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December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 815

A Consistent and Accurate


Dead-Oil-Viscosity Method
David F. Bergman, BP America, and Robert P. Sutton, Marathon Oil Company
Copyright 2009 Society of Petroleum Engineers
This paper (SPE 110194) was accepted for presentation at the SPE Annual Technical
Conference and Exhibition, Anaheim, California, USA, 1114 November 2007, and revised
for publication. Original manuscript received for review 2 August 2007. Revised manuscript
received for review 31 December 2008. Paper peer approved 14 February 2009.
Summary
The calculation of pressure drop resulting from the flow of oil
through porous media or pipes requires the evaluation of viscosity.
This is the single most important transport property necessary to
calculate pressure drop accurately. The basis for oil-viscosity cal-
culations using a traditional black-oil approach is the determination
of dead- or gas-free-oil viscosity.
A total of 23 dead-oil-viscosity calculation methods have been
identified from the literature and evaluated in this paper. A large
database consisting of data from conventional pressure/volume/
temperature (PVT) reports, crude-oil assays, and the literature was
compiled from more than 3,000 samples from around the world.
The number of actual viscosity measurements exceeded 9,800.
An evaluation of the correlations yielded unacceptable results
largely because of the failure of the methods to properly account
for the physics of the problem. In general, this results from the
methods failure to properly account for the change in viscosity
with temperature and to address the chemical nature of the oil. A
significant improvement in results can be realized through the use
of the Watson characterization factor in addition to oil API grav-
ity and temperature in the correlation of viscosity. This work has
identified the character of the crude to have a significant effect on
oil viscosity, especially for oils with gravities less than 25API.
Methods have been proposed in the literature that use the Watson
characterization factor; however, these have been largely ignored in
the upstream oil industry. Therefore, a new method has been devel-
oped that shows significant improvement over existing methods. At
reservoir conditions, a 2- to 13-fold reduction in average absolute
error was noted when compared with the error observed from
traditional methods. At surface process conditions, this improve-
ment ranged 3- to 60-fold. In addition, an updated correlation for
Watson characterization has been developed. The ASTM density
correction for varying temperature has been examined. Revised
coefficients were developed that enhance the methods accuracy
for both oils and pure components and provide a suitable means
to convert kinematic viscosity to absolute viscosity.
Introduction
Numerous relationships have been proposed over the years that
relate dead-oil viscosity and temperature to commonly measured
oil properties. Table 11 summarizes many of these relationships
and supplements the information presented by Lake (Lake 2006). A
review of these methods shows that the correlations can be placed
into one of the four functional categories.
Table 1 shows Category 1 is the most popular equation choice
for correlating viscosity, and traditionally this has been the approach
used in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. It is also the
least accurate approach for calculating viscosity and the change in
viscosity with temperature.
A further note on Table 1some methods substitute specific
gravity for API gravity. These properties are directly related from
the following well-known equation:

