The Transient Method and Experimental Study on Threshold Pressure Gradient of Heavy Oil in Porous Media

Z. X. Pang*, 1, H. Q. Liu2
1 MOE Key Laboratory of Petroleum Engineering, Beijing 102249, China;
2 Faculty of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China

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© 2012 X. Pang et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: * Address correspondence to this author at the MOE Key Laboratory of Petroleum Engineering, Beijing 102249, China; Tel: 010-89731163; Fax: 010-89733511; E-mail:


On the basis of flow characteristics and material balance principle, a one-dimensional theoretical model of heavy-oil migration in porous media was established. The model considered micro-compressible property and non- Newtonian behavior of heavy oil. A new method, the transient method, was introduced to calculate the threshold pressure gradient in porous media. The method was designed to measure the inlet pressure of porous media during experiments. Finally, the threshold pressure gradient was worked out according to the mathematical model. The threshold pressure gradient of heavy oil was more accurate by the transient method than the steady state method. The threshold pressure gradients of three oil samples in different permeable porous media were measured according to the transient method. The experimental results showed that heavy oil migration was influenced by petroleum composition and pore structure of porous media. The threshold pressure gradient gradually decreased as temperature and permeability increased in porous media.

Keywords: Heavy oil, Threshold pressure gradient, Transient method, Porous media, Inflection temperature..