Relative Permeability of Fractured Rock

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Contemporary understanding of multiphase flow through fractures is limited. Different studies using synthetic fractures and various fluids have yielded different relative permeability-saturation relations. This study aimed to extend the understanding of multiphase flow by conducting nitrogen-water relative permeability experiments on a naturally-fractured rock from The Geysers geothermal field. The steady-state approach was used. However, steady state was achieved only at the endpoint saturations. Several difficulties were encountered that are attributed to phase interference and changes in fracture aperture and surface roughness, along with fracture propagation/initiation. Absolute permeabilities were determined using nitrogen and water. The permeability values obtained change with the ... continued below

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Habana, Mark D. June 30, 2002.

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Description

Contemporary understanding of multiphase flow through fractures is limited. Different studies using synthetic fractures and various fluids have yielded different relative permeability-saturation relations. This study aimed to extend the understanding of multiphase flow by conducting nitrogen-water relative permeability experiments on a naturally-fractured rock from The Geysers geothermal field. The steady-state approach was used. However, steady state was achieved only at the endpoint saturations. Several difficulties were encountered that are attributed to phase interference and changes in fracture aperture and surface roughness, along with fracture propagation/initiation. Absolute permeabilities were determined using nitrogen and water. The permeability values obtained change with the number of load cycles. Determining the absolute permeability of a core is especially important in a fractured rock. The rock may change as asperities are destroyed and fractures propagate or st rain harden as the net stresses vary. Pressure spikes occurred in water a solute permeability experiments. Conceptual models of an elastic fracture network can explain the pressure spike behavior. At the endpoint saturations the water relative permeabilities obtained are much less than the nitrogen gas relative permeabilities. Saturations were determined by weighing and by resistivity calculations. The resistivity-saturation relationship developed for the core gave saturation values that differ by 5% from the value determined by weighing. Further work is required to complete the relative permeability curve. The steady-state experimental approach encountered difficulties due to phase interference and fracture change. Steady state may not be reached until an impractical length of time. Thus, unsteady-state methods should be pursued. In unsteady-state experiments the challenge will be in quantifying rock fracture change in addition to fluid flow changes.

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OSTI as DE00801752

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  • Other Information: PBD: 30 Jun 2002

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  • Report No.: DOE/ID/13763
  • Grant Number: FG07-99ID13763
  • DOI: 10.2172/801752 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 801752
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc741378

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • June 30, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 19, 2015, 7:39 p.m.

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  • Jan. 4, 2017, 1:34 p.m.

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Habana, Mark D. Relative Permeability of Fractured Rock, report, June 30, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc741378/: accessed November 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.