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SPE/DOE 27789
Mechanistic Prediction of Foam Displacement in
A Population Balance Approach
A.R. Kovscek, T.W. Patzek, and C.J. Radke, U. of California
SPE Members
Multidimensions:
Capytight 1994, society of Petroleum Englnee,,, 1..
TM PaPm was PrePa,fl ~or PP?$eMO at the SPE/DOE NIn,h Sym@um 0 lmPmved 01[ Recovery held 1, Tuba., Oklahoma, USA., 17.20 APfl! 7%4,
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of where and by whom the paper is pmseoted, Write tibrartan, $PE, P.0, Box 833036, .Whard$on, TX 7508$38.35, uSA.. Telex 163245 .SPEUT.
ARSTRAC~
The high mobility of typical gases used in enhanced oil
recovery (EOR) techljiqfies imp?iiriultimate oil recovery.
Foamed gas, though, is a promisiilg ~$en[ Rx achieving
mobility contmih porous niedi~. Because reservoir-scale
simulation is a vilal c.omponem of dle eagineerit:g- and
economic evaluation of tiIIy EOR project, efticiem apphcat ion
of foom as a di$plricemerit fluid iequirtis a jrc(fictive numerica[
model, Untbrtu.nately, DOsuch model is cumendy available for
foam injL2iio11in the field. .,,., ..
. . ....... ... . .=.. .,=, .
We have incorporate a conservatioil i@atimi Rir the
number density of foam bubbles ilito ~n i]riplicit, ti]ree-
dimensional, compositional, an(t thermal reservoir simulator
and crated a fully functional, mecbanisiic foam simulator.
Because fmjn mobility ~s.a stioIIg funclioi bf bubhk texture,
tile bubble population balance is necessxy to make accurate
pre~ic[ioils of: fo~:flow.bell?yit~r, Fglm. geaerafi~ll muf
destruction .meinclu~edthiotigb iaie exprewions tlil[ depend
on saturations and surfacmnt concentration, Gas. relative
permeability and effective Viscosify* mtiilified aci@ing to
the texlure of foani bubbl~$. In this paper, we explore foam
flow in radiaf, layered, and hewrogcneous porous media.
simulations inradial geometria$ ini.licati diii foam ca[i be
formed deep within rock fonrmtions, but that the rate of
.. . .7. . ..
propagation is S1OW.,FOWproves effec[we m controlling gas
mobility in l?y&cd PmQLS.InpdiaLSijllifiCalll.f lQw tii.ve=mig!;.
and sweep improveniellt by foam are preJ1cted, regardk%s of
whether the layers are comunicnting or isolated.
References ,andillustiitions at end of p?per
INTRODUCTION
Gases, such as steam, carbon dioxide, natural gas, and
S?netimes nitrogen, are used as drive fluids in oil recovery
processes. However, these gases have low viscosities
comp,ared to oil and, ihus, tend to channel selectively through
zones of high permeability. Also, because they are less dense
d,=,, crude oil, thc<e gases tend to migrate to .tile top of tie ..
resecvoir, overriding the oil-rich zones. Traditional gas-
displacement processes are improved substantially by
contmlli!lg gas mobility and thereby improving volumetric
dkplacenrent efficiency;
Recent steam-foam field studies 1-3 demons~ate that foam
injectirii incre=sesORrecovery. Patzek and Koinis3 showed
major oil-recovery response after about two years of foti -
injegirm ill two different pilot studies at the Kem River field.
They report incremed production of 5.5 to 14% of the OOIP
over a fivEyiti period. MohammaJl and McCollum2 showed
that the addition of surfaclam to a sti+ani ffodd diverts steam
away from high permeabilhy streaks zmdincreases prw.luction.
Friedmann et al. 1 report more even injectioll profiles witi
sfcam foam, in-situ fimm generation, aiiri foam propagation in
rock format itiis.
These studiesdemonstrate that tie field application of
foaiii~i a t~hni&lly F]able EOR process. Efficient application
.?nd evaluation o.fcanti!ti~es for foim EOR proce:ses, though,
requira$ a predictive numericaf model of foam displacement. A
mechanistic model would also expdte scale-up of the process
from the laboratory to $e fiel~ state. No mechanistic, tield-
scafe model for foam thsplacement is currently in use.
.Ue popula[ioa-balance method for modeling foani in
porous m@ia4,5 is meclmnistic and incorporates foam into
71
2 MECHANISTIC PREDICTION OF FO_AMDISPLACEMENT SPE2778~
fN MULTfDIMENSIONS: .APOPULATION BALANCE APPROACH -
reservoir simulmors in a manner. tha( is analogous to energy
and species: mass balances. .Accorrlingly, a separate
conservation e,qnation is written for the concentration of fonnr
bubbles. This. simply adds another component to a standard
c0mp0si60rZti ,simulator.
Until recerrtfy, the population balance methorf has. only
been usetf to model steady-state resulls in glnrrs beadl?ac@4.
78, but not and Berea sandstone! or to predict transieru flow ,
both. Earlier, we presented [he results of an extensive
experimental and simulation study of transient ant sieady
fosnrr flow in orte-dimensicnmf porous media 9-1 ]. This initinf
work detailed the development of a mech,nnis!ic model for
foam tilsplacement that was emily implementable, titled
simply into the framework of current reservoir simulators, amf
employed a minimum qf physically mermin~ful parameters 11.
Propagation of foam frontswbldn Boise sandstone was tracked
expelimen(ally and simulated successfully under a variety of
injection modes and initial condhions 10.
This paper extends nn.r. fo.an ..displatement model to
nrultittimensiiirral, compositioi><at,and rrm]isotbenrml reservoir
simulation. For numerical stabilil y and to accommodate the
long lime steps necessary fur successful reservoir-scale
simulation, a fully iinplicit backwwd diiTirencing scheme is
used. The simulafor employs $atura[imr WI. surfactant
concentration ifepcndent ra(e expressions for lamella formation
and destruction. LnrneIla mvfdtizatirmis similarly included, To
allow diiect compinriso-nwit b our previrrus rnre-rhnrmirmrd
re~,[~lo!ii
, we discuss only is@)ermal, cous[anl surfactant
concerrtrat ion; and oil-free systems. Veriticat ion exercism ,nre
performed here to validNe our fo,anr displacement model in
muttidinrensicms. Thus, foiari flnw in sever,al linear and layered
heterogeneous systems i.s examined to discover tfle @e foam
plays in gas displacement through zones of contrasting
penneahility and to highli#i[ the inlerplay of .foani bubble
textwe and gzs mobility.
Fomiri Porous Merfil ._ _.....
. .-=- . ... .
Form microstructure in porous medi; is uiiquel 2.
According y, to mrylel gas Iqnbilit y it is.. i!npimtant to
understand foamed-gas micros.tmct ure *1.,In w?ter-wet porous
metla, the wetting surfactrmt solution rern,ains continuous, aild
the gas phase is dispersed. Aqueous tiquid completely
occupies the .$rnallestpore channels wher~ i(is hel.d.by strong
cnpilknry forces, coals pcire walls in thi gas-lined regions, and
composes tbekanellae seprwuing individu,at gii.. bubbles. Only
miiinwd amounts ot @id transport as knnellae. Mnst of the
aqueous phase is mrried through [M small,. completely liquid-
filled clunmels. .G&.bubblei !lQw..(fuougb ttie larg~<t, Ee+st
resistive pore space whale iigliit@mbubble trapping eccrrrs in
the intermediate-sized pore channels where the local pressure
gmdientis @@cieilt to O@il~el-tiSllqe. ..
Foam reduces gas .rnohllity in two manners. -Fffst,
stationary m !rapped foam blocks fi Imge number of channels
that otherwise cnmy gas. Gas tracer studim8, 13 show that the
fraction of gas trapped within a foanr at steady state in
sandstones is quite large and lies between 85 and 99%.
Second, bubble ~ins, within the flowing fraction encounter
signifitiit drag because of the presence of pore walls and
corrsrrictions, and because the gns/tiqrrid interracial area of a
flowing bubble is constantly altered by viscous .mrl capilkuy
forces14,15. Hence, fo~ mobility depends stonidy Oritie
fraction of gas tiapperJ and ihe texture or. number density of
foam bubbles.
Bubble trains me in a constant stale of renrrnngerirent by
varied foam gerrerat ion and destruction mechanisms 12.
Individual foam bubbles are molded and shaped by pore-level
making and bretilng processes that depend strongly on the
porous medium6>12. To account for foam texture iii a
mechanistic sense, foam generation and coalescence must be
tracked direcl[y. Additimmlly, bubble trains halt when the Iocnf
pressure gradient is insuftkienti to keep them mobilized, aud
other trains then begin to !1ow. }ubble trains exist OnlYon a
time-averaged sense. More detailed summaries of tlre.pore-
Ievel rfistributioa of ftairn, ii)d the mechanisms controlling
texture wegiven in refs. 11 and 12.
JWODEI,lNG FOAM DEW. ACEMENT
A variety of empiricaI and theoretical methods for
rnotlelblg fonrn tlsptncement ae available in the literature.
