Applications of statistical physics to the oil industry: Predicting oil recovery using percolation theory

P. R. King, S. V. Buldyrev, N. V. Dokholyan, S. Havlin, Y. Lee, G. Paul, H. E. Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we apply scaling laws from percolation theory to the problem of estimating the time for a fluid injected into an oil field (for the purposes of recovering the oil) to breakthrough into a production well. The main contribution is to show that percolation theory, when applied to a realistic model, can be used to obtain the same results as calculated in a more conventional way but significantly more quickly. Specifically, we found that a previously proposed scaling form for the breakthrough time distribution when applied to a real oil field is in good agreement with more time consuming simulation results. Consequently these methods can be used in practical engineering circumstances to aid decision making for real field problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume274
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 NATO Advanced Research Workshop 'Applications of Statistical Physics' - Budapest, Hung
Duration: May 19 1999May 22 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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