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Simulation and experimental investigation of the permeability reduction due to asphaltene deposition in porous media


S ASHOURI, MANSHAD A KHAKSAR, N Alizadeh, M Masoumi, SH Tabatabaei


A static to dynamic approach to modeling Asphaltenes has been developed and validated. A new algorithm for static asphaltene modeling uses a multi-solid thermodynamics approach where the equality of fugacity for each component and phase is applied at equilibrium conditions. This is required for minimizing the Gibbs free energy. The fractal distribution function used for the splitting and characterization of heavy components provides accurate results. The precipitation and re-dissolution of asphaltenes are investigated for a relatively heavy crude oil from an Iranian field. A series of experiments are designed and carried out quantitatively to obtain the permeability reduction in a slim tube. Using a dynamic reservoir simulator, a 3-dimensional asphaltene model is developed to simulate the precipitation, flocculation, deposition and its impact on permeability in a slim tube. With this approach, the asphaltene is defined as a set of component (s) that can precipitate depending on their molar percentage weight in the solution. The simulated permeability reduction due to asphaltene deposition shows good agreement with our experimental data.

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