Multiple-mixing-cell method for MMP calculations

Kaveh Ahmadi, Russell T. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


The minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) is a key parameter governing the displacement efficiency of gasfloods. There are several methods to determine the MMP, but the most accurate methods are slim-tube experiments, analytical methods, and numerical-simulation/cell-to-cell methods. Slim-tube experiments are important to perform because they use actual crude oil, but they are costly and time consuming. Analytical methods that use the method of characteristics (MOC) are very fast and help to understand the structure of gasfloods. MOC, however, relies on finding the unique and correct set of key tie lines in the displacements, which can be difficult. Slim-tube simulation methods and their simplified cellto-cell derivatives require tedious fluid and rock inputs, and their MMP estimates can be clouded by dispersion. This paper presents a simple and accurate multiple-mixing-cell method for MMP calculations that corrects for dispersion, and is faster and less cumbersome than 1D simulation methods. Unlike previous mixing-cell methods, our cell-to-cell mixing model uses a variable number of cells, and is independent of gas/oil ratio, volume of the cells, excess oil volumes, and the amount of gas injected. The new method only relies on robust P/T flash calculations using any cubic equation-of-state (EOS). The calculations begin with only two cells and perform additional cell-to-cell contacts between resulting equilibrium-phase compositions based on equilibrium gas moving ahead of the equilibrium liquid phase. We show for a variety of oil and gas compositions that all key tie lines can be found to the desired accuracy, and that they are nearly identical to those found using analytical MOC methods. Our approach, however, is more accurate and robust than those from MOC because we do not make approximations regarding shocks along nontie-line paths, and the unique set of key tie lines converges automatically. The MMP using our mixing-cell method can be calculated in minutes using an Excel spreadsheet and is estimated from a novel bisection method of the minimum tie-line lengths observed in the cells at four or five pressures. Our multiple-mixing-cell method can calculate either the MMP or the minimum miscibility for enrichment (MME) independent of the number of components in the gas or oil. Our approach further supports the notion that the MMP is independent of fractional flow because we obtain the same key tie lines independent of how much fluid is moved from one cell to another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-742
Number of pages10
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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