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A pore-throat segmentation method based on local hydraulic resistance equivalence for pore-network modeling
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  • Yang Liu,
  • Wenbo Gong,
  • Yu Zhao,
  • Xu Jin,
  • Moran Wang
Yang Liu
Tsinghua University
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Wenbo Gong
China University of Mining & Technology
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Yu Zhao
Exploration & Development Research Institute
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Xu Jin
PetroChina
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Moran Wang
Tsinghua University

Corresponding Author:moralwang@gmail.com

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Abstract

The pore network is an approximate representation of the void space of porous materials such as rocks and soil via pores (corresponding to large cavities) and throats (narrow constrictions). During extraction of networks from real void space, ambiguous definitions of pores and throats may cause significant errors in predictions of single/multi-phase transport properties. Meanwhile, the pore-throat segmentation needs to exclude non-physical parameters as much as possible. In this work, we propose a pore-throat segmentation method based on local hydraulic resistance equivalence between the real space and the pore-throat geometry. The pore-throat boundary is locally determined at the position where the pore network preserves the hydraulic resistance of the real space most. This local segmentation method ensures better equivalency between extracted pore-network and real pore space without any impirical and non-physical parameters. After validations of accuracy and reliability by standard benchmarks, this method is appled to real porous materials including spherical pack, sandpack, sandstone, and carbonate. The absolute permeability and relative permeability predicted by the new pore-network model (PNM) agree well with the experimental data and the direct simulation results. The proposed method improves the accuracy of PNM predictions significantly with only slight increases of computational costs. This local pore-throat segementation method may enhance capability of PNM and extend PNM to more complicated cases.