Correlations of NMR relaxation time with viscosity/temperature, diffusion coefficient and gas/oil ratio of methane-hydrocarbon mixtures
Hirasaki, George J.; Kobayashi, Riki
Doctor of Philosophy
A 90 MHz NMR Spectrometer equipped with a high pressure probe was used to study relationship between NMR relaxation time and temperature, viscosity, diffusivity and gas/oil ratio of methane-hydrocarbon mixtures. This research project involves three parts: (1) modifications of the existing NMR apparatus. (2) Measurements of relaxation times and diffusion coefficients of methane-hydrocarbon mixtures. (3) Development of generalized correlations between transport properties and temperature and relaxation times. The NMR apparatus was modified in order to make elevated temperature and pressure measurements. The modifications included calibration of pressure transducers, addition of temperature measuring devices, connection to the high pressure sample probe of a sapphire sample cell and leak detection of the system. After the modifications, the apparatus was capable of measurements from 20 to 60°C at pressure up to 6000 psia. NMR relaxation measurements of three mixtures, methane-n-hexane, methane-n-decane and methane-n-hexadecane, were made. The log mean relaxation times were plotted against viscosity/temperature and it was found that unlike stock tank oils, they do not depend linearly on viscosity/temperature on a log-log scale. Each of the mixtures forms a different curve on the plot of relaxation time vs. viscosity/temperature. Diffusivity measurements were also made for these three mixtures, as well as pure hexane, decane and hexadecane. The log mean diffusion coefficients were calculated. The relationship between diffusion coefficients and relaxation times were studied, and it was found that diffusion coefficients depend linearly on T1 for pure hydrocarbons, but the dependence does not hold for methane-hydrocarbon mixtures. Correlations between transport properties and NMR relaxation times were developed. First, a relaxation time mixing rule was developed by studying the theory of NMR relaxation mechanism. From the mixing rule, it was found that departure of relaxation times of methane-n-alkane mixtures from linear correlation on a log-log scale can be correlated with proton fractions of methane, which can be expressed as gas/oil ratio. Thus, correlation between relaxation time, viscosity/temperature and gas/oil ratio was developed. Correlation between relaxation time, diffusivity and gas/oil ratio was also developed. From these correlations, viscosity and gas/oil ratio can be estimated just from NMR relaxation time and diffusion coefficient.
Chemical engineering; Petroleum engineering