These range from population balance metfrods4-8, 11 to
percolritio rnorie1s16-20 and from applying so-called
fractional ffow theories
21,22
to semi-empiriml alteration of
gas-phase mobMie#,23-29. Of these four metmds, only the
population bal,ance method and network or percolation models
arise from tlst principles.
PI?L lation lance Mode
The power of the populatimi biianci model lie; in
addressing directly the evolution of foain texture an~i in tUm,
reductions in gas m6bili1y. Gas oroh]li.ty is as%asseddirectly
from the concentration. of bubhl~~. Fnrther, the me flrod is
mecbanis[ic inthat well-documented pore-level events are
portrayed in fo,m gener@5n,. coalwcence, and. constitu tive
relmions. Most inqxman[ly, the population balance provides a
geneml framework where all the relev,ant physics .of foam
gencrnt iirh and tmrrsport may beexpressed.
We chose the population balance method because of its
geii{ralit y and becau%of ihe simil,tityof the equationsto tile
usual, m~ss and ?nergybalances i&it comprise cOrnpOSiliOnal
reservoir simulation. Only a brieFsumma8y of the method is
given here as considerable details are available, in the
liternture9-11.
The requisite niaitiial balance on chemical species i
during mull ipbase ffovi in porous merha is written as
I
72
spj327789 :::
A: U. KOVSCEK, T W. PATZEK, and C. J. RADKE 3..
.?[o~(Sjci,j+.ii,j) ~.~ v.Fi,j=.x :ij
(1)
LJ JJ J
where S is the .satu.iatioii 0[ Pliis& j, C is (he molar
concentration of sPeties iifiplme j, r is the absorption m
partitioning k)SSeSQf.spec~m i frOm phase j in Uni[Sofrnoles
per void volume, F isthe vetlor of cimvective plus {iffusive
flux of species i infihase j, and q is a rate of generaiiii of i in
phase j per unit volume of pnrois medium. TQobtain the total
mass Qfspeciw i, we smii ovfiMlphases j.
In the f:ani bubble populsitiai balaace Sf nf tefrfaces SiCij
where nf is the number cQricentratiQn or number density of
foam bubbles per unit volume of flowing gas aad Sf is the
saturation of flQwing gas. Hence, the first term Qf the time
derivative is the rate at which flowing foam texture becomes
finer or co<arseiper unit rock volume. Since foam partitions
into flowing arid s@onrry pcalions, r txcomes Stn[ where St
and nt are the saturation Qf tie stationary gas rmd the texture of
the trapped foam per unit volume of mrpped gas, respectively.
Tfius, the secmid term of the time ~erivative gives the aet raie
at which bubbles trap. Trapped tii>dflowilig fbam saturatirm
sum m the overall gas syturatjon, Sg = Sf + Sg. The second
term on the Ieft of Eq. (1) traiki the conveclioa of foam
bubbl.e.s where the flux, F, is givil]-by ;rnf, rmd fif ii the
Darcy velocity ~f the..ffqwing foam. Einrdly, q becomes the net
rate of generati~p of foam buhblti~. Becayse foqn is present
only iu the gasphase, there is no need 10sum over all phases.
Withia the above framework, fnmii is a componeit of the gas
phase and the physics of foiun geueracioi and transport
become arnemtble to strml,ard reservoir simulat inn practice.
Theuet raie of fmamgeueratimx
qf =$Sg [k&/ ~/: -k.J(Pc )liind 1 (2)
is written per unit volume of gas. In the simulations m follow,
we do not inject. pfegrni%aterl foam and so we do not require a
source/sink tenh for bubbles9 11. Iri[erstitial velocities, i.e., VI
= Ui/@ i, are local vector quaifi[iis tliat depend on. thelocal
saturation and toml potent izl ~ra[lent, iiicludi.ng gravity and
capillmy pressure. Foam genemtiun .is taken as a power-law
expression that is proporlitiiml to-the inagninrde of the llux of
surfactant solulinn multiplied by the 1/3 power of Ihe
magnitude of the interstitinf gas velochy. The liquid-velocity
dependence. ..origiilates:. from the net imposed liquid flow
through pores occupied by botl]~+ and liquid, while dle gas-
velocity dependence ,arises fiim the time for a aewly formed
lens to exit a prire30. Snap-off iii ieasibly iudepindent of
surfactant properties consistent wi[hits mechaaic,al migia 12.
The proportionality cQnstayt retlects the number of foam
genninatioi sites. Int uiti-vely, the number of sgap:off sites f.tils
with decreasing liquid saturafiiiri. Hnwever, kl is t,aken as a
constant here., The generaii[ri] rate exfiiessiim riotk jary
,.
implicitly with firtuid saturation through the gas and firtuid
veiocitiei..
To prevent coalescence of newly formed gas bubbles, a
surfactarit must stabilize the ms/fiauid interface. Foam
kuaellae form given sufficient Su;tlon ;apillmy pressure and a
stabilizing surfactant. However, too high a suction-capillary
12 A ffowing lamella is pressure will collapse a kunella
vulnerable to breakaje in termination sites as it flowsinto i
divergent pore space where it is stretched rapidly. If sufficient
time does not elapse for surfactant solutiou to flow into a
lamella and. heal it, coalescenceensuM31.
-Equation (2) shows that foam l~ellae we destroy,@ in
proportion to tire magnitude of lheir interstitial flux, ;fnf, into
such termination sites. TM coalescence rate constant, k.l(Pc),
varies strongly with the local capillary pressure and smfactant
foimrdation. It is given by
(1
2
k.l(P=) =k:l & ,
cc
(3)
where tfie scaling factor, ko- 1, is taken as a constaat and PC*is
the fimiting capillary pressure for foam crmlescence32.
Th,&limiting capillary pressure, PC*, as identified by
.Khatib e[ aL32 refers to the characteristic vafue of capillruy
pressure that a porous medium approaches during strong foaat
flow amd is set primarily by surfaclmrt formulation and
concentration. Highly concentrated foamer solutions and
robust surfaclants lead tn high a PC*. To interrelate low
mQbiIity foams in porous media (i.e., that exhibit high limiting
mfjifiarj ~ressuresj with the stability of.single foam films,
_Axusomg[ rrL33 recently measured the rupture capillary
pressures of siagle films, IImP at a variety of suif?itant and
brine concentrations aud then compared the steady-state
pressure drop of N2 foams in 2.3pm2 Ircadpacks formed from
tire same fmmer solution. Low mQMity foam with large PC*
emerged in their experiments once ~mP exceeded the porous
medium capillary prewme. They conclude that the limiting
capillary pressme of foam in porous media is close tQ the
rupture prewure single isolated forun films. Large Hrup of
ia&lvidual frmm films is frmdaraentd to obtaining s&?blefoams
in poraus medh.
In tile simulations of heterogeneous porous media to
follow we assrnne d]at PC* is a constant, independent of
abs.olule permeability. Foam-lamella coalescence is
determined mainly by llmp of the isalated lamelfae which, in
turn is set by theconceiuration and tyfx of surfactant, and not
the nature the porous medium 31. Eqnation (3) correctly
predicts that at high capillwy pressures or for ineffective :
fmuaer solutions fc.I is quite high 32,33. The fo<amcOalesCence
rate approaches iafini(y as the porous medium capilfary
pressure approachm PC*. We also wnune geometic siaiilarit y
73
4 MECHANISTIC PREDICTION .OFFOAM DISPLACEMENT SPE 277t39
IN MULTfDIMENSIONS: A POPULAmON BALAFP2E APPROACH
between layers of.differiig peniw%bility. Thus, for a uniform
liquid saturation in the heterogeneous medium foam is more
vulnerable to breakage in the low permeability zones because
Pc scales iiwersely as the square root of the absolute
permeability ,ac.coding m the Le~erett J-function50.
In addition to bubble kinetic expressions, the mass balance
statements for chemical species demand constitutiie
relationships for thecorwec~ion of ftiti and wetting fiquid
phases. Dzcys law is retained, including siimdwd multiphase
relative penneabith y fimctions. However, for flowing frxam,
we replace tJ]egas viscosity with an effective viscosily relation
for foam: Since flowing gas bubbles lay down rJ]inlubricatil]~
films of wettiligfiquid on pore walls, they do not exhibit a
Newtonian viscosity. We adopt an effective viscosity relation
that increassk foain effective viscosity&s texture ini$f~ies, btit
is ak.o shcaa tbinnin~
wf=~+~ =
(4)
where o. is constant of proportionality depemfeut mainly upon
the surfactaot system. .In Ihe limit. tif no flowiig foam we
recover the @ viscosity. This relation is crmsisten[ WNJ dle
classical result of Breth:rJon 34 fbr slow bubble flow in
capilkay tubes (see also, iefs. 14, 35).
