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A critical review on fundamental mechanisms of spontaneous imbibition and the impact of boundary condition, fluid viscosity and wettability

Qingbang Meng, Huiqing Liu, Jing Wang

(Published: 2017-06-25)


Corresponding Author and Email:Qingbang Meng, mengqingbang@126.com


Citation:Meng, Q., Liu, H., Wang, J. A critical review on fundamental mechanisms of spontaneous imbibition and the impact of boundary condition, fluid viscosity and wettability. Adv. Geo-energ. Res. 2017, 1(1): 1-17, doi: 10.26804/ager.2017.01.01.


Article Type:Invited review


Abstract:

Spontaneous imbibition (SI) is one of the primary mechanisms of oil production from matrix system in fractured reservoirs. The main driving force for SI is capillary pressure. Researches relating to SI are moving fast. In the past few years, amount of literature on the development of SI with respect to many variables, such as mechanism of imbibition, scaling of imbibition data and wettability of matrix blocks. In this review, we first introduced the fundamental physics mechanism of SI through capillary tube models and micromodels. Then both conventional and more novel experimental methods of measuring oil production are discussed thoughtfully. This is followed by reviewing the oil production performance under various boundary conditions and the characteristic length in scaling equations that have been used to account for different cores shape and boundary conditions. The effect of fluid viscosity on the rate of oil production and final oil recovery as well as the development of viscosity term in the scaling equation are reported. The commonly used methods to quantitatively evaluate the wettability of cores and the SI under mix- and oil-wet conditions are introduced. And last but not least, the methods and mechanism of wettability alteration for enhanced oil recovery in mix- or oil-wet fractured reservoirs are presented.


Keywords:Spontaneous imbibition, fractured reservoirs, boundary condition, viscosity ratio, wettability.


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