Hydrocarbon Fluid Properties

ME 598

Course Description
Fluid properties and their definitions for hydrocarbon systems. Experimental techniques for phase equilibrium measurements. Black oil correlations. Use cases for various gas and oil related problems.

ME 200 or consent of the instructor

McCain, Properties of Petroleum Fluids

Course Outline

  1. Introduction: use cases, etc
  2. Definitions:
    • Gas properties: Z-factor, gas formation volume factor, condensate gas ratio, viscosity, etc.
    • Oil properties: oil formation volume factor, gas-oil ratio, viscosity, etc.
  3. Uses in petroleum engineering applications
  4. Gas Correlations
    • Z-factor and Corresponding States
    • Other gas Correlations
  5. Oil Correlations
    • Oil formation volume factor
    • Gas-oil ratio
    • Viscosity
    • Compressibility
    • Density
  6. Emulsions
  7. Water
    • Water Properties: solution gas water ratio, water formation volume factor, compressibility, etc
  8. Volumetric Behavior of: Single, Binary & Multicomponent Systems
    • Phase diagrams: P-T, P-V diagrams, Azeotropes
    • Behavior of reservoir fluids (P-T diagrams, classification etc.)
    • Reservoir fluids
      • Gases
      • Liquids
      • Near-critical fluids (volatile oils/gas condensates)
  9. Sampling
    • Surface
    • Subsurface
  10. Flow Assurance
    • Wax
    • Hydrates
    • Asphaltenes
  11. Experiments to capture volumetric behavior of reservoir fluids/hydrocarbon mixtures
    • Differential Liberation Experiment (Black Oil Experiments)
    • Constant Volume Expansion
    • Constant Composition Expansion
    • Separator test, etc.
    • Black oil correlations revisited
    • Review of sample PVT reports
  12. Advanced topics
    • Diffusivity
    • Thermal Diffusion (Soret Effect)
    • Adsorption: Coalbeds, Shales, etc.


  • Homework assignments (30%)
  • Special Project (30%)
  • Final Exam or Project (40%)


Bibol Dindoruk
Dr. Birol Dindoruk is a Principal Technical Expert/Team Leader in Reservoir Engineering working for Shell International E&P since 1997. He is also an adjunct faculty at the University of Houston, Department of Chemical Engineering and a consulting professor at Stanford University Energy Resources Engineering Department. He is a global consultant for Fluid Properties (PVT) & Miscible/Immiscible Gas Injection EOR & Simulation. He is the Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering. Before joining Shell, he has worked at Amoco Tulsa Research Center on compositional simulator development projects. He holds a PhD degree from Stanford University in petroleum engineering with minor in Mathematics and an MBA degree from University of Houston. He recently became a member of National Academy of Engineering.