier, J. Fournier, and A. Silverii (1995), Residual oil saturation and
multiphase relative permeability measurements on a water-wet sandstone reservoir and
a limestone reservoir of mixed wettability, paper SCA1995-03 presented at the International Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, San Fransisco, California, 12-14
September.
Hagoort, J. (1980), Oil recovery by gravity drainage, SPE Journal, 20 (3), 139150, doi:
10.2118/7424-PA.
Hayden, N. J., and T. C. Voice (1993), Microscopic observation of a napl in a three-uidphase soil system, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 12 (3), 217226, doi:10.1016/
0169-7722(93)90008-G.
Hilfer, R., and P. E. ren (1996), Dimensional analysis of pore scale and eld scale immiscible displacement, Transport in Porous Media, 22 (1), 5372, doi:10.1007/BF00974311.
Hirasaki, G. J. (1993), Structural interactions in the wetting and spreading of van der
Waals uids, Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 7 (3), 285322, doi:10.1163/
156856193X00718.
Huh, C. (1979), Interfacial tensions and solubilizing ability of a microemulsion phase that
coexists with oil and brine, Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 71 (2), 408426,
doi:10.1016/0021-9797(79)90249-2.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Hui, M.-H., and M. J. Blunt (2000), Eects of wettability on three-phase ow in porous


media, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 104 (16), 38333845, doi:10.1021/jp9933222.
Hustad, O. S., and T. Holt (1992), Gravity stable displacement of oil by hydrocarbon
gas after waterooding, doi:10.2118/24116-MS, paper SPE 24116 presented at the
SPE/DOE Eighth Symposium on Enhanced Oil Recovery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 22-24
April.
Jerauld, G. R. (1997), General three-phase relative permeability model for Prudhoe Bay,
SPE Reservoir Engineering, 12 (4), 255263, doi:10.2118/36178-PA.
Jerauld, G. R., and J. J. Rathmell (1997), Wettability and relative permeability of Prudhoe Bay: A case study in mixed-wet reservoirs, SPE Reservoir Engineering, 12 (1),
5865, doi:10.2118/28576-PA.
Johnson, E. F., D. P. Bossler, and V. O. Naumann (1959), Calculation of relative permeability from displacement experiments, Trans. AIME, 216, 370372.
Kalaydjian, F. J.-M., J.-C. Moulu, O. Vizika, and P. K. Munkerud (1997), Three-phase
ow in water-wet porous media: gas/oil relative permeabilities for various spreading
conditions, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 17 (3-4), 275290, doi:10.
1016/S0920-4105(96)00038-1.
Keller, A. A., M. J. Blunt, and A. P. V. Roberts (1997), Micromodel observation of
the role of oil layers in three-phase ow, Transport in Porous Media, 26 (3), 277297,
doi:10.1023/A:1006589611884.
Krevor, S. C. M., R. Pini, B. Li, and S. M. Benson (2011), Capillary heterogeneity trapping
of CO2 in a sandstone rock at reservoir conditions, Geophysical Research Letters, 38 (15),
doi:10.1029/2011GL048239.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Krevor, S. C. M., R. Pini, L. Zou, and S. M. Benson (2012), Relative permeability and
trapping of CO2 and water in sandstone rocks at reservoir conditions, Water Resources
Research, 48 (2), doi:10.1029/2011WR010859.
Kvanvik, B. A., A. Skauge, B. Matre, and K. Kolltveit (1992), Three-phase microemulsion relative permeabilities: experimental and theoretical consideration, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 7 (1-2), 105116, doi:10.1016/0920-4105(92)
90012-P.
Lake, L. W. (1989), Enhanced Oil Recovery, 550 pp., Prentice Hall, Englewood Clis, New
Jersey.
Larsen, J. A., and A. Skauge (1998), Methodology for numerical simulation with cycledependent relative permeabilities, SPE Journal, 3 (2), 163173, doi:10.2118/38456-PA.
Leverett, M. C., and W. B. Lewis (1941), Steady ow of gas-oil-water mixtures through
unconsolidated sands, Trans. AIME, 142 (1), 107116, doi:10.2118/941107-G.
Maerefat, N. L., and R. Parmeswar (1987), Comparison of three-phase relative permeability experimental data versus predicted data from available models, Report NIPER236, IIT Research Institute, National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research,
Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Maini, B. B., S. Kokal, and K. Jha (1989), Measurements and correlations of three-phase
relative permeability at elevated temperatures and pressures, doi:10.2118/19677-MS,
paper SPE 19677 presented at the 64th SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 8-11 October.
Maloney, D. R., and A. D. Brinkmeyer (1992), Three-phase permeabilities and other characteristics of 260-mD red Berea, Report NIPER-581, IIT Research Institute, National

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.


Maloney, D. R., S. M. Mahmood, and M. M. Honarpour (1989), The eects of viscous
forces on three-phase relative permeability, Report NIPER-392, IIT Research Institute,
National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Maloney, D. R., M. M. Honarpour, and A. D. Brinkmeyer (1990), The eects of rock characteristics on relative permeability, Report NIPER-441, IIT Research Institute, National
Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Maloney, D. R., K. Doggett, and A. D. Brinkmeyer (1993), Special core analyses and relative permeability measurement on Almond formation reservoir rocks, Report NIPER648, IIT Research Institute, National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research,
Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Maloney, D. R., K. Doggett, and L. Tomutsa (1997), Three-phase relative permeability
characteristics of a dolomite rock plug, Report NIPER/BDM-0329, BDM Petroleum
Technologies, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Marek, B. F., K. J. Hartman, and A. E. McDonald (1991), Three-phase relative permeability of limestones having bimodal pore-size distribution, doi:10.2118/21374-MS, paper
SPE 21374 presented at the SPE Middle East Oil Show, Bahrain, 16-19 November.
Masihi, M., L. Javanbakht, F. B. Horeh, and M. R. Rasaei (2011), Experimental investigation and evaluation of three-phase relative permeability models, Journal of Petroleum
Science and Engineering, 79 (1-2), 4553, doi:10.1016/j.petrol.2011.08.017.
Mejia, G. M., A. T. Watson, and J. E. Nordtvedt (1996), Estimation of three-phase
ow functions in porous media, AIChE Journal, 42 (7), 19571967, doi:10.1002/aic.
690420716.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Morrow, N. R., and B. Songkran (1981), Eect of viscous and buoyancy forces on nonwetting phase trapping in porous media, in Surface Phenomena in Enhanced Oil Recovery,
edited by D. O. Shah, pp. 387411, Plenum Press, New York City.
Moulu, J.-C., F. Kalaydjian, and J.-M. Martin (1995), Performance and numerical interpretation of gas drainage core tests under secondary and tertiary conditions, paper
SCA1995-08 presented at the International Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, San Fransisco, California, 12-14 September.
Moulu, J.-C., O. Vizika, F. Kalaydjian, and J.-P. Duquerroix (1997), A new model
for three-phase relative permeabilities based on a fractal representation of the porous
medium, doi:10.2118/38891-MS, paper SPE 38891 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 5-8 October.
Moulu, J.-C., O. Vizika, P. Egermann, and F. Kalaydjian (1999), A new three-phase
relative permeability model for various wettability conditions, doi:10.2118/56477-MS,
paper SPE 56477 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
Houston, Texas, 3-6 October.
Munkerud, P. K., and O. Hoimyr (1995), Gas mobility during three phase ow in a WAG
process, paper presented at the 8th European IOR Symposium, Vienna, Austria, 15-17
May.
Muqeem, M. A., R. G. Bentsen, and B. B. Maini (1993), An improved steady-state
technique for three-phase relative permeability measurements, doi:10.2118/93-03, paper
CIM 93-03 presented at the 1993 Annual Technical Conference of the Petroleum Society
of CIM, Calgary, Canada, 9-12 May.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Muqeem, M. A., R. G. Bentsen, and B. B. Maini (1995), Eect of temperature on threephase water-oil-gas relative permeabilities of unconsolidated sand, Journal of Canadian
Petroleum Technology, 34 (3), 3441, doi:10.2118/95-0-04.
Naylor, P., and M. Frrup (1989), Gravity-stable nitrogen displacement of oil, doi:10.2118/
19641-MS, paper SPE 19641 presented at the 64th SPE Annual Technical Conference
and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 8-11 October.
Naylor, P., N. C. Sargent, A. P. Tilsed, and M. D. Frrup (1991), Oil relative permeability
for gravity drainage based on in-situ saturation measurements, doi:10.2118/23101-MS,
paper SPE 23101 presented at the SPE Oshore Europe Conference, Aberdeen, United
Kingdom, 3-6 September.
Naylor, P., N. C. Sargent, A. J. Crosbie, A. P. Tilsed, and S. G. Goodyear (1995), Gravity
drainage during gas injection, paper presented at the 8th European IOR Symposium,
Vienna, Austria, 15-17 May.
Naylor, P., T. Fishlock, D. Mogford, and R. Smith (2001), Relative permeability measurements for post-waterood depressurization of the Miller Field, North Sea, SPE
Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 4 (4), 276280, doi:10.2118/72502-PA.
Niko, H., A. M. Schulte, J. K. Drohm, and C. W. Cottrell (1989), The feasibility of
tertiary nitrogen injection in waterooded volatile oil reservoirs in the North Sea, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2 (2-3), 119128, doi:10.1016/0920-4105(89)
90058-2.
Nordtvedt, J. E., K. Langaas, A. Sylte, H. Urkedal, and A. T. Watson (1996), Estimation
of three-phase relative permeability and capillary pressure functions, paper presented
at the 5th European Conference on the Mathematics of Oil Recovery, Leoben, Austria,

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

3-6 September.
Nordtvedt, J. E., E. Ebeltoft, J. E. Iversen, A. Sylte, H. Urkedal, K. O. Vatne, and A. T.
Watson (1997), Determination of three-phase relative permeabilities from displacement
experiments, SPE Formation Evaluation, 12 (4), 221226, doi:10.2118/36683-PA.
Oak, M. J. (1989a), Two- and three-phase relative permeability of water-wet Berea
sandstone, Report F89-P-74, 210-10-13, 89312ART0196, Amoco Production Company,
Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Oak, M. J. (1989b), Two- and three-phase relative permeability of water-wet Berea
sandstone appendix to report 89312ART0196, Report F89-P-74, 210-10-13,
89312ART0200, Amoco Production Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Oak, M. J. (1990), Three-phase relative permeability of water-wet Berea, doi:10.2118/
20183-MS, paper SPE 20183 presented at the SPE/DOE Seventh Symposium on Enhanced Oil Recovery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 22-25 April.
Oak, M. J. (1991a), Three-phase relative permeability of intermediate-wet Berea sandstone, doi:10.2118/22599-MS, paper SPE 22599 presented at the 66th SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Texas, 6-9 October.
Oak, M. J. (1991b), Three-phase relative permeability of intermediate-wet Berea sandstone, Report F91-P-15, 210-10-13, 91063ART0179, Amoco Production Company,
Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Oak, M. J. (1992), Three-phase relative permeability of oil-wet rock, Report F92-P-24,
210-10-13, 92119ART0035, Amoco Production Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Oak, M. J., L. E. Baker, and D. C. Thomas (1990), Three-phase relative permeability
of Berea sandstone, Journal of Petroleum Technology, 42 (8), 10541061, doi:10.2118/

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

17370-PA.
Oedai, S., and J. van Wunnik (2002), Experimental investigation of the gas-oil drainage
performance of water ooded rock, paper SCA2002-04 presented at the International
Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, Monterey, California, 22-25 September.
OMeara, D. J., and W. O. Lease (1983), Multiphase relative permeability measurements
using an automated centrifuge, doi:10.2118/12128-MS, paper SPE 12128 presented at
the 58th Annual Fall Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Francisco, California,
5-8 October.
Parmeswar, R., N. L. Maerefat, and A. Brinkmeyer (1988), Preliminary results on the
eect of uid viscosity on three-phase relative permeability, Report NIPER-296, IIT
Research Institute, National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research, Bartlesville,
Oklahoma.
Perez-Carrillo, E.-R., J.-F. Zapata-Arango, and N. Santos-Santos (2008), A new method
for the experimental determination of three-phase relative permeabilities, CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnologia y Futuro, 3 (4), 2343.
Perry, G. E. (1980), Weeks Island S Sand Reservoir B gravity stable miscible CO2
displacement, Iberia Parish, Louisiana, Third Annual Report DOE/METC-5232-4, Shell
Oil Company, Houston, Texas.
Petersen Jr, E. B., G. S. Agaev, B. Palatnik, J. K. Ringen, P. E. ren, and K. O. Vatne
(2004), Determination of critical gas saturation and relative permeabilities relevant to
the depressurisation of the Statfjord Field, paper SCA2004-33 presented at the International Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 5-9 October.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Petersen Jr, E. B., A. Lohne, K. O. Vatne, J. O. Helland, G. Virnovsky, and P. E. ren


