Pore-scale simulation of gas displacement after water flooding using three-phase lattice Boltzmann method

Sen Wang, Liyang Chen, Qihong Feng, Li Chen, Chao Fang, Ronghao Cui

Abstract view|0|times       PDF download|0|times


Water flooding is a commonly used technique to improve oil recovery, although the amount of oil left in reservoirs after the procedure is still significant. Gas displacement after water flooding is an effective way to recover residual oil, but the occurrence state and flow principles of multiphase fluid after gas injection are still ambiguous. Therefore, the gas displacement process after water flooding should be studied on the pore scale to provide a basis for formulating a reasonable gas injection program. Most of the current pore-scale studies focus on two-phase flow, while simulations that account for the influence of oil-gas miscibility and injected water are seldom reported. In this work, the multi-component multi-phase Shan-Chen lattice Boltzmann model is used to simulate the gas displacement after water flooding in a porous medium, and the effects of injected water, viscosity ratio, pore structure, and miscibility are analyzed. It is established that the injected water will cause gas flow path variations and lead to premature gas channeling. Under the impact of capillary pressure, the water retained in the porous medium during the water flooding stage further imbibes into the tiny pores during gas injection and displaces the remaining oil. When miscibility is considered, the oil-gas interface disappears, eliminating the influence of the capillary effect on the fluid flow and enabling the recovery of remaining oil at the corner. This study sheds light on the gas displacement mechanisms after water flooding from the pore-scale perspective and provides a potential avenue for improving oil recovery.

Cited as: Wang, S., Chen, L., Feng, Q., Chen, L., Fang, C., Cui, R. Pore-scale simulation of gas displacement after water flooding using three-phase lattice Boltzmann method. Capillarity, 2023, 6(2): 19-30. https://doi.org/10.46690/capi.2023.02.01


Gas flooding, lattice Boltzmann method, three-phase flow, porous media, miscibility

Full Text:



Alemu, B., Aker, E., Soldal, M., et al. Effect of sub-core scale heterogeneities on acoustic and electrical properties of a reservoir rock: A CO2 flooding experiment of brine saturated sandstone in a computed tomography scanner. Geophysical Prospecting, 2013, 61(1): 235-250.

Andrew, M., Bijeljic, B., Blunt, M. J. Pore-scale imaging of trapped supercritical carbon dioxide in sandstones and carbonates. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 2014, 22: 1-14.

Cai, J., Jin, T., Kou, J., et al. Lucas-Washburn equation-based modeling of capillary-driven flow in porous systems. Langmuir, 2021, 37(5): 1623-1636.

Cao, C., Liao, J., Hou, Z., et al. Utilization of CO2 as cushion gas for depleted gas reservoir transformed gas storage reservoir. Energies, 2020, 13(3): 576.

Cha, L., Feng, Q., Wang, S., et al. Pore-scale modeling of immiscible displacement in porous media: The effects of dual wettability. SPE Journal, 2022: 1-12. (online)

Cha, L., Xie, C., Feng, Q., et al. Geometric criteria for the snap-off of a non-wetting droplet in pore-throat channels with rectangular cross-sections. Water Resources Research, 2021, 57(7): e2020WR029476.

Chen, L., Kang, Q., Mu, Y., et al. A critical review of the pseudopotential multiphase lattice Boltzmann model: Methods and applications. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2014, 76: 210-236.

Chen, L., Kang, Q., Robinson, B. A., et al. Pore-scale modeling of multiphase reactive transport with phase transitions and dissolution-precipitation processes in closed systems. Physical Review E, 2013, 87(4): 043306.

Chen, L., Zhang, L., Kang, Q., et al. Nanoscale simulation of shale transport properties using the lattice Boltzmann method: permeability and diffusivity. Scientific Reports, 2015, 5(1): 8089.

Davarpanah, A., Mazarei, M., Mirshekari, B. A simulation study to enhance the gas production rate by nitrogen replacement in the underground gas storage performance. Energy Reports, 2019, 5: 431-435.

Diao, Z., Li, S., Liu, W., et al. Numerical study of the effect of tortuosity and mixed wettability on spontaneous imbibition in heterogeneous porous media. Capillarity, 2021, 4(3): 50-62.

