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Publication numberUS3333631 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 1, 1967
Filing dateDec 3, 1964
Priority dateDec 3, 1964
Publication numberUS 3333631 A, US 3333631A, US-A-3333631, US3333631 A, US3333631A
InventorsHeller John P
Original AssigneeMobil Oil Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for optimum miscible flooding of reservoirs using a model to determine input profile
US 3333631 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

o PRODUCTION WELL Aug. 1, 1967 J. P. HELLER 3,333,631

METHOD FOR OPTIMUM MISCIBLE FLOODING OF RESERVOIRS USING A MODEL TO DETERMINE INPUT PROFILE Filed Dec. 5, 1964 FIG. I

PRIOR ART FLOODING FORMATION w JOHN P. HELLER I NVEN TOR.

INJECTION WELL u v T 5 '2 FL ID MO EMEN 7 BY a M ATTORNEY United States Patent METHOD FOR OPTIMUM MISCIBLE FLOODING 0F RESERVOIRS USING A MODEL T0 DETER- MINE INPUT PROFILE John P. Heller, Dallas, Tex., assignor to Mobil Oil 5 Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 3, 1964, Ser. No. 415,640 6 Claims. (Cl. 166-4) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE 10 This specification describes:

A model is provided representative of a formation, with its injection and production wells, in which miscible flooding is to be used for petroleum recovery. However, the wells employed in the model for injection and production purposes are functionally reversed from those in the formation. Additionally, in the model, the fluids representative of the miscible displacing fluid and the petroleum are also reversed; the former fluid being produced, and the latter fluid being injected, through the wells of the model. Operating this model produces, when breakthrough of the represented displacing fluid occurs, a flood front profile which is the input profile for optimum petroleum recovery in the formation. This input profile is established in the miscible displacing fluid which is injected into the formation in practicing the method for petroleum recovery by which petroleum is produced with optimum recovery.

This invention relates to the recovery of petroleum from a subterranean reservoir and relates more particularly to such recovery by the miscible flooding of the reservoir. In another aspect, the present invention also relates to a method for determining the input profile of a flood front to be established at an injection well for effecting optimum miscible flooding of the reservoir.

Petroleum is recovered from subterranean reservoirs by various methods. Among these methods is the flooding of the formation comprising the reservoir with a fluid miscible with the native petroleum. The fluid miscibly' displaces the petroleum from the formation and moves it before a flood front toward a a production well. The method of miscible flooding may be employed initially for the production of petroleum or where further amounts of petroleum are believed to be recoverable from the formation after another procedure has been practiced.

In the method of miscible flooding of the formation for the recovery of petroleum, the successive shapes of the advancing front of the displacing fluid in the formation surrounding each injection well are determined by various factors. Among these factors are included the inhomogeneities of the formation, the number and relative position of the injection nad production wells, the configuration of the gross boundaries of the reservoir, and the fluid properties of the displaced fluid and the displacing fluid. The successive shapes of the area through which the displacement or flood front passes are termed the sweep patterns and the ratio of the area within the sweep pattern to the total area at some stage in a displacement program is termed the sweep eficiency at that stage of the flood. Obviously, for economic operadons, a maximum sweep efliciency is required commensurate with the number of injection and production wells. Usually, the injection and production wells are arranged in regular and uniform geometric patterns. Especially near the edges of a delevolped field, however, the placement of the wells may depart significantly from these patterns. In many instances, high areal sweep efliciencies may be obtained with these well patterns, but for various reasons still higher efliciencies are desired.

One criterion which effects the sweep efliciencies is the shape of the flood front surrounding each injection well. This front shape is determined by various factors which include various geometrical characteristics. These characteristics arethe variations in the formation and include inhomogeneities of the porosity, permeability, and native fluid saturation and surface properties of the formation rocks matrix. These may be called the formation inhomogeneities, and may include random variations of the matrix from microscopic pore-sized dimensions up to large scale trends in the rock properties over the gross dimensions of the formation. They may also be highly ordered variations in the rock parameters, such as a strongly layered structure. Among the geometrical characteristics involved in the determination of the shape of the displacement front are the relative positions of the injection and production wells and the shape of the gross formation boundaries.