(2008), Relative permeabilities for two- and three-phase ow processes relevant to the
depressurization of the Statfjord Field, paper SCA2008-23 presented at the International Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 29 October-2
November.
Pini, R., S. C. M. Krevor, and S. M. Benson (2012), Capillary pressure and heterogeneity
for the CO2 /water system in sandstone rocks at reservoir conditions, Advances in Water
Resources, 38, 4859, doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2011.12.007.
Piri, M. (2012), Recirculating, constant backpressure core ooding apparatus and method,
US Patent No. WO 2012/082797 A1.
Piri, M., and M. J. Blunt (2005a), Three-dimensional mixed-wet random pore-scale network modeling of two- and three-phase ow in porous media. I. Model description,
Physical Review E, 71 (2), doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.71.026301.
Piri, M., and M. J. Blunt (2005b), Three-dimensional mixed-wet random pore-scale network modeling of two- and three-phase ow in porous media. II. Results, Physical Review
E, 71 (2), doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.71.026302.
Poulsen, S., T. Skauge, S. O. Dyrhol, E. Stenby, , and A. Skauge (2000), Including capillary pressure in simulations of steady state relative permeability experiments, paper
SCA2000-14 presented at the International Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 18-22 October.
Sahni, A. (1998), Measurement of three-phase relative permeability during gravity
drainage using ct scanning, PhD dissertation, Stanford University, Stanford, California.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Sahni, A., J. Burger, and M. J. Blunt (1998), Measurement of three phase relative permeability during gravity drainage using CT scanning, doi:10.2118/39655-MS, paper SPE
39655 presented at the SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 19-22 April.
Salathiel, R. A. (1973), Oil recovery by surface lm drainage in mixed-wettability rocks,
Journal of Petroleum Technology, 25 (10), 12161224, doi:10.2118/4104-PA.
Saraf, D. N., J. P. Batycky, C. H. Jackson, and D. B. Fisher (1982), An experimental investigation of three-phase ow of water-oil- gas mixtures through water-wet sandstones,
doi:10.2118/10761-MS, paper SPE 10761 presented at the SPE Regional Meeting, San
Francisco, California, 24-26 March.
Sarem, A. M. (1966), Three-phase relative permeability measurements by unsteady-state
method, SPE Journal, 6 (3), 199205, doi:10.2118/1225-PA.
Sarma, H. K., B. B. Maini, and K. N. Jha (1994), An unsteady-state technique for threephase relative permeability measurements, Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology,
33 (2), 2733, doi:10.2118/94-02-03.
Shahverdi, H., M. Sohrabi, M. Fatemi, M. Jamiolahmady, S. Irelan, and G. Robertson
(2011a), Evaluation of three-phase relative permeability models for WAG injection using
water-wet and mixed-wet core ood experiments, doi:10.2118/143030-MS, paper SPE
143030 presented at the SPE EUROPEC/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition,
Vienna, Austria, 23-26 May.
Shahverdi, H., M. Sohrabi, M. Jamiolahmady, M. Fatemi, S. Ireland, and G. Robertson (2011b), Investigation of three-phase relative permeabilities and hysteresis eects
applicable to water alternating gas injection, paper presented at the 16th European

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 12-14 April.


Shahverdi, H., M. Sohrabi, M. Fatemi, and M. Jamiolahmady (2011c), Three-phase relative permeability and hysteresis eect during WAG process in mixed wet and low
IFT systems, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 78 (3-4), 732739, doi:
10.1016/j.petrol.2011.08.010.
Siddiqui, S., P. J. Hicks, and A. S. Grader (1996), Verication of Buckley-Leverett threephase theory using computerized tomography, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 15 (1), 121, doi:10.1016/0920-4105(95)00056-9.
Siddiqui, S., J. Yang, and M. Ahmed (1998), Dynamic displacement measurement of
three-phase relative permeabilities in Berea sandstone cores, doi:10.2118/49306-MS,
paper SPE 49306 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
New Orleans, Louisiana, 27-30 September.
Singh, M., V. Mani, M. M. Honarpour, and K. K. Mohanty (2001), Comparison of viscous
and gravity dominated gas-oil relative permeabilities, Journal of Petroleum Science and
Engineering, 30 (2), 6781, doi:10.1016/S0920-4105(01)00101-2.
Skauge, A., and J. A. Larsen (1994), Three-phase relative permeabilities and trapped gas
measurements related to WAG processes, paper SCA1994-21 presented at the International Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, Savanger, Norway, September.
Skauge, A., and B. Matre (1989), Three phase relative permeabilities in brine-oilmicroemulsion systems, paper presented at the 5th European IOR Symposium, Budapest, Hungary, 25-27 April.
Slack, W. W., and R. Ehrlich (1981), Immiscible displacement of oil by simultaneous
injection of water and nitrogen, doi:10.2118/9807-MS, paper SPE 9807 presented at

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

the SPE/DOE 2nd Joint Symposium on Enhanced Oil Recovery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 5-8
April.
van Spronsen, E. (1982), Three-phase relative permeability measurements using the
centrifuge method, doi:10.2118/10688-MS, paper SPE 10688 presented at the 3rd
SPE/DOE joint Symposium on Enhanced Oil Recovery, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 4-7 April.
Virnovskii, G. A. (1985), Determination of relative permeabilities in a three-phase ow in a
porous medium, Fluid Dynamics, 19 (5), 835837, doi:10.1007/BF01093558, translated
from Izvestiya Akademii Nauk SSSR, Mekhanika Zhidkosti i Gaza, No. 5, pp. 187-189,
September-October, 1984.
Vizika, O., and F. Kalaydjian (1995), A new method to measure water, oil and gas
saturation proles in three-phase gas injection, paper SCA1995-05 presented at the
International Symposium of the Society of the Core Analysts, San Fransisco, California,
12-14 September.
Vizika, O., and J. M. Lombard (1996), Wettability and spreading: two key parameters
in oil recovery with three-phase gravity drainage, SPE Reservoir Engineering, 11 (1),
5460, doi:10.2118/28613-PA.
Weast, R. C., and M. J. Astle (Eds.) (1981), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics,
62nd ed., 1700 pp., CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, Florida.
Wycko, R. D., and H. G. Botset (1936), The ow of gas-liquid mixtures through unconsolidated sands, Physics, 7, 325345.
Zhou, D., and M. Blunt (1997), Eect of spreading coecient on the distribution of light
non-aqueous phase liquid in the subsurface, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 25 (1-2),
119, doi:10.1016/S0169-7722(96)00025-3.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Zhou, D., and M. J. Blunt (1998), Wettability eects in three-phase gravity drainage,
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 20 (3-4), 203211, doi:10.1016/
S0920-4105(98)00021-7.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 1. Processes, wettability conditions, spreading characteristics, and saturation and relative permeability measurement

SS ()
SS ()
USS (CDI, DDI, DCI)

SS ()

Notel
WW
WW

WW

S/NS

MB & RTT
MDL
ISSM (XRAT, MAT)
MDL
MB
Welge-JBNm

ISSM (XRAT, MAT)

MBi
MB

SMT
MBc

MB

MDL

kr -CM
Centrifuged
Centrifuge

Welge-JBNg
& MDL
Centrifugej
Centrifugek

Processa,b
Wetting
USS (S GI)
WW
USS ()
WW
SS (DCIe,f )
WW
USS (CDI, CID, DCI, ICD, DDI, IDD, WW
DID) & SS (DDI, IID, (CDI/CID)h )
USS (T GI)
WW
USS (CDI, DDI)
WW

techniques in dierent studies


Reference
Hagoort [1980]
Perry [1980]
Slack and Ehrlich [1981]
Saraf et al. [1982]
van Spronsen [1982]
OMeara
and
Lease
[1983]
Maerefat and Parmeswar
[1987]
Delshad et al. [1987]
Parmeswar et al. [1988]
Grader and OMeara
[1988]

a
In the presence of three phases
b
Readers must refer to corresponding papers for more information about initial saturation conditions and possible saturation
histories which may have been followed prior to each process
c
The nal uid saturations were also determined by weighing and using the Dean-Stark extraction method
d
A Corey-type model was applied to analyze the data
e
Order: aqueous phase saturation/oil phase saturation/gas phase saturation (a non-gaseous phase may have been used
instead of gas in some studies; see Table 4 for types of uids)
f
DDecreasing, IIncreasing, CConstant (Constant is used when a phase is immobile prior to the process; albeit, it
may be mobilized and displaced during the process due to various displacements at the pore scale)
g
Sarems [1966] extension to three-phase ow
h
It was not reported which one had been followed
i
The initial and nal saturations were obtained by weighing the samples
j
An extension of Hagoorts [1980] method for cases with three mobile phases
k
The equations used were a generalized form of Hagoorts [1980] and van Spronsens [1982] equations
l
Note: some evidence indicated that the microemulsion was probably the wetting phase, even more wetting than the excess
brine phase
Grader and OMearas [1988] extension to three-phase ow
m

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Process
SS ()
USS (S & T GI)
SS (CDI, ICD) &

WW
IW
MW
OW
WW
IW
WW
WW

S/NS

WW
WW
WW
WW

WW

Wetting
WW

WW

MB

ISSM (GRAT)

MB
MB
ISSM (XRAT, MAT)

MDL

MDL

Welge-JBNe
Welge-JBNb
MDL

MDL+CE
MDL
MDL
MDL

MBc
ISSM (XRAT, MAT)
ISSM (XRAT)
ISSM (XRAT)
ISSM (RTT)
ISSM (XRAT)
ISSM (XRCTS)
ISSM (XRAT)

MDL
MDL
MDL
MDL

ISSM (RTT)

kr -CM
MDL
Centrifuge
MDL &
Welge-JBNb
MDL+CE

SMT
ISSM (XRAT, MAT)
MB
MB

Some of the saturation histories in the unsteady-state experiments were reported by Kvanvik et al. [1992]
Grader and OMearas [1988] extension to three-phase ow
c
Endpoint saturations were also determined through extraction by owing hot toluene
d
This prex was used by Oak et al. [1990] to further specify the saturation history of two-phase ow prior to three-phase
ow; i.e., whether the two-phase ow is of primary cycle or secondary cycle
e
Virnovskii s [1985] extension to three-phase ow
f
A special procedure was used to obtain zero-oil-permeability isoperms. See the corresponding part in the text

SS (CDI, IDI, DID)


SS ()
SS (CDI, CID, DCI, IDC, Pd DDI, IID)
SS (CDI, CID, DCI, P & S DDI, IID,
IDI, DID, DII, IDD, IDC)
Naylor et al. [1991]
S & T GSGI
Oak [1991a, b]
SS (CDI, CID, DCI, ICD, DDI, IID)
Marek et al. [1991]
SS (IDI)
Oak [1992]
SS (CDI, CID, DCI, ICD, P & S DDI,
DIC)
Eikje et al. [1992]
USS (CID, CDI, IID)
Kvanvik et al. [1992]
USS (DCI, CID, IDC, DIC, CDI, ICD)
Maloney
and
SS (DDI)
Brinkmeyer [1992]
Hustad
and
Holt
SS (CDI, DCIf )
[1992]
Foulser
et
al.
SS (DCI, CID)
[1992a, b]

Naylor and
[1989]
Maini et al. [1989]
Maloney et al. [1990]
Oak et al. [1990]
Oak [1989a, b, 1990]

USS (DCI, CID, IDC, DIC, CDI, ICD)a


Frrup
S & T GSGI

Reference
Maloney et al. [1989]
Niko et al. [1989]
Skauge and Matre
[1989]

techniques in dierent studies (contd)

Table 1. Processes, wettability conditions, spreading characteristics, and saturation and relative permeability measurement

Process
SS (DDI)
SS (IDI)
WW
WW

Wetting
WW
WW

S/NS

SMT
Tracer injection
Electrical resistivity
& MBa
ISSM (XRAT, MAT)
MBb

kr -CM
MDL
MDL

Table 1. Processes, wettability conditions, spreading characteristics, and saturation and relative permeability measurement

Reference
Dria et al. [1993]
Muqeem et al. [1993]
SS (CDI, DDI)
SS (IDI) & USS (IDI)

techniques in dierent studies (contd)

Maloney et al. [1993]


Sarma et al. [1994]

MDL+CE
MDLf

MDL
MDL &
Welge-JBNc
Welge-JBNe
MDL
MDL

MB
ISSM (XRAT)
Electrical resistivity
& MBa
ISSM (RTT)
ISSM (XRCTS)

Welge-JBNg

S
S, NS

ISSM (RTT)

PSS+HM
MDL+CE

WW, IW, OW
OW
WW

MB
Electrical resistivity

USS (S & T WAG)d


SS ()
SS (IDI)

S
S

& HM

Skauge and Larsen [1994]


Baker [1995]
Muqeem et al. [1995]

Naylor et al. [1995]


T GSGI
WW
Munkerud and Hoimyr SS (CDI, CID, IDI, DDI) & WW, OW, MW
[1995]
USS (WAG)
Eleri et al. [1995a]
USS (DCI, ICD, DIC, IDC,
WW
DCI, ICD, DIC, CDI, ICD)h
USS (S & T GI)

T GSGI
WW
Moulu et al. [1995]
Vizika and Kalaydjian
[1995]

& ISSM (GRAT)

a
Endpoint saturations were also determined through extraction by owing hot methylene chloride and acetone
b
In the steady-state experiments, endpoint saturations were also determined through extraction by owing hot toluene
c
Sarma et al.s [1994] extension to three-phase ow
d
In the sequential ow experiments, each displacement was continued until oil production ceased
e
It was not clearly specied which method, Virnovskii s [1985] or Grader and OMearas [1988], was used
f
It was not reported how unsteady-state relative permeabilities were deduced from experimental data
g
Virnovskii s [1985] extension to three-phase ow
These saturation histories were followed consecutively in a series of displacements
h

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
SS (CDI, ICD, DIC, DDI)
USS (S & T GI)
SS (IDD)
S & T FGD
USS (T GI)
USS (S & T GI)
(S & T FGD)h &
USS (S & T GI)h