+
141 5
131 5
.
.
API
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)
Additionally, other methods require the boiling point, to provide an
additional characterization parameter for the oil. This quantity can
be derived from the definition of the Watson characterization factor
(Watson and Nelson 1933; Watson et al. 1935) as follows:
T K
b w
( )
3
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2)
In this paper, the Watson characterization factor (or Watson K fac-
tor) is used to further describe the character of the oil.
Methods using the functional form offered by Category 4
require knowledge of density at temperature to convert from kine-
matic viscosity to absolute viscosity.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (3)
Therefore, an examination of auxiliary relationships between
density and temperature is appropriate and is presented in a later
section of this paper. Furthermore, the basic relationship of dead-
oil viscosity and temperature is investigated to provide a sound
physical basis to explore the accuracy of existing methods and to
provide a foundation for the development of a more robust viscosity-
calculation method.
Database
In order to ascertain the accuracy of the published dead-oil-viscos-
ity methods and the supporting auxiliary relationships, a database
was developed. Data from conventional oil PVT reports, from
crude-oil assays, and pure-component data were included in the
database, which encompassed the following ranges of properties
shown in Table 2 (Amin and Beg 1994; Amin and Maddox 1980;
API 42 1966; BHP; BP; Chevron; Exxon; Petronas; Petrosky 1990;
GeoMark 2006; Rnningsen 1995; Rossini et al. 1953; Santos;
Statoil; SPR; Total; Watkins 1979).
A total of 9,837 viscosity measurements from 3,047 fluid
samples are present in the database, representing samples from
many of the major producing basins around the world. For many
of the fluid samples, viscosity was measured at several tempera-
tures, which helps to validate the measurement and ensure that this
behavior is correlated properly.
Auxiliary Relationships
The development of a relationship to calculate dead-oil viscos-
ity requires methods to reliably determine fluid properties, such
as density, that change with temperature. Correlations that relate
kinematic viscosity to temperature must include the evaluation of
density at temperature to convert results to absolute viscosity. The
Watson K factor is defined from the average boiling-point tempera-
ture (BPT) and specific gravity. BPT is rarely reported for crude
oils and, therefore, must be derived from other more commonly
measured liquid properties. Furthermore, the basic relationship of
viscosity and temperature must be explored to provide a realistic
metric to evaluate both data and correlations.
Viscosity/Temperature Relationships
Dead-oil viscosity and temperature have a relationship in which
viscosity decreases with increasing temperature for any given
hydrocarbon liquid. Using the proper technique, a linear relation-
ship can be established. The relationship is valid over a wide range
of temperatures from the wax-appearance temperature (WAT) to the
BPT of the sample. At temperatures below the WAT, the viscosity/
816 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
temperature slope trend increases as wax crystals appear in the
liquid. This phonomenon does not occur at the WAT but usually
2030F below the WAT (as defined by rigorous methods such as
cross-polar microscopy) when sufficient wax crystals are formed
that perturb the normal viscosity/temperature relationship. At tem-
peratures between the WAT and BPT, deviation from the straight
line is an indication of inconsistencies in the measurement.
Over the years, several techniques have been proposed within
the industry for linearizing viscosity with temperature. ASTM
(Wright 1969) provides such a relationship between kinematic
viscosity and temperature. The resulting equation is a modification
of an earlier work dating to 1921 that related kinematic viscosity
and temperature by using a double-log-form equation.
ln ln ln Z A B T ( )

1
]
( )
abs
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (4)
where

(Manning 1974)
Z + + ( )
0 7 1 47 1 84 0 51
2
. exp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (5)
The exponential term in Eq. 5 is significant only for kinematic
viscosity less than 2 cSt. For larger viscosities, the exponential
term goes to 0 and is, therefore, insignificant to this method. The
ASTM method is used routinely throughout the oil industry to
relate changes in kinematic viscosity with temperature.
Andrade (1930) proposed a method to relate dead-oil viscosity
to absolute temperature:
ln ln
od
A
B
T
( ) ( )+
abs
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (6)
which is also sometimes expressed as

od
B
T
Ae
( )
abs
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (7)
The method reportedly results in a linear relationship above the
freezing-point temperatures to reduced temperatures of approxi-
mately 0.7 (Reid et al. 1977).
Bergman (Whitson and Brul 2000) demonstrated that dead-oil
absolute viscosity could be expressed in a linear form using the fol-
lowing relationship. The Bergman relationship was developed from
an examination of pure-component behavior with temperature.
ln ln ln
od
A B T + ( )

