Numerical simulation of free fall and controlled gravity drainage processes in porous media

Sohrab Zendehboudi, Ali Shafiei, Ioannis Chatzis, Maurice B. Dusseault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Multiphase flow simulation in porous media requires understanding of the physics of transport, tools for managing complicated scale-dependent structures, and effective solution methods. Complex two-phase flow in porous media under gravity drainage is addressed in this paper; mathematical simulation of the process in homogeneous and fractured porous media was carried out using COMSOL. A new approach is proposed to simulate time-dependent drainage in vertical porous physical models to investigate aspects of gravity drainage (free fall or controlled gravity drainage) on oil saturation distribution and oil production history. The effect of permeability heterogeneity in the form of fractures on the drainage process, as well as the evolution of relative permeability of the wetting and non-wetting phases, capillary pressure, and some other significant parameters, was mathematically investigated. The results obtained are compared with experimental data from laboratory tests were reported in the literature, showing a good agreement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-232
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Porous Media
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 7 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Fractured porous media
  • Gravity drainage
  • Numerical modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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