Maloney et al. [1997]


Moulu et al. [1997]
Nordtvedt et al. [1997]
Sahni et al. [1998]
Siddiqui et al. [1998]
Moulu et al. [1999]
DiCarlo et al. [2000]

WW

WW
WW
OW
WW, OW,
FWe , MW

WW
WW
WW, OW,
FWe
WW
WW

Wetting
WW

S, NS

S, NS
S, NS

S, NS

S
S, NS

S/NS

SMT
ISSM (GRAT)a
& MBb
ISSM (RTT)
ISSM (GRAT)
MB &
ISSM (XRCTS)
MB
MB &
ISSM (XRCTS)
ISSM (XRAT)
MB
MB
ISSM (XRCTS)
MB
MB
ISSM (XRCTS) &
gas chromatography

Welge-JBNf
MDL, HM,
JBNg & PSS
MDL
PSS+HM
HM
MDL+CE+CPE
Welge-JBNf
PSS+HM
MDL+CE
& MDL

kr -CM
MDL &
Centrifugec
Welge-JBNd
MDL+CE
HM

At the end of steady-state experiments, the core was isopropanol ooded followed by a titration to determine nal water
saturation and compare it with the value obtained from gamma-ray measurements
b
Initial and nal saturations, in centrifuge experiments, were checked by weighing the core sample before and after a test
c
van Spronsens [1982] method
d
Virnovskii s [1985] extension to three-phase ow
e
Obtained by mixing 50% water-wet and 50% oil-wet grains
f
Grader and OMearas [1988] extension to three-phase ow
g
Johnson et al. [1959]
h
Water and oil relative permeabilities were obtained during gravity drainage experiments, and gas relative permeability was
obtained at the end of gas injection experiments where only gas was owing

USS (DDI, IDD)


SS (CDI) & USS (CDI)

USS (WAG)
T GSGI
S FGD

Process
SS & USS (S & T GI)

Siddiqui et al. [1996]


Kalaydjian et al. [1997]

Eleri et al. [1995b]


Chalier et al. [1995]
Vizika and Lombard [1996]

Reference
Grivot et al. [1995]

techniques in dierent studies (contd)

Table 1. Processes, wettability conditions, spreading characteristics, and saturation and relative permeability measurement

USS (CDI, DDI)

Process
USS (WAG)a
SS (DCI, CID, IDI)
Depressurizationb
Depressurizationb
Depressurizationb
USS (IDI)

WW, IW

IW to OW

Wetting
WW
WW
WW

WW

S/NS
S

SMT
MB
MB
MB
ISSM (RTT)
ISSM
ISSM (XRCTS)
& MB
MBd

MDL & HM

kr -CM
PSS+HM
MDL
MDL
HM
HM
HM &
Welge-JBNc
HM

HM
HM
Welge-JBNc
Welge-JBNh
& HM
Welge-JBNc
HM & MDL
Welge-JBNj

ISSM (GRATe )
& MB
ISSM (XRCTS)
MB
MB
MB &
ISSM (XRCTS)
MB
MB
MBi

Table 1. Processes, wettability conditions, spreading characteristics, and saturation and relative permeability measurement

Reference
Egermann et al. [2000]
Poulsen et al. [2000]
Grattoni et al. [2001]
Naylor et al. [2001]
Drummond et al. [2001]
Akin and Demiral [2001]

USS (S & T WAG)

S, NS

techniques in dierent studies (contd)

Oedai and van Wunnik


[2002]
Element et al. [2003]

WW
MW
WW
WW

Depressurizationb
Depressurizationf
USS (DDI)g
USS (IDI)

WW, OW
MW

Egermann et al. [2004]


Petersen Jr et al. [2004]
Cinar and Orr [2005]
Akin and Demiral [2005]

Cinar et al. [2007]


USS (DDI)g
Petersen Jr et al. [2008] SS (CDI, CID, DCI, ICD, S DDI, IID)
Perez-Carrillo et al.
USS (DDI, CDI)
[2008]

a
Each injection was pursued after breakthrough of the displacing phase to insure that the displacement mode (drainage or
imbibition) was the same in the whole core
b
Depressurization of oil at the initial condition of waterood residual oil
c
It was not clearly specied which method, Virnovskii s [1985] or Grader and OMearas [1988], was used
d
Final water saturation of each core was determined by Dean-Stark extraction
e
Single-energy
f
Depressurization of oil at various initial conditions of virgin, limited waterooded and extensively waterooded
g
Mimicking tertiary gas injection
h
Virnovskii s [1985] extension to three-phase ow
i
Final saturations were determined by Dean-Stark extraction
Grader and OMearas [1988] extension to three-phase ow
j

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Wetting
WW
WW, MW
MW
WW
WW
WW
WW

Process
FGD
USS (WAG)
USS (CDI, DID, WAG)
FGD
SS (CDI, DCI, DID, IDI)
USS (DDI, DID, CDI, CID, IDD)
SS (S & T GI, IID, CID, S DDI)

S/NS

NS

Endpoint saturations were also determined through extraction by owing hot toluene
Grader and OMearas [1988] extension to three-phase ow

Reference
Dehghanpour et al. [2010]
Shahverdi et al. [2011a, b]
Shahverdi et al. [2011c]
Dehghanpour and DiCarlo [2011]
Masihi et al. [2011]
Cao and Siddiqui [2011]
Alizadeh and Piri [2014]

techniques in dierent studies (contd)


kr -CM
MDL+CE
HM
HM
MDL+CE
MDL
Welge-JBNb
MDL

SMT
ISSM (XRCTS)
MB
MB
ISSM (XRCTS)
MBa
MB
ISSM (XRCTS)

Table 1. Processes, wettability conditions, spreading characteristics, and saturation and relative permeability measurement

Table 2.
Reference

Porous medium

Pressure

Core
orientation
Horizontal

Core holder
specication
Aluminium
with Viton sleeve

OBPF

Horizontal
22 to 92 psigb

370 psic

Horizontal
Horizontal

241

Horizontal In-house modied 1500 psi


Hassler, steel

Ambient

Berea
(red at 400 C for 24 hrs)
Berea, Weeks Island
Berea
Ambient

Berea

Vertical

30

Berea
Berea

35 atme
Horizontal
Horizontal

(red at 800 F for 24 hrs)


Glass beadsd

Stainless steel
tube

Ambient
Ambient

Horizontal
Ambient
Ambient

5 to 50 psi

Berea
(red at 1000 F for 24 hrs)
Brent, Cormorantf
Berea

Ambient

Bentheimer ss, Berea ss,


Weeks Island ss, Kurkan
dolomitea
Weeks Island
Berea

Temp.
( C)

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies

Hagoort [1980]

Perry [1980]
Slack and Ehrlich
[1981]
Saraf et al. [1982]
van Spronsen [1982]
OMeara and Lease
[1983]
Maerefat
and
Parmeswar [1987]
Delshad et al. [1987]
Parmeswar et al.
[1988]
Grader
and
OMeara [1988]
Maloney et al. [1989]
Niko et al. [1989]
Skauge and Matre
[1989]

a
Weeks Island is an oil and gas reservoir in Louisiana and Kurkan is an oil reservoir of the Mardin formation in Turkey
[Hagoort, 1980]
b
Average injection pressure
c
At the core exit
d
140-200 mesh size
e
Net overburden pressure in some experiments
Brent reservoir and Cormorant Field are located in the North Sea
f

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

al.
(red at 1000 C)
Bereaf
(red at 538 C)
Bereaf

Berea, Bentheimer

Berea
(red at 1000 C)

21.1

20h , 17i

21.10.6

21.10.6

232

1000.5

Temp.
( C)

0.11 bargc
3.45 MPa

Ambientb ,
0.11 bargc , 380 barj
800 psig

800 psig

800 psig

Vertical

Ambientb ,

Ambient

Core
orientation
Vertical

Pressure

Modied Penn State

Modied Penn State

Modied Penn Stateg

Tri-axial with
a lead sleeve

Core holder
specication

silicon oil

11 atme ,

10.3 MPa

OBPF

Well-cemented aeolian sandstone from Clashach quarry in Scotland with well-sorted grains and a low clay content [Naylor
and Frrup, 1989]
b
Outlet pressure at the top of the core in the low-pressure waterooding
c
Inlet pressure at the top of the core in the low-pressure gas injection
d
Pure silica sand (140-200 and 160-200 mesh sizes were both reported in dierent locations of the paper)
e
Overburden pressure was applied only in some experiments
f
Quarried from Devonian Mississippian aged rocks by Cleveland Quarries in Amherst, Ohio [Oak , 1989b]
g
The core was placed between two end-section cores
h
In the low-pressure gas injection
i
In the high-pressure gas injection
j
Inlet pressure at the top of the core in the high-pressure gas injection

Oak [1991a, b]

(red at 538 and 1000 C)


Naylor et al. [1991]
Clashach

Oak
[1989a, b, 1990]

Oak et al. [1990]

et

Maini et al. [1989]

Maloney
[1990]

Ottawa sand

Clashach ssa

Porous medium

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies (contd)

Naylor and Frrup


[1989]

Reference

Table 2.

Table 2.
Reference

7 barb

9.65 MPad
3.45 MPa

Ambient
Ambient

800 psig

Vertical

Vertical

Horizontal

Core
Core holder
orientation
specication

Modied Penn State


Horizontal

Pressure

21
25
71
751

100 psigh
3.45 MPa

OBPF

Tri-axial with a teon 13.8 MPa


lined lead sleevef
Microwavable
1000 psig
Tri-axial with
10.3 MPa
a lead sleeve

(red at 540 C for 24 hrs)


Bentheimer
Clashach
Baker dolomitec
Ottawa sande

23.3
1000.5

Porous medium
Temp.
( C)
Reservoir Carbonate
Ambient
Tensleep ssa
21.1
Berea
Ambient
(red at 800 C for 6 hrs)
Berea
Ambient
Berea
25

Almond ssg
Ottawa sande

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies (contd)

Marek et al. [1991]


Oak [1992]
Eikje et al. [1992]
Kvanvik et al. [1992]
Maloney
and
Brinkmeyer [1992]
Hustad and Holt [1992]
Foulser et al. [1992a, b]
Dria et al. [1993]
Muqeem et al. [1993]
Maloney et al. [1993]
Sarma et al. [1994]

a
Little Bualo Basin Tensleep Well No. 227 in Wyoming
b
Separator pressure
c
The core was cut from a block of outcrop dolomite quarried from the Guelph formation in Sandusky County, OH. The
Guelph is a primary, sedimentary grainstone dolomite with intergranular porosity
d
Average core pressure
e
140-200 mesh size
f
The core holder also had an end-eect absorbing section at the outlet face
g
Almond Formation in Greater Green River Basin of southwestern Wyoming. The core was from the Arch Unit of Patrick
Draw eld
Back pressure
h

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
& North Sea ss
Clashach
Fontainebleau
& Vosges ss
Sandpackf

Ambient

230 bar

Ambient

71

reservoir

reservoir

Hassler

Vertical

Steel
Hasslerh

With 8 O-ring copper


electrodes
Horizontal
Hassler

Vertical

Horizontal

40 bar

Temp.
Pressure
Core
Core holder
OBPF
orientation
specication
( C)
100a ,
300 bara Vertical &
Tri-axial

b
ambient
horizontal
211
800 psi

Penn State

751, 1251 3.45 MPa


Vertical Tri-axial with a teon 13.8 MPa
lined lead sleevee

Vertical

Ambient,
10 bar,
Horizontal

For reservoir cores


For Berea cores
c
Tensleep formation in Wyoming
d
140-200 mesh size
e
The core holder also had an end-eect absorbing section at the outlet face
f
With average grain size of 120 m
g
Clashach outcrop cores from Elgin in Scotland
h
The barrel of the cell was made of carbon ber in order to minimize the gamma-ray absorption

Vizika and Kalaydjian


[1995]
Grivot et al. [1995]
Reservoir sandstone
and carbonate
Eleri et al. [1995b]
Berea & Clashachg
Chalier et al. [1995]
Reservoir sandstone

Eleri et al. [1995a]


Moulu et al. [1995]

Naylor et al. [1995]


Munkerud and Hoimyr
[1995]

Clashach
Berea, Bentheimer

Berea &
North Sea ss
Tensleepc
Ottawa sandd

Skauge and Larsen [1994]

Baker [1995]
Muqeem et al. [1995]

Porous medium

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies (contd)

Reference

Table 2.

Table 2.
Reference
Sandpacka

Temp.
( C)

200 mbarc

Horizontal

Core
orientation
Vertical

Hydrostatic, triaxialf

Aluminium

Core holder
specication

27.7 Mpa,

OBPF

Glass beadsb

Ambient

Horizontal

Vertical

Hassler with
rubber sleeveg
Stainless steel with
Hassler-type
sleeves and multi pressure
taps

Pressure

Fontainebleau ss

500 mbare
20.7 MPa

Porous medium

& Clashach
Carbonated

30

460 psigh

3000 psig

distilled water
50 psi

Vosges
Chalk

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies (contd)

Vizika and Lombard [1996]


Siddiqui et al.
[1996]
Kalaydjian et al.
[1997]
Maloney et al.
[1997]
Moulu et al. [1997]
Nordtvedt et al.
[1997]

600 mbare

Sahni et al. [1998] Sandpack & Berea Ambient


Berea

al.