Finally, stationary foam blocks large portions of the cross-
sectimml area available for gas flow. and, thus, must be
accounted ftir todetermine gas flux. Since the portion of@
dmt acmall y flows partitions selective y into the I<wgest,least
resistive flow channels, we adopt a standard St.o.oe-type
mtie136 mat, ~lorig ~i!~ efiictive viscosi[y, specifies gas-
phase flow resistance. Because wetting aqueous tiquid tlows in
the smallest pore space, itsrelafive penneabilit y is unaffected
by tile piesetice of flowilig and stat immry fuam in accotdrsace
with the experimental results. of refs. 37-42. Since Ilowiag
foam partitions selectively into the largest pgre space; [be
relative permeability of the nonwetting flowing grm is a
function ofridy Sf. Crmsequii]tiy, gm nibbility is rnticb
reduced in comp,arisgn to rm unformed gas propagating
through a porous medhm, becmse the fraction of g&stlowing
--s 13
at any instmlt is Quite small ,
COMPOSITIONAL FOAM SIMU.LATOR
Our3artiug @liitT@ multidimensional foam simulation is
M2NOTS (Mu]fifihhse Milti&nnprment Nonisotberrnal
Organi&sTwMpoft Simulat@, 3 u~nisothennzd, n-cqmponent,
cmnpositienial simulator capable of handling [hree-pbme flow
in respmse to VRCOUS, @avity, snidcapillary forces43 (also see
I-efs.44, 45).
M2NOTS tX,eS-(he iii@iaI fiaite difference nlHbOd
(fFDM) m dkcrefize the flow domzin (cJ(, ref. 46). Spatial
grarhents Ue calculated in a man!ler identical to the classic
block-centered finite difference method. Ffow nobilities tie
upstream weighted except for the absolute permeability
between blocks of differing permeability. These are based on
harmonic weighting. Time derivatives are approximated by
first-order finite differences witi a fully implicit treatment of
all flow terms. Time-step size is controlled automatically.
Newkm-Raphson iteration solves the discretized system of
nonlinear afgebraic equations. M2NOTS incoqiorati a robust
therrnophysical package. A cufic equation of state n+presenti
the rlennodynmnic properties of tl]e g~s phase, which for NZ
at the tcmpwures and pressures sirnul.ated here rduces to an
ideal gas. The mediod of comtxptinding states describes the oil
phase. The fmeiiation.al Steam Tables handle the properties of
Ue aqpeous phase47. The sirnglator.h.u! been USJWsucc%sfully
to model the deposition and clean .up of petroleum
hydro&bmM from s~ils ,an~gr&ndwale#3.
We treat foam bubbles witbia M2NOTS as a noncheinid
component of the gas phase. Thus, the additional traasport
equation for foam bubble texture described above is. added to
the mass balaaces for water, gas, and n organic components.
The discretizect foam bubble equation is fully implicit with
tipstreiiin weighting. of thegas-phase moiility consistent With
all other chemical species. In emb grid block, the magnitude of
the vectors representing the interstitial ga.. ,andliquid velocities
areused to compute foam generation and coakcencc rates
from Eq. (2). The magnitude of each velocity is obtssne.d by
first stimmiri~ the flow of each phase into and ont of a grid
block ia the three orthogonal directions. Then the average flow
in each rhectiim is taken and the magnitude of the rcsulomt
vector used m crdcnlme foam generation and coalescence rates.
The gas velocity is similarly computed for the shear-thinning
portioil of the fomi effictive tiscoiity.
Nmneric,at valucx of the population bakmce parameters are
determined from steady-state measurements in one-
dbnensfonal. Mea flQw. Steady-state flow trends, saturation,
and pressure drop profiles are matched. These can all be
obtained within one experimental nm. The suite of foam
displacement parameters do not need to be .arfjusted to
accommodate different types of transient injection or initial
conditions 10. Parmn.eter values used here are taken from refs:-
10, 11 and apply specifically to very strong foams in ,Jhe
absence of till.
IWJM
ERICAL MODEL RESULTS
Because there are many initial conditions, types of
injectifm, rmd multi~]mensiimal geome~ies of interest, we
present the resdts from seveml carefully chosen illustrative
examples. Fist, we compme simulator predictions agaiiist
experhnenrrd resnlts for the simultaneous injection of rii:irogen
and f~~er srdntion into a linear core samrated yitA surfactant.
Second, we simulate the one-tfiiensional radial flow of fiiih
and focus on the evolution of gas mobility as fem flows
outward. Next, foam flow in heterogeneous,
Iioncommunicating and communicating layers is considered.
74
.SPE 27789 AR. KCWSCEK, T. W. PATZEK, and C. J. RADKE ..5
To avoid con ftisicm. between foam fornialion, surfactant
propagation and adsorption, foam-oil interaction, and
pzufitioning of Stiifiictaiit into the oil phase, we choose a
porous medium that is fully saturated with surfactant solution
as tile initiaf ccmrhtion. That is, S~ = 1, initially and rock
adsorption of surfactant is satisfied. Nkrogen and foamer
solution are coinjected simultaneously. This, we focus
attention on foam forrnatirm; coalescence, transport, and
reducxiomof gk$mobility.
;..
In the first example, nimogen is injected continuously intO
a linear core of length 0..60m trt a ia.ti Of0.43 mhfay relative to
tile exit pressure of 4.8 h4Pa. Foamer solution .is atso injected
continuously at 0.046. mlday to give a tpnfit y or gas fractional
flow of 0.90 at the cciie exit.These flow ratis and initial
conditions com.%pondexactly to uur previous experiments
9 10 with a lengUl uf conductedin .a 1.3-pm2 Bose sandstrme ,
0.60 m. Tbe foimer was a salinesolu[ioa (0.83 wt% NaCl)
wiUl 0.83 wt90 active A(JS 141.6 IC14:16 alpha olefiu
sulfonafe, Bio[erg AS-40, Stepaa).
Figures 1 and 2 display Ihe transient experilnia[al and
simulated saturation and pressure proliles, respective] y. F@re
3 displays the foam texture profiles gencrited by M2NQTS.
Theoretical results are repres.enled by solid tines. Dmhed lines
simp]y cmmect the. intilviitu,ti data poiats,. Elapsed lime is
giveu as pore volumes of total fluid injecfEct, that is, as the
ratio of lor.al volumetric flow rati at exit conditions mul[ipfied
by tine and fivided by the cwe. vQid..V@ne, ...
. . ... =
Steep satumtiori froiits ,are mezsured aud. predicled at aIl
time levels in ,F1g. 1 yb~reby -aqueous-pllftse saturation
ufistreim of the front is rougfily 30%and (fownstre<amit is
100%. Model fronts ,are somewhat srceper aad slaqer than
those measured experimentally, but the [heomliczd snturntioa
profihx track experimental results very well. From the
sa[urat ion profiles it is appiire[ll Um[fo<arnmoves Umnrgb the
core ia a pistcni-like fashion. Note that M2N0TS produces
fittle numericat @is~rsiOn. ----
EVeD Wougb nitrogen and surfactmt solutian am illjeCted
scpamtely, rapid fmm genemtmn and liquid demturation occur
at the core inlet. A region of net foam geriiration that exists
near the inlet is clearly evident in the transient pr%$sure
profiles of Fig. 2, Both the experiments and calculations show
that pressure gradients ncm the inlet are shallow, indi.miing.
that flow resistance is small and..foam iexlures <amcuarse
consistent with the injeptlon 01 unf[xanecl gas. Steep gra~leals
are found tiowustrefun uf the iidc[ rcgioa. Those sttcp
grxdients contirin Ule exii(ci]ce of a strrmi loam pmloti-like
. . . . .
front moving through dle c.pre.
fi@ie_3_refinrtsthe predicted ~onmiex[uie as 2 fuuct70n
of dimensiofiless dktance and time. We firitt a coarsely
textured foam near the iulet, but beyond the firs~ Iitih of ihi
core fu,am textufe becomes very fin? ,and ae,arly constant at
each time level. H@ pressure gradients aad tine fciamtextures
,are seen where ~lqnid satura{iciiiilow ~ad vice wrsa, No
method currently exists to measure insiiufimni Exture
dmctfy. However, the predicted effluent bubble textures do
match the bubble size of foams exiting a iimila Berea
sandstone6,48.
One interesting feature of Fig. 3ia the elevation of fotim
texture near the foam front abo~e hat in steady-state and afso
~at inuydiately upstream of the foam front. Foam textire is
fine at the foam fmiit beta.nse the aqueous-phase saturation
increases from roughly 0.30 to 1. For high aqueous-phme
satrr~ation, Eq. (3) gives avery low foam ccadescence rate. At
the same time, interstitial tiquid and gas rates are high
resulting in a large rate of net foam generation, Setting ~. T2)
to zero and solviug for the value of the loud equilibrium foam
texture indeed shows that texture can be quite high at the foam
front. Because this intensive fdti generation is confined to a
very small region, pressure gradients at the foam front tie
affected negligibly, as displayed in Fig. 2..
GM c6mpressibifilyeffec& me atso found in Fig. 3. At
steady Sklte, the foam texture decreases afong the fatter portion
of the of the core. As they flow downstream, the small
compressible fo,ambubbles find themselves out of equilibria
with the lower pressure. Consequently, bubbles expand
ingreasi~lgtheir velocity. This increi>ed velocity triggers
increased foam coidescence and a more coarse] y textured
foam. GMiompressibiity similarly accoimts for foam iexturis
Iiner !JIaa the steady-state texture upstream of the foam fronts
at time levels of 0.65 and 0.80 PV.
