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Calculation Of Relative Permeability From Displacement Experiments

E.F. Johnson, D.P. Bossler, V.O. Naumann Bossler

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Published in Petroleum Transactions, AIME, Vol. 216, 1959, pages 370–372. A method is presented for calculating individual gas and oil or water and oil relative permeabilities from data obtained during a gas drive or a waterflood experiment performed on a linear porous body. The method has been tested and found both rapid and reliable for normal-sized core samples. Introduction Individual oil and gas or oil and water relative permeabilities are required for a number of reservoir engineering applications. Chief among these is the evaluation of oil displacement under conditions where gravitational effects are significant, such as a water drive or crestal gas injection in a steeply dipping oil reservoir. Numerous proposed methods of obtaining relative permeability data on reservoir core samples have been too tedious and time consuming for practical use, or have yielded questionable and sometimes inconsistent results. A method bas been developed by which the individual relative permeability curves can be calculated from data collected during a displacement test. The method is based on sound. Using this method, with a properly designed experimental procedure, relative permeability curves can be obtained using core samples of normal size (i.e., 2 to 3 in. in length and 1 to 2 in. in diameter) within a few days after receipt of the core. In a recent publication D. A. Efros describes an approach to the calculation of individual relative permeabilities that is based on the same theoretical considerations. We believe the approach described in the present paper is more adaptable to practical application than the method implied by Efros. In addition, comparisons with independently determined relative permeabilities are furnished to substantiate the reliability of the new method.