Geometry one

 The first geometry is used to establish a simple model for a network of three caves, with water from the below aquifer and oil is displaced upwards, as shown in the following pictures.


                                                             

 
 

Simulation with Jadim

Real parameters:

$$\rho_{water} /\rho_{oil}$$ (kg/m3) $$\nu_{water} /\nu_{oil}$$ (Pa.s) $$ \sigma_{oil/water} $$ (N/m)
1000; 800 0.001;0.01 0.025

It is observed a lot of numerical diffusion on the interface with the real parameters, therefore it is difficult to distinguish the two phases,. A large area of the simulation would have the volume fraction of oil around 0.5, which is impossible because oil and water are not miscible.

 This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that in a same cell small portion of oil and water are present, therefore the oil volume fraction can not be either zero or one.

To avoid this problem, several modifications can be done, including :
- refine the mesh or increase the time step, but this would increase the time of calculation
- increase the surface tension to avoid the emulsion of the fluid
-increase the viscosity to avoid the effect of the separation of the fluid in others smaller structures.

Firstly, the viscosity and the surface tension are increased in order to analyze if the results are the same as the one with the real parameter with the help of another software fluent.

The parameters of the simulation are:

$$\rho_{water} /\rho_{oil}$$ (kg/m3) $$\nu_{water} /\nu_{oil}$$ (Pa.s) $$ \sigma_{oil/water} $$ (N/m) $$ dt_{min}/dt_{max}$$ (s) inlet/outlet lenght (m) inlet velocity (m/s) mesh size (m) mesh size (cells) inlet Re
1000; 800 1;10 0.487 1e-7; 1e-5 0.056; 0.025 0.2 0.76x0.44 122x88 10

 

initial state                                                                                                                                   final state
 
 
This simulation shows no numerical diffusion, with the post treatment, the outlet flow rate and the oil remaining and recovery ratio will be analyzed versus time.
For the outlet flow rate:
 
$$ Q_{outlet}=\frac{1}{n}\sum \limits_{i=1}^n \tau_i  v_i L_{outlet}$$
 
$$ratio_{oil-remaining}=\frac{oil_{initial}-Q_{outlet}t}{oil_{initial}}$$
 
$$ratio_{oil-recovery}=1-ratio_{oil-remaining}$$
with n: number of outlet cells
$\tau_i$ : oil volume fraction of cell i
vi: outlet velocity of cell i
$$oil_{initial}=\sum \limits_{i=1}^m \sum \limits_{j=1}^l \tau_{ij} S_{cell}$$
m x l: numbers of cells of the domain
$S_{cell}$: area of a cell
 
To plot the data, the dimensionless number is applied, the flow rate reference is $Q_{inlet}$ and the time reference is $t=\frac{S_{domain}-S_{obstacles}} {L_{inlet} V_{inlet}}$, which is the time for water to fill the domain.
 
 
 
 
We have flow rate conservation due to the incompressibility of the fluids, therefore when only oil flow out the inlet and outlet flow are equal, after the dimensionless time around 0.3, water begins to flow out, so the oil outflow rate decreases and a change of the gradient in the oil remaining ratio plot which increases because less oil flows out in time.
 

Simulation with Fluent

Same parameters as the simulation with Jadim

$$\rho_{water} /\rho_{oil}$$ (kg/m3)

$$\nu_{water} /\nu_{oil}$$ (Pa.s) $$ \sigma_{oil/water} $$ (N/m) dt (s) inlet/outlet lenght (m) inlet velocity (m/s) mesh size (m) mesh size (cells) inlet Re
1000; 800 1;10 0.487 1e-3; 0.056; 0.025 0.2 0.76x0.44 122x88

10

 

 

The results are almost the same, the differences can be explained by the difference of the two codes the way to solve the equations are not the same.

The fluctuations observed on the outflow rate of oil are due to the bubbles of oil crossing the outlet.

 

Real parameters

$$\rho_{water} /\rho_{oil}$$ (kg/m3)

$$\nu_{water} /\nu_{oil}$$ (Pa.s) $$ \sigma_{oil/water} $$ (N/m) dt (s) inlet/outlet lenght (m) inlet velocity (m/s) mesh size (m) mesh size (cells) inlet Re
1000; 800 0.001;0.01 0.025 1e-3; 0.056; 0.025 0.024 0.76x0.44 244x176

1200

Decreasing the surface tension would increase the emulsion of the fluid and more bubbles would be created.

Compare with the last simulation, the viscosity has been divided by 1000, the velocity by 10 and therefore the Reynolds number obtained is 12000. If  the same velocity was kept before the Re number would have been 120000, which give a turbulent flow. That is why the velocity has been multiply by ten.

Compare with the viscosity, the decrease of the velocity is negligible.

Therefore it is shown the influence of the viscosity comparing the two simulations.

Results analysis

Comparison of the two fluent simulations: effects of the viscosity.

The oil recovery is larger when the viscosity increases, because it creates big bubbles which are flowed out by water.

In oil industry, the chemical products are used to decrease viscosity in the case of porous medium reservoirs, which decreases the capillarity pressure and therefore helps oil to go up.

It is estimated in the case of the caves network reservoir, increase the viscosity with chemical products can be considered as a method of oil enhanced recovery ratio.