Numerical simulation of a CT-scanned counter-current flow experiment

Gaoming Li, Z. T. Karpyn, P. M. Halleck, A. S. Grader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Counter-current flow occurs in many reservoir processes and it is important to understand and model these processes in order to operate them effectively. Both drainage and imbibition processes exist simultaneously during counter-current flow. It has thus proven difficult to model this type of flow using conventional techniques because of the impossibility of assigning a single capillary pressure curve applicable over the entire sample. In the current paper, a new saturation-history-dependent approach has been developed to simulate a counter-current flow experiment done with an X-ray CT scanner. Hysteresis in both capillary pressure and relative permeabilities is considered during simulation. Capillary hysteresis loop and relative permeabilities are extracted through history matching and a family of scanning curves is constructed connecting the two branches of the capillary hysteresis loop. Each gridblock of the sample is assigned a different scanning curve according to the local saturation history. History-dependent modeling of the experiment reproduced two-dimensional saturation distributions over time with good accuracy, which cannot be obtained with traditional simulation using only one capillary pressure curve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-240
Number of pages16
JournalTransport in Porous Media
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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