1
]
+ + ( ) 1 310 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (8)
The use of the ASTM and Bergmans method is discussed further
in Table 12.
A review of the database developed for this project was con-
ducted for samples with viscosity measurements at three or more
temperatures. A total of 1,301 samples were identified containing
6,614 measurements. As a supplement to Bergmans method, the
coefficients (310 and 1.0) in Eq. 8 were allowed to vary in a non-
linear regression to determine an optimized function that reduced
equation error. Results (labeled Bergman and Sutton) showed a
slight variation (302.7 and 0.974) from Bergmans original values,
confirming the robustness of the method. The overall results are
summarized in Table 3.
Despite its acceptance by the industry, the Andrade method
performed poorly. The ASTM and updated Bergman and Sutton
relationships performed comparably but only slightly better than the
original Bergman method. Further correlation work with these three
methods resulted in essentially the same statistical results. From a
practical standpoint, the ASTM method using kinematic viscosity
requires a density at each temperature to convert to absolute viscos-
ity. At extreme temperature conditions, the adjustment of density for
temperature effects can be a potential source of error. Therefore, the
original Bergman method, which uses absolute viscosity directly, is
recommended on the basis of its accuracy and simplicity.
Fig. 1 shows the linear relationship of viscosity with tempera-
ture. Pure-component data from the n-paraffin, aromatic, cyclohex-
ane, olefin, and naphthalene hydrocarbon families are depicted in
the plot. In addition, actual crude-oil data are included to illustrate
the behavior over a wide range of hydrocarbon liquids. In general,
the data form a linear relationship with well-behaved slopes. This
presentation is useful in the determination of consistent viscosity
measurements.
Density/Temperature Relationships
Dead-oil-viscosity correlations are developed to determine kine-
matic or absolute viscosity. Kinematic viscosity is related to
absolute viscosity through the following relationship:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (9)
The use of Eq. 9 requires the knowledge of density at the tem-
perature of interest. Since dead-oil-viscosity correlations require
TABLE 1SUMMARY OF DEAD-OIL-VISCOSITY CORRELATING METHODS
Category Equation Type Method
1
od
= f (
API
,T ) Beal; Beggs and Robinson (1975); Glas (1980); Labedi;
Egbogah and Ng; Kaye (1985); Al-Khafaji et al. (1987);
Petrosky (1990); Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt (1994);
De Ghetto (1994); Bennison (1998); Elsharkawy (1999);
Bergman; Dindoruk and Christman (2001); Hossain et al.
(2005); and Naseri et al. (2005)
2
od
= f (
ref
, T
b
, T ) Orbey and Sandler
3
od
= f (
API
, K
w
, T ) Standing
4 v

= f (
API
, T
b
, T ) Twu, Fitzgerald
TABLE 2SUMMARY OF OIL PROPERTIES IN DATABASE
Property Minimum Maximum
Oil gravity (API) 0.45 135.9
Watson characterization factor 10.8 14.25
Density (at temperature, g/cm
3
) 0.389 1.061
Dead oil viscosity (cp) 0.0596 1.357 10
12

Temperature (F) 40 500
TABLE 3ACCURACY OF METHODS FOR
VISCOSITY/TEMPERATURE EXTRAPOLATION METHODS
Method
%
Absolute
Error (AE)
Standard
Deviation
(SD)
% Average
Absolute
Error (AAE) SD
ASTM 0.01 1.13 0.77 0.83
Andrade 0.19 6.10 3.85 4.74
Bergman 0.01 1.31 0.93 0.93
Bergman
and Sutton
0.00 1.20 0.84 0.85
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 817
oil API gravity as a correlating parameter, the density at 60F is
known.

o
60
0 999012
141 5
131 5

+
.
.
.
API
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (10)
where the value 0.999012 g/cm
3
is the density of water at 60F, and
the remainder of the equation is the standard relationship between
specific gravity and API gravity.
ASTM (Petroleum Measurement Tables 1980) has developed a
procedure for adjusting oil density to different temperature condi-
tions. The thermal-expansion coefficient with a base temperature
of 60F is calculated from

60
0 1
2
60
60

+
( )
K K
o
o
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (11a)
The coefficients K
0
and K
1
are determined experimentally for the
liquid of interest. Table 4 shows the values for generalized crude
oils through lubricating oils provided by the ASTM method.
The density is calculated from


o o
T T
T
e
+ ( )

1
]
60
60 60
1 0 8 .
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (11b)
where
T T 60 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (11c)
ASTM publishes tables of volume correction factors (VCFs) for
various types of fluids and ranges of temperatures. The VCF is
determined as follows
VCF
+ ( )

1
]
1
60 60
1 0 8
B
e
o
T T .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (11d)
Therefore, the resulting density as affected by a temperature change
can be determined from the density at 60F and the VCF:

o o
T

60
VCF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (12)
Gomez (1992) published a method to determine VCF accounting
for both liquid density and Watson K factor. The resulting equa-
tion is
Y a a K a K
w
a
o
a T
w
a
o
a T
+ + ( )
0 1 1 8 4 1 8
2
2 3 5 6

abs abs
. .
++ ( ) + a K a K
w
a
o
a T
w
a
o
a T
7 1 8
3
10 1 8
8 9 11 12

abs abs
. . (( )
+ ( )
4
13 1 8
5
14 15
a K
w
a
o
a T

abs
.
, . . . . . . . . . . . (13a)




