Mechanics of bubble flow in heavy oil reservoirs

M. R. Islam, A. Chakma

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemerapeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


A new mechanism of fluid flow in solution-gas drive heavy oil reservoirs is identified through experimental studies. This paper presents experimental results in order to verify previous hypothesis on fluid flow in heavy oil reservoirs in Canada. It has been postulated that solution-gas drive in these reservoirs involves simultaneous flow of gas and oil. However, gas remains in tiny droplets under reservoir conditions. A new mathematical model was proposed in order to describe peculiar pressure-dependent multiphase flow properties. This paper presents experimental validation of some of the hypotheses offered by Smith. More than 40 experimental tests are performed both in a capillary tube and in a core packed with unconsolidated reservoir fluids and sands. The effects of decreasing bubble size on total fluid production and pressure drop across a pipe are observed. Experiments with live oil and reservoir sands enable one to quantify the contribution of bubble flow in solution gas drive process involved in heavy oil reservoirs. Some of these results help explaining the anomalies observed in heavy oil reservoirs in Canada.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages50219576
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings - 1990 California Regional Meeting - Ventura, CA, USA
Duration: 4 Apr 19906 Apr 1990


ConferenceProceedings - 1990 California Regional Meeting
CityVentura, CA, USA


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