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Foam Flow and Mobility Control in Natural Fracture Networks

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Abstract

We study the generation and flow of foam through rough-walled, fractured marble rocks that mimic natural fracture systems in carbonate reservoirs. Flow was isolated to the fracture network because of the very low rock permeability of the marble samples and foam generated in situ during co-injection of surfactant solution and gas. The foam apparent viscosities were calculated at steady pressure gradients for a range of gas fractions, and similar to foam flow in porous media, we identified two flow regimes for foam flow in fractures: a high-quality flow regime only dependent on liquid velocity and a low-quality flow regime determined by the gas and liquid velocities. Variations in local fluid saturation during co-injection were visualized and quantified using positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the Research Council of Norway for financial support under Grant Number 268216—Nanoparticles to Stabilize CO2-foam for Efficient CCUS in Challenging Reservoirs. The PET-CT imaging was performed at the Molecular Imaging Center (MIC) and was thus supported by the Department of Biomedicine and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, at the University of Bergen, and its partners.

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Correspondence to Bergit Brattekås.

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Brattekås, B., Eide, Ø., Johansen, S.A. et al. Foam Flow and Mobility Control in Natural Fracture Networks. Transp Porous Med 131, 157–174 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-019-01249-3

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Keywords

  • Foam generation in fractures
  • Foam apparent viscosity
  • Local fluid flow
  • PET imaging