Viscosity of Pure Hydrocarbons by Family
0.1 cp
0.3 cp
0.5 cp
1 cp
3 cp
10 cp
100 cp
1000 cp
10,000 cp
0 F 50 F 100 F 150 F 200 F 250 F 300 F 400 F
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
5.6 5.8 6 6.2 6.4 6.6
Ln (T + 310)
L
n

L
n

(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,
c
p

+

1
)
n-Paraffins
Aromatics
Cyclohexanes
Naphthalenes
Olefins
Crude Oils
Inconsistent
Measurement
Wax
Fig. 1Relationship between viscosity and temperature for pure components in comparison to crude oil.
TABLE 4COEFFICENTS FOR THERMAL-EXPANSION-COEFFICIENT EQUATION
Category K
0
K
1

Generalized crude oils 3.410957 x 10
4
0.0
Gasoline and naphthenes 1.924571 x 10
4
2.438 x 10
4

Jet fuels and kerosene 3.303010 x 10
4
0.0
Diesels, heating oils, and fuel oils 1.038720 x 10
4
2.701 x 10
4

Lubricating oils 1.440427 x 10
4
1.896 x 10
4

Generalized crude oils (BS update) 2.5042 x 10
4
8.302 x 10
5

Pure component (BS) 3.4175 x 10
4
4.542 x 10
5

818 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
X a a K a K
a K a
w
a
o
a
w
a
o
a
w
a
o
a
+ +
+ +
16 17 18
19
2 3 5 6
8 9

220 21
11 12 14 15
K a K
w
a
o
a
w
a
o
a
+
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . (13b)
VCF
Y
X
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (13c)
where
a
0
0.3569622 a
11
7.061760
a
1
0.1399101 a
12
8.500160
a
2
1.765440 a
13
9.508922 10
6
a
3
2.125040 a
14
8.827200
a
4
0.03861655 a
15
10.62520
a
5
3.530880 a
16
0.3566053
a
6
4.250080 a
17
40.35242
a
7
5.385089 10
3
a
18
3,215.505
a
8
5.296320 a
19
129,456.5
a
9
6.375120 a
20
2,517,668
a
10
3.627542 10
4
a
21
19,053,400.
Eq. 13 is unnecessarily complex but offers a comparison to the
ASTM procedure and adds Watson K factor as a correlating
parameter.
The VCF methods offered by ASTM and Gomez were tested
further against crude-oil data (1,516 measurements) derived from
differential-liberation studies and data published by ASME (224).
A total of 1,740 measurements were evaluated, with the results
summarized below and in Fig. 2. Despite the addition of another
correlating parameter, the results show the ASTM method to be
more accurate than the Gomez method. It is interesting to note
that the ASTM options for kerosenes and lubricating oils yielded
more accurate results than the general crude-oil option for this
data set. To ensure that the errors were minimized for the viscos-
ity calculations in this paper, the coefficients were updated. The
accuracy of the updated ASTM method is depicted graphically in
Fig. 3. These results show that in general, errors should be on the
order of 1.0% over the temperature range of interest. Errors do
increase with temperature above the base temperature of 60F. For
most cases below 300F, measured data yielding errors greater than
1% should be considered suspect (Table 5).
Pure-component data (2,121 measurements) reported by API
was also evaluated (Table 6). The accuracy of the Gomez method
improved slightly for the pure components, while the accuracy of
the ASTM method declined. However, the equation coefficients
offered by the ASTM method are calibrated for crude oils and
refinery products. A nonlinear regression was used to develop coef-
ficients suitable for the pure-component data. Results are shown
in Fig. 4. As with the crude-oil data, the accuracy of the ASTM
method is generally within 1.0% of the temperature range of
interest, with errors increasing at extreme temperatures. Therefore,
it is desirable to limit the required temperature range to minimize
the introduction of error. As a matter of practicality, dead-oil-vis-
cosity measurements are considered to have an accuracy of 515%
(Mehrotra et al. 1996; Twu 1985), so the procedure for determining
VCF is more than adequate.
Crude-Oil Characterization
Watson characterization factors are useful because they remain
reasonably constant for chemically similar hydrocarbons. The
Watson characterization factor provides a means of determining the
paraffinicity or character of a crude oil or hydrocarbon component.
A characterization factor of 12.5 or greater indicates a hydrocarbon
compound predominately paraffinic in nature. Lower values of this
Volume Correction Factor Error
(ASTM D 1250 General Crudes)
5
4
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 100 200 300 400 500
Temperature, F
V
C
F

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
Fig. 2Accuracy of ASTM VCF calculation for crude oil using
general crude values.