Figure 4 contrasts the highly efficient fo~ displacement
above by displaying a simufated gas displacement. Initially tie
core is completely ~llect with aqueous tiqiiid, but no stabilizing
surfactant is present. Whereas fo,am displacement is
chiwacterized by steep sh,arpsaturation fronts and long times to
the first appearance of foam at the core ouUet, gas
displacement is characterized by the slow displacement of
water .artdtie early appeamnce of gas at the production end of
the core. Iu the absence of fo,am, gas fiist appears at 0.15 PV
n$ compared to 0.80 IW fcirfoamdkplacemeat. Figure4 atso
shows that eveu af[er 17 PV of g<~injection over one half of
the water initially present in the core remains. The line at SW
equal to 0.25 indicates the connate waler saturation, Swc.
Obviously, foam intreii+es gas displacement efficiency ii
linear core !lwxfs by severat orders of magnitude.
In addition to good agreement with expcrinrent, the model
results in Figs. 1 to 3 agree quite well with our previous
calculations generated by a one-dimensional simultaneous
solu[ion method wilh explicit upstream weighting oftheflow
,no~litiesl O, Aoai, the foam displacement Param?[ers
empluyed are id=cntical in butll numerical methods. In the
remaiuiag siintilatioils, ye assume that the fraction of gas
tlowing ii [he presence of foam is a constant equal to 0.10.
This shortens the computation time required for
multidimensional calculations by decreasing the stiffness of
the equations. The impact of the increase in foam texture it the
foam front in gas mcibility is also mcderated.
.
,. ,
75
6 MECHANISTIC PREDICTION OF FOAM DISPLACEMENT SFE27789
IN MULTIDIMENSIONS: A POPULATION BALANCE APPROACH
Radial FtOW
Next, we consider simultaneous injectimi ~f ni&5~enimd
fwurrer solution into a radial; one-dimensional, homogeneous
porous merii.umthat is 1 m lbick wi.tfra ratlus Of 25 m.~d a
perrneabilil yof 1.3 #m2. The medium is initially sanrrated
with aqueous surfactmu solu[imr. Volumetric injection rates
we 0.165 m3]iay of su<facti[l(.silukon amf 3..14.m3/daYof
nitrogen relative m tl~e4.8 MPa backpressure to give a gas
fractional flow Qf095. . __ . ..=..
Ficirre 5 shotis the redid m=$ure profiles m a function of
tine o; a semi-log,mitl]mic sczzle.Pressirre droP iilitinfly builds
quickly in lime as friirri gefkrrdesand fills Uieregion around
the injection well,r= (r - rweIl)/R = O.Therate of pressure
increa?sedeclipas with t@e as .,!f!efoam p[pPagYioU.Plte sk!ws
in the outward radial flow. .I?ressure griidients ne,nr the
irijecdon poilit are shtdlow just + they ,are for linem flow in
F@. 2.Becritisethe rai!al grid is relati@y.$o~se (50 grid
blocks) compwed m the radiaf distance spanned (i.e., 25 m)
the change io pressnregrmfient ne<~r equal tq ,0.03 is almrpt.
No fo,arn is preseiitintbetirst jyid block. making !16w
resistance small. Away from (hi In!.e! rcgitin. Ilw pressure
grrdiel]i decfi~le.s. &$I/r similarlc a Newtoniql~fluid. Appwent
New[oaian behavior is mailiiiiined becimse fnam [exmre falls
off as fmamtlfiwsiiiIher-directiim.
Trimeiirfois-pressure drops are predicted in Fig. 5,
consis[eut with the fmumdisplacement p,amrrie[ers used to
match our ii!ie<wcore fkixls (Fi~. 2). .These are ~ncfedibly
strong. frmns reelecting the.Iligh limiting~@il@y pr+wy.r.a~. of
AOS 1416 at. concentrati6irs around l_wl% in UW?bseoce of
oil,? Practical field irnfdement;tion of forui requires cmeftrl
49
selection tif the fmrninj agent imd c~ngea~atioo
Figure 6 displays the ra~lal form growth rate by pb.l[ing
in-sifii fbarnvolume in PV as a function 61ihe total cumulnlive
fluid injecT1imrelative the system backpressure of 4.8 Ml%.
The kmge slope in this plot dmmastrat~s how ef[icient fonm
displacement can be in lhe absence of rock adsoi~tion and
foam-oil .int~ractimr. The P_V.M foam in place increases
fine,ady with ti]e total injecred fluid. PV. Qualitatively, this
trend agrees with U}atobserved in stearn-fhnrn field SIutles
where fonm propagated in proponinn to the injected. PV of
~fiactmt ~o,utiol-3,
The growth of fmai can Nsti.be see!l in FLg.7 where the
flowing bubble density is plotted versus radial distance from
the injectiomwell at warious times.Fow.n mxmre is W We
to the injector, outtexture f~lls off quid-dy a.. fo,nrnmoves out
radially and tire gas ;IMI tiquirl velocities f.fecre,aseIcadiag io
lower net fo~ generaticm ma%. Bcc?[ie }heg~{;jid fiquid
velocities [all off a.. I/r, the f[iarn from slows considcrahl y
with increasing. radius. .As in Iil]e,a! 11(>w, f[wmntexture al tht
foam front ii sIightIy elevated, fellec[ing a predicted net
overall foam geueratirm rate when the aqueous-phase
sanrra [ionis high. Foam texture decreases as r goes to zero
because ga.. and fo+per solution ,are brought iuto the porous
merfbmn urrfwirned. This isreflected in ~he.shallow pressure
gmdiems near the inle~in Fig. 5 where foam is first genermed.
\
Pat zek and Koinis reported mobllit y reduction factors
(MW ~gas rir@iiity / fo~ mobddy) irrfcired from the Kem
.
River steam-foam. pi10ts3, that decreased steadily with
incre&sing dktance from tile injection we113. F@re 8 shQ.ws
(his same trend wiU] our foam simulatm. .The.predicted MRF
decreases with increasing radial distance from the injectort.
Aft@rgh the _foam displacement simulated. here is shear
thinning at cinstant texture, we find that tie MRF must
decrease consonmt wi~ tie decrea..ing foam textures of Fig.
.7. In .ra@d_Roy, the d:crea:e Of foanr tex:ure yitiin$reased
distance has a greater effect on gas mobility than shear-
ti]innin~lfr M. (4). Again, high MRFs Me predicted becau~
we empIoy parameters and initial conditions in the f@ID
displacement simulator that give swong,:fficient!o~s.Tn the
steam-foagr field tests, gas fractional flow was very high and
gratify ovenide was signi:ctit leading to dry foams that were
V&Yvulnerable to coalescence forces and hence much more
coarsein texture. AdIJitionall y, heat losses that .cauac steam
crmdensatiorii iurfactani losses due to adsorption and
precipitation, and foam coalescence due to tile presence of oil
were significant .All of Uiese factors lessen the impact Ulat
foam has on gas mobility.
jIeteroxeneous Noucomnrunica tin~ Line,ar Lavem
In this section, we consider the case of t_wolinear frryers
tihh tilfferen[ penneafilities and without cross flow: Thk
geometry zippties m a reservoir with continuous impermeable
shale breaks and 10prunflel core experiments in the laboratory.
The high permeability layer is assitined a permeability of 1.3
p&2 which is irfenti~il to the. permeability of the BOise
sandstone core$+used i.nour laboratory 9-1 *. The permeability
of Uwsecond layer is made a factor of 10 smatler, 0.13 Lrinz.
EfIcb layer is assumed t~ be geometrically s:m}w an~ is given
the same pornsity, Leverett J-function , and relative
permeability furrc[ions. flidifly, both layers are saturated with
aqueous surfact<aat sol ution. Superticial velocities mairitained
in these simulations arethe same as in the linear coreffoods
portrayed in Figs. 1.-3. The system Ierrgtb is set at 0.60 rito
allow direct comparison widl these coreflood. Continuity of
pressure is maintained at the inlet and outlet. Olherwi.w, each
Iayer accepts whatever portion of Uteinjected fluids it desires.
It is useful to begin by considering the effect .tbatfoam has
on reapportioning the production from each layer. F@re 9
rhsplays as solid li.oes the fmctiorr o.f the. original water
.&splaced from each Inyer as a fun.ctirmof Uretime. The smrdl
.nrnounts of surfact ~[g sol ution injecIe~ witi the gas are not
inchde~ in Fig. 9. fhne is again given nolltlmensiOn~ly by
tl]e total pore volumes il)jecled, .AIso, inj~iiOfi of nitiOgen at
0.48 mktay in the absence of surfactant is shown with dashetf
Iinu as .a reference crrse. For the nonfoarned gas injection,
litde liquid is produced from the low perrncabifity layer.
AlthouglI. UI$displacement of water from the high pameabilit y
layer is initizlly rapid, gas quickly moves through the 1.3.-prn2
layer and prmhrctirnr rate decline. after only 0.2 PV. Nhrogen
is very mobile relative to water m,nking it air exceptioirrdl y
76
SPE 277g9 :
.