Siddiqui
[1998]

Vosges

et

Moulu et al. [1999]

a
With an average grain size of 120 m: 24% of grains between 192 and 128 m, 72% between 128 and 96 m and 4% less
than 96 m
b
Consisted of presieved 149 to 210 m (100 to 70 mesh) spherical glass beads
c
Gas injection pressure in the unsteady-state experiment
d
From a Red River formation in the Williston Basin
e
Gas injection pressure
f
An X-ray transparent core holder made of carbon ber
g
The barrel was a PVC pipe (4 inch, Schedule 80) with polypropylene distribution plate endplugs
Back pressure
h

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Estaillades limestoneb
Ambient
North Sea ss
40
e
Glass beads
Variablef
g
Miller ss
120
j
South Brae conglomerate
123
Berea

(red at 1500 F)
Reservoir sandstone
60

Temp.
( C)
Ambient

Ambient

Ambientc
20 bard
Ambient
Variableh
Variablek

Ambient

Pressure

Horizontal

Core
Core holder
orientation specication
Vertical
Hassler with a
rubber sleeve

Vertical

Vertical

Vertical

Vertical

Hasslerl

50 psi,
water

69 bari

OBPF

An initially water-wet, clean industrial sand (No. 60, Corona Industrial Sand Co., Corona, CA) was used. The sand was
sieved with a size 120 sieve to remove any ne particles
b
Exhibited bimodal porosity (Vugs sized between 100 and 200 m in the lowest cemented parts. Smaller pores ranged
between 1 and 50 m)
c
Gas injection pressure was either 500 or 700 mbar. In the case of 700 mbar, injection pressure was increased by steps
d
Back pressure
e
Containing more than 300000 randomly packed beads 0.65 to 0.75 mm in diameter
f
The temperature was slowly increased at a constant rate of 2 C per hour, starting from around 30 C
g
Miller Filed in North Sea
h
The pore pressure was initially 369 or 356 barg (above the bubble point pressure of 339 barg) and then gradually decreased
below the bubble point
i
Net overburden pressure
j
South Brae Filed in North Sea
k
The pore pressure was initially 277 barg (above the bubble point pressure of 253 barg) and then gradually decreased down
to 70 barg
l
A CT scannable, composite carbon-ber, high-pressure, high-temperature core holder

Oedai and van Wunnik [2002]

Egermann et al. [2000]


Poulsen et al. [2000]
Grattoni et al. [2001]
Naylor et al. [2001]
Drummond et al. [2001]
Akin and Demiral [2001]

Sandpacka

Porous medium

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies (contd)

DiCarlo et al. [2000]

Reference

Table 2.

Table 2.
Reference

Vosges

Berea

91.1

Temp.
( C)

Ambient

Variabled

Variablea

Vertical

Vertical

Core
orientation
Vertical

Hasslerf

Plexiglas tube

Hasslerb

Core holder
specication

150 bare

OBPF

North Sea ssc


220.4

Pressure

Teon beads

Porous medium

Berea

Ambient

horizontal

Tri-axial

chloride modied Hassler

800,

150 bare

Gas

Ambient

With Bakelite isolators

for resistivity measurements 4500 psi

Vertical & Plexiglas tube or polyvinyl-

Berea

reservoir

Ambient, Ambient,

200 bar

91

Colombian Foothillsg

(red at approximately
800 C)
& glass beads
Statfjord ss

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies (contd)

Element et al.
[2003]
Egermann et al.
[2004]
Petersen
Jr
et al. [2004]
Cinar and Orr
[2005]
Akin and Demiral [2005]
Cinar et al.
[2007]

Petersen
Jr
et al. [2008]
Perez-Carrillo
et al. [2008]

reservoir

a
The pore pressure was initially above the bubble point pressure (21 bar) and then gradually decreased down to 14 bar
b
Made of CT scannable composite material
c
From the Brent Group in the Statfjord Field
d
The pore pressure was initially 290 bar (above the bubble point pressure of 271.5 bar) and then gradually decreased down
to 80 bar
e
Net overburden pressure
f
A carbon-ber composite core holder
g
Of the two core samples, one of them was a reservoir core from Colombian Foothills, E1 Mirador formation. No information
was given about the second sample

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Ambient

Bentheimer

Horizontal
Vertical

5.44 MPa
500 psib
800 psigb

Ambient

Vertical

1840 psiaa

1840 psia

Core
orientation
Vertical

Ambient

Pressure

water
8.84 MPa

a rubber sleeve
Tri-axial with
a lead sleeve

250 psic ,
mineral
oil

Aluminum, Hassler with


pressure ports and rubber sleeve

50 psi,

water

50 psi,

OBPF

polyvinyl-chloride, with

Core holder
specication
with a rubber sleeve

The critical pressure of the hydrocarbon mixture used was about 1865 psia, and hence the system was under a nearlymiscible condition
b
Back pressure
c
Net overburden pressure

21.5

Berea

Cao and Siddiqui


[2011]
Alizadeh and Piri
[2014]

Ambient

Sandpack

231

37.8

Clashach

Berea

37.8

Sandstone

Temp.
( C)
Ambient

Masihi et al. [2011]

Shahverdi et al.
[2011a, b]
Shahverdi et al.
[2011c]
Dehghanpour
and
DiCarlo [2011]

Sandpack

Porous medium

Porous materials and experimental conditions used in dierent studies (contd)

Dehghanpour et al.
[2010]

Reference

Table 2.

Table 3.
Reference

Length
(cm)
5

Dimensions and petrophysical properties of porous materials used in dierent studies

Hagoort [1980]

Kg
(mD)

Kw
(mD)

(0.25 to 0.29)d
0.233, 0.237

100
(5.30, 5.35,
5.38)c ,
(4.59 to 7.09)d

PV
(cm3 )

Diameter
(cm)
2.5

(486.371,
501.570,
607.964)c
528, 521

5.08
510 to 580
(3617.39 to
5035.97)d,g

Kx a
Porosity
(mD)
(fraction)
(2000, 2420)b , (0.234, 0.233)b ,
(0.216)c ,
(852)c ,
(490, 319, 782, (0.195, 0.182,
0.251, 0.238)d ,
960)d ,
(41, 70)e
(0.19, 0.25)e

470f
0.213f

330.0, 363.0

0.23
(0.213, 0.214)c ,

0.21, 0.23

(3.62 to 5.22)d

3.811.905h

15.24

60.96

748.809,
836.964

600 to 700

7.62, 30.48

(25.5,
25.8)i
2.543.81h

Perry [1980]

Slack and Ehrlich 60.96 to 121.92


[1981]
Saraf et al. [1982]
20
van
Spronsen (4.975, 4.980)c ,
[1982]
OMeara
and
Lease [1983]
Maerefat
and
Parmeswar [1987]
Delshad et al.
[1987]
Parmeswar et al.
[1988]

a
Absolute permeability to an unknown uid
b
For Bentheimer cores
c
For Berea cores
d
For Weeks Island cores
e
For Kurkan cores
f
Average
g
Reported only for a few samples
h
The cross section of the cores was rectangular
Cross-sectional area, cm2
i

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

954

5.64
2.55.1f
5.08
5.08
4.51, 4.15,
4.10
5.08

5.08
3.73, 3.75

5.12

549 to 690b

Notea

4.5, 4.1

Kg
(mD)

Diameter
(cm)
2.54

2050, 2388

210, 370c
745 to
942d

Kx
(mD)

332, 261

900

126, 208

310, 1010

210-160g
200g , 800,
1000
900, 1610, 870

3600

900, 1600

Kw
(mD)
4902 to 5657
&
6857 to 7907
270 to 586b

0.228, 0.222

0.177, 0.184,
0.188

0.234

0.261, 0.247

0.177, 0.185

0.219 to 0.223

0.367 to 0.377
0.212 to 0.252b

Porosity
(fraction)
0.363 to 0.369 &

93.44

238, 221, 445

409

238, 221

200e

PV
(cm3 )
129.3 to 133.5
&
129.6 to 133.3

The cross section of the cores was rectangular. The width ranged from 1.61 to 2.70 cm and the height ranged from 3.87 to
5.20 cm
b
Not reported for all samples
c
For Brent cores
d
This variation was observed among the segments of the core
e
Average
f
The cross section of the cores was rectangular
g
The core permeability decreased from 210 to 160 md over the year-long study [Oak , 1989a, b; Oak et al., 1990]

Maloney et al. 7.50 to 15.47


[1989]
Niko et al. [1989]

Skauge and Ma40 to 50


tre [1989]
Naylor
and
84.1, 88.5
Frrup [1989]
Maini et al.
46.7
[1989]
Maloney et al.
15
[1990]
Oak et al. [1990]
7.62
Oak
7.62
[1989a, b, 1990]
Naylor et al. 84.1, 88.5, 179
[1991]
Oak [1991a, b]
7.62
Marek et al.

[1991]
Oak [1992]
7.62
Eikje et al. [1992]
28.8, 29.7

Length
(cm)
91.44

Dimensions and petrophysical properties of porous materials used in dierent studies (contd)

Grader
and
OMeara [1988]

Reference

Table 3.

Table 3.
Reference

270

126, 208

700d

2499.746
306

0.36

0.187

0.227
0.148
0.202b

397.5
214

156.9

168.4b
397.5

409
70 to 470

Kx
(mD)

Diameter
(cm)
5.12, 3.76,
3.83
1.95.1a

10.8

24
3653
5.8
3600
100-500, 30-300,
800-2000, 300-800c

3653
2026.5

3000
16000

Kg
(mD)

Length
(cm)
48.40, 40.30,
30.50, 31.20
15.8
3.77
4.0
5
5.64
25.3a
5.64
3.7, 5.0

234.0

Porosity
PV
(fraction)
(cm3 )
0.219, 0.223, 218, 184,
0.218, 0.236 73.9, 84.8
0.196

61.9
25.8
45
40.7
8.3
46.7
40 to 100
5
5.64
4.15

7.6
40.7
85.0
50 to 75

5.17

Kw
(mD)
760, 801,
403, 589
260

9.44
40 to 70

Dimensions and petrophysical properties of porous materials used in dierent studies (contd)

Kvanvik et al. [1992]


Maloney and Brinkmeyer
[1992]
Hustad and Holt [1992]
Foulser et al. [1992a, b]
Dria et al. [1993]
Muqeem et al. [1993]
Maloney et al. [1993]
Sarma et al. [1994]
Skauge and Larsen [1994]
Baker [1995]
Muqeem et al. [1995]
Naylor et al. [1995]
Munkerud and Hoimyr
[1995]
Eleri et al. [1995a]
Moulu et al. [1995]
Vizika and Kalaydjian
[1995]

a
The cross section of the cores was rectangular
b
Measured at 10.3-MPa overburden and 3.45-MPa core pressures (24 C)
c
Each range represents the permeability variation in cores of a given reservoir
For Berea cores
d

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
(16.6, 13.5)

3.80g
7.62

90.33
75, 44

40
12.26g
90

50

5.08

6.5

58.6

90.17, 91.12,

5.17, 5.0

9.44, 50

Diameter
(cm)
4

Kg
(mD)
3.34 to 1188a

2.27g

8.81

36.23c
517

0.150 to 0.261a
0.1823, 0.225
0.2640d , 0.27e

79, 12000

70

14030
2330.5, 810.6

0.134, 0.338

0.398g

0.2

0.3656
0.196, 0.16

11551.3, 12665.9 0.327, 0.336, 0.334


15880, 15460,
0.3686, 0.3603,

673.56,
665.52,
669.38
245, 94.4

PV
(cm3 )

Porosity
(fraction)
0.211 to 0.283b ,

11146.0,
0.348, 0.34, 0.334,
14185.8, 9626.1,

234.0c
100

Kx
(mD)

Kw
(mD)

For limestone cores


For sandstone cores
c
For Clashach cores
d
From mass balance
e
From in-situ measurements using the gamma-ray absorption technique
f
Cross-sectional area, cm2
g
Reported by Ebeltoft et al. [1998]

Kalaydjian
et al. [1997]
Maloney et al.
[1997]
Moulu et al.
[1997]
Nordtvedt
et al. [1997]
Sahni et al.
[1998]

Siddiqui et al.
[1996]

Eleri et al.
[1995b]
Chalier et al.
[1995]
Vizika
and
Lombard
[1996]

Length
(cm)
4 to 10

Dimensions and petrophysical properties of porous materials used in dierent studies (contd)

Grivot et al.
[1995]

Reference

Table 3.

