Scale dependency of dynamic relative permeability- satuartion curves in relation with fluid viscosity and dynamic capillary pressure effect

Capillary pressure–saturation-relative permeability relationships (Pc–Sw–Kr) are functions of importance in modeling and simulations of the hydrodynamics of two-phase flow in porous media. These relationships are found to be affected by porous medium and fluid properties but the manner in which they are affected is a topic of intense discussion. For example, reported trends in fluid viscosity and boundary conditions effects have been found to be contrary to each other in different studies. In this work, we determine the dependency of dynamic Kr–Sw relationships (averaged data) on domain scale in addition to investigating the effects of fluid viscosity and boundary pressure using silicone oil (i.e. 200 and 1000 cSt) and water as the respective non-wetting and wetting fluids with a view to eliminating some of the uncertainties reported in the literature. Water relative permeability, Krw, was found to increase with increasing wetting phase saturation but decreases with the increase in viscosity ratio. On the other hand, the oil relative permeability, Krnw, was found to increase with the increasing non-wetting phase saturation in addition to the increase in viscosity ratio. Also, it was found that with the increasing boundary pressure Krw decreases while Krnw increases. The influence of scale on relative permeability was slightly indicated in the non-wetting phase with Krnw decreasing as domain size increases. Effect of measurement location on dynamic relative permeability was explored which is rarely found in the literature. Comparison was also made between Kr–Sw relationships obtained under static and dynamic condition. Finally, mobility ratio (m) and dynamic coefficient (s) were plotted as a function of water saturation (Sw), which showed that m decreases as s increases at a given saturation, or vice versa.