CT coreflood study of transient foam flow with oil

Jinyu Tang, Sebastien Vincent-Bonnieu, William R. Rossen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


We present a CT coreflood study of foam flow with two representative oils: hexadecane C16 (benign to foam) and a mixture of 80 wt% C16 and 20 wt% oleic acid (OA) (very harmful to foam). The purpose is to understand the transient dynamics of foam, both generated in-situ and pre-generated, as a function of oil saturation and type. Foam dynamics with oil (generation and propagation) are quantified through sectional pressure-drop measurements. Dual-energy CT imaging monitors phase saturation distributions during the corefloods. With C16, injection with and without pre-generation of foam exhibits similar transient behavior: strong foam moves quickly from upstream to downstream and creates an oil bank. In contrast, with 20 wt % OA, pre-generation of foam gives very different results from co-injection, suggesting that harmful oils affect foam generation and propagation differently. Without pre-generation, initial strong-foam generation is very difficult even at residual oil saturation about 0.1; the generation finally starts from the outlet (a likely result of the capillary-end effect). This strong-foam state propagates backwards against flow and very slowly. The cause of backward propagation is unclear yet. However, pre-generated foam shows two stages of propagation, both from the inlet to outlet. First, weak foam displaces most of the oil, followed by a propagation of stronger foam at lower oil saturation. Implicit-texture foam models for enhanced oil recovery cannot distinguish the different results between the two types of foam injection with very harmful oils. This is because these models do not distinguish between pre-generation and co-injection of gas and surfactant solution.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019, ATCE 2019
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781613996638
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019, ATCE 2019 - Calgary, Canada
Duration: Sept 30 2019Oct 2 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition


ConferenceSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019, ATCE 2019


  • CT corefloods
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Foam
  • Foam-oil interaction
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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