Pore-scale characteristics of multiphase flow in heterogeneous porous media using the lattice Boltzmann method
This study provides a pore-scale investigation of two-phase flow dynamics during primary drainage in a realistic heterogeneous rock sample. Using the lattice Boltzmann (LB) method, a series of three-dimensional (3D) immiscible displacement simulations are conducted and three typical flow patterns are identified and mapped on the capillary number (Ca)-viscosity ratio(M) phase diagram. We then investigate the effect of the viscosity ratio and capillary number on fluid saturation patterns and displacement stability in Tuscaloosa sandstone, which is taken from the Cranfield site. The dependence of the evolution of saturation, location of the displacement front, 3D displacement patterns and length of the center of mass of the invading fluid on the viscosity ratio and capillary number have been delineated. To gain a quantitative insight into the characteristics of the invasion morphology in 3D porous media, the fractal dimension D of the non-wetting phase displacement patterns during drainage has been computed for various viscosity ratios and capillary numbers. The logarithmic dependence of D on invading phase saturation appears to be the same for various capillary numbers and viscosity ratios and follows a universal relation.