In addition to these geometrical factors, the shape of the flood front may also be under the influence of the fluid properties. This is possible if there exists a difference in mobility and density between the displaced fluid and the displacing fluid. Variations in frontal shape may 'then themselves effect changes in the velocity of fluid movement. Whenever the mobility of the displacing fluid is higher than that of the displaced fluid, the front shape becomes unstable and develops extensions or fingers. These fingers may continue to develop during the displacement flooding and will break through into the production well wit-h the resultant dilution of the produced petroleum with displacing fluid. As one result of such breakthrough effects, the lifetime of the field during which petroleum may be produced economically is decreased.

The flood fronts surrounding injection well just after start of the injection program are relatively smooth in their input profile and reflect the shape of the input boundaries, which are usually the cylindrical bores of the injection wells. This is the case even in floods in which the ratio of fluid mobility of the displaced phase to that of the displacing phase is greater than unity, i.e., an adverse mobility ratio. As the miscible flooding proceeds, the flood front develops irregularities corresponding to the effects of the geometrical characteristics mentioned above. These are further amplified by the positive feedback or instability engendered by the adverse mobility ratio, and develop further into fingers which reduce the sweep efficiency.

A process evolved for remedying the effects of the fingering in the above-mentioned situations for recovering petroleum is described in a copending application, Ser. No. 309,123, filed Sept. 16, 1963, by the present applicant, and now US. Patent No. 3,286,768. In this process, within the formation containing petroleum, one or more instability fingers of the displacing fluid are intentionally created and oriented in directions from the injection well to a production well in which the flow is ordinarily the slowest. These instability fingers produce an input profile in the flood front of the displacing fluid of a shape which counteracts the above undesired effects. Various methods for creating selectively oriented instability fingering of the displacing fluid to establish a desired input profile in the flood front may be employed. Preferably, an instability finger is created by injecting the displacing fluid from the injection well into the formation through a directionally oriented void created Within the formation from the wall of the well. For example, the injection well is first perforated employing conventional gun perforating means to create a directionally oriented void. Through this void is injected'the displacing fluid to create one or more instability fingers which establish the desired input profile in the flood front of the displacing fluid. The influence of these intentionally produced instability fingers "in the input profile on the shape of the flood front is maintained as the front moves away from the injection well by continued control of flow of the injected displacing fluid. Further, an optimum input profile if established at the injection Well would provide the flood front of displacing fluid with truly radial flow conditions as it approaches the production well. These radial flow conditions would produce increased sweep efliciency and extend to a maximum the time of recovering petroleum from the production well before unduly large amounts of displacing fluid arrive.

The input profile of the flood front may be created initially adjacent the injection well with a shape to reflect application of instability fingers generally aligned with the direction of the slowest flow of displacing fluid. However, it would be preferred that a more exact method be employed for determining the optimum input profile of the flood front of the displacing fluid immediately adjacent the injection well for effecting optimum recovery of petroleum by the miscible flooding procedure.

It is the principal purpose and object of the present invention to provide a method for recovering petroleum from subterranean reservoirs by miscible flooding procedures employing the determination of the optimum input profile to be established for the displacement flood front at the injection well and establishing the optimum input profile in the flood front of the displacing fluid for effecting the miscible flooding of the formation for the improved recovery of petroleum.

The objects of this invention will be apparent when read in conjunction with the following description, the appended claims, and the attached drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a petroleum reservoir provided with a -spot well pattern in the producing formation in which one quadrant is illustrated with the positions and shapes of successive flood fronts of the displacing fluid injected into the centrally disposed injection well in accordance with prior art miscible flooding procedures;

FIGURE 2 is a plan view of a petroleum reservoir model ofthe formation shown in FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 3 is the formation in plan view including the same well pattern as in FIGURE 1 but illustrating the positions and shapes of successive flood fronts in the displacing fluid resulting from employing the present invention.

