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Chapter 3: Modeling Studies of Heavy Oil — In Between Solid and Fluid Properties

By
Agnibha Das
Agnibha Das
Colorado School of Mines, Department of Geophysics, Golden, Colorado, U.S.A.
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Mike Batzle
Mike Batzle
Colorado School of Mines, Department of Geophysics, Golden, Colorado, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Introduction

Rocks filled with heavy oil do not comply with established theories for porous media. Heavy oils demonstrate a blend of purely viscous and purely elastic properties, also referred to as viscoelasticity. They have a nonnegligible shear modulus that allows them to support shear-wave propagation depending on frequency and temperature. These oils behave as solids at high frequencies and low temperatures and as fluids at low frequencies and high temperatures. The solid-like properties of heavy oils violate Gassmann’s equation, the most common and widely used fluid-substitution technique in the industry.

Few instances of elastic property modeling for heavy-oil-saturated rocks have been reported. Most previously reported work has involved modeling without comparison with measured data, or modeled results on simple grain-fluid aggregates with comparison to measured ultrasonic data. We have modeled the viscoelastic properties of heavy-oil-saturated rock samples using the Hashin—Shtrikman (HS) bounds and the frequency-dependent complex shear modulus of the heavy oil. The two studied rock samples are very different in terms of lithology and consolidation state. In our exercise, we have extended the HS bounds to incorporate complexities such as intragranular porosity and the contribution of heavy oil to rock matrix properties. By considering the complex shear modulus of the heavy oil in our HS calculations, we have been able to estimate attenuation. We also tested the applicability of Ciz and Shapiro’s (2007) form of the generalized Gassmann’s equations in predicting the saturated bulk and shear moduli of the heavy-oil-saturated rock samples.

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Contents

Geophysical Developments Series

Heavy Oils: Reservoir Characterization and Production Monitoring

Satinder Chopra
Satinder Chopra
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Laurence R. Lines
Laurence R. Lines
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Douglas R. Schmitt
Douglas R. Schmitt
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Michael L. Batzle
Michael L. Batzle
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
13
ISBN electronic:
9781560802235
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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