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Journal Articles Transport in Porous Media Year : 2009

Experimental Study of Upward Oil Migration in a Fracture

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The upward oil migration in a transparent and rough fracture containing a liquid of higher density is studied experimentally using a light transmission technique. The aperture heterogeneity is also measured by light transmission. The injection of oil in a fracture containing a heavier fluid produces a gravitational fingering instability. Depending on the injection velocity (capillary number, Ca) and the density difference between the two fluids (Bond number, Bo), different patterns are observed during the oil displacements. The width of the finger and its velocity are measured as a function of Bo and Ca. A stability analysis of the interface, based on a generalised Darcy equation in a two-dimensional fracture, allows an accurate description of the experimental results. The order of magnitude of the finger width and its velocity are in good agreement with the calculations, with small disparities due to various unknown fluid flow parameters: capillary pressure, finger thickness in the gap of the fracture, finger tortuosity and oil velocity field into the finger. The theoretical approach allows constructing a (Ca, Bo) phase diagram of stability of the interface.

Dates and versions

hal-00429329 , version 1 (02-11-2009)



Didier Loggia, Zhou Bo, Luo Xiaorong, Guy Vasseur. Experimental Study of Upward Oil Migration in a Fracture. Transport in Porous Media, 2009, 80 (1), pp.1-16. ⟨10.1007/s11242-009-9340-2⟩. ⟨hal-00429329⟩
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