Table 3.
Reference

36.0

41.7, 41.8
34.5
40.95, 34.30

14.8

Length
(cm)
28.90, 28.70,
28.75
30
60b , 67, 87
26.15
17.95
22
51.5
42.8

2.5
3.75

2.5

3.87
4.3
3.75, 3.76

3.8

2.54b , 7.6
4
3.71
2.5
3.78
3.78

Diameter
(cm)
3.8

314 to
9110
393, 328

483.08

Kg
(mD)

19000e

(295, 304)d

206 to 6166

260

102

215
100

Kw
(mD)
160a , 375, 112.7

35000, 294
873

58

20000

6000
492
292

Kx
(mD)

0.40, 0.207
0.318

0.27

0.19
0.24
0.320, 0.306

0.219 to 0.305

0.2292c

64.8, 28
95.9

92.3, 91.8
120
143.0,
114.4
48

38.605

Porosity
PV
(fraction)
(cm3 )
0.182, 0.222, 59.5, 72.25,
0.157
51.15
0.20

0.23
76.6
0.299
57.9

38.4
0.208
120.5
0.119
56.9

33, 27.5
27.29

Dimensions and petrophysical properties of porous materials used in dierent studies (contd)

Siddiqui et al. [1998]


Moulu et al. [1999]
DiCarlo et al. [2000]
Egermann et al. [2000]
Poulsen et al. [2000]
Grattoni et al. [2001]
Naylor et al. [2001]
Drummond
et
al.
[2001]
Akin and Demiral
[2001]
Oedai and van Wunnik
[2002]
Element et al. [2003]
Egermann et al. [2004]
Petersen Jr et al.
[2004]
Cinar and Orr [2005]
Akin and Demiral
[2005]
Cinar et al. [2007]
Petersen Jr et al.
[2008]

a
A dierent permeability of 199 mD has also been reported for this core in the paper
b
For gas relative permeability measurements
c
After ring (0.2266 before ring)
d
Absolute permeability to oil
Absolute permeability to the wetting hexadecane-rich phase
e

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Diameter
(cm)
3.795, 3.797
7.5
5.082
4.86
7.5
3.75
3.81
3.81

Length
(cm)
7.469, 4.539
80
60.5
61.3
80
30
17.272
15.24

Kg
(mD)
204, 46

131
135.5
2620, 2660

Kw
(mD)

6000
65
1000
6000

Kx
(mD)

0.233
0.241, 0.247

0.3
0.188
0.177
0.3

Porosity
(fraction)
0.190, 0.068

Dimensions and petrophysical properties of porous materials used in dierent studies (contd)

Perez-Carrillo
et
al.
[2008]
Dehghanpour et al. [2010]
Shahverdi et al. [2011a, b]
Shahverdi et al. [2011c]
Dehghanpour and DiCarlo
[2011]
Masihi et al. [2011]
Cao and Siddiqui [2011]
Alizadeh and Piri [2014]

Reference

Table 3.

80

41.87, 42.92

223
200

PV
(cm3 )
16.035, 3.484

Table 4.

OMeara

Excess oile
+radioactive tracerh
Paran oil+7% iodododecane,
Soltrol 220+10% iodododecane
Benzyl alcohol

Rened Soltrol 220

Oil phase
A mixture of Nujol and Soltrolb

Drakeol #6
Soltrol 130d

Fluid systems used in dierent studies

Reference
Hagoort [1980]
Perry [1980]
Slack and Ehrlich [1981]
Saraf et al. [1982]
van Spronsen [1982]

OMeara and Lease [1983]


Maerefat and Parmeswar
[1987]
Delshad et al. [1987]

and

Parmeswar et al. [1988]


Grader
[1988]

Excess brinef
+radioactive traceri
Brine(1% NaCl)

Aqueous phase
Brinec

Brine(2% NaCl)
Distilled water
Brine(1% NaCl)+glycol (for Berea),
Glycol or water+glycol (for Weeks
Island)

Brine(10000 ppm NaCl)

Decanek

Microemulsiong
+radioactive tracerj
N2

Air
N2

Gas phasea

N2
N2
Air

Distilled water

a
A non-gaseous phase may have been used in some studies
b
With the composition depending on the core permeability in order to control the measuring time
c
A solution that approximated the reservoir water
d
Was rened by passing through a dual column of alumina and silica gel to remove aromatic and polar compounds
e
Contained 99.56 vol% n-decane, 0.40 vol% alcohol (isobutanol), and 0.04 vol% surfactant (TRS 10-410)
f
Contained
2.60 g/m3 calcium, 97.3 vol% brine (1.2 wt% NaCl), 2.50 vol% alcohol (isobutanol), 0.20 vol% surfactant (TRS
10-410), and (when used) 594 g/m3 polymer (Xanood)
g
Contained
16.5 g/m3 calcium, 46.2 vol% brine (1.2 wt% NaCl), 49.2 vol% n-decane, 1.36 vol% alcohol (isobutanol), 3.24
vol% surfactant (TRS 10-410), and (when used) 252 g/m3 polymer (Xanood)
h
Carbon-14 (14 C)
i
Tritium (T2 O) for water or chloride-36 (36 Cl) for salinity
j
Tritium (T2 O) or chloride-36 (36 Cl), carbon-14 (14 C), tritium-labelled sulfonate (TS)
Used instead of the gas phase to reduce viscous ngering eects
k

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

N2

Brine(distilled water+1 wt% NaCl)


Waterf
Brine(1% NaCl)

n-Decane+1 wt% radioactive ferrocene


Rened mineral oil
Soltrol 100+10 vol% iodododecane

N2

N2
N2
N2

+0.5 wt% CaCl2 +10 wt% CsCl)


Brine(5 wt% NaCl
+0.5 wt% CaCl2 +10 wt% CsCl)
Brine(1 wt% NaCl)
Brine(traced by CsCl)
Brine(50000 ppm CaCl2 , saturated
with calcium sulfate)

N2

Brine(5 wt% NaCl

N2

Microemulsione

The uid system was not reported for all experiments


Glycerine was added, when necessary, to viscosify brine
c
Contained heptane (99.5+, Merck), 1.12 mmol/g surfactant (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, 35% active matter, Akzo),
and 6.9 wt% alcohol (sec. butanol, 99+, Merck)
d
Contained synthetic seawater (2.78 wt% NaCl, 0.1647 wt% CaCl2 .2H2 O, 0.945 wt% MgCl2 .6H2 O, 0.0235 wt% NaHCO3 ,
0.77 wt% NaSO4 .10H2 O), 0.333 mmol/g surfactant (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, 35% active matter, Akzo), and 6.2
wt% alcohol (sec. butanol, 99+, Merck)
e
Contained synthetic seawater (2.78 wt% NaCl, 0.1647 wt% CaCl2 .2H2 O, 0.945 wt% MgCl2 .6H2 O, 0.0235 wt% NaHCO3 ,
0.77 wt% NaSO4 .10H2 O), heptane (99.5+, Merck), 365 mmol/g surfactant (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, 35% active
matter, Akzo), and 9.6 wt% alcohol (sec. butanol, 99+, Merck)
f
Both distilled water and de-ionized water were separately reported in the paper
g
Oak et al. [1990]
h
Radioactive ferrocene containing gamma emitting iron-59

Oak
Deodorized Mineral Spirit+5 vol.% iodobenzeneg ,
[1989a, b, 1990]
Dodecane+10 vol% iodooctane
Naylor et al.
Decane+1 wt% radioactive ferroceneh
[1991]
Oak [1991a, b]
Dodecane+iodooctane
Marek et al.
50/50 vol% iododecane+hexadecane
[1991]

Deodorized Mineral Spirit+5 vol.% iodobenzene

N2

Excess brined

Excess oilc

Gas phase
N2 a

Aqueous phase
Brine(1 wt% NaCl)+glycerinea,b

Oil phase
White mineral oil+dopanta

Fluid systems used in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Maloney et al.
[1989]
Niko et al.
[1989]
Skauge
and
Matre [1989]
Naylor
and
Frrup [1989]
Maini et al.
[1989]
Maloney et al.
[1990]
Oak et al.
[1990]

Table 4.

Table 4.

Fluid systems used in dierent studies (contd)

Articial formation waterc


Excess brined
Brine(0.020 kg/kg CaCl2 )
Brine(1%)
Brine(2% KCl)
De-ionized water
Brine

Oil phase
Dodecane+10 vol% iodooctane
Excess oila
Excess oilb
Soltrol 100+10 wt%
iodododecane
Decane
Excess oild
n-Decane
Rened mineral oil
Soltrol 100+iododecane
Rened mineral oil
Reservoir oil, Decane

Brine(5% NaCl+0.5% CaCl2 +CsCl)


Brine(1%)

Reference
Oak [1992]
Eikje et al. [1992]
Kvanvik et al. [1992]
Maloney and Brinkmeyer
[1992]
Hustad and Holt [1992]
Foulser et al. [1992a, b]
Dria et al. [1993]
Muqeem et al. [1993]
Maloney et al. [1993]
Sarma et al. [1994]
Skauge and Larsen [1994]
Dodecane+iodooctane
Rened mineral oil

Aqueous phase
Brine(5 wt% NaCl
+0.5 wt% CaCl2 +10 wt% CsCl)
Excess brinea
Excess brineb
Brine(1 wt% NaCl)

Baker [1995]
Muqeem et al. [1995]

Gas phase
N2

Microemulsiona
Microemulsionb
N2

N2
Microemulsiond
CO2
N2
N2
N2
Reservoir gas,
methane
N2
N2 e

a
The uid system was reported to closely resemble that of Skauge and Matre [1989] and contained a synthetic brine with
mono and divalent ions, n-heptane, a surfactant (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate), and an alcohol (sec. butanol) as
co-solvent
b
The uid system was the same as that of Skauge and Matre [1989]
c
With a composition given as concentration in mg/dm3 of total brine: NaCl (22330), KCl (382), NH4 Cl (102), NaF (3),
NaHCO3 (422), CaCl2 (837), FeCl2 (0.26), MgCl2 (207), MnCl2 (0.6), SrCl2 (82), B(OH)3 (301), and AlCl3 (0.95)
d
To form the three-phase uid system, 220.78 g of 24.21 wt/wt% sodium dodecylbenzenesulphonate were diluted with 520.60
g of pure water. 143.62 g of butanol were added to the solution followed by 631.90 g of n-decane and then 207.34 g of 15.0
wt/wt% Na2 SO4 solution. The whole mixture was vigorously agitated by shaking for 5 minutes and allowed to stand at
25 C for 16 hours
Commercial grade
e

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

n-Decane+radioactive tracerj
Simplied reservoir oill +
50 g/l ortho-iodotoluene

Soltrol 170d
Decane
North Sea oil
n-Decane+radioactive tracere
Soltrol 170
Soltrol 170

Isopar Mc

N2

radioactive potassium cobalticyanideb )


Brine(25 g/l BaCl2 )c

Synthetic formation brineh


Brine(5 wt% NaCl)+radioactive tracerk
Synthetic Brine

Airi
N2
Simplied
reservoir gasm

Brine(30 g/l CaCl2 )+1% isobutyl alcohold


Brine(3 wt% NaCl)
North Sea water
North Sea gas
f
Brine(5 wt% NaCl)+radioactive tracer
N2 g
Brine(25 g/l BaCl2 )
N2
c
Brine(30 g/l NaCl)
Air

Gas phase
N2

Aqueous phase
Brine(1 wt% NaCl+0.3 wt%

Radioactive ferrocene containing gamma emitting iron-59


Radioactive potassium cobalticyanide containing gamma emitting cobalt-58
c
For the spreading uid system
d
For the non-spreading uid system
e
Radioactive 59 Fe tracer in the form of ferrocene. The ferrocene was produced by synthesis (activity: 1.5 mCi/l)
f
Radioactive 22 NaCl tracer (activity: 1.0 mCi/l)
g
Commercial grade
h
Reported as the aqueous phase used in sandstone cores
i
Reported as the gas phase used in limestone cores
j
Radioactive 59 Fe in the form of ferrocene
k
Radioactive 22 Na tracer in the form of NaCl
l
A synthetic mixture of 66.1% C1 and 33.9% C7
m
A synthetic mixture of 93.6% C1 and 6.4% C7

Eleri et al. [1995a]


Moulu et al. [1995]
Vizika and Kalaydjian
[1995]
Grivot et al. [1995]
Eleri et al. [1995b]
Chalier et al. [1995]

Munkerud and Hoimyr


[1995]

Oil phase
Decane+1 wt% radioactive
ferrocenea

Fluid systems used in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Naylor et al. [1995]

Table 4.

Oil phase
Soltrol 170a

Aqueous phase
Brine(30 g/l NaCl)b

Fluid systems used in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Vizika and Lombard
[1996]

Benzyl alcohol

Table 4.