Volume Correction Factor Error
(Bergman and Sutton)
5
4
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
4
5
0 100 200 300 400 500
Temperature, F
V
C
F

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
Fig. 3Accuracy of ASTM VCF calculation for crude oil using
updated coefficients.
TABLE 5VCF METHOD ACCURACY (CRUDE OILS)
Method % AE
Standard
Deviation % AAE
Standard
Deviation
ASTMGeneral crude oil 0.24 0.60 0.36 0.53
ASTMGasolines and naphthenes 1.01 1.07 1.08 1.00
ASTMKerosenes 0.11 0.56 0.31 0.48
ASTMDiesels 0.19 0.58 0.34 0.51
ASTMLube oils 0.17 0.55 0.32 0.48
ASTMAPI weighted combination 0.21 0.59 0.35 0.52
Gomez 0.39 0.66 0.52 0.55
BS update to ASTM 0.01 0.54 0.28 0.46
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 819
factor indicate hydrocarbons with higher amounts of naphthenic
or aromatic components. Highly aromatic hydrocarbons exhibit
values of 10.0 or less. For crude oils, the following ranges were
observed by Nelson (1958) (see Table 7).
As defined, the Watson characterization factor is a function of
BPT and specific gravity:
K
T
w
b
o

1 3 /

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (14)
Using equations developed by Riazi-Daubert (1980) relating
molecular weight to BPT and specific gravity, Whitson (1983) re-
expressed Eq. 14 as a function of molecular weight and specific
gravity:
K M
w o o

4 5579
0 15178 0 84573
.
. .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (15)
The equation used by Whitson was developed from data taken from
pure-component hydrocarbons from C
5
to C
20
and has a limited
range of applicability to compounds with molecular weights from
70 to 300.
Riazi (2005) later updated the equation relating BPT to molecu-
lar weight and specific gravity, increasing the upper limit to
molecular weights ranging from 300 to 700; however, it was stated
that this method also could be used for molecular weights as low
as 70. This equation, modified to calculate Watson K factor, is
K a
a M a
a M
M
w
o o
o o
o
a
o
a

+
+

_
,

1
]
1
2 3
4
5 6
exp


11
a
o
a
7
8
, . . . . . . . . . . . (16)
where
a
1
16.80642 a
5
0.5369
a
2
1.6514 10
4
a
6
0.7276
a
3
1.4103 a
7
0.3333
a
4
7.5152 10
4
a
8
1.0.
Some of the oil and fraction data from the crude-oil assays reported
specific gravity, molecular weight, and the Watson characterization
factor. A total of 561 data points were identified, as shown in Fig. 5.
The data range is shown in Table 8.
For comparison, the pure-component data are also presented on
the plot. It should be noted that the pure-component data cover a
wider range of Watson-characterization-factor values than the oil
TABLE 6VCF METHOD ACCURACY (PURE COMPONENTS)
Method % AE
Standard
Deviation % AAE
Standard
Deviation
ASTMGeneral crude oil 0.63 0.86 0.75 0.76
ASTMGasolines and naphthenes 1.42 1.57 1.51 1.49
ASTMKerosenes 0.44 0.71 0.59 0.59
ASTMDiesels 0.20 0.62 0.47 0.45
ASTMLubricating oils 0.21 0.73 0.49 0.58
ASTMAPI weighted combination 0.84 1.35 0.97 1.26
Gomez 0.03 0.67 0.48 0.47
BS fit to pure component data 0.00 0.59 0.39 0.43
Volume Correction Factor Error
(Bergman and SuttonPure Component)
5
4
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
4
5
100 0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Temperature, F
V
C
F

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
Fig. 4Accuracy of ASTM VCF calculation for pure compo-
nents using Bergman and Sutton method coefficients.
TABLE 7RANGE OF CRUDE-OIL CHARACTERIZATION
FