Determination of gas-oil miscibility conditions by interfacial tension measurements

Document Type


Publication Date



Processes that inject gases such as carbon dioxide and natural gas have long been and still continue to be used for recovering crude oil from petroleum reservoirs. It is well known that the interfacial tension between the injected gas and the crude oil has a major influence on the efficiency of displacement of oil by gas. When the injected gas becomes miscible with the crude oil, which means that there is no interface between the injected and displaced phases or the interfacial tension between them is zero, the oil is displaced with maximum efficiency, resulting in high recoveries. This paper presents experimental measurements of interfacial tension between crude oil and natural gases (using a computerized drop shape analysis technique) as a function of pressure and gas composition at the temperature of the reservoir from which the crude oil was obtained. The point of zero interfacial tension was then identified from these measurements by extrapolation of data to determine minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) and minimum miscibility composition (MMC). The gas-oil miscibility conditions thus obtained from interfacial tension measurements have been compared with the more conventional techniques using slim-tube tests and rising-bubble apparatus as well as predictive correlations and visual observations. The miscibility pressures obtained from the new VIT technique were 3-5% higher than those from visual observations and agreed well with the slim-tube results as well as with the correlations at enrichment levels greater than 30 mol% C2+ in the injected gas stream. The rising bubble apparatus yielded significantly higher MMPs. This study demonstrates that the VIT technique is rapid, reproducible, and quantitative, in addition to providing visual evidence of gas-oil miscibility.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of colloid and interface science

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.