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Energies 2017, 10(11), 1698; doi:10.3390/en10111698

Non-Newtonian Flow Characteristics of Heavy Oil in the Bohai Bay Oilfield: Experimental and Simulation Studies

1
College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
2
College of Petroleum Engineering, Yangtze University, Wuhan 430100, China
3
College of Chemical Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China
4
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract

In this paper, physical experiments and numerical simulations were applied to systematically investigate the non-Newtonian flow characteristics of heavy oil in porous media. Rheological experiments were carried out to determine the rheology of heavy oil. Threshold pressure gradient (TPG) measurement experiments performed by a new micro-flow method and flow experiments were conducted to study the effect of viscosity, permeability and mobility on the flow characteristics of heavy oil. An in-house developed novel simulator considering the non-Newtonian flow was designed based on the experimental investigations. The results from the physical experiments indicated that heavy oil was a Bingham fluid with non-Newtonian flow characteristics, and its viscosity-temperature relationship conformed to the Arrhenius equation. Its viscosity decreased with an increase in temperature and a decrease in asphaltene content. The TPG measurement experiments was impacted by the flow rate, and its critical flow rate was 0.003 mL/min. The TPG decreased as the viscosity decreased or the permeability increased and had a power-law relationship with mobility. In addition, the critical viscosity had a range of 42–54 mPa∙s, above which the TPG existed for a given permeability. The validation of the designed simulator was positive and acceptable when compared to the simulation results run in ECLIPSE V2013.1 and Computer Modelling Group (CMG) V2012 software as well as when compared to the results obtained during physical experiments. The difference between 0.0005 and 0.0750 MPa/m in the TPG showed a decrease of 11.55% in the oil recovery based on the simulation results, which demonstrated the largely adverse impact the TPG had on heavy oil production. View Full-Text
Keywords: flow characteristics; heavy oil; rheology; threshold pressure gradient; numerical simulation flow characteristics; heavy oil; rheology; threshold pressure gradient; numerical simulation
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Xin, X.; Li, Y.; Yu, G.; Wang, W.; Zhang, Z.; Zhang, M.; Ke, W.; Kong, D.; Wu, K.; Chen, Z. Non-Newtonian Flow Characteristics of Heavy Oil in the Bohai Bay Oilfield: Experimental and Simulation Studies. Energies 2017, 10, 1698.

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