The present invention is based on the modeling of the Darcy flow of fluids through porous materials, and on the principle of reversibility in such flows.

The operation of reservoir models representing a Darcy flow system in the actual operation of the formation is dependent upon certain known principles of dimensional analysis. Various types of hydrodynamic, potentiometric and electrical analog models have been employed in miscible flooding studies of reservoirs and for other purposes. Examples of these models are the conductive cloth models, gelatin models, electrolytic models, sand bed models, and the electrical analog models employing circuits of resistances and capacitances.

In the hydrodynamic model, fluids are flowed through permeable porous media, or within a narrow gap between two flat plates, to represent the Darcy flow system of the formation in a reservoir study. In the potentiometric or electrical analog models, the fluid flows and the permeable porous media of the prototype formation are represented functionally through analogy of the flow of electricity to the Darcy flow system. For example, the use of models in methods for increasing the recovery of petroleum from formations is described in United States Patents 2,867,277 and 2,994,372. The first-identified patent illustrates Hele- Shaw models, which are hydrodynamic models. For the results of the models representing Darcy flow systems to be transferred practicably to the operation of the formation requires that the two be substantially similar in their Darcy 'flow systems. For this purpose, the following conditions of similarity must be present in both the model and the formation.

Geometrical similarity 7 There must be a geometrical similarity of both systems in the microscopic boundary shapes, both internal and external, and in the transitional zone shape at some reference time of the displacement front. In addition, all known inhomogeneities, including porosity and permeability, should also be scaled such that these values at any point in the model are proportional to their respective values in the formation.

Dimensionless numbers The values of certain dimensionless numbers, which are descriptive of the relative strength of the various natural processes shaping the displacement and flow processes, must be substantially the same in both model and formations. These dimensionless numbers may vary in their precise form and some degree of choice in their selection exists. However, a complete set is as follows:

(A) The mobility ratio M must be the same in both systems. M is in this case, where miscible displacement is effected, the ratio of the viscosity of the displaced fluid to the viscosity of the displacing fluid.

(B) The Gravity Override Number must be the same. This function is defined as V wherein:

g is the acceleration of gravity;

k is the formation permeability;

A is the density difference between the displaced and the displacing fluids; 7

,u. is their mean viscosity; and

W is the Darcy velocity at some characteristic point in the flow system.

This insures that in both systems the effect of gravity on the orientation of the isodensity surfaces will be the same. The scaling of this number is only unnecessary when the overriding effect is negligible.

(C) The Transverse Dispersion Number must be the same in both systems. The function is defined as wherein:

D,, is the coeflicient of transverse dispersion;

A is a characteristic macroscopic length in the flow length;

and

W is again the Darcy velocity at some characteristic point in the flow system.

The coefiicient D, is a function of the molecular diffusion coeflicient between the fluids used, and also depends on the internal rock geometry and the flow rate.

(D) The Longitudinal Dispersion Number must be the same in both systems. This function is defined as wherein:

A and W have the above definitions; and

D is the coefficient of longitudinal dispersion of the flow system.

the scalar (concentration) field. Obviously, if the transition zone between the fluids were of zero thickness, then the front would be infinitely sharp since all of the isoconcentration curves would merge into one. In the practical case, however, to be considered, the front is graded and therefore the transition zone occupies an appreciable area.

The time evolution of the shape of the displacement front is dependent on the above set forth dimensionless numbers and this dependence is of two kinds. These kinds are the dispersive changes and the Darcy-changes. The dispersive changes occur due to the process of diffusion and its interaction with the microscopic fluid velocity variations in the formation. By maintaining the two dispersion numbers, the Transverse Dispersion Number, and the Longitudinal Dispersion Number as well as the concentration ga-rdient small in magnitude, the dispersive changes will be negligible in comparison with those frontal shape changes dependent upon the Darcy-changes. These Darcychanges may be classified themselves as those which relate to the shape of the external boundary and those which occur as a result of the feedback situation engendered by viscosity and density differences between the displaced and the displacing fluids.

Referring now to FIGURE 1, the Darcy-changes and their results will be described in reference to a petroleum reservoir consisting of formation having uniform isotropic geometrical characteristics and in which a conventional miscible flooding procedure is practiced. In the formation 10', injection well 11 and production wells 12, 13, 14, and 15 are provided in a 5-spot uniform and regular geometric well pattern. The increased fingering of successive fronts created by injecting a displacing fluid, such as propane or liquefied petroleum gases, denoted hereinafter as LPG, into the injection Well 11 clearly displays in the upper right quadrant of formation 10 the response to the existing geometrical characteristics. These sweep patterns behind these fronts are typical of a 5-spot displacement with a moderately adverse mobility ratio and with the flood front graded sufliciently to suppress the development of high wave number instability fingers. They do show the growth of the dominant instability pattern of wave number 4, which is initiated by the fourfold symmetry of the 5-spot pattern. The front 16 has a circular shape representative of radial flow conditions from the injection well 11. The degree to which the nosing of each of the successive fronts 17, 18, 19, and 20 protrudes, as well as rate at which the shape change by fingering occurs, is dependent on the viscosity ratio of the displacing and the displaced fluids. The front 20 illustrates breakthrough of the displacing fluid at a time when a substantial amount of petroleum or crude oil remains within the confines of the S-spot symmetry unit. Both of these Darcychanges in frontal shape are reversible in time. It is on this time reversibility that the present method is based, and by which a model is employed, wherein the positive time direction in the formation is represented by negative time direction in the model.

Referring now to FIGURE 2, the method of the present invention will be described wherein a model is employed of the formation 10 which :by prior art flooding procedures produces the undesired fingering effects in the successive fronts shown in FIGURE 1. FIGURE 2 represents a model 21 of the formation 10 portrayed in FIGURE 1. This model 21 may be constructed in any conventional manner. It also will be helpful to match dispersion numbers with the reservoir, however.

In the model employed, whether of the hydrodynamic or any other known types, it is to be understood that tain mobility ratio relationship to their counterparts in the formation.

The model construction described in the aforementioned United States Patent 2,867,277 for a hydrodynamic model in providing the model 21 is employed for illustrative and descriptive purposes. The model 21 is arranged to have functionally the same Darcy flow system as the formation of the formation 10. However, the production well 13 in the formation 10 is represented by injection well 22 in the model 21, and the injection well 11 in the formation 10 is represented by a production well 23 in the model 21.

The model 21 is now operated with displaced and displacing fluids having a mobility ratio M equal to the reciprocal of the ratio of the viscosity of the displaced fluid to the viscosity of the displacing fluid associated with the prototype formation 10.

In a particular embodiment the displacing and displaced fluids employed in the model 21 may be the displaced and displacing fluids, respectively, associated with the formation 10. More particularly, and as one example, the native petroleum of the formation 10 is introduced via the injection well 22 into the model 21 and the displacing fluid injected into the formation 10, such as LPG, is the displaced fluid native to the model which fluid is produced from the production well 23. However, other fluid flows of displacing and displaced fluids as functionally employed in the model 21 may be used representing the displacing and displaced fluids associated with the formation 10 but with the reciprocal mobility ratio relationship.