A. i?. KOVSCEK, T. W. PATZEK,and C. 1. R~fCE
poor displacement fluid. Fwirring dle nitrogen hm a rfmmatic
effect, ProrJuclimr from btrth Iayeri is rnaini>imaf for about a
pore volume of injection indica[iriz dmc fo<m provides
efficient displacement in froth Ule high and low permeability
layers. Production plateaus at 1 PV because the displacement
is essenihfly cmriplete in 1 PV.
The iiuprovkrnent of Civersiort with foam is seen quite
strikingly in F@. 10 which gives the sinitrla(ed. saturation
profilts in each layer as a fuuctiori fif Iime. In the high-
perineability-layer sattrralirin profile shuwn in F~g. lOa, i.be
foam frolit initfally moves more quickly than in the low
permeability layer (H: 10b). ~Iowever, iil iJ.46PV Ule foam
displacement fronts ii e;ich 1ayer are positioaecf at
apprOxirn~teIy x/L equal to 0.5.5;. BY examining the
rfisfdacement. frOnlSat 0.65 PV, we find that the front in the
low pelmea~lity kiyer is actu~ly ahety.iof the front iu the high
permeability layer. Fo,am brealthmugh occurs first in. U]elow
perawtbility layer. Again, these. me very effici.5nt
displacements because we began ,wi[h the porous medium
saturated wi~ surfactallt solutiou and use strong foam
dkpklcement p,ammreters:
Auother intermtiug feaitiie~>f Fig. 10is the steady-state
aquemrs-plmse saturation ineach layer. Because [he layers .me
isolaletf, the strcy]g foam generated iu ~?ch l~yg causes !&
capill,my pressure of each layer In approach PC*. The aquerms-
phtme satrrratioa at sternly state in each layer is thus sel by PC*,
.,.
mdfllesteady-s~t esaturlfi[>fis;~ei;lated~y PC* [Ilrotrgh the
Leverett l-fu[]ctio[]32?H~11c~, the 0.13 -pm2 layer ouly
clem[urat.e+s [0 an Sw of about Q:38bsfoie the Iiuritiug capillary
pressure isapprraiched. whereas ill the 1.3-~2 layer the Sw at
steady state is O.30.. .. . . .. .-.. .. .. ... .._.:..
Saturation profiles in Fig. 10 are best umferstoud by
coniitferhrg the ~o<mtexture in each kiyer. A tiaely texluretl
foam forms in the high pennealilit y layer, as pmtrayecl in..Fig.
11a leading to substantial flow resistance.. tlmversely, the
foam that is.generated in the I(owerpemrerfility ISyer Slli>wUin
Fig, 1lb, is twe~:a]~ ord~r of jrajnitude io,nrser. Accordingly,
the low penne+ity layer presents an nverall flow resis[ar]ce
comparable with .th~t.qf dre higl) penn~?bility lay$r. Roughly
hnff of the emire gas floti is diverted to U]&0.13-yIi12layer.
Figure 12 preserit.i the companion pressure-drop
informal ion for simult<mrermsiil.jectitinof I)ilrogen antf fonrner
solution into isolated Inyers of differing pwaikalilit y, Pressure
grndiems brrild.quickly in hod] layers consistent with the r@d
foaar gel)emlioll.:tilsplayed in Fig. 11. Interestingly, the total
system pressure drop is only 213 of what is found ia the oae -
diarcnsional Iine@ flow .of Fig...2 at (lxx same superticird
velo.cities. B.ecmse the foam texture in @[h I.ayersof Fig. 11 is
substantially less than that fwedicted in Fig. 3 for mte-
dimeusimial flow, !1OWresistance and pressure drop are
sigriificwttly less. Comparixnu of Fig: 12. with d]e szrtura[i[m
and hubhle texture pmtila~ in Figs. 10 arid 11show dmt
saturation, bubble texture, and presswe fronts track exactly
just as they did in one-dimeasitmil Iine,w and radial floiv.
77
7
Where fOamtexture islarge, Swislow, pressure gdientsme
large, and vice versa.
.
~
The geometry, initial condhions, and flow rates employed
heresre identical to those for the noncommunicating line&
layer case. However, cross-flow between the layers is aflowed,
Figure 13 contnmts production of the original aqueous phase
.ftui!frcan. each layer when foam is both present (solid lines)
and absent (dashed lines). Again, we find that foam indirces
significant production from the low permeability zone
coniPamrl to&M injection. Dkplacemetu in both layers is quite
eftlieut.
~ F@rre 14shows that sharp satnratirar fmntspropagateat
eqardrntes in both layers: Sincetbe Iayersare ccmmrmricating,
gas at the foam front afways minimizes its flow r&sMace. For
example, when the local flow resistance in the 1.3-pJn2 layer
rises; someporfion the foriured gas isdlverts into the0.l3-
pnr2 layer, and vice versa yielding equaf propagation iates in
each layer. Saturation fronts in each layer are, thus, boun~
together hy the necessity to mnintaiil the minimum floiv
resiilance. Likewise, this is true for unfriamid gas.: The
striking feature of F& 14is theefticieiicy ofdkjlacementin
each layer.
Prim tofo,amhre,akthrough, S~ rrpstmrmi of the saturation
frtiit in the IOWperareahllity, O.13-pm2 layer is fnrger in F@
14bU!at!il i: i!) F@. 10~~or nru)conrrmrnicating layers. During
foam propagation, each layer attempts to come to the Sw
comes~ndhg to the limiting capilkny pressure. Becau.w there
is cross-flow and capillary connection between the Layers,
water is drawn into the Iow pennenfifity layer maintaining Sw
at shghtly lngher Ieveis tfmiill the iroucmanmnicsting layers
of Fig. 10b:
Foam breakthrough occurs just after 0.66 PV. After
breakdmxrgh, dle aqueous-phase saturation in the high
pennerrbility layer remains crmstaut at abOut 0,27. In the low
perureabilit y layer; how~ver. S~ slowly increases oyer time,
At 6 PV the saturation at the exit (i.e:j-xiL = 1) hm reached
0.87. Upsweam, the low pemreabilit y layer also slowly refills
with water. The lower pernreabdity layer draws hr water in an
attempt to come into capillary equilibrium with the high
pemteabilit y layer where the capillary pressure is much lower. ._
Equilibrium will be achieved when Sw reaches roughly 0.87
everywhere in the low permeability layer.
Refilling of the 0.13-prn2 layer with frarmer stintion has a
dramatic effect on the fo,mn texture over time, as shown in
F@rre 15b. Prior to foam breakthrough, fowrr textures are
courpxable with those found iu the previous three cases. At
0.22 PV the bubble density in _the low permeability. layer
averages about 30 mm-q in tire foam-filled region. ~ter
bre,mkthroughas the layer refills with water in order to reduce
its capillary pressure, the rate .of foam coalescence decmasca
with decreasing capillary pressure as indicated by Eq. {3). .:
COn.sequendy, tie net rate of foam generation increases (cJ,
Eq. (2)) as does the flowing bnbble texture. The average
8 MECHANISTIC PREDICTION OF FOAM DISPLACEMENT SPE 27789
fN MULTIDIMENSIONS: A POPULATION BALANCE APPROACH
bubble between 0.80 PV @n@6 pV inc!cases by a factOr Of
nearly 4. Increasing textures indicate increasing flow
resistrmee.. As flow resistance increases, ti]e gas flow rate and
also the foam coalescence rate decrease exacerbating the
growth in fo~ texture. .~~e texture in the h@ petieability
layer shown in. F@ 15aii.reL~titielycoarse M ob?fience with
the large foam coafesce.w??rams. caused by the II@ capillm
pressure there and the relatively, high gss flOWr?es. The
textnre becomes coarser. with time because the high
permeahlfity layer carF7e<rngre and .rngre gn.. which in tuFn
increases foam coalescence in tile 1.3. Wm2 layer. In the
meantime tie lower permeability layer tills with foani. The
refilfing effect is iinlikely m be encountered in practical y
applicatiO1lGff~~riswe 11.@Y4scurs after many ?V of fQ.3n
injectitin.
The pressure drop profiles slmwn in Fig. 16. contain
several additional interesting feaiure:. First, note the
magnitude of tile press.nredrops. The maximum preswre drop
displayed is r~ughly 150 H% &psi). whereas the iQegtical
flow rate conditicm iii:FIj. 2 ylehlcd rI stea~y state pressure
drop of a Iicde more than 1600 kPa (230 psi), The flow
resistrmcctin. the, .1.3-Wm2 layer is small because frxam is
coarsely [extuied there ,md becsm;edw gas superficial velocity
is large exploiting the shem-thinning ftxuh rherrlrlgy. This
commands a srmtfler net tbw resishmce [ban Ihai fonnd,iin [he
Iine,ar one-dimensional and noncommunicating layer cases.
Second, the pressure -drop declines iu time is the ftitin
cotiarsensiu the h@ pennealifit y layer. The system prti$stire
drop rIt 0.80. PY.is..ne??ly 150 kPa while al ~.PV it bm~eclined
to 135.kPa. , ..=.. ..= . ._ :
DISC Usmm .._
.
Recen.tl.y, R,ossen an~ ,&Owor\ers :. 2122 ;resented a
fractionii flow theory for foam ihsplacelnent iIl porous lrie~la.
...
Their approach is notable since [IICYctmsid.er gas diversion by
foam runung layers of Jlffefing.pelineability. BeginlliW widl
the steady-state experimental nhservmioiu Iha[ aqncous-phase
37-
re]alive penneahllity is pnclkmged from the fo.tin-frw CLW
42 m,d that aqe~n$pbaseSatr?I(i(llli$ Vti(U~Iy COnsk~ll$ 51,
they II.%(IDarcys law m illuslra[ed. by ,Khatib ef aL32 and
Persoff efti151 to .obtairi.a fr<ctignal!l~y theory for gm
mobitit y ilfthe pr%~ence of foam. This method does not
expliEhly account for the mle foam texture plays in reducing
gas mobility. Additionally, the methorf is noi readily applied
to two- and dvee-rfhnensfonrr, flow. It dries address, however,
radial flow, diversion a.mQQ~3Ft>laled..laYe!s ofdiff~ring
permeability, rmd layers in c@illnryequilibrium.
For rtirhal flow, our population balance method predicts
that foaia texture and, consequendy, MfW falls witi incre~~ing
distance from the injection wel~ in butb steady and unsteady
Ilow cousisiem wi!h-field observations of gas mohtli(yq. TfIe
fract imml.flniv model. for fotin; tfi[iugb, prctlcts dmt MRF is
independent of rarlal. rfktance. In !be fractional flow mndel, al
of the effects of fo<amon gas mobifity are inferred from the
wetting liqnid mobility which is nearly constant for foam flow
at the fimiting capillary pres.$ure. Since we explicitly account
for the coarsening of foam texture as fo,am flows radially and
tie effect that t~xture has on gas mobifity, we We able to..
obtain trends qualitatively simihrr to those observed.. in tie
field.
Our. simulations of layered. porous media reveal that
significant flow diversion and production Born low
permeability layers occurs regmdless of whether tie layers
communicate or not. For practical applications, the extent of
diversion into low permeability layers predicted by our
population bafance model is qnite different than the prediction
of the fractional flow tieory of Rossen et al.21,22. Because the
fractional-flow miifel sets the capilkuy pressure in each fayer
equal m Pc* at all times, it predicts strong foams in the low
penaeabilit y layer and diversion intothe high permeability
layer. This asymptotic behavior is seen in Fig 14b M finely
texturedfoamewlvas in [heIOWpfmeapili~y layer Recanse of
[he low coalescence rateat high water saturation and low PC
there. However, this behavior occurs only after mr?re !@ 1
P.V of f6m has been injected, an occurrence unlikely to
llappen in the field.
The calculations presented in this paper represent only a
small fmction of the interesting ca~es possible. Since we
specified that all porous media were initial] y saturated with
surfactay, we discovered. the effect that foam might have if
simultaneous strong foam generation occurred in the
heterogeneous layers of a porous medium. Although our
simulator is ,.capable. .gf. rnp~eling simultang~us fO~
generation and surfactant propagation into reservoir media
initially free of surfact,ant in the presence of oil, we have not
sUn]at~ tflae cases yef. Arl?itionally, there is sPecnIaliOn Of ~
a minimum pressure gradieut required to propagate foams
under field conditicmsl 6-1 ~. We have not simulated foam
inc]uding such a mnbifim[ inil prixsure gradient.
Only the effecii of Xroiizfo,am were simulated here. By
reducing PC* it is po%ible to simnlate weak fo,ams tiat can
rhsplay even more inter~sting ~lversion behavior. FOEexwple,
if PC* is less than the capilkary entry pressure ofa porous
merhm foain will not forrn32. Hence, stable foara may be
generated in low permeability layers wl]ere the eapilhuy entry
pressure isslightly lower Uran Pc., but not at all in !Pw
penneabilit y layers~Ffow resistance in the high perrneari!ity
layer will thus be significant and will tlvert substantial l@
flow into the foam-free low-permeability layer. Further,
gravitational effects are. important to consider as gravity can
severely segregrrte g,iinnrfliquid in porous media. The top of a
reserwiir may so dry that only very weak foams subject to
rapid coalescence can form or the rock may be so .@YL@ no
foam formation is possible. FhuJly, we need t? simulate steam ._.
fmms for which condensation is important.
78
SPE 27789 : _:- A. R. .KCWSCEK. T. W. PATZEK, and C. J. RADw. 9
SUMMARY .
We have shown that it is firactitil to model foam
displacement mechm)islically in muhirlimensions. Beginning
with an n-component compositioiui simulator, the bubble
population balance equations tine succesfull y incorporated
within the similatora fully implicit fiiimework. The
mechanistic population bafance approach allows ns to insert
the physics of foam &l~pIacement directly into a reservoir
simulamr. Foam is treated as a noll$hg!nical,,cOmponel~tof
the gas phase and the evolution of Kiain texture is m@felLd
explicitly through pore-level fmnr genemt ion and coidescence
equations. As foimr m-echansims beco!ne betle! understood,
this framework allows for their inclusion.
For one-dhiensional radial flow, we find thai f;arn
pressure drop scafes a.. I/r similar to a Newtonian fluid. The
gas mobility reduction facfor for Mint fomr flow falls off.*
fo,~ moves ottiarrf radkdly from the in,je$tpr hern!se lb!
foam coarsens. This decline in mobiJity re~uc[icm factor in
radial flow is .cohsisteot.with previous field o.bservalious of
steam-foam propagatirioj.
Fir btXhfioncommmmzttmg and communicatin~ Iincnr
...
heterogeneous layers, foamed gas e~ii}ien[lydiv~rts to low
perrneabilit y layers whe[) the Iayer?..we M@lY sa@!@ wi~!I.
surfactant solution ill the ab,sevce of gravity. For
communicating layers, the fwmn propagation r[te is equal in
both htyers. In Ibis inil.tice;fom dramatically evem out
injectirii] pritile$s.
These medictitxis XEZresult of the dkct zmnroacht,akeu
to morfel foam dkplacement. Since gas m;~ility in the
presence of fo,mh depends s.trcmgly on foam texture, it is
necessary to account for foiuribubble .ev~lulioll to !no.del gas
mobility generally and correcdy.
NfSMf?NCLATU R& . . . . . . . ___
c
F
k
K
L
n
P
Pc
Pv
q
r
:
u
v
x
concentmtion, molhr3
compnent vector ffux, nrolhn2-s
rate constmrt, units depend-on mfe expression
permeability, m2
length of Iirie<wporous me<lum, m
number density of foam, m~3
pressure, Pa
capilkvyprcs+ure, Pa
pore volume (injected m iu place)
generation rate, mol/m3-s or m-3-s- 1
radird dkmnce, m
radizdextent of ptmus medium, m
plme saturation
DaIcy veloclty, Iirls
interstitial velocity, m/s
spat i,alv,miable, m
fireek LettwS
v. tJWergenceoperator
$
porosity
r absorption or partition coefficient, movm3
Hmp rupture capillnry pressure for single foam films, Pa
~.
1
-I
f
~
i
j
t
w
Wc
well
generation rate cmrstnnt
coafe.wence rate constant
flowing foam
g,nsphase
phase (i.e., aqueous,gas, or oil)
chemicsf species
sralionary foiiii
water or welting phase
connate water saturation
denotes well radh
Superscripts
o denotes refereuce value
*
value correfxmtk to the fimiting capillary pressure
denotes nommdized radial dktance
ACKN
OWLEDGEM~
This tibrk was supported by the Assistmtt Secretary for
Fossil Energy, Office of 011, Gas, and Shrde Technologies of
the U. S. Depnrunem of Energy, under contract No. DE-
AC03-76FSOO098 m rhe Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory of
the University of California.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Friedmmm, F., Smith, M.E and Guice, W.R., Steam-
Fo.arrrMechtiistic Flelrf Triaf in the Mldway@set
Field, SPE 21780, presented at the Western Regi@aJ
Meeting of the SPE, Long Beach, CA; Mwch 1991.
Mohammarh, S.S. and McColhun,T.J., Stemn-Foam
Pllcrt Project in Guiidehipe Field, SPE 15054, presented
at tle CaRfomia Regionrd Meeting ofdre SPE, Oaldantf,
CA, APriI 1986.
Prttzek, T.W. nnd Koinis, M.T., Kern River Steam-Foam
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Falls, A.H., Hham!4 G.J., Patzek, T.W., Gauglitz, P.A.,
MRler, D.D. and RatulowskL T., Development of A
Mechanistic Foam Simulatoh The Population Batmtce and
Generation By Snap-Off, SPERE. (Aug., 1988) 884-892..
