Numerical investigation on the effect of boundary conditions on the scaling of spontaneous imbibition

Abdul Salam Abd, Nayef Al Yafei

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We present a numerical validation of the scaling group presented by Schmid and Geiger ((2012) Water Resour. Res. 48, 3) for Spontaneous Imbibition (SI) through simulating a core sample bounded by the wetting fluid. We combine the results of the simulations with the semi-analytical model for counter-current spontaneous imbibition presented by Schmid et al. ((2011) Water Resour. Res. 47, 2) to validate the upscaling of laboratory experiments to field dimensions using dimensionless time. We then present a detailed parametric study on the effect of Boundary Conditions (BC) and characteristic length to compare imbibition assisted oil recovery with several types of boundary conditions. We demonstrate that oil recovery was the fastest and most efficient when all faces are open to flow. We also demonstrate that all cases scale with the non-dimensionless time suggested by Schmid and Geiger ((2012) Water Resour. Res. 48, 3) and show a close match to the numerical simulation and the semi-analytical solution. Moreover, we discuss how the effect of constructing a model with varying grid sizes and dimensions affects the accuracy of the results through comparing the results of the 2-D and 3-D models. We observe that the 3-D model proved superior in the accuracy of the results to simulate simple counter-current SI. However, we deduce that 2-D models yield satisfying enough results in a timely manner in the One End Open (OEO) and Two Ends Open (TEO) cases, compared to 3-D models which are time-consuming. We finally conclude that the non-dimensionless time of Schmid and Geiger ((2012) Water Resour. Res. 48, 3) works well with counter-current SI cases regardless of the boundary condition imposed on the core.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2018060
JournalOil and Gas Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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