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Journal of Porous Media
Impact-faktor: 1.752 5-jähriger Impact-Faktor: 1.487 SJR: 0.43 SNIP: 0.762 CiteScore™: 2.3

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

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Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.v15.i4.40
pages 343-369

EFFECTS OF FRACTURE PROPERTIES ON THE BEHAVIOR OF FREE-FALL AND CONTROLLED GRAVITY DRAINAGE PROCESSES

Sohrab Zendehboudi
Memorial University
Nima Rezaei
Chemical Engineering Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada
Ioannis Chatzis
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2l 3G1, Canada

ABSTRAKT

Naturally fractured petroleum reservoirs (NFRs) contribute significantly to worldwide oil and gas production. The oil production from NFRs is strongly affected by the flow communication between fractures and the surrounding matrix. The flow communication makes the gravity drainage processes in porous media with a network of fractures more complex because the flux between the two elements must be stipulated in terms of easily measured parameters. This paper provides details on the effects of fracture properties such as aperture, length, spacing, orientation, and also fracture pattern on the production rate, recovery factor, matrix-to-fracture transfer rate, viscous fingering, and capillary continuity in fractured porous media for gravity drainage processes. Experimental and theoretical studies were conducted to investigate the performance of free-fall gravity drainage (FFGD) and controlled gravity drainage (CGD) processes in unconsolidated fractured media using different test fluids. A total of seven fracture configurations were fabricated in prototypes to study the drainage behavior. Numerical simulations were also performed using COMSOL software to mathematically describe the behavior of the gravity drainage process in fractured media using the experimental data to validate the simulations. A good agreement between simulation and experimental results was achieved for both FFGD and CGD modes. The flow communication between the fracture and the matrix blocks played the most significant role in the drainage of liquid from the fractured media. Upon moderate inclination angles, enhanced production performance was achieved in CGD processes as they allowed more rapid liquid withdrawal compared to the porous media with vertical fractures, and the liquid recovery factor at gas breakthrough was also higher as a result of enhanced horizontal and vertical permeabilities. It was also found that it is possible to develop an isolated liquid phase above a horizontal fracture when the fracture aperture is higher than the value required to sustain capillary continuity between blocks.


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