Centrifuge measurement of two-phase transient flow in rigid porous media
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Gravity driven multi-phase flow in porous media is an important mode of fluid transport in several geologic settings. Some applications where gravity drainage may play an important role in the movement of a fluid can include primary oil recovery from a petroleum reservoir or water flow into the ground surface. Because of the similarities between a single-gravity environment and a centrifugal environment, measurements of two-phase flow are often conducted in the centrifuge to observe the behavior of the whole system under gravity-like conditions while reducing the time of measurement. In this study, measurements of transient fluid outflow from sandstone cores were conducted in the centrifuge using air as the invading phase. The draining phase in these experiments comprised three different brines and a light mineral oil. Hydraulic conductivity functions and capillary pressure curves were determined from this data using a numerical history matching technique, and the results were compared with two prevailing analytical models. The results of this study corroborate previous findings that a full numerical history match can easily predict more realistic hydraulic conductivity functions than the prevailing analytical models.