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Stability of the two-phase displacement in porous media studied by MRI techniques

Abstract : It is important to understand the driving forces that control the flow of two immiscible fluids in a porous medium. Indeed, there is a wide range of applications of two-phase flows in porous media, especially those relating to enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The development of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques opens up new possibilities for studying and characterizing multiphase flows in porous media. This work is specifically concerned with describing the displacement of two immiscible fluids (water-oil) in a porous medium using MRI techniques. The porous medium is initially saturated with oil which is displaced by injecting water from below, oil and water can be evacuated from above. The general objective of the study is to determine the displacement and the deformation of the front (water-oil) over time, and to specify the trapping mechanisms of the phases. Experiments are conducted on two porous models. One oil wetting consists of a stack of small polystyrene beads (0.4 mm < dp < 0.6 mm), the other wetting with water is a slightly compacted sand (0.02 mm < dp <0.50 mm). We used a 14 T NMR micro-imaging device (1H resonance at 600 MHz) to acquire high resolution images (0.2 mm) inside the porous media during the movement of the two fluids. The results obtained showed that the oil saturation profile is strongly influenced by the properties of the porous material, such as the porosity and the permeability of the sample, the wetting of the phases, the injection rate of the water or even the heterogeneity of the solid matrix. The influence of the water injection flow rate on the residual saturation of oil has been studied more particularly. The experimental results allow a fine understanding of the displacement of two immiscible fluids for two types of porous media, which mainly differ by the effects of wettability. At the same time, a numerical simulation of the upward vertical displacement of oil pushed by water in a porous column was performed and the results compared to our MRI experiments.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02880651, version 1

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Jamal Fannir. Stability of the two-phase displacement in porous media studied by MRI techniques. Fluids mechanics [physics.class-ph]. Université de Lorraine, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0330⟩. ⟨tel-02880651⟩

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