In this work we present a non-standard model for microbial enhanced oil recovery including the oil-water interfacial area. Including the interfacial area in the model, we eliminate the hysteresis in the capillary pressure relationship. One of the characteristics that a surfactant should have, it is biological production at the oil-water interface. Therefore, we consider the production rate of surfactants not only as a function of the nutrient concentration, but also the interfacial area. To solve the model equations, we use an efficient and robust linearization scheme that considers a linear approximation of the capillary pressure gradient. A comprehensive, 1D implementation based on two-point flux approximation of the model is achieved. We consider different parameterizations for the interfacial tension and residual oil saturation reduction.

Illustrative numerical simulations are presented, where we study the spatial distribution and evolution in time of the average pressure, water saturation, interfacial area, capillary pressure, residual oil saturation and bacterial, nutrient and surfactant concentrations. Inclusion of the interfacial area in the model leads to different predictions of oil recovery. The model can also be used to design new experiments contributing to a better understanding and optimization of MEOR.


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