The Effect of Mixed Wettability on Pore-Scale Flow Regimes Based on a Flooding Experiment in Ketton Limestone

M. Rücker (Corresponding author), W. B. Bartels, K. Singh, N. Brussee, A. Coorn, H. A. van der Linde, A. Bonnin, H. Ott, S. M. Hassanizadeh, M. J. Blunt, H. Mahani, A. Georgiadis, S. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Darcy-scale multiphase flow in geological formations is significantly influenced by the wettability of the fluid-solid system. So far it has not been understood how wettability impacts the pore-scale flow regimes within rocks, which were in most cases regarded as an alteration from the base case of strongly water-wet conditions by adjustment of contact angles. In this study, we directly image the pore-scale flow regime in a carbonate altered to a mixed-wet condition by aging with crude oil to represent the natural configuration in an oil reservoir with fast synchrotron-based X-ray computed tomography. We find that the pore-scale flow regime is dominated by ganglion dynamics in which the pore space is intermittently filled with oil and brine. The frequency and size of these fluctuations are greater than in water-wet rock such that their impact on the overall flow and relative permeability cannot be neglected in modeling approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3225-3234
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • flow regime
  • ganglion dynamics
  • micro-CT
  • multiphase flow
  • waterflood
  • wettability

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