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BUCKLEY-LEVERETT ANALYSIS

kkro A ⎛ ∂Po ⎞

qo = − ⎜ + ρ o gsin α ⎟

µ o ⎝ ∂x ⎠

kk A ⎛ ∂P ⎞

qw = − rw ⎜ w + ρ w gsin α ⎟ ,

µ w ⎝ ∂x ⎠

qw = − ⎜ + ρ w gsin α ⎟ .

µw ⎝ ∂x ⎠

µo ∂P

−qo = o + ρ o gsin α

kkro A ∂x

µ ∂P ∂ P

−qw w = o − cow + ρ w gsin α

kkrw A ∂x ∂x

1 ⎛ µw µ ⎞ ∂P

− ⎜ qw − qo o ⎟ = − cow + Δρgsin α

kA ⎝ krw k ro ⎠ ∂x

Substituting for

q = qw + qo

and

q

fw = w ,

q

and solving for the fraction of water flowing, we obtain the following expression for the

fraction of water flowing:

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 2/2

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

kk ro A ⎛ ∂Pcow ⎞

⎜ − Δρgsin α ⎟ 1+

qµo ⎝ ∂x ⎠

fw =

kro µw

1+

µo k rw

For the simplest case of horizontal flow, with negligible capillary pressure, the expression

reduces to:

1

fw =

k µ

1+ ro w

µo k rw

Typical plots of relative permeabilities and the corresponding fractional flow curve are:

1

1

0,9

0,9

Kro

0,8 Krw

0,8

0,7

0,7

Relative permeability

0,6

0,6

0,5

fw

0,5

0,4

0,4

0,3

0,3

0,2

0,2

0,1

0,1

0

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

Water saturation

Water saturation

For a displacement process where water displaces oil, we start the derivation with the

application of a mass balance of water around a control volume of length Δx of in the

following system for a time period of Δt :

qw

ρw

qw

The mass balance mayρ be written:

w

which, when Δx → 0 and Δt → 0 , reduces to the continuity equation:

∂ ∂

− (qw ρ w ) = Aφ (Sw ρ w )

∂x ∂t

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 3/3

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

ρ w = constant

qw = f w q

Therefore

∂f w Aφ ∂Sw

− =

∂x q ∂t

Since

f w (Sw ) ,

df w ∂Sw Aφ ∂Sw

− =

dSw ∂x q ∂t

This equation is known as the Buckley-Leverett equation above, after the famous paper by

Buckley and Leverett1 in 1942.

Since

Sw (x,t)

∂S w ∂S

dSw = dx + w dt

∂x ∂t

In the Buckley-Leverett solution, we follow a fluid front of constant saturation during the

displacement process; thus:

∂S ∂S

0 = w dx + w dt

∂x ∂t

dx q df w

=

dt Aφ dSw

Integration in time

1

Buckley, S. E. and Leverett, M. C.: “Mechanism of fluid displacement in sands”, Trans.

AIME, 146, 1942, 107-116

Norwegian University of Science and Technology Professor Jon Kleppe

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 4/4

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

dx q df w

∫ dt

dt = ∫ Aφ dS dt

t t w

qt df w

xf = ( )f

Aφ dSw

A typical plot of the fractional flow curve and it´s derivative is shown below:

1 4

fw

0,9

dfw/dSw

0,8

3

0,7

0,6

dfw/dSw

0,5 2

fw

0,4

0,3

1

0,2

0,1

0 0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

Water saturation

Using the expression for the front position, and plotting water saturation vs. distance, we get

the following figure:

Clearly, the plot of saturations is showing an impossible physical situation, since we have two

saturations at each x-position. However, this is a result of the discontinuity in the saturation

function, and the Buckley-Leverett solution to this problem is to modify the plot by defining a

Computed water saturation profile

0,9

0,8

0,7

0,6

0,5

Sw

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

x

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 5/5

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

saturation discontinuity at x f and balancing of the areas ahead of the front and below the

curve, as shown:

Balancing of areas

0,9

0,8

0,7

0,6

0,5

Sw

0,4 A2

0,3

A1

0,2

0,1

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

x

0,9

0,8

0,7

0,6

0,5

Sw

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

x

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 6/6

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

The determination of the water saturation at the front is shown graphically in the figure below:

0,9

0,8 f wf

0,7

0,6

0,5

fw

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

Swf

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

Water saturation

The average saturation behind the fluid front is determined by the intersection between the

tangent line and f w = 1 :

Determination of the average saturation

behind the front

1

0,9

0,8

0,7

0,6

0,5

fw

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

Sw

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

Water saturation

Sw − Swir

RF =

1− Swir

q wS 1

Since qS = qR /B, and f wS = we may derive f wS =

q wS + qoS 1+

1− f w Bw

f w Bo

or

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 7/7

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

1

WCS = (in surface units)

1− f w Bw

1+

f w Bo

For the determination of recovery and water-cut after break-through, we again apply the frontal

advance equation:

qt df w

x Sw = ( )S

Aφ dSw w

At any water saturation, Sw , we may draw a tangent to the f w − curve in order to determine

saturations and corresponding water fraction flowing.

0,9

0,8

0,7

0,6

fw

0,5

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

Sw Sw

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

Water saturation

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 8/8

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

The efficiency of a water flood depends greatly on the mobility ratio of the displacing fluid to

k k

the displaced fluid, rw / ro . The lower this ratio, the more efficient displacement, and the curve

µw µo

is shifted right. Ulimate recovery efficiency is obtained if the ratio is so low that the fractional

flow curve has no inflection point, ie. no S-shape. Typical fractional flow curves for high and

low oil viscosities, and thus high or low mobility ratios, are shown in the figure below. In

addition to the two curves, an extreme curve for perfect displacement efficiency, so-called

piston-like displacement, is included.

Effect of mobility ratio on fractional flow

1

Low oil viscosity

0,9 High oil viscosity

Piston displacement

0,8

0,7

0,6

Fw

0,5

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

Sw

In a non-horizontal system, with water injection at the bottom and production at the top, gravity

forces will contribute to a higher recovery efficiency. Typical curves for horizontal and vertical

flow are shown below.

1

Vertical flow

0,8

0,7

0,6

Fw

0,5

0,4

0,3

0,2

0,1

0

0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

Sw

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

TPG4150 Reservoir Recovery Techniques 2009 9/9

Hand-out note 4: Buckley-Leverett Analysis

kk ro A ⎛ ∂Pcow ⎞

1+ ⎜ − Δρgsin α ⎟

qµo ⎝ ∂x ⎠

fw = ,

kro µw

1+

µo k rw

∂Pcow

capillary pressure will contribute to a higher f w (since > 0 ), and thus to a less efficient

∂x

displacement. However, this argument alone is not really valid, since the Buckley-Leverett

solution assumes a discontinuous water-oil displacement front. If capillary pressure is included

in the analysis, such a front will not exist, since capillary dispersion (ie. imbibition) will take

place at the front. Thus, in addition to a less favorable fractional flow curve, the dispersion will

also lead to an earlier water break-through at the production well.

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics 09.09.09

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