Water Permeability in Heavy Oil Reservoirs near Initial Water Saturation and Numerical Simulation

Steve Chan


High initial water saturation exists in some petroleum reservoirs. Initial water movement has impact on reservoir simulation and the impact is investigated. Sometimes the initial water saturation is mistreated as irreducible water saturation. Difference between initial water saturation and irreducible water saturation is studied in this research. Experiment method is developed to measure water effective permeability under initial water saturation, and simulation is performed to study its effects on initial water movement in a reservoir.

There are several results based from the experiment and simulation. Water can be mobile and its effective permeability is measurable under initial water saturation. Initial water movement dissipates the overall pressure of the reservoir in SAGD because initial water swaps on the reservoir boundary. Initial water movement affects the SAGD simulation and can change shape of steam chamber in the simulation.