Siddiqui et al. [1996]

Synthetic brine
Water

Brine(30 g/l CaCl2 )+1% isobutyl alcoholc


Brine(50 g/l KCl+80 g/l CsCl)

Synthetic formation watere


Brine(10 wt% NaBr)
Brine(2 wt% CaCl2 )
Brine(25 g/l BaCl2 )b
Brine(25 g/l BaCl2 )+2% isopropyl alcoholc
Brine(10 wt% NaBr), distilled waterf
Brine(30 g/l NaCl)

Brine(30 g/l NaCl)+2% iso-butanolc


Brine(25 g/l BaCl2 )+2% iso-butanolc
Brine(distilled water+5.00 or 3.88 wt%
NaId )
Brine(25 g/l BaCl2 )b

Kalaydjian et al.
Isopar Mb
[1997]
Soltrol 170c
Maloney et al. [1997] Soltrol+200 g/l bromodecane
Moulu et al. [1997]

Nordtvedt et al. [1997]


Dodecanee
Sahni et al. [1998]
n-Hexane, n-octane, n-decane
Siddiqui et al. [1998]
Decane
Moulu et al. [1999]
Soltrol 170
DiCarlo et al. [2000] n-Hexane, n-octane, n-decane
Egermann
et
al.
Soltrol 170
[2000]
Poulsen et al. [2000]
Grattoni et al. [2001]
n-Decane
n-Pentane dissolved in a
non-volatile heavy paran

a
In the spreading uid systems, the oil phase was colored with oil-red
b
For the spreading uid system
c
For the non-spreading uid system
d
The amount of dopants used depended on saturation histories followed
e
Reported by Ebeltoft et al. [1998]
Distilled water was used for gas relative permeability measurements
f

Decane+2.67 or 15.0
wt% iodododecaned
N2

Gas phase
Air

N2

N2 e
Air
N2
N2

Air
N2

N2
Solution gas in
the oil phase

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Hexadecane-riche
Brine
Water-rich, hexadecane-riche

n-Butanol-riche
Hexane
n-Butanol-rich, water-riche
Separator oil
Mineral oil, light crude oil
n-Octane

Cinar and Orr [2005]


Akin and Demiral [2005]
Cinar et al. [2007]

Petersen Jr et al. [2008]


Perez-Carrillo et al. [2008]
Dehghanpour et al. [2010]

Gas phase
Solution gas in the
oil phase
Solution gas in the
oil phase
N2
Air
N2
Solution gas in the
oil phase
Solution gas in the
oil phase
Water-riche
N2
Hexadecane-rich,
n-butanol-riche
Separator gas
N2
Air

The live oil was made from stock-tank oil and synthetic gas
No calcium was added to the brine in order to prevent the possibility of calcium carbonate scaling during the experiments
c
A binary mixture of C1 and C7 . Mole fraction of C1 in the mixture was 0.107 at bubble point pressure of 21 bar
d
Separator oil and gas were recombined to the original bubble point pressure, 271.5 bar at 91.1 C
e
Created from a quaternary liquid system composed of hexadecane, n-butanol, distilled, de-ionized water, and isopropanol.
Cinar et al. [2007] substituted sodium chloride for isopropanol in some cases

Formation water

Live oild

Petersen Jr et al. [2004]

Synthetic formation water


Brine(37000 ppm NaCl)
Brine(10 wt% NaBr)

Brine(8% KBr)
Brine(23 g/l NaCl)
Brine(distilled water+3% NaI)
Brine(50 g/l NaCl+5 g/l CaCl2 )

Live oil

Aqueous phase
Synthetic formation
brineb +radioactive tracer
Brine

Hexane
Dead crude oil
Decane+10% iododecane
Simplied live oilc

Akin and Demiral [2001]


Oedai and van Wunnik [2002]
Element et al. [2003]
Egermann et al. [2004]

Drummond et al. [2001]

Oil phase
Live oil +radioactive tracer
a

Fluid systems used in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Naylor et al. [2001]

Table 4.

Fluid systems used in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Shahverdi et al. [2011a, b]

Oil phase
Mixture of methane and n-butane

Aqueous phase
Brine

Shahverdi et al. [2011c]

Mixture of methane and n-butane

Brine

n-Octane

Brine(10 wt% NaBr)

n-Decane
Fluorinert-40
Soltrol 170a +5 vol% iodooctane

Brine(6000 ppm NaCl)


Brine(2 wt% KCl)
Brine(2 wt% CaCl2 +12 wt% NaI+
0.01 wt% NaN3 c )

Dehghanpour and DiCarlo


[2011]
Masihi et al. [2011]
Cao and Siddiqui [2011]
Alizadeh and Piri [2014]
a

Gas phase
Mixture of methane
and n-butane
Mixture of methane
and n-butane
Air
N2
Soltrol 130
N2 b

Soltrol 170 was puried by passing it through a dual-packed column of silica gel and alumina to remove polar contaminants,
which might alter the water wetness of the rock
b
Commercial grade
c
Sodium azide (NaN3 ) was added to brine to avoid bacterial growth

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 4.

Table 5.

Fluid densities and viscosities reported in dierent studies

Reference

Oil phase
3

Hagoort [1980]
Perry [1980]
Slack and Ehrlich
[1981]
Saraf et al. [1982]
van
Spronsen
[1982]

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

OMeara
and
Lease [1983]
Maerefat
and
Parmeswar [1987]
Delshad et al.
[1987]

Parmeswar et al.
[1988]
Grader
and
OMeara [1988]
Maloney et al.
[1989]
Niko et al. [1989]
Skauge and Matre
[1989]
Naylor and Frrup
[1989]
a

Aqueous phase
(g/cm )
(cp)

(g/cm )

(cp)

12 (at 25 C)

(0.856, 0.858)b ,

(49, 50)b ,

(1.197, 1.199)b ,

(35, 36)b ,

(0.73, 0.82, 0.85,


0.86)c

(0.91, 30, 48, 52,


56)c

(1.19, 1.21,
1.26)c

(46, 48, 67, 300<)c

0.725

0.912

1.0018

0.991 (no polymer),

0.874

5.0d

0.01765

4.1, 47

13.5 (with
polymer)e
0.989

1.026

4.984

1.014

1.140

0.735

0.932

1.2 to 47

0.97 to 10.8

0.0176

0.6928f

0.46f,g

1.0142f

1.39f,g

0.8477f

3.8f,g

0.730h

0.910h

0.0012h

0.018h

A non-gaseous phase may have been used in some studies


For Berea cores
c
For Weeks Island cores
d
Newtonian with and without polymer (almost the same value in both cases)
e
Newtonian at low shear rates
f
Measured at 23 C [Kvanvik et al., 1992]
g
Newtonian for shear rates less than 100 s1 [Kvanvik et al., 1992]
h
Reported by Foulser et al. [1990]
b

Gas phasea
(g/cm3 ) (cp)

Fluid densities and viscosities reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Maini et al. [1989]
Maloney et al. [1990]
Oak et al. [1990]
Oak [1989a, b, 1990]
Naylor et al. [1991]
Oak [1991a, b]
Marek et al. [1991]
Oak [1992]
Eikje et al. [1992]
Kvanvik et al. [1992]
Maloney and Brinkmeyer
[1992]
Hustad and Holt [1992]
Foulser et al. [1992a, b]
Dria et al. [1993]

Oil phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)

405 (at 23 C)a

1.2

1.77b

1.77, 1.39, 1.43b

1.4
0.944
3.36

1.4
0.6956, 0.6945d
0.48, 0.45d
0.693e

0.46e,f

0.733

0.98

Aqueous phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)

1.06b

1.06, 1.05b

1.05
1.03
1.13

1.05
1.0350,
1.39, 1.40d
1.0351d
1.014e
1.39e,f

1.028

1.26

Gas phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)

0.0187c

0.0187c

0.0012
0.018

0.8001, 0.7980d
2.74,
2.92d
e
0.848
3.80e,f

0.883

4.25
0.02

500 cp at 20 C
b
Liquid viscosities were measured at room temperature (21 C) and atmospheric pressure and then corrected using the
ARKES uid properties computing package to take into account the eects of pressure and dissolution of N2 at 800 psig
[Oak , 1989b]
c
Computed using the ARKES uid properties package at 800 psig [Oak , 1989b]
d
The two uid batches prepared with the same composition had slightly dierent volume fractions due to uncertainties in
weights and temperature variations in the laboratory
e
Measured at 23 C
f
Newtonian for shear rates less than 100 s1
a

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 5.

Table 5.

Fluid densities and viscosities reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference

Oil phase
3

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

(g/cm )
Muqeem et al. [1993]
0.843 (at 75 C)a
Maloney et al. [1993]

Sarma et al. [1994]


0.828 (at 100 C)c
Skauge and Larsen [1994]

Baker [1995]

Muqeem et al. [1995]


0.843 (at 75 C),
0.814 (at 125 C)a
Naylor et al. [1995]
0.732e
Munkerud
and
Hoimyr

[1995]
Eleri et al. [1995a]

Moulu et al. [1995]

Vizika and Kalaydjian [1995]


0.789
Grivot et al. [1995]

Eleri et al. [1995b]

Chalier et al. [1995]

Vizika and Lombard [1996]


0.774f

(cp)
23.2 (at 75 C)b
1
12.0 (at 100 C)d

23.2 (at 75 C),


6.6 (at 125 C)b
0.907e
2.2, 2.72

2.72
2.75

0.07
2.75, 2.72f

Aqueous phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)

Gas phase
(g/cm3 ) (cp)

1.006e

1.0e
1.02, 1.11

0.0012e

0.018e

1.06

1.019

1.06

1.019, 1.017f

1.1
1.05

1.01

1.05, 1.08, 1.1f

0.018

0.875 g/cm3 at 20 C
b
450 cp at 20 C
c
0.877 g/cm3 at 23 C and 0.767 g/cm3 at 200 C
d
405.0 cp at 23 C and 2.3 cp at 200 C
e
At atmospheric pressure and temperature (these uid data were used to simulate the experiment)
f
Fluids were brought in contact and left for several hours to equilibrate, and then, after separation, their properties were
measured
a

Reference

Fluid densities and viscosities reported in dierent studies (contd)


Oil phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)
1.0265, 1.0268a
5.0563, 5.5821a

Siddiqui et al.
[1996]
Kalaydjian et al.

[1997]
Maloney et al.
0.8009
[1997]
Moulu et al. [1997]

Nordtvedt et al.

[1997]
Sahni et al. [1998] 0.659, 0.703, 0.730
Siddiqui et al.
0.7320d
[1998]
Moulu et al. [1999]

DiCarlo et al.
0.659, 0.703,
[2000]
0.730e
Egermann et al.
0.770
[2000]
Poulsen
et
al.
0.700
[2000]
Grattoni et al.

[2001]
Naylor et al. [2001]

Drummond et al.

[2001]
Akin and Demiral
0.66
[2001]
Oedai and van

Wunnik [2002]
Element et al.
0.758
[2003]
Egermann et al.
0.672g
[2004]

2.2, 2.72b

Aqueous phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)
1.0377,
1.1534,
1.0306a
1.2283a

Gas phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)
0.7416,
0.9659,
0.7737a
1.0789a

1.56

1.0871

1.03

1.238c

1.280c

0.0187c

0.3, 0.51, 0.84


0.8340d

1.046
1.0128d

1.00
0.9548d

0.020d

0.0174d

0.30, 0.51, 0.84

1.069f

1.23

2.76

1.019

0.93

0.00116

0.018

0.691

1.000

0.721

0.165

0.023

0.326

1.055

1.0755

0.00125

0.0172

1.032

0.012

0.402g

At 20 C
At room temperature
c
Reported by Ebeltoft et al. [1998]
d
At 23.3 C and 83.8 kPa
e
Taken from the CRC Handbook [Weast and Astle, 1981]
f
Measured volumetrically
g
At 21 bar and 20 C (data were derived from a thermodynamic software developed at Institut Francais du Petrole)
a

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 5.

Table 5.

Fluid densities and viscosities reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference

Oil phase
(g/cm )
(cp)

Petersen Jr et al.
[2004]
Cinar and Orr [2005]

0.824, 0.858,
0.903a

2.973, 3.237,
3.749b

Aqueous phase
(g/cm3 )
(cp)

0.776, 0.772,
0.773a

2.942, 3.046,
3.111b

Gas phase
(g/cm )
(cp)

0.987, 0.969,
0.946a

1.216, 1.833,
3.043b

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Akin and Demiral


[2005]
Cinar et al. [2007]
((0.824, 0.816, ((2.973, 3.082, ((0.987, 1.022, ((1.216, 1.300, ((0.776, 0.784, ((2.942, 2.999,
0.809,
3.110,
1.055,
1.318,
3.048,
0.803)c , (0.987, 3.131)c , (1.216, 1.066)c , (0.776, 1.323)c , (2.942, 0.783)c , (0.824, 3.062)c , (2.973,
0.969, 0.946)d )a
1.833,
0.772, 0.773)d )a
3.046,
0.858, 0.903)d )a
3.237,
d b
d b
3.043) )
3.111) )
3.749)d )b
Petersen Jr et al.
0.6911e
0.423e
1.0013e
0.336e
0.1642e
0.0218e
[2008]
Perez-Carrillo et al.

58, 2.4

1, 0.24

0.017
[2008]
Dehghanpour et al.
0.703
0.51
1.069
1.23
0.0012
0.02
[2010]
Shahverdi
et
al.
0.317f
0.0405f
0.98f
0.68f
0.211f
0.0249f
[2011a, b]
Shahverdi
et
al.
0.317f
0.0405f
0.98f
0.68f
0.211f
0.0249f
[2011c]
Dehghanpour and Di0.703
0.51
1.069
1.23
0.0012
0.02
Carlo [2011]
Masihi et al. [2011]

g
g
Cao and Siddiqui

4.389

1.116

1.48g
[2011]
Alizadeh and Piri
0.802h
2.526h
1.138h
1.144h
0.063h
0.0187i
[2014]
a

Measured gravimetrically using a 10-cm3 Gay-Lussac bottle


b
Measured using a Cannon-Fenske viscometer
c
For the water-wet condition
d
For the oil-wet condition
e
Measured at 91 C and 200 bar
f
Measured at 37.8 C and 1840 psia
g
At 21.5 C
h
Measured at 800 psig and ambient temperature using equilibrated uids
i
From the literature [Oak , 1989b] at 800 psig and ambient temperature

Interfacial/surface tensions and contact angles reported in dierent studies

Reference
ow (mN/m)
Hagoort [1980]

Perry [1980]

Slack and Ehrlich

[1981]
Saraf et al. [1982]

van Spronsen [1982]

OMeara and Lease

[1983]
Maerefat
and

Parmeswar [1987]
Delshad et al. [1987]

Parmeswar et al.

[1988]
Grader
and
3.7
OMeara [1988]
Maloney
et
al.
26, 51.5f
[1989]
Niko et al. [1989]

Skauge and Matre


0.023
[1989]
Naylor and Frrup

[1989]
Maini et al. [1989]

gw (mN/m)

go (mN/m)

66a , 60b

29a , 30b

ow (deg.) gw

(deg.) go

(deg.)

(7.4104c , 8104d )e

(3104c , 9.4104d )e

6.4

2.5

0.033

In the range of the other


twog
24h

For Berea cores


For Weeks Island cores
c
In two-phase ow
d
In three-phase ow
e
Measured using a spinning drop interfacial tensiometer
f
Measured using a spinning drop tensiometer and not reported for all uid systems
g
The researchers were not able to obtain the interfacial tension between microemulsion and excess oil using the spinning
drop method, but, from the solubilization parameter, it was calculated to be in the range of the other measured tensions
h
Not measured (a literature value at atmospheric pressure and 20 C)
b

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 6.

Table 6.

Interfacial/surface tensions and contact angles reported in dierent studies (contd)

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Reference
Maloney et al. [1990]
Oak et al. [1990]
Oak [1989a, b, 1990]
Naylor et al. [1991]
Oak [1991a, b]
Marek et al. [1991]
Oak [1992]
Eikje et al. [1992]
Kvanvik et al. [1992]
Maloney and Brinkmeyer
[1992]
Hustad and Holt [1992]
Foulser et al. [1992a, b]
Dria et al. [1993]
Muqeem et al. [1993]
Maloney et al. [1993]
Sarma et al. [1994]
Skauge and Larsen [1994]
a

ow (mN/m)

53a

0.023

gw (mN/m)

72b

0.083, 0.091c,d
0.033

31 to 37g

go (mN/m)

25b

0.004, 0.005c,e
In the range of the other
twof

0.033

0.032

0.022

ow (deg.) gw

(deg.) go

(deg.)

Not measured (a literature value) [Oak , 1989b]


Measured using the Wilhelmy Plate method [Oak , 1989b]
c
The two uid batches prepared with the same composition had slightly dierent volume fractions due to uncertainties in
weights and temperature variations in the laboratory
d
Measured using a spinning drop interfacial tensiometer
e
Determined using Huhs [1979] correlation
f
The researchers were not able to obtain the interfacial tension between microemulsion and excess oil using the spinning
drop method, but, from the solubilization parameter, it was calculated to be in the range of the other measured tensions
g
At 23 C
b

Interfacial/surface tensions and contact angles reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
ow (mN/m)
Baker [1995]

Muqeem et al. [1995]

Naylor et al. [1995]

Munkerud and Hoimyr [1995]

Eleri et al. [1995a]

Moulu et al. [1995]

Vizika and Kalaydjian [1995]


32
Grivot et al. [1995]

Eleri et al. [1995b]

Chalier et al. [1995]

Vizika and Lombard [1996]


35, 23, 22.4a
Siddiqui et al. [1996]
4.40, 3.04b
Kalaydjian et al. [1997]
34.6, 28.0
Maloney et al. [1997]

Moulu et al. [1997]


40
Nordtvedt et al. [1997]

Sahni et al. [1998]


50.5, 51.2, 51.4c
Siddiqui et al. [1998]

Moulu et al. [1999]


40.3, 23.8
DiCarlo et al. [2000]
50.5, 51.2, 51.4d
a

gw (mN/m)

71

70, 44, 46.6a


5.81, 6.15b
64.6, 49.7

69

72c

72.1, 46.5
72.0d

go (mN/m)

25.7

0.63
26.5, 25.5a
2.41, 1.83b
27, 25.3

25

18.0, 21.1, 23.7c

27, 26.2
18.0, 21.1, 23.7d

ow (deg.) gw

(deg.) go

(deg.)

Fluids were brought in contact and left for several hours to equilibrate, and then, after separation, their properties were
measured
b
At 20 C [Al-Wadhahi , 1994]
c
Measured using the Drop-Weight method [Adamson, 1990]
d
Measured using the pendant drop technique [Adamson, 1990]

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 6.

Reference

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Egermann
et al. [2000]
Poulsen
et al. [2000]
Grattoni
et al. [2001]
Naylor
et al. [2001]
Drummond
et al. [2001]
Akin
and
Demiral
[2001]
Oedai and
van Wunnik
[2002]
Element
et al. [2003]
Egermann
et al. [2004]
Petersen Jr
et al. [2004]
Cinar and
Orr [2005]
Akin
and
Demiral
[2005]
Cinar et al.
[2007]

27

ow
(deg.)

gw
(deg.)

go
(deg.)

30

71

20

17.25a

0.239, 1.106, 1.583b

2.465, 1.776, 1.622b

2.297, 0.308, 0.028b

38c

45d

138e

((2.297, 3.187, 4.182,


4.172)f ,
(2.465, 1.776, 1.622)g )b

((2.465, 3.244, 4.267,


4.714)f ,
(0.239, 1.106, 1.583)g )b

((0.239, 0.083, 0.012,


0.005)f ,
(2.297, 0.308, 0.028)g )b

ow (mN/m)

gw (mN/m)

go (mN/m)

40.3

72.1

At 21 bar and 20 C (data were derived from a thermodynamic software developed at Institut Francais du Petrole)
b
Measured using a spinning drop tensiometer
c
Between hexadecane-rich and n-butanol-rich; it was measured in the hexadecane-rich phase using a Teon capillary tubing
(when the Teon capillary tubing was replaced with a glass capillary tubing, the contact angle measured in the hexadecanerich phase was 143 )
d
Between hexadecane-rich and water-rich; it was measured in the hexadecane-rich phase using a Teon capillary tubing (when
the Teon capillary tubing was replaced with a glass capillary tubing, the contact angle measured in the hexadecane-rich
phase was 108 )
e
Between water-rich and n-butanol-rich; it was measured in the water-rich phase using a Teon capillary tubing (when the
Teon capillary tubing was replaced with a glass capillary tubing, the contact angle measured in the water-rich phase was
76 )
a

Interfacial/surface tensions and contact angles reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Petersen Jr et al. [2008]
Perez-Carrillo et al. [2008]
Dehghanpour et al. [2010]
Shahverdi et al. [2011a, b]
Shahverdi et al. [2011c]
Dehghanpour and DiCarlo
[2011]
Masihi et al. [2011]
Cao and Siddiqui [2011]
Alizadeh and Piri [2014]
a
b
c

ow (mN/m)
23.1a

51.2

51.2

gw (mN/m)
22.5a

72.0

72.0

go (mN/m)
3.8a

21.1
0.04b
0.04b
21.1

40.766c

61.714c

20.957c

ow (deg.) gw

(deg.) go

(deg.)

Measured using the pendant drop technique at 91 C and 200 bar


Measured at 37.8 C and 1840 psia
Measured using the pendant drop technique at 800 psig and ambient temperature. Measurements were made with equilibrated uids

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 6.

Table 7.

Relative permeability functionalities and phase isoperms reported in dierent studies

Reference

kro a

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Swi d , PSe
Sw , So

Sw , So , GPSHf
(Sw , So )d,h ,
(Sw , So )e,i
OMeara and Lease [1983]

Maerefat and Parmeswar


Sw , So
[1987]
Delshad et al. [1987]
So
Parmeswar et al. [1988]
S w , S o , o
Grader and OMeara [1988]
Sw , So
Hagoort [1980]
Perry [1980]
Slack and Ehrlich [1981]
Saraf et al. [1982]
van Spronsen [1982]

Oil
isopermsc

Concave

Concaveg
Concave

krw a

Concave

Sw
(Sw , So )d,h ,
(Sw , So )e

Sw

Concave
Convex

Sw
S w , o
Sw , So

krg a,b

Water
isopermsc

Linear
Concaved

Sg , GPSHf

Gas
isopermsb,c

Linear

Linear

S w , So

Concave

Linear
Concave

Sg
S w , S o , o
Sw , So

Concave
Convex

Absence of a parameter in this column means that either that parameter was not investigated or the relative permeability
did not depend on it
b
A non-gaseous phase may have been used in some studies
c
Toward the corresponding apex in the ternary diagram
d
For Berea cores
e
For Weeks Island cores
f
The eect of gas phase saturation history in steady-state ow was relatively small and much weaker than unsteady-state
ow
g
For the DDI saturation history
h
This dependency was not strong; i.e., the three-phase oil relative permeability was relatively insensitive to the presence of
other phases. However, the measured data covered a small area in the ternary diagram
i
Only low-value isoperms were reported due to error in high-value isoperms

Relative permeability functionalities and phase isoperms reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference

kro

Maloney et al. [1989]


Sw , So , SH
Niko et al. [1989]
(So & Sw , So )a ,
(Sw , So )b
Skauge and Matre
Sw , So , SH
[1989]
Naylor and Frrup
Swi
[1989]
Maini et al. [1989]
Sw , So , SH
Maloney et al. [1990]
Sw , So

Oak et al. [1990]


Oak [1989a, b, 1990]
Naylor et al. [1991]
Oak [1991a, b]
Marek et al. [1991]
a

(Sw , So )f ,
(So )g
Sw , So , SH

Sw , So , SH

Oil
isoperms
Concave
Lineara ,
Concaveb,c

krw
S w , w

Water
isoperms
Linear

krg
S w , S o , w , o

Gas
isoperms
Slightly concave

Sw , So , SH

Sw , So

Concave
Concave

Sw
Sw

Linear

Sg , SH
Sg

S-shapedf ,
Linearg

Convexi ,
Linearg

Sw

Linear

Sw

Sw

Linear

Linear

(Sw , So )f ,
(Sg )g
Sg , GPSHh

Sg , GPSH

Lineard ,
Slightly
concavee
Concavef ,
Linearg
Linearh

Linear

For Brent cores


For Cormorant cores
c
Toward the water-oil axis
d
For Berea cores
e
For Bentheimer cores
f
For the primary DDI saturation history
g
For the IID saturation history
h
Only for the high-permeability cores (see Oak [1989a, b] and Oak et al. [1990] for the dierence between the low- and
high-permeability cores). However, in the direction of decreasing gas saturation, all the cores showed the same behavior
i
For the DDI saturation history
b

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 7.

Table 7.

Relative permeability functionalities and phase isoperms reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference

kro

Oak [1992]

So

Oil
isoperms

Sw , So
SH, K

(Swi , Sw , So )a ,
(Sw , So )b,c
Sw d , SH
Sw , So , SH, Nca

So

So
Sw , So

Sw , So
(Sw , So )h ,

Eikje et al. [1992]


Kvanvik et al. [1992]

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Maloney
and
Brinkmeyer [1992]
Hustad and Holt [1992]
Foulser et al. [1992a, b]
Dria et al. [1993]
Muqeem et al. [1993]
Maloney et al. [1993]
Sarma et al. [1994]
Skauge and Larsen
[1994]

Baker [1995]
a

(Sw , So , SH)i ,
(So )j
So

krw

Water
isoperms
Convexb,c

Gas
isoperms

Concavee

(Swi , Sw , So )a ,
(Sg )b

Sw , So , SH

Sw

Sg

Linearf ,
Concaveg

Concave

Concave
Concaveh

Sw
Sw

Sw
(Sw )h ,

Sg
Sw , So

Sg
(Sw , So , SH)h ,

Linear

(SH)i ,
(SH)j
Sw , So , SH

Linear

For the primary DDI saturation history


For the secondary DDI saturation history
c
For the DIC saturation history
d
For drainage
e
For increasing excess brine saturation
f
More or less linear when microemulsion saturation increased from zero
g
When microemulsion saturation varied between residual and maximum values
h
In water-wet cases
i
In intermediate-wet cases
j
In oil-wet cases
b

krg

(SH)i ,
(CDH)j
Sg , SH, Sw ,
WPSH

Linear

Relative permeability functionalities and phase isoperms reported in dierent studies (contd)

Reference
Muqeem et al. [1995]
Naylor et al. [1995]
Munkerud and Hoimyr
[1995]
Eleri et al. [1995a]
Moulu et al. [1995]
Vizika and Kalaydjian
[1995]
Grivot et al. [1995]
Eleri et al. [1995b]
Chalier et al. [1995]
Vizika and Lombard
[1996]
Siddiqui et al. [1996]
Kalaydjian et al. [1997]
Maloney et al. [1997]
Moulu et al. [1997]
Nordtvedt et al. [1997]
Sahni et al. [1998]
Siddiqui et al. [1998]
Moulu et al. [1999]
DiCarlo et al. [2000]
Egermann et al. [2000]
Poulsen et al. [2000]
a

In
In
c
In
d
In
e
In
b

kro

krw

Sw , So
So
Cso a

Oil
isoperms
Concave

Sw

Water
isoperms

Sw , So
Sw , So

Concave
Convex

Sw
Sw

Sw , So

Cso a , (Sw , So )b ,
(SH, CDH)c
SH
Sg , Sw

Sw , So

Cso , W

Sw
Sw

Cso , W

Sw , So
Cso
So
Sw , So
Sw , So
So , Cso

So
So a,b , Cso , W

Sw , So

Convex

Sw , So

Sw
Sw , So
Sw , So
Sw

Sw , So
Sw b , Soi c , W

(Sw d , So )e

Sw , So
Cso
Sg
Sw , So
Sw , So

Sg
(Sw , So )a,b , W
SH, CDH

Linear

oil-wet cases
water-wet cases
mixed-wet cases
the direction of decreasing water saturation
the direction of increasing water saturation

krg

Gas
isoperms

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Table 7.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Concave

Sw , So , SH
Sw , So , SH
Sw , So , Soi d

Oil
isoperms

go

go , W
Sw , So

(Sw , So , SH,
CDH)a
Sw , So , SH
(Sw , So )c

In water-wet cases
In oil-wet cases
c
For tertiary free gravity drainage
d
Weak sensitivity

Shahverdi et al. [2011c]


Dehghanpour and DiCarlo
[2011]
Masihi et al. [2011]
Cao and Siddiqui [2011]
Alizadeh and Piri [2014]

Egermann et al. [2004]


Petersen Jr et al. [2004]
Cinar and Orr [2005]
Akin and Demiral [2005]
Cinar et al. [2007]
Petersen Jr et al. [2008]
Perez-Carrillo et al. [2008]
Dehghanpour et al. [2010]
Shahverdi et al. [2011a, b]

Flow rate
SH

kro

Sw
Sw , So , SH
Sw

go b , W
Sw , So

Sw
Sw , So , SH,
CDH, W
Sw , So

Flow rate
SH
(SH, CDH)a

krw

Water
isoperms

Sg
Sw , So , SH
Sg , SH

Flow rate

(SH,
CDH)a

go

go , W
Sw , So

Sw , So , SH,
CDH, W
Sw , So , SH

krg

Relative permeability functionalities and phase isoperms reported in dierent studies (contd)

Grattoni et al. [2001]


Naylor et al. [2001]
Drummond et al. [2001]
Akin and Demiral [2001]
Oedai and van Wunnik [2002]
Element et al. [2003]

Reference

Table 7.

