PEH:Relative Permeability and Capillary Pressure - PetroWiki


Reservoir engineers use relative permeability and capillary pressure relationships for estimating the amount of oil and gas in a reservoir and for predicting the capacity for flow of oil, water, and gas throughout the life of the reservoir. Relative permeabilities and capillary pressure are complex functions of the structure and chemistry of the fluids and solids in a producing reservoir. As a result, they can vary from place to place in a reservoir. Most often, these relationships are obtained by measurements, but network models are emerging as viable routes for estimating capillary pressure and relative permeability functions. Before defining relative permeability and capillary pressure, let us briefly review the definition of permeability. Permeability represents the capacity for flow through porous material. It is defined by Darcy's law (without gravitational effects) as ....................(15.1) Darcy's law relates the flow rate q to the permeability k, cross-sectional area A, viscosity μ, pressure drop ΔP, and length L of the material. High permeability corresponds to increased capacity for flow. The dimensions of permeability are length squared, often expressed as darcies (1 darcy 0.987 10–8 cm2), millidarcies, or micrometers squared.

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