Stochastic analysis of multiphase flow in porous media: I. Spectral/perturbation approach

C-M. Chang
M. W. Kemblowski
J. Kaluarachchi, Utah State University
A. Abdin


Stochastic analysis of steady-state multiphase (water, oil, and air) flow in heterogeneous porous media was performed using the perturbation theory and spectral representation techniques. The gas phase is assumed to have constant pressure. The governing equations describing the flow of oil and water are coupled and nonlinear. The key stochastic input variables are intrinsic permeability,k, and the soil grain size distribution index, α. Three different stochastic combinations of these two input parameters were considered. The perturbation/spectral analysis was used to develop closed-form expressions that describe stochastic variability of key output processes, such as capillary and individual phase pressures and specific discharges. The analysis also included the derivation of the mean flow equations and estimation of the effective flow properties. The impact of the spatial variability ofk and α on the effective conductivities and the variances of pressures and specific discharges was examined.