The effects of various relative permeability-saturation relationships on the movement of water saturation fronts during steam flooding is investigated. Empirical correlations, curve fitting and spline interpolation functions are used to represent the relative permeability data. The effects of these correlations on water saturation movement and ultimately on oil recovery performance are compared. It was observed that only the spline function is able to adequately represent a given set of data throughout its saturation range. All the other correlations fit the given data well only at high water saturations and fit poorly at the low saturations. Furthermore, the correlations converge at high water saturations. As a consequence, the water saturation distribution within the hot water zone and its migration through time are nearly identical for the different correlations except for California crude correlation. This is because for steam floods, the operating water saturations are more likely to be in the high end where all correlations fit well.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2024 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 1997