Using percolation theory to predict oil field performance

P. R. King, S. V. Buldyrev, N. V. Dokholyan, S. Havlin, E. Lopez, G. Paul, H. E. Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In this paper, we apply scaling laws from percolation theory to the problem of estimating the time for a fluid injected into an oilfield to breakthrough into a production well. The main contribution is to show that when these previously published results are used on realistic data they are in good agreement with results calculated in a more conventional way but they can be obtained significantly more quickly. As a result they may be used in practical engineering circumstances and aid decision making for real field problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank L Gantmacher who did the calculations of postbreakthrough behaviour for the homogeneous case. They would also like to thank J. Andrade for helpful discussions and BP for financial support and permission to publish this paper.


  • Flow in porous media
  • Oil recovery
  • Percolation
  • Scaling


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