A Study of Three Phase Relative Permeability and Hysteresis in Water Alternating Gas (WAG) Injection

Arogundade, Olamide Albert (Heriot-Watt University) | Shahverdi, Hamid-Reza (Heriot Watt University) | Sohrabi, Mehran (Heriot Watt University)

OnePetro 

Various techniques of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) exist and amongst them water and gas injection are the most widely used. It has been shown that combining water and gas injection in a WAG (water alternating gas) scheme can result in additional oil recovery. Interest in WAG injection has increasingly grown in recent times with many reservoirs around the world now under WAG injection.

Numerical simulation of WAG requires reliable three-phase relative permeability and hysteresis data which are normally obtained from models available in commercial simulators. This paper utilizes core-flood experimental data from literature to investigate validity of these models.

The findings from this study provide evidence that different three-phase relative permeability models were found to behave differently giving varying recovery factors in a WAG simulation scheme. While the effect of irreversible hysteresis was studied, it was observed here that imbibition (stage I) and drainage (stage II) processes gave results that deviated from conventional hysteresis. Simulations were run with and without hysteresis for different three phase relative permeability models with different effects observed for the recovery factor.

The results of this work show that a good understanding of the three phase relative permeability model in use is very important for a more robust reservoir simulation model. Also, the effect of irreversible hysteresis in WAG injection should be adequately modelled in order to obtain reliable results. Lastly, the results reveal the importance of optimum WAG ratio for maximizing oil recovery by preventing a gas tongue forming at the top of the reservoir and a water tongue forming at the bottom of the reservoir.