Modeling imbibition coreflooding in heterogeneous cores with sub-core scale hysteresis

Evans Anto-Darkwah, Avinoam Rabinovich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coreflooding experiments with computed tomography imaging are becoming common practice. They allow to investigate the sub-core scale properties such as relative permeability (kr) and capillary pressure (Pc), and to construct multiphase flow models that not only capture the core average flow, but also the flow on the sub-core (millimeter) scale. This work presents two-phase flow models of imbibition coreflooding in two heterogeneous core samples which underwent drainage and imbibition experiments, as part of a previous investigation. The models incorporate hysteresis in two approaches: global and sub-core. The latter includes unique Pc and kr for each grid block of the core depending on the turning point and residual saturations measured in the experiments. The simulation output of grid-block (sub-core) saturation distribution is compared to the experimental data. Results show that the sub-core hysteresis model matches the experiments more accurately than the global model. This is particularly important for the core with a higher degree of heterogeneity in which the global hysteresis model shows large errors while the model incorporating sub-core hysteresis is significantly more accurate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104214
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Capillary heterogeneity
  • Coreflooding
  • Hysteresis
  • Imbibition
  • Land model
  • Sub-core scale


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