Introduction of the displacing fluid through the injection well 22 into the model 21 results in successive fronts 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 being created in progression toward the production well 23 from which displaced fluid is produced. Obviously, these fronts 24 to 28, inclusive, are successively formed positive in time direction relative to the model 21 but negative in time direction when compared to the formation 10 of FIGURE 1. It is apparent that whereas the displacement fronts 16 to 20, inclusive, are unstable and result in the fourth-order fingering into the formation 10 of FIGURE 1, the fronts 24 to 28, inclusive, are superst-able in the model 21 portrayed in FIGURE 2. Thus, the fronts 24, 25, and 26 adjacent the injection well 22 correspond to radial flow conditions with flow velocity independent of azimuth angle and thusly are circular. Each of the successive fronts 27 and 28 toward the production well 23 undergoes transition from a circular shape as the influence of the production well 23 overcomes eventually the superstability resulting from the favorable mobility ratio. Of particular notice is the shape or the profile of the front 28 immediately adjacent the production well 23 in the model 21. Since fluid movements in the model 21 in FIGURE 2 are negative in time direction relative to their counterparts in the formation 10 shown in FIGURE 1, the profile of the flood front 28 adjacent the production well 23 in FIGURE 2 is of the desired shape for the injection front to be established by any suit-able means at the injection well 11 in the formation 10 shown in FIGURES 1 and 3. Obviously, the sequence of flood front configurations in the model 21 in FIGURE 2 will be the same as that desired forthe formation 10 except for a reversal of their order in time and direction of movement. The method of determining the input profile has many uses besides in the following described method for recovering petroleum. For example, such input profiles may be determined in studies for the best placement of wells in a reservoir.

Referring now to FIGURE 3, there is shown the formation 10 with the injection well 11 and production well 13 as priorly described with reference to FIGURE 1, and wherein the shape of the flood front 28 obtained with the model 21 of FIGURE 2 is established as the input profile, adjacent the injection well 11, in a flood front 29 of injected displacing fluid. The displacing fluid may be any 'jection well 11.

fluid employed for the miscible displacement of petroleum, and one example is LPG. It will be seen that the continued injection of the displacing fluid into the injection well 11 at the flow conditions employed for establishing the desired input profile displaces the petroleum toward, and to be produced from, the production well 13 on the formation 10 shown in FIGURE 3. This action will produce successive displacement fronts 30, 31, 32, and 33 having configurations exactly as they appear in the model 21 of FIGURE 2 in the fronts 27, 26, 25, and 24, respectively. The only difference between these successive displacement fronts in FIGURES 2 and 3 is that they are reversed in their order in time and direction of movement. Thus, the successive fronts 31, 32, and 33 have :a circular configuration representing radial fiow conditions for some distance from the production well 33. These radial flow conditions produce a substantial increase in the sweep efliciency of the displacement fronts in the miscible flooding procedure. As one result, a greater amount of petroleum is produced from the formation 10 than could be obtained in the formation 10 by conventional methods :as represented in FIGURE 1.

As previously mentioned, the process of dispersion causes the frontal thickness to become progressively greater in the positive direction of tiime in both the model 21 of FIGURE 2 and the formation 10 of FIG- URE 3. This, of course, limits the time reversal modeling method of this invention to situations in which the dispersive effects are small. However, it will be seen that these situations are precisely those to which modeling is limited by other considerations as well. Additionally, it is desired to reduce to a great degree the growth of instability fingers in the displacement fronts 29 to 33 of high-wave numbers in the unstable displacement front configuration of the formation 10 shown in FIGURE 3. The formation of the high-wave number fingers in the displacement fronts may be restricted where the front has a relatively broad transition zone, that is, one with a large grading distance. In this case, the growth rates of the high-wave number fingers are much reduced, while the growth rates of the lower order wave perturbations, such as the fourth (which is dominant when a -spot geometric well pattern is employed) are relatively unaffected. By employment of large grading distances in the model 21, as well as in the formation 10, the undesired effects of dispersion and of the formation of highwave number fingerings are avoided. Generally, an appropriate grading length will depend upon the value of the mobility ratio. Preferably, the higher the ,mobility ratio M, the greater will be the required grading length. However, this is true in all models employed in miscible displacement flooding procedures.

