Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Chair in Petroleum Engineering



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2.38ARoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Lin, Q and Bijeljic, B and Berg, S and Pini, R and Blunt, MJ and Krevor, S},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevE.99.063105},
journal = {Physical Review E},
pages = {063105--1--063105--13},
title = {Minimal surfaces in porous media: Pore-scale imaging of multiphase flow in an altered-wettability Bentheimer sandstone},
url = {},
volume = {99},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - High-resolution x-ray imaging was used in combination with differential pressure measurements to measurerelative permeability and capillary pressure simultaneously during a steady-state waterflood experiment on asample of Bentheimer sandstone 51.6 mm long and 6.1 mm in diameter. After prolonged contact with crude oil toalter the surface wettability, a refined oil and formation brine were injected through the sample at a fixed total flowrate but in a sequence of increasing brine fractional flows. When the pressure across the system stabilized, x-raytomographic images were taken. The images were used to compute saturation, interfacial area, curvature, andcontact angle. From this information relative permeability and capillary pressure were determined as functionsof saturation. We compare our results with a previously published experiment under water-wet conditions. Theoil relative permeability was lower than in the water-wet case, although a smaller residual oil saturation, ofapproximately 0.11, was obtained, since the oil remained connected in layers in the altered wettability rock.The capillary pressure was slightly negative and 10 times smaller in magnitude than for the water-wet rock,and approximately constant over a wide range of intermediate saturation. The oil-brine interfacial area wasalso largely constant in this saturation range. The measured static contact angles had an average of 80 with astandard deviation of 17. We observed that the oil-brine interfaces were not flat, as may be expected for a verylow mean curvature, but had two approximately equal, but opposite, curvatures in orthogonal directions. Theseinterfaces were approximately minimal surfaces, which implies well-connected phases. Saddle-shaped menisciswept through the pore space at a constant capillary pressure and with an almost fixed area, removing most ofthe oil.
AU - Lin,Q
AU - Bijeljic,B
AU - Berg,S
AU - Pini,R
AU - Blunt,MJ
AU - Krevor,S
DO - 10.1103/PhysRevE.99.063105
EP - 1
PY - 2019///
SN - 1539-3755
SP - 063105
TI - Minimal surfaces in porous media: Pore-scale imaging of multiphase flow in an altered-wettability Bentheimer sandstone
T2 - Physical Review E
UR -
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 99
ER -