Multiphase Flow Dynamics with Micro-CT Imaging: Review of Applications in Oil and Gas Industry

Xiao Deng, Xianmin Zhou, Shirish Patil, Ridha Al-Abdrabalnabi, Sarmad Khan, Murtada Saleh Aljawad, Mohamed Mahmoud, Muslim Abdurrahman, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) is a nondestructive visualization tool that can capture real-time in situ multiphase flow dynamics inside the opaque rock. It is a promising technique for deepening the understanding of the microscopic displacement mechanisms of water and gas flooding. By applying micro-CT, the real-time fluid and interface distribution can be obtained in the form of 3D visualizations. Pore-scale information such as in situ contact angle, interfacial tension, capillary pressure, and residual oil distribution can be conveniently obtained from the 3D model. Furthermore, as a nondestructive technique, micro-CT makes it possible to record the previously mentioned information along with time without disturbing the multiphase flow system, thus enabling the study of the multiphase flow system dynamically. This capability of micro-CT largely helps understand the microscopic displacement mechanisms, which is crucial for secondary and tertiary oil recovery. This review work introduces micro-CT and its applications in core flooding systems. It summarizes the information which can be determined quantitatively based on the 3D model obtained from micro-CT data. It also summarizes recent research findings inspired by micro-CT applications, including conclusions about the multiphase flow system, mechanism understandings of the pore-scale dynamics, and applications in flooding, and CO2 sequestration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16311-16332
Number of pages22
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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