CHE Seminars  

Speaker Prof. Kishore K. Mohanty
Center for Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, USA
Topic Scale-up of Unstable Immiscible Flow in Porous Media
Date 11,March 2016 (Thursday)
Place L-12
4 pm. - 5 pm.

Water or polymer flooding of viscous petroleum reservoirs suffers from viscous fingering and low recovery. Modeling these unstable displacements at reservoir scales have always been a challenge because of large grid size restrictions and pore-scale nature of instabilities. In this study, viscous fingering was visualized for different viscosity ratios in silica micromodels. Silica micromodels were saturated with oil of different viscosities ranging from 1 cp to 10,000 cp and then displaced with water or glycerol creating a range of viscosity ratios ranging from most stable displacement at 0.005 to most unstable displacement at 10000. A simplified probabilistic network model was developed to simulate viscous fingers. The model successfully captures the viscous fingering both in terms of a dimensionless number that includes capillary number and viscosity ratio. This correlation was validated in unstable displacement experiments in cylindrical cores. Using this knowledge of sweep and fingering pattern at the small scale, a lumped finger model was developed for modeling fingering at larger scales. In the lumped model, all the fingers smaller than the grid were lumped into one main linearly growing finger. We assume that two-phase flow occurs only in the growing finger and single-phase flow occurs outside the finger. A 3-parameter fingering function was developed that satisfies the width of the lumped finger. This fingering function is a function of dimensionless group. The lumped finger model is incorporated in large-scale simulation to model oil recovery.

Dr. Kishore K. Mohanty is a professor and the director of the Center for Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. He received a BTech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and PhD from University of Minnesota, both in Chemical Engineering. He worked at ARCO Oil & Gas Company for 10 years after his PhD. Then he moved to University of Houston where he taught for 18 years before joining UT. He has received many awards including the Lucas Gold Medal from the SPE-AIME in 2013.

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