Feng, Q., Cha, L., Dai, C., et al. Effect of particle size and concentration on the migration behavior in porous media by coupling computational fluid dynamics and discrete element method. Powder Technology, 2020, 360: 704-714.

Golparvar, A., Zhou, Y., Wu, K., et al. A comprehensive review of pore scale modeling methodologies for multiphase flow in porous media. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2018, 2(4): 418-440.

Guo, Z., Shi, B., Wang, N. Lattice BGK model for incompressible Navier-Stokes equation. Journal of Computational Physics, 2000, 165(1): 288-306.

Guo, Z., Zheng, C., Shi, B. Discrete lattice effects on the forcing term in the lattice Boltzmann method. Physical Review E, 2002a, 65(4): 046308.

Guo Z., Zheng, C., Shi, B. Non-equilibrium extrapolation method for velocity and pressure boundary conditions in the lattice Boltzmann method. Chinese Physics, 2002b, 11(4): 366.

Huang, H., Thorne, D. T., Schaap, M. G., et al. Proposed approximation for contact angles in Shan-and-Chen-type multicomponent multiphase lattice Boltzmann models. Physical Review E, 2007, 76(6): 066701.

Hustad, O. S., Holt, T. Gravity stable displacement of oil by hydrocarbon gas after waterflooding. Paper SPE 24116 Presented at the SPE/DOE Enhanced Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 22-24 April, 1992.

Ji, S., Tian, C., Shi, C., et al. New understanding on water-oil displacement efficiency in a high water-cut stage. Petroleum Exploration and Development, 2012, 39(3): 362-370.

Kong, D., Gao, Y., Sarma, H., et al. Experimental investigation of immiscible water-alternating-gas injection in ultrahigh water-cut stage reservoir. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2021, 5(2): 139-152.

Li, S., Liu, H., Zhang, J., et al. Modeling of three-phase displacement in three-dimensional irregular geometries using a lattice Boltzmann method. Physics of Fluids, 2021, 33(12): 122108.

Li, Q., Luo, K., Li, X. Lattice Boltzmann modeling of multiphase flows at large density ratio with an improved pseudopotential model. Physical Review E, 2013, 87(5): 053301.

Liu, Y., Chen, M., Sun, S., et al. Effects of grain shape and packing pattern on spontaneous imbibition under different boundary conditions: Pore-scale simulation. Journal of Hydrology, 2022a, 607: 127484.

Liu, H., Kang, Q., Leonardi, C. R., et al. Multiphase lattice Boltzmann simulations for porous media applications. Computational Geosciences, 2016, 20(4): 777-805.

Liu, S., Ren, B., Li, H. Y., et al. CO2 storage with enhanced gas recovery (CSEGR): A review of experimental and numerical studies. Petroleum Science, 2022b, 19(2): 594-607.

Liu, J., Wang, S., Javadpour, F., et al. Hydrogen diffusion in clay slit: Implications for the geological storage. Energy & Fuels, 2022c, 36(14): 7651-7660.

Mazarei, M., Davarpanah, A., Ebadati, A., et al. The feasibility analysis of underground gas storage during an integration of improved condensate recovery processes. Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology, 2019, 9(1): 397-408.

Mukherjee, S., Dang, S. T., Rai, C., et al. Novel techniques to measure oil-gas diffusion at high pressure & high temperature conditions: Application for huff-n-puff EOR in shale. Paper URTEC 20202203 Presented at the SPE/AAPG/SEG Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, Virtual, 20-22 July, 2020.

Preston, C., Monea, M., Jazrawi, W., et al. IEA GHG Weyburn CO2 monitoring and storage project. Fuel Processing Technology, 2005, 86(14): 1547-1568.

Qu, M., Hou, J., Wen, Y., et al. Nitrogen gas channeling characteristics in fracture-vuggy carbonate reservoirs. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2020, 186: 106723.

Ren, B., Male, F., Duncan, I. J. Economic analysis of CCUS: Accelerated development for CO2 EOR and storage in residual oil zones under the context of 45Q tax credit. Applied Energy, 2022, 321: 119393.

