Relative Permeability

Relative Permeability

Relative Permeability in Multiple Phases

In this study presented at URTeC 2017, DigiM I2S was used to compute two phase relative permeability. The result are fully validated against physical core measurements before three phase relative permeability was computed. It is the first time that two phase and three phase relative permeability for gas, oil and water has been reported on sub-microdarcy low permeability rocks.

Two Phase Relative Permeability


What does this mean?


  1. While experimental measurements cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and takes years, DigiM I2S requires only four samples and a couple of weeks to come up with full relative permeability curves making it the most cost effective and time efficient option to acquire this critical parameter for reservoir engineering. 
  2. Relative permeability computed by DigiM I2S has higher accuracy, less uncertainty and is reproducible. With less human components, the margin of error is much smaller than in experimental measurements.
  3. Since Kro computed by I2S was fully validated, Krw and three phrase Krg computed by I2S can be trusted.

Three Phase Relative Permeability

Multiple Phase Permeability

DigiM two-phase and three-phase relative permeability computations are (to our knowledge) the first on tight rocks, cross-validated comprehensively on Niobrara and Bakken formations. It is actively used in guiding the reservoir models for both drilling and recovery estimation purposes.

Our computation is based on direct computational fluid dynamic simulation, not pore network models. Aside from the algorithmic barrier that we break, our relative perm calculations are fast. We are talking about a few weeks, not months to years. For special cases, we can obtain the first set of relative perm within the same week after we receive the sample.

Here is an example of two-phase pore flow in Berea Sandstone (YouTube movie).



  1. Application of integrated core and 3D image rock physics to characterize Niobrara chalk porosity, permeability, capillary pressure, and two- and three-phase relative permeability. Accepted to present and publish by URTec 2017.