High capillary pressure has a significant effect on the phase behavior of fluid mixtures. The capillary pressure is high in unconventional reservoirs because of the small pores in the rock, so understanding the effect of capillary pressure on phase behavior is necessary for reliable modeling of unconventional shale-gas and tight-oil reservoirs. As the main finding of this paper, first we show that the tangent-plane-distance method cannot be used to determine phase stability and present a rigorous thermodynamic analysis of the problem of phase stability with capillary pressure. Second, we demonstrate that there is a maximum capillary pressure (Pcmax) where calculation of capillary equilibrium using bulk-phase thermodynamics is possible and derive the necessary equations to obtain this maximum capillary pressure. We also briefly discuss the implementation of the capillary equilibrium in a general-purpose compositional reservoir simulator. Two simulation case studies for synthetic gas condensate reservoirs were performed to illustrate the influence of capillary pressure on production behavior for the fluids studied.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology