Due to the maturity of water-flooded oil reservoirs, as a consequence of heterogeneity, fluids move preferentially through the most permeable layers, leaving large volumes of mobile oil remain unswept. Injection of oil-in-water (O/W) dispersions can regulate the permeability contrast between these layers. Droplet size distribution and porous media heterogeneity are the principal features that characterize displacement front uniformity. The intent of this work is therefore to provide a fundamental insight into number of factors may influence the dispersion flow in porous media. The workflow in this study is comprised of three stages. First, O/W dispersions with low oil concentrations were prepared and characterized. Second, a series of O/W dispersion injection experiments was conducted. The objective of this stage was to evaluate the distribution of retained oil droplets, pressure drop and permeability reduction in different sandstone core-plugs. Finally, a mathematical model based on the experimental setup was developed to describe the dynamics of O/W dispersion flow. Finite element method (FEM) was employed to numerically solve the governing equations. The experimental results revealed that the number and size of retained oil droplets decay with the core depth and correspondingly in the effluent. Verification of the numerical model was performed by comparing the pressure drop and permeability reduction to the results of analytical solutions. The model showed good validation with the experimental data. The numerical results were closely match those of the analytical solutions. The current work presents a potentially efficient method of modelling to describe the dispersion flow in porous media. However, for field applications, further improvement to the model complexity is required.

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