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Capillary Pressure Derived Relative Permeability Relationships
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  • Nathan Moodie,
  • Lindsey Rasmussen,
  • Jason Heath,
  • Thomas Dewers,
  • Brian McPherson
Nathan Moodie
University of Utah

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Lindsey Rasmussen
New Mexico Tech
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Jason Heath
Los Alamos National Laboratory
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Thomas Dewers
Sandia National Laboratories
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Brian McPherson
Univ Utah
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Surface tension controls all aspects of fluid flow in porous media. Through measurements of surface tension interaction under multiphase conditions, a relative permeability relationship can be determined. Relative permeability is a numerical description of the interplay between two or more fluids and the porous media they flow through. It is a critical parameter for various tools used to characterized subsurface multiphase flow systems, such as numerical simulation for oil and gas development, carbon sequestration, and groundwater contamination remediation. Therefore, it is critical to get a good statistic distribution of relative permeability in the porous media under study. Empirical relationships for determining relative permeability from capillary pressure are already well established but do not provide the needed flexibility in that is required to match laboratory derive relative permeability relationships. By expanding the existing methods for calculating relative permeability from capillary pressure data it is possible to create both two and three-phase relative permeability relationship. Existing laboratory measured relative permeability data along with mercury intrusion capillary (MICP) data coupled with interfacial tension and contact angle measurements were used to determine the efficacy of this approach to relative permeability curve creation. The relative permeability relationships determined with this method were fit to the existing laboratory data to elucidate common fitting parameters that were then used to create relative permeability relationships from MICP data that does not have an associated laboratory measured relative permeability relationship. The study was undertaken as part of the Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration (SWP) under Award No. DE-FC26-05NT42591.