The effect of neutral wettability on trapped phase saturation
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Wettability is very important when concerned with the flow of fluids in any porous medium. It affects the relative permeability which in turn, determines the ease with which fluids flow during production. It also affects the residual saturation, which determines the amount of fluid that can be recovered economically. The purpose of this study is to examine the flow behavior of a neutrally wet porous medium. Experiments were carried out to alter the wettability of a porous medium to the neutrally wet state. The contact angles were confirmed using a goniometer. These were followed by absolute permeability and steady-state displacement experiments, observing the trapped phase saturation. These experiments were repeated several times, measuring the differential pressures of the medium at specified flow rates. The hypothesis tested by these experiments was that there is no trapped phase saturation in a neutrally wet porous medium. Through extensive study, it was discovered that for a neutrally-wet porous medium, there is negligible trapped phase saturation at relatively high velocities. The various experimental methods and equations used to achieve results are discussed further in this thesis. Also discussed are the indications these results have on the future of fluid recovery in a porous medium.