Capillary pressure and relative permeability correlations for transition zones of carbonate reservoirs

Shuaishuai Shi, Hadi Belhaj, Achinta Bera

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    23 Scopus citations


    A sizable oil reserves are held in a thick oil/water capillary transition zones in the carbonate reservoirs, but it is an ongoing challenge to accurately describe the relationship between capillary pressure, relative permeability and oil/water saturation due to the complex wettability variation, pore geometry and heterogeneity throughout the reservoir column. It has been shown that a proper interpretation of relative permeability and capillary pressure including hysteresis has a substantial influence on the prediction and optimization of field production, especially for a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir with a thick transition zone. The conventional models, such as Corey method and Leverett J-function, cannot precisely present the behaviors of capillary pressure and relative permeability of transition zones in carbonate reservoirs. In the present work, a study has been conducted to provide an improved understanding of capillary pressure and relative permeability of the transition zones in carbonate reservoirs by implementing and optimizing recently developed models considering mixed-wet property and geological heterogeneity. For single core plug and each reservoir rock typing classified on the basis of petrophysical properties, the applicability to generate bounding drainage and imbibition curves of the models was tested with fitting parameters by comparing with experimental data. Also, a comprehensive assessment was provided about the feasibility and efficiency of the models along with an evaluation of the hysteresis between bounding drainage and imbibition curves. The results showed excellent matches in the case of Masalmeh model (SPE Reserv Eval Eng 10(02):191–204, 2007) with a correlation coefficient value of 0.95, in which mixed-wet and pore size distribution are taken into account. Therefore, it can be stated that the work conducted in this study could be used as a guide for further investigation and understanding of transition zones in carbonate reservoirs.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)767-784
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


    • Capillary pressure hysteresis
    • Carbonate reservoirs
    • Relative permeability
    • Reservoir simulation
    • Transition zones


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