Thus, in summary, the shape of the flood front 28 in the model 21 is determined from the last of the successive flood fronts 24 to 28 as has been described. The shape of the flood front 28 may be recorded in any suitable manner for future use, if desired. This shape is utilized as the input profile of the flood front 29 to be established adjacent the injection well 11 of the formation 10. The input profile of the flood front 29 can be established by the injection of the displacing fluid in any suitable manner from the injection well 11. For example, the selective formation of instability fingers by directional perforation may be used. Continuing injection of the miscible displacing fluid, such as LPG, into the injection well 11 produces the successive fronts 30, 31, 32, and 33 until the breakthrough occurs into the production well 13. The displaced petroleum is produced or recovered from the production well 13 under radial flow conditions which extend therefrom a substantial distance toward the in- Obviously, by the foregoing steps, greater sweep efliciency by the displacing fluid is obtained along with an extension of the time over which petroleum can be pro- G duced from the production well 13 without undue collateral production of the displacing fluid. These results mean an improved production of petroleum through utilization of the method of this invention.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that a method is disclosed which accomplishes all of the stated objects of this invent-ion. Various modifications of the disclosed method may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of this invention. For this and other reasons, the present description is intended to be illustrative of this invention, and only the appended claims are to be considered as limitative of the invention.

What I claim is:

1. In a method for the production of petroleum from a formation penetrated by injection well means and production well means by the injection of a miscible displacing fluid into said formation through said injection well means and displacement of said petroleum by said displacing fluid in the direction of said production well means, the steps comprising:

(a) providing a reservoir model having functionally the same Darcy flow system including geometrical similarity and dimensionless numbers, and the same arrangement of well means for injection and production purposes as the formation,

(b) operating the model with the well means employed in the formation for injection and production purposes functionally interchanged in the well means of the model for production and injection purposes, respectively, and with the ratio of the viscosity of the miscible displacing fluid to the viscosity of the displaced fluid as functionally employed in the model being the reciprocal of the ratio of the viscosity of the miscible displacing fluid to be injected into the formation to the viscosity of the native petroleum to be displaceably produced therefrom, and operating said model until the shape of the flood front in the model is established at the time representative of the miscible displacing fluid approaching breakthrough into the production well means,

(c) injecting the miscible displacing fluid via the injection well means into the formation to form therein a flood front,

((1) establishing in the formation adjacent the injection well means in the flood front through flow conditions of the injected displacing fluid an input profile with a shape substantially the same as the flood front shape at the time representative of the miscible displacing fluid approaching breakthrough into the production well means in the model,

(e) continuing at the same flow conditions the miscible displacing fluid injection into the injection well means of the formation to move the flood front toward the production well means, and

(f) producing petroleum from the production well means in the formation.

2. A method for determining the input profile of a flood front shape to be established adjacent injection Well means in a formation for the optimum production of petroleum therefrom by a miscible flooding procedure employing the injection of a miscible displacing fluid into said formation through injection well means for displacement of petroleum in the direction of production well means from which petroleum is recovered, the steps comprising: V

(a) providing a reservoir model having functionally the same Darcy flow system including geometrical similarity and dimensionless numbers, and the same arrangement of well means for injection and production purposes as the formation, 7

(b) operating the model with the well means employed in the formation for injection and production purposes functionally interchanged in the well means of the model for production and injection purposes,

respectively, and with the ratio of the viscosity of the miscible displacing fluid to the viscosity of the displaced fluid 'as functionally employed in the model being the recipurocal of the ratio of the viscosity of the miscible displacing fluid to be injected into the formation to the viscosity of the native petroleum to be displaceably produced therefrom, and

(c) operating said model until the shape of the flood front in the model is established at the time representative of the miscible displacing fluid approaching breakthrough into the production well means.

3. In a method for the production of petroleum from a formation penetrated by injection well means and production well means by the injection of a miscible displacing fluid into said formation through said injection well means and displacement of said petroleum by said displacing fluid in the direction of said production well means, the steps comprising:

(a) providing a hydrodynamic reservoir model having functionally the same Darcy flow system including geometrical similarity and dimensionless numbers, and the same arrangement of well means for injection and production purposes as the formation,