Gas
isoperms

krj

krj

(a)

Sj

(b)

Sj

Figure 1. Relative permeability of phase j versus its saturation. (a) Phase relative permeability
is the same regardless of saturation paths taken to approach point A. (b) Dierent saturation
paths have resulted in dierent relative permeability values at point A.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Sg

DDI

Sw

DDI

Swi

So

Figure 2. Two DDI saturation histories (solid lines). Although both these saturation histories
fall into the same category, they have started following two distinct saturation paths resulting in
dierent initial uid congurations.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

'





*DV
'





t
:
DW HU



*DV
'






*DV
'
 








 



:DW HU
t





K



t
:DW HU


K
2LO







*DV
'













K
2LO









 









2LO
K






t
:
DW HU






*DV
'





t
:DW HU











K
2LO

Figure 3. Three-phase relative permeability results of low-permeability, water-wet Berea core.


(a) Water isoperms for primary DDI saturation history. (b) Water isoperms for IID saturation
history. (c) Oil isoperms for primary DDI saturation history. (d) Oil isoperms for IID saturation
history. (e) Gas isoperms for primary DDI saturation history. (f) Gas isoperms for IID saturation
history [Oak , 1989a, b; Oak et al., 1990].
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

'
*DV


t
:
DW HU









K
2LO



'

*DV
'

,
Y





'
*DV

0. 1




K
2LO



t
:DWHU


K
2LO












 





*DV
'







t
:DWHU



t
:DWHU












K
2LO

Figure 4.
Three-phase relative permeability results of water-wet Berea cores. (a) Water
isoperms for all saturation histories. Dotted lines are from two-phase data. (b) Oil isoperms for
primary DDI, IID, IDD, IDI, DID, and IDC saturation histories. Dotted lines are approximated
isoperm curves. (c) Oil isoperms for secondary DDI and DII saturation histories. Dotted lines
are approximated isoperm curves. (d) Gas isoperms for DDI, DII, and IDI saturation histories.
Dotted lines are from two-phase data. (e) Gas isoperms for IID, IDD, and DID saturation
histories. Dotted lines are from two-phase data [Oak , 1989a, b, 1990].
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Figure 5. Re-plotting Oak s oil relative permeability of the water-wet cores in triangular prism
diagrams. The upper left view (a) is a view of the prism from above, showing the distribution of
data in ternary (saturation) coordinates. The lower left view (b) is a side view of the prism. The
lower right view (c) is perpendicular to view (b) and shows the spread of the data in saturationpermeability space. The upper right view (d) is a three-dimensional perspective view of the
prism [Baker , 1995].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

*DV


/
//




:DWHU
Figure 6.







Eect of saturation history on oil relative permeability in intermediate-wet Berea

sandstone [Oak , 1991a, b].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

krj

Cycle 2
Cycle 1

Sj
Figure 7.

Conventional and cycle-dependent hysteresis behavior for relative permeability.

Phase relative permeability not only shows conventional hysteresis in each cycle but also is
dierent between the two cycles for the same saturation direction.

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.













































*DV5HODWLYH3HUPHDELOLW\

2LO5HODWLYH3HUPHDELOLW\

:DWHU5HODWLYH3HUPHDELOLW\

















Figure 8.



2LO6DWXUDWLRQ

:DWHU6DWXUDWLRQ

*DV6DWXUDWLRQ

Three-phase water, oil, and gas relative permeability results for water-wet Ben-

theimer cores (square: decreasing phase saturation, circle: increasing phase saturation). The
solid curves are curve ts representing the respective two-phase relative permeabilities of each
direction [Alizadeh and Piri , 2014].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

:$7(5,623(506

2,/,623(506

*$6,623(506

Figure 9.

Three-phase relative permeability results for Berea (left) and Bentheimer (right)

sandstones. Isoperms shown are in percent [Maloney et al., 1990].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

(a)

Water
(b)

Wetting film
Wetting layer

Oil
(c)

Altered wettability
surface

Oil
Figure 10.

Wettability alteration in a triangular pore or throat. (a) Before primary oil

migration (primary drainage), the element is fully saturated with water and is water-wet. (b)
During primary drainage, oil displaces water from the center of the element and leaves water as
wetting layers in high-curvature corners and as wetting lms on low-curvature surfaces. (c) The
thin water lms may rupture locally, resulting in the direct contact of oil with the solid surface
and hence in wettability alteration. The bold line represents surfaces with altered wettability
[Hui and Blunt, 2000].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

(a)

(b)
oil

water
Figure 11.

gas

water

gas

oil

Schematic conguration of uids in (a) a uniformly water-wet corner and (b)

a uniformly oil-wet corner (oil-wet surfaces are shown in bold face). It has been shown that
conguration (b) does not exist [DiCarlo et al., 2000].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

(a)

(b)

go

gas

oil

gw
gas

water

go

gw
ow

ow

water

water-wet surface

oil

oil-wet surface

Figure 12. Conguration of uids on (a) a at water-wet surface and (b) a at oil-wet surfaces
(shown in bold face) [DiCarlo et al., 2000].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Figure 13. Measured three-phase oil and water relative permeabilities with n-octane as the
oil for water-wet, oil-wet, mixed-wet, and fractionally-wet sand. Open symbols denote drainages
that started from residual oil saturation, and closed symbols denote drainages that started from
connate water saturation [DiCarlo et al., 2000].
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

(a)

gw

gas

go

oil

ow

water

solid surface

(b)

gas
oil
water

solid surface
oil film
(c)

gw

eq

gas

goeq

oil
water

oweq

solid surface
i
Figure 14. Conguration of three uids in contact. (a) Non-spreading, Cso
< 0. (b) Spreading,
i
eq
i
eq
> 0 and Cso
0. (c) Partially spreading, Cso
> 0 and Cso
< 0 [Fenwick and Blunt, 1998a].
Cso

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.







(b)

(a)

Figure 15.




(c)

Gas and oil relative permeabilities for Cso > 0 and Cso < 0. (a) In water-wet

porous media. (b) In oil-wet porous media. (c) In fractionally-wet porous media [Vizika and
Lombard , 1996].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.



NUR






a
a
a

a
a
a a
aa
a aa




Figure 16.

aa
a
aa
aa
aaaaaaa
a
a
a
a aaaaaaaa aa
aaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaa a
aaaaaa
a
a
aaaaaaa
aa
a
a
a
a
a
a
aaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaa
a
aa aaaa
aaaa
aaaaaaaaaaa a
aaa
aa
a aaaaaa aaaaaaa
a aa
aa aa aaa aa a
a aaa
aa aa a
a aa aa a a aa
a
a
a
a









6R




a
a aa
a
a a a aa
aa aa a a aa
a
aa
aaa aaaaa a
aaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaaa
a
a
a
aaa aa
a a aaa
aa aa aa
a aaaaaaaaa aaaa
aa a a
a aaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
a
a aaaaaaaaaaaa
a aa
aa a
aa aaaa aa aaa
aa aa
aa
aa
a
a
aaa
a
a
aa
a
a

NURa6
R



NUR

NURa6
R



([SHULPHQW


aaaa



6R





NUR

([SHULPHQW




([SHULPHQW

NURa6
R

aa

a
aa aaa aaaaaa
a aaaaa aaa
a
a
a
a
a
a
a a a
a aaaa
a aaaaaaa
a
a
a aaaaaaa
aaaaa
aaaaa aaaa
aaaaaa a
aaa
a
a
a
a
aa
a
aaa a
aa aaaaaaaa
a aaaaaaaa a
aaa
a aaaaaaa aaaaaaaa
a aa
a
a
aaaaa a
aa
a








6R

Oil relative permeability at high oil saturations. When oil ows through oil lled

pores and throats, kro Soa , where a 4, irrespective of the spreading coecient. Octane,
hexane, and decane were used for experiments 1, 4, and 5, respectively [Sahni , 1998].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Experiment 1

10-2

k ro

10-3
-4

10

10-5
10-6

aaaa
aa
a
aa
aa
aaaaaaaa
2.3
a
a
a
k ro ~ So
aaaaaaaa aa
aaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaa a
a
a
a
aaaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaa
aaaaaaaa aaaa aaaaa
a
a
aaa aaaa aa
aaaaaaaaaa
a aa
aaaa
a aaaaaa aaaaaa
a aa a
a
aa aa aaa a
a
a aaa a
aa aa a
Octane
a
a
a
a a a a a a a aa
Soi=0.81
aa a
a aa a
a
a a
Sand
a
a

10-7
10-2

10-1

10-3

Experiment 3

10-1

10-5

10-2

aa a
a a aaaaa aaaa
aaaa a aaaa
aa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa a
a aaaaaaaaa a aa a
a aaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaa
a aa aaaaaaaaaa
a aa
a
a
aa a aa aaaa aaa a aaa
a aa
a a aaa
a
aa a a a aa
aa a a
a
a

10-6
10-7
10-2

10-2

k ro

10-3
10-4
10-5

Octane
Soi=0.15
Sand

10-6

Experiment 5
aa
a
aa aa a a aaaa a
a aaaaaa a a a
aaaaaaaa aaaa
a
a
a
a
a aa
aa aaaa
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
a
aaa
aaaaa aaaaaaaa
a
aa a aaa a
aaaaaaaaaa a
aa
a
aa aa a aa aaa a
a a aaa
a
a aaaa aaa a aaaaaaaa aaaa
a a a
a
a
Decane
a aaaa a
a a
Soi=0.85
a

10-1
10-2
10-3

Figure 17.

10-1

So

Experiment 6
k ro ~ S2.3
o

a aa
a aa
a
aa a
aa aaa a
a a aa
a a
aaaa
a aaa aaa aa aaaaaaaaa
a aaaaaaaaaa
aaaa
a
a
a
a
a
a
a a a a a a
aaaaaaa aaaaa aa aaaa a
a aaaaaa aaa aa
aa a
aa

10-4

Octane
Soi=0.30
Sandstone

10-6

10-7

So

a
a aa
aa
aaa a
a a aa a a aa
k ro ~ S2.0
o
aa
aa aaaaaa a
a
a
a
aaaaaa a
a
a aa
aaaaaaaaaaa aaaa
a
a a aaa
aaa aaaaaaaa
a
a aaaaaaa
aa a a
a aaa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
a
a aaaaaaaaaaaaaa
a aa
aa a
aa aaaa aa aaa
aaa aa
aa
aa
Hexane
a
a
a
a
a aa
Soi=0.80
a
aa
a
a
Sand

10-5

Sand

10-1

Experiment 4

k ro ~ S4.3
o

So

10-7
10-2

So

10-6

10-4
10-5

10-1

1
10-1

10-3

k ro

10-4

k ro ~ S2.0
o

Octane
Soi=0.13
Sand

10-1

k ro

k ro

10-3

10-7
10-2

10-1
10-2

10

aa aaaaa a
aaa aa
aa
a a aaaaaaaa
aaa a a a
aaaaaaaaaaa
a
a
a
a
aa
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaa
a
aa aaaaa a
a
a
a
aa aa aaaaaaaaaa aa
a aa a aaa
a
aaaa a aa
aaa
aaaa
a a aa a a
a
a
a

10-6

So

-4

10-5

10-1

k ro ~ S2.0
o

10-2

k ro

10-1

Experiment 2

10-7
10-1

So

Oil relative permeability at low oil saturations. For spreading oils, such as octane

and hexane (experiments 1, 2, 3, 4, 6), kro Soa where a 2. For non-spreading oils, such as
decane (experiment 5), the layer drainage regime is absent [Sahni , 1998].
c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

,)7 Q%XWDQROULFK:DWHUULFK P1P


Figure 18.

Relative permeability of the n-butanol-rich oil phase as a function of IFT at

determined saturation values [Cinar and Orr , 2005].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Figure 19.

Multiphase ow isoperms. (a) Gas isoperms for low oil viscosity system. (b)

Gas isoperms for high oil viscosity system. (c) Brine isoperms for low oil viscosity system. (d)
Brine isoperms for high oil viscosity system. (e) Oil isoperms for low oil viscosity system. (f) Oil
isoperms for high oil viscosity system [Parmeswar et al., 1988].

c
2014
American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.