Table of Contents
Journal of Petroleum Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1708929, 14 pages
Research Article

Effect of Pore-Scale Heterogeneity and Capillary-Viscous Fingering on Commingled Waterflood Oil Recovery in Stratified Porous Media

Petroleum Engineering Department, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Received 23 February 2016; Accepted 4 May 2016

Academic Editor: Chih-Ming Kao

Copyright © 2016 Emad W. Al-Shalabi and B. Ghosh. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oil recovery prediction and field pilot implements require basic understanding and estimation of displacement efficiency. Corefloods and glass micromodels are two of the commonly used experimental methods to achieve this. In this paper, waterflood recovery is investigated using layered etched glass micromodel and Berea sandstone core plugs with large permeability contrasts. This study focuses mainly on the effect of permeability (heterogeneity) in stratified porous media with no cross-flow. Three experimental setups were designed to represent uniformly stratified oil reservoir with vertical discontinuity in permeability. Waterflood recovery to residual oil saturation () is measured through glass micromodel (to aid visual observation), linear coreflood, and forced drainage-imbibition processes by ultracentrifuge. Six oil samples of low-to-medium viscosity and porous media of widely different permeability (darcy and millidarcy ranges) were chosen for the study. The results showed that waterflood displacement efficiencies are consistent in both permeability ranges, namely, glass micromodel and Berea sandstone core plugs. Interestingly, the experimental results show that the low permeability zones resulted in higher ultimate oil recovery compared to high permeability zones. At microheterogeneity and fingering are attributed for this phenomenon. In light of the findings, conformance control is discussed for better sweep efficiency. This paper may be of help to field operators to gain more insight into microheterogeneity and fingering phenomena and their impact on waterflood recovery estimation.