(b) operating the model with the well means employed in the formation for injection and production purposes functionally interchanged in the well means of the model for production and injection purposes, respectively, and with a displacing fluid injected into the injection well means to move a displaced fluid toward the production well means, and where the ratio of the viscosity of said displacing fluid to the viscosity of said displaced fluid employed in the model is the reciprocal of they ratio of the viscosity of the miscible displacing fluid to be injected into the formation to the viscosity of the native petroleum to be displaceably produced therefrom, and operating said model until the shape of the flood front in the model is established at the time representative of the miscible displacing fluid approaching breakthrough into the production well means,

(c) injecting the miscible displacing fluid via the injection well means into the formation to form therein a flood front,

(d) establishing in the formation adjacent the injection well means in the flood front through flow conditions of the injected displacing fluid an input profile with a shape substantially the same as the flood front shape at the time representative of the miscible displacing fluid approaching breakthrough into the protion well means in the model,

(e) continuing at the same flow conditions the miscible displacing fluid injection into the injection well means of the formation to move the flood front toward the production well means, and

(f) producing petroleum from the production Well means in the formation.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein the displacing fluid injected into the injection well means of the model is the native petroleum to be produced from the formation and the displaced fluid produced from the production Well means of the model is the displacing fluid to be injected into the formation.

5. A method for determining the input profile of a flood front shape to be established adjacent injection well means in a formation for the optimum production of petroleum therefrom by a miscible flooding procedure employing the injection of a miscible displacing fluid into said formation through injection well means for displacement of petroleum in the direction of production well means from which petroleum is recovered, the steps comprising:

(a) providing a hydrodynamic reservoir model having functionally the same Darcy flow system including geometrical similarity and dimensionless numbers, and the same arrangement of well means for injection and production purposes as the formation,

(b) operating the model with the well means employed in the formation for injection and production purposes functionally interchanged in the well means of the model for production and injection purposes, respectively, and with a displacing fluid injected into the injection well means to move a displaced fluid toward the production well means, and where the ratio of the viscosity of said displacing fluid to the viscosity of said displaced fluid employed in the model is the reciprocal of the ratio of the viscosity of the miscible displacing fluid to be injected into the formation to the viscosity of the native petroleum to be displaceably produced therefrom, and

(c) operating said model until the shape of the flood front in the model is established at the time representative of the miscible displacing fluid approaching breakthrough into the production well means.

6. The method of claim 5 wherein the displacing fluid injected into the injection Well means of the model is the native petroleum to be produced from the formation and the displaced fluid produced from the production well means of the model is the displacing fluid to be injected into the formation.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,867,277 1/ 1959 Weinaug et al. 1669 2,994,372 8/1961 Stone 1669 X 3,113,616 12/1963 Dew et al 1669 3,123,136 3/1964 Sharp 1669 3,139,929 7/1964 Habermann 1669 3,199,587 8/1965 Santourian 1669 3,205,943 9/1965 Foulks 1 66--9 OTHER REFERENCES Hartsock, J. H. et al., The Effect of Mobility Ratio and Vertical Fractures on the Sweep Efliciency of a Five-Spot. In Producers Monthly, September 1961, pp. 37.

Muskat, Morris, Physical Principles of Oil Production. Mc-Graw-Hill, New York, 1949, pp. 674, 677, 678.

CHARLES E. OCONNELL, Primary Examiner. JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Examiner.

I. A. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4102396 *Jun 23, 1977Jul 25, 1978Union Oil Company Of CaliforniaDetermining residual oil saturation following flooding
US4181176 *Nov 6, 1978Jan 1, 1980Texaco Inc.Oil recovery prediction technique
US4503909 *Sep 16, 1983Mar 12, 1985Marathon Oil CompanyHrdrolyzed polyacrylamide
US5111882 *Jun 6, 1991May 12, 1992Exxon Production Research CompanyUse of tracers to monitor in situ miscibility of solvent in oil reservoirs during EOR
US5256572 *Jun 6, 1991Oct 26, 1993Exxon Production Research CompanyMethod for determining residual oil saturation of a watered-out reservoir
Classifications
U.S. Classification166/252.1
International ClassificationE21B43/16
Cooperative ClassificationE21B43/16
European ClassificationE21B43/16