79
10
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11
12
MECHANISTIC PR@lCTION OF.FO&?DISPLACEMENT SPE 27789
fN MULTIDIMENSION.S: A POPULATJON BALANCEAPPROACH
Patzek, T.W., Description ofITt~FJow irr Porous
Medii by,the Populad_onBalance Approxch, in
Surfmirml-BasedMobility Crytrol; Progressii MiscWe-
FfoodEnhmrcedOil Recovery,.$mith, D. H., cd(s),
Americim Cherni@lSociety, Washington, D. C., (1988)
326-341 . . . .. -.-=
Ettinger, R.A. and Radke, CJ., Inffuence of Foam
Texture on Steady Foam Flow in Be% Sandstone,
SPERE (Feb., 1992)83-90.
Cbang,S.H.., OWUSU,~LL.:, ~re~~h, S.B. ~d Kov~k,
F.S., The EftZct of Microscopic Hetl.rogeneity oiiC02-
Foarn MobilitJcPiut 2--Mechrmktic Fo.nraSimulation,
SPE/DOE 20191, presented at the SPWDOE 71J1.
Symfwsium on Ehharrced Oil. Recovery, Tulsa, Oklahoma,
April, 19X1.
Friedmnrtn, F., Chen, W.H. ari(i Cjriuglitz,P.A.,
Experimented and Slu.ulafion.S[udy of High-Temperature
FoamDisplacement in Poro.u&Media, SPERE.,
(Feb., 1991) 37-45.
Kovscek, A.R. arrd Rarlke, C.T., A Comprehensive
Description of Tr%risiFritFmnn Ftow in Porous MeOia,
No. FS-9, presented at the DOWNIPER Field._
Appticatkms ofToams for 011Pr@ic!iQu .Syuqminm,
Bakersfield, CA, Febrrmry 1993.
Kovscek, A.R., Patzek, T.W. and Rmlke, C.J., Simulation
of Foam Transport in Porous Media SPE 26402,
presented at the U)e68th Amma!.T@nicN Confeml!ce.of
SPE; Honston, TK, October 1993.
Kovscek, A.R. and RatIke, C.T., Funtfamenrals of Foam
Tral@mt in Porous Medk+,in Foams in fhe Petroleum
Indrsmy,,Schmmnr, L.L., cd(s), Amer@m Chemica
Society, Wadrhrgtrm, D.C., (10appear 1994).
Chambers, K.T. an~Radke, C.J., Capillrry Phellolrrena in
Foam Flow ThrouehPorous Media. in lntenficial
Phenomenain Pe;o[eam Re&&v; MOf10.W~.N,& ?d@,.
Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, (1991) 191-2S5:
13. Gillis, J.V. &rd Radke, C-T.,A Dual-Gti~Tracer
T&chniqtiefor DeterminingTrapped Cfi$Saturation
Daring Steady Foairr Flow in Porous Media SPE 20519,
presented at the 65tfI SPE Annual .Technical Conference,
New Orlezin.s,LA, September, 1990.
,.
14. Hhamki~ G.J. &d Lawson, J.B,~;Mechanismsof FQ.amr
Flow in Porous Medkr Apparent Vkcosily in Smo.tith
Capillaries, SPEJ (A.PR., 19S5) 176-190.
15. FalIs;l-.H., Musters, J.J. and Ratulowski, J., The
Apparent Vkcosity of Foams in Homogeneous
Beadpac@ SPERE (May, 1989) 1-55-164.
16,
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24,
25.
26.
Rossen, W.R., Theury of Mobilization Pressure Ciradient.
of Flowing Ftiams in Porous Media I. Incompressible
Fo&n, J. COU.hrrerface.Sci. (1990) 136(1), 1-1.6.
Rossen, W.R., Theory of Mobilization Pressrrre Gradient
of Flowing Fo~s in Poroir>@i* II. Effect Of
C&i@silriIity, .JCoU. Inte@ce.. Sci (1990)1.36(1),
17-37.
Ro<en, W.R., Theory of Mobdizmion pressure Gradient
of Flowiirg FriuTKin Porous Me@ IL Asymmetric
Lanella Shapes, J. Coil. Interjace.Sci. (19901.
136(1), 38-53.
Rossen,.W.R, anrJGauglitz,P.A., Percolation Theory and
Mobifiza[irm of Foams irr Porous Medi% Am. Inst. Ck?m.
Eng. J. (1990) ~7(S),l 176- 11s38.
Chou, S.1., Percolation Theory of Foam in Ptirous . .
Medii; SPEIDOE 20239, presented at the 7th SH31DGE
Symposium on Enhanced 011Recovery, Tulsa, OK, April,
1990.
Rosaen, W.R., Zhrm, Z.H. amf Mramrm, C.K., Modeliig
Foam Mobility in Porous MetM, SPE22627, pr~sented
at the 66d] SPE Annual Technical Conference,
Dallas, TK, Oc[otier 1991.
Zbou, Z. and Rossen, W.R., Applying FraitimiSI Flow
TiieurjJ to Formr Processes at the Limiting Capillary
PreSsure, SPJ2DOE 24180, presented at the SPJSfDO13
8~Sy1nposium on Enharrced 011Recovery, TufsrI, OK,
APril 1992.
Fisher, A.W., Fotrlser, R.W.S. and Goodyear, S.G.,
MatJ~ematicalModeling of Foam Flooding, SPEiDOE
20195, presented at dre 7th SPE/DOE Syrnp6sium on
Enhrmced 011Recowy, Tulsa, OK, April 1990
Liu, D. and Brigham, .W.E., Transient FoamIFlow in
Porous Media With the Cat Scanner, U.S. D.O.E.,
(March, 1992).
Patzek, T.W. and Myhill, N. A., &mlation of i-heBishop
Steam Foam Pilot, SPE 18786, presented at the SPE
California Regional Meeting, B~ersfiekf, C!, APril
1989.
Mohmrmradl, S. S., Coombe, D.A. and Stevenson, V.M.,
Test of Ste(am-FoamProcess for Mobilitv Control in S.
C?ijer Creek Reservior, .1. Can. Pet. Tech. (1993)
32(10), 49-54.
80
P8TYSFE. .
SPE 27789 A. R. KOVSCEK, T. W. PATZE.K, and C- J. RADKE 11
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
Mrrharnmadi, S.S. and CooiiiiSw.A., Chafacteristi&sof
Steam/Foam Drive Prcxess in Massive Multi-fine aad
Thin Single zone Reservoirs, SPE 24030; firesiMd at
the SPE Cafifomia Re@ormlMeeting, Bakersfield, CA,
APri] 1992.
M,arfoe, CH. mrtfKazemi, H., -NumericalSimulation of
Foam Flow in Porous Media; SPE 167(X, presented at
the 62nd SPE Anniil Mee[iig, Dallas. TX, September,
1987. .
Mahmood, S.M., Tariq, S.M. ,aadBrigham, W. E., A
Model for Prediction of Recovery rmd Pressure History for
2-D Displa&rnent of 011Through Porous Mdla bj.
Gas/Sutiacliart, SPE 15076, Jireswnttit at the tile SPE
California Regimuif Meeting, Oakhmd, CA, April 1986.
Kovscek, A.R., Ph. D Thesis, LJnivmsityof CMifnr%ia. -
Berkeley, (i!] preparation 1994).
Jhm%ez, A.L ,andRarfke, C..f:, Dynamii StabiiiIy of
Fo,amLamellae Fluwiug Tllmu@ a Periodically
Cmrsbict&d Pore: in Oi/-Fiek/ Chr?mi.rfq,: Enhqncerf
Recoveryand Pro[iuctionSti?mdotion,Bnrclmrdt, .J.K. @
Yea, T.F., erl(s), AmericamChemicZJ Socie[y,
Washington, D.C., (1989)460-479.
Kfmtib, Z.I., HiramM, G.J. amdFalls, A,If., Effect$ of
Canilhnw Pr&wre on CoaJei@ace W Phase Mobiiiiicx in
Frr~&asfiotilng Tbrougb Porous Merfia~ SP.ERE
(Aug., 1988)9~~JJ26.
Amasmi; A.S., Bcrgeron, V., Fagan, M.E. and RmJke,
C-T.,The Iaffuence of Dkjninil]g Pressure on Foam
StabiJity and Ffow in Pmmrs Media, Colkjidrund
7u@ces A: Plzjgi?oclzz]jliccrl Eng. Aspr?cK(1994), 83,
109-120.
34. Brethertoa, F. P., TheMotion of Loag Bubblw in Tub&s,
J. FluidMech., (1961)10, 166-188,
35, Wring, H., The Motion of a Lmg Bubble in Polygooal
Ckfpill,ariesit Ltiw Capillary Nuiilbi7i, Ph.J).. LJniversi[y
of Ctilfomifi. Berkeley, (1992).
36. Stnae, H.L., Probability Mndel fur ENimaling Three-
Phase Relaffie Permeability, .l.PT(Fcb, 1970) 214-218,
37. Bem,ard, G.~., Helm, L.W. anii lacibi+. L.W., Effect of
Fnmn on Trapped G&s-Satum[ionmrdn[iiZmca5iht y of
Porous Media to Gas; SPE.1(D&., 196S) 295-30.0.
38. Hnlm, L.W., The Mechanism ntGasand Liquid FInw
Thrngh Porous iY&@ia in 1116Pr&s~r)C~ of J%aln.
SPEJ (Dec.. 1968)359369 .,
39. F7i&Jrnaim,F. fid ~ensen, J.A., Some Pammeters
Influencing the Formation aad Propagation of Foams in
Porous Mediav SPE 15087, presented at tie SPE
C.alifornli Regionaf Mee[ing, Oakland, CA, April, 1986.
40. Sanchez, J.M., Schechtei, R.S. and Monsafvi, A., The
Effect of Trace Q@r[ities of Sm-factant on
Nitrogen/Water Relative Penaeabiiities, SPE 15446,
presented at the 61st SPE Annuaf TecfmicaJ
Conference, New Odeans, LA, October, 1986. -
41. Huh, D.G. anti Handy, L.L., Compmison of Steady- and
Unsteady-S~te FJow of Gas and Foaming Solution in
Porous Media; SPERE (Feb, 1989T77-84. .
42. De Vrirx, A.S. aod Wh, K., Rheology of Gas/Water
Foitm in the QuaJity Rang: Relevant to Steam Foam,
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43. Adenehm, A.E., PatzeL T.W. and Pmess, K,, ModeIii&
bf MultiphaseTraasport of Multicomponent Organic
Contaminants and Heat in the Subsurface NumericaJ
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44
45,
46,
47,
48,
49.
50.
51.
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Sm](tsmae; M.S., LJniversity of California, Berkeley,
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Pa[zek, T.W,, Field Applimtiou of Foam for MobOity
Control and profile Improvement: SPE Dktinguished
Author Series, .IPT (1994) in preparation.
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Trmrs.,AIME (1941) 142, 152-169.
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Widwrspnnn, P.A., A Laboratory Investigation of Foam
Flow in Porous Media at EJeva[ed Pressure, SPERE
(Aug., 1991)365:371.
81
SPE27789
t: i...i
o
r I
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
d[nmnsionlew dkt$amce, xJL
100
UW. 0.0@6 ,,ti,jay bac!qmssitti = 4,8 MP=
0.46 Pv 0.80 PV
0 0.z 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
dhnensionless dislanca x/L
Ewr. 3 Model lmnsimc Oowiw foam t.xwic pmtiles for 11x $im.lmnwds
injection of gas .nd foam.? x fir+~y$ rates. Porous rnrJ&I i, pat.mted
with ,Udaclm, ,Ohl[in,
8000
2000
1{ . =0,43 mJ&,
1600
1200
Soo
400
0
3,0FV
, J
w. 0.046 Il!Iday
0.68 PV
1
0.8
0.6
1
17 Pv
I
0.4
t
I
Sw=
0.7.
. .0.48 I/day
.
backpressure = 4.8 M%
L = 0.60 m 1
0
r 1..
@ 0.2 0.4 @.6 0.8 1
dimensionless distance, x/L
I&Ice 4 Transient queou@ascsxuratioa profiks for the cmuimous
i.njcccion of .. fbrmwd iv.
1 I (
0.8
0.7.
0
0.!31 0.1 1 0 0.7, 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
dimensionlc$s wadial di!tscc, I, time (w)
Fi8uce > Model wessuce Profiles for 11], did flOWf fti, Gas and faamer Figure S Volume of foam in place versus total fluid injection (compfe
salwion xeimjedd al fxdml=i,t~apmus medkm,wlurared wimsurfaclam. I. Fig, 130 fc&3)
82
.
. . .. ..
3,2;Tg%%
SPE2778$I
50000
~ ~ y7y-
Q,= 3s4 n?lday
40000
QW= 0.165 mlday
R= Mm/&y
\
backyessure = 4.8 MPa
30000
2 w
0,022 w 0.18W
20000
0.089PV 0.49 PV
10000
0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 I
0 0.2 0.4 0.6
dime.sionless madial distance, r,
0.8 1
@3u* 7 M.d.l f..m ,ext.r= for III. radial fIOWof fosm. Gas and foam.
Chlen,i.nl.,. radial *,,.,,. ,,
ml.tioo injected al fired rates into a porous mdi.tn prcs.tumled wi!li mrfxim,l
F@. & Tnmien! [cm, mobility mdu.ction factors ii radial flow (cmnpre
..1.,; ..
, Fig. 17 of ref. 3),
z 0.2
0
. foamedg= . .0.43 mfdaj, Uw.0.045 middy
.- - un%mned s=?. = 0,48III&y
I
K =0.13 Wd :
------- ..- ., ---- .= - ,
0 1 2 3 4
time (PV)
Figure 9 Fraction of the iiti.d waler di@awd by boda foamed gas and
.tikamcd gas as a f...dion of time ill two imlakd ].yers
1
a
0
Layer 1(K, = 1.3w?)
~
: 0 v!
0,11Pv
0.46 PV
2W
, = 0.43 L/day w= 0.045 mJdq.
L .0.60 m bac@wmre = 4,8 MPa
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 I
Ifim..siol,ss di,t.n.,, x/L
(10 a)
~Y- 2 [K, = 0.13 !m#)
1
x = 0.43 I/day v= 0.046 mlday
L = 0.60 m back~rmwe . 4.S MPa
i.,
0 0.?. 0.4 0.6 0.8
1
dirn<nsic.nless distance. wl,
(lOb)
Figure 10 Tmmienc aqumus.ph.w stiuration pofllm for flm sim.lalamow
ii@ctioD of gas and foamer solution into two isolated layers. The porous medium
is Ixcsatumted wiU! $urfwam,t solution,
.83
SPE277 8/? - -
80
1200
t.aycr 1 (K, = 1.3 Pm)
. .0.43 m!day , Layer 1 (K,. 1.3 PI+)
.,= 0.43 dday

u-. 0.M6 In@


1000
2 Pv
. ..0.046 dday
L = 0.60 m
. ,AI
L = 0.60 m
backmsmre.= 4.8 M%
\065pv
$ 400
0.22 w
00 .\
0.11w
0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.$ 1
I
dlmmsimless dlslacc, *L
3
0.65 PV
2
1
0
0 0.2
dlmcn~;;nles, 6i,t~& ; 0$
1
(11 b)
33gurc 1k Transient fl.x+iw-foam tcxuu- Tm the simdtamnu injti.n
of $= and f.anw solution into two isolated layers. II.. p.m., mc.ibm is
pahlratd with Wrfacfallt solution.
1200
1000
200
0
dimem.ionks distance, XiL
(12 a)
.\ L+cr 2 (X, = 0.13 PI?)
u = 0.43 dday
. ..0.046 Inlday
-2W
L = 0.60 m
<
..$1
bac!q,cssuce = 4.8 M&
0,65 PV
-\
0,46 Pv
0,22 Pv
Y
0.11 w
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
dim.mion1y2 $tme. XL
FI 12 TrMS@.PICSm..PWfilCS fa II% sbrmkancnua injc+ oc p
and f- COlutwn ,[0 m. ,YOlatd bps. m. EOmua Incdmm m
pmsahlmti with awfacmrd solution.
x
Ii
foamed F: U, = 0.43 mfday, . . = 004d tidSY
- - ticmmti w u = 0.48 ti&Y
~-
Z. 0.2
__ ---- -
-- . ~=0.13 W? {
0
0 1 2 3 4
time (H)
Figure 13: Fraclion of tie iritial water diq+lmed by boll, foamed gas
and .nf@amed @s as a fmulion of time in two c.mun.nicatiw Iaycrs.
.. ..
84
l ~
l+<, 1 (Kt = 1.3 PI)
~m;
0.22Pv 0,66 Pv
.6PV
u = 0,43 n$diy u,., = .O.flT6.r!fdW . ._ ~
1:! . . . . .. .1
backpm+$um ~ 4.S MP.I
0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
1
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
dlmensionle$s dislancc. x/L
(14,)
Layer 2 (K,= 0.13 ##)
m:
u. = 0.43 mlday -& 0.046 ,,tiday
1
I.!. r!l:l
bac!qrcs,um :4,8 MP.
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
dile..:.n] .$, d,,,,.., XII
r,. .,
.- -,
figure 14 Trnn6{ent aq.ums.plms. mtmtio. profiles for the SIULU!GI..O..
i.jc.~i.nd gas ind foankr solution in{. w. .onummicmin~ laws. The prw
medium!* prmluratd wil]i s.rf.cfant solution.
1s0
0 0.7, 0.4 9.6 0.8 1
dimcnsl.anless dislamcq W
(16 a)
0
300
250
50
0
L
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
(15 .1
-
6 PV
1.11,
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Jinc.$i.a.les$ distance. x/L
(1S b)
Fipm 15 Trmuiem flowing (own texs.m= <or tie $im.l!aneow injection
of gas and Lmnw sol.! ion ict. w. communicating lnycrs Il. porous medium
ispremturawf with s.rfacmn! .sol.! ion.
130
W= 0.046 Wday
bac!wreswre = 4,8 I@,
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
dimmsiw,less dl,tance. x/L.
(16 b)
F@. 16: Tmmient pressure profiles for the dnn!kaneous i.jectian .f w!
aod f.mner sol,ulion in[o two co.ununicating layers. The prow medium is
prew.mted vath $.rfsctam solution.