New thesis on fluid flow in reservoirs

Yingfang Zhou (27) defended his doctoral thesis at UiS on 10 December. He has researched the use of microscope pictures to determine the flow of various fluids in an oil reservoir.

Oil reservoirs are composed of porous rocks with continuous cavities (pore network) that are filled by one or more fluids (such as oil, water and gas). The fluid distribution in the pore network depends on the pressure difference (capillary pressure) between the fluids and the wetting properties of the rock.

These properties will therefore affect the fluid flow in the reservoir during water injection for oil production or injection of CO2 for subsequent storage underground.

Pore level
The relation between capillary pressure and fluid saturation (that is, the capillary pressure curve) is required to describe such flows and is normally measured on small rock samples in the lab.

Modelling on the pore level represents an important supplement to lab measurements which can also enhance our understanding of capillary phenomena and their impact on flow in porous media.

New method
In the PhD thesis, a new method is developed to compute capillary pressure curves from microscope images of rock samples.

The new method accounts for different wetting conditions and enables the computation of capillary pressure curves and corresponding fluid distributions for both two-phase (e.g., water and CO2) and three-phase (water, oil and gas) fluid systems.

Mr Zhou’s thesis is titled «Pore Scale Modeling of Capillary Pressure Curve in 2D Rock Images». His doctoral work was supervised by .


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Portrait photo of Yingfang Zhou

Yingfang Zhou