Applications of the Coefficient of Isothermal Compressibility to Various Reservoir Situations With New Correlations for Each Situation Conference Paper uri icon


  • Abstract The coefficient of isothermal compressibility (oil compressibility) is defined as the fractional change of oil volume per unit change in pressure. Though the oil compressibility so defined frequently appears in the partial differential equations describing fluid flow in porous media, it is rarely used in this form in practical engineering calculations. Instead, oil compressibility is usually assumed to be constant, allowing the defining equation to be integrated over some pressure range of interest. Thus, the oil compressibility in the resulting equations should be regarded as a weighted average value over the pressure range of integration. The three distinct applications for oil compressibility in reservoir engineering are 1) instantaneous or tangent values from the defining equation, 2) extension of fluid properties from values at the bubblepoint pressure to higher pressures of interest, and 3) material balance calculations that require values starting at initial reservoir pressure. Each of these three applications requires a different approach to calculating oil compressibility from laboratory data and in developing correlations. The differences among the values required in these three applications can as high as twenty-five percent. Most published correlations do not indicate the particular application to which the proposed correlation applies. A correlation equation for oil compressibility has been developed using over 3,500 lines of data from 369 laboratory studies. This correlation equation gives the average compressibility between the bubble point pressure and some higher pressure of interest. Equations to calculate appropriate values of compressibility for the other two applications are presented.

name of conference

  • SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition

published proceedings

  • All Days

author list (cited authors)

  • Spivey, J. P., Valko, P. P., & McCain, W. D.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005 11:11 AM


  • SPE  Publisher