Ren, B., Ren, S., Zhang, L., et al. Monitoring on CO2 migration in a tight oil reservoir during CCS-EOR in Jilin oilfield China. Energy, 2016, 98: 108-121.

Rokhforouz, M. R., Akhlaghi Amiri, H. A. Effects of grain size and shape distribution on pore-scale numerical simulation of two-phase flow in a heterogeneous porous medium. Advances in Water Resources, 2019, 124: 84-95.

Shen, H., Yang, Z., Li, X., et al. CO2-responsive agent for restraining gas channeling during CO2 flooding in low permeability reservoirs. Fuel, 2021, 292: 120306.

Sohrabi, M., Danesh, A., Jamiolahmady, M. Visualisation of residual oil recovery by near-miscible gas and SWAG injection using high-pressure micromodels. Transport in Porous Media, 2008a, 74(2): 239-257.

Sohrabi, M., Danesh, A., Tehrani, D. H., et al. Microscopic mechanisms of oil recovery by near-miscible gas injection. Transport in Porous Media, 2008b, 72(3): 351-367.

Tang, M., Zhan, H., Lu, S., et al. Pore-scale CO2 displacement simulation based on the three fluid phase lattice Boltzmann method. Energy & Fuels, 2019, 33(10): 10039-10055.

Tovar, F. D., Eide, Ø., Graue, A., et al. Experimental investigation of enhanced recovery in unconventional liquid reservoirs using CO2: A look ahead to the future of unconventional EOR. Paper SPE 169022 Presented at the SPE Unconventional Resources Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 1-3 April, 2014.

Wang, Z., Jin, X., Sun, L., et al. Pore-scale geometry effects on gas permeability in shale. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 2016, 34: 948-957.

Wang, H., Su, Y., Wang, W., et al. CO2-oil diffusion, adsorption and miscible flow in nanoporous media from pore-scale perspectives. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2022, 450: 137957.

Wang, H., Yuan, X., Liang, H., et al. A brief review of the phase-field-based lattice Boltzmann method for multiphase flows. Capillarity, 2019, 2(3): 33-52.

Wei, B., Hou, J., Sukop, M. C., et al. Enhancing oil recovery using an immiscible slug: Lattice Boltzmann simulation by three-phase pseudopotential model. Physics of Fluids, 2020, 32(9): 092105.

Wei, H., Zhu, X., Liu, X., et al. Pore-scale study of drainage processes in porous media with various structural heterogeneity. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 2022, 132: 105914.

Yu, Y., Liang, D., Liu, H. Lattice Boltzmann simulation of immiscible three-phase flows with contact-line dynamics. Physical Review E, 2019, 99(1): 013308.

Zeidan, D., Bähr, P., Farber, P., et al. Numerical investigation of a mixture two-phase flow model in two-dimensional space. Computers & Fluids, 2019, 181: 90-106.

Zhang, J. Lattice Boltzmann method for microfluidics: Models and applications. Microfluid Nanofluid, 2011, 10(1): 1-28.

Zhang, C., Chen, L., Ji, W., et al. Lattice Boltzmann mesoscopic modeling of flow boiling heat transfer processes in a microchannel. Applied Thermal Engineering, 2021, 197: 117369.

Zhang, D., Li, S., Jiao, S., et al. Relative permeability of three immiscible fluids in random porous media determined by the lattice Boltzmann method. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2019, 134: 311-320.

Zhao, H., Ning, Z., Kang, Q., et al. Relative permeability of two immiscible fluids flowing through porous media determined by lattice Boltzmann method. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 2017, 85: 53-61.

Zhao, F., Wang, P., Huang, S., et al. Performance and applicable limits of multi-stage gas channeling control system for CO2 flooding in ultra-low permeability reservoirs. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 2020, 192: 107336.

Zhu, X., Chen, L., Wang, S., et al. Pore-scale study of three-phase displacement in porous media. Physics of Fluids, 2022, 34(4): 043320.

Zhu, X., Wang, S., Feng, Q., et al. Pore-scale numerical prediction of three-phase relative permeability in porous media using the lattice Boltzmann method. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 2021, 126: 105403.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 The Author(s)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright ©2018. All Rights Reserved