Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 377–392 | Cite as

Oil Displacement for One-Dimensional Three-Phase Flow with Phase Change in Fractured Media

  • Hai-Shan Luo
  • Xiao-Hong WangEmail author


In this article, the numerical simulations for one-dimensional three-phase flows in fractured porous media are implemented. The simulation results show that oil displacement in matrix is dominated by oil–water capillary pressure only under certain conditions. When conditions are changed to decrease the amount of water entering into the fractured media from the boundary of the flow field, water in fracture may be vaporized to superheated steam. In these cases, the appearance of superheated steam in fracture rather than in matrix will decrease the fracture pressure and generate the pressure difference between matrix and fracture, which results in oil flowing from matrix to fracture. Assuming that oil is wetting to steam, the matrix steam–oil capillary pressure will decrease the matrix oil-phase pressure as the matrix steam saturation increases. After the steam–oil capillary pressure finally exceeds the pressure difference due to the appearance of superheated steam in fracture, the oil displacement in matrix will stop. It is also shown that variations of the water relative permeability curve in matrix do not result in different mechanisms for oil displacement in matrix. The simulation results suggest that the amount of liquid water supply from the boundary of flow field fundamentally influence the mechanisms for oil displacement in matrix.


Fluid flows in porous media Multi-phase flows Fractured media Steam injection Oil recovery 



α-Phase isobaric specific heat (J/kg °C)


Exchange of energy between fracture and matrix (J/m3s)


Intrinsic permeability (m2)


α-Phase relative permeability


Oil-phase relative permeability in oil–gas two-phase system


Oil-phase relative permeability in oil–water two-phase system


α-Phase enthalpy (J/kg)


α-Phase pressure (Pa)


Gas–oil capillary pressure (Pa)


Oil–water capillary pressure (Pa)


α-Phase filtration velocity (m/s)


Exchange of the mass between fracture and matrix for the α-phase (kg /m3s)


Gas constant (J/mol K)


α-Phase saturation


Time (s)


Temperature (K)


α-Phase internal energy (J/kg)

Greek Letters




α-Phase thermal conductivity (W/m °C)


α-Phase dynamic viscosity (Pa s)


α-Phase density (kg/m3)


Fracture-matrix transfer shape factor (/m2)

Subscripts and Superscripts


Value of variable ϕ at the i-th grid


Value of variable ϕ in fracture


Value of variable ϕ in matrix


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Thermal Science and Energy EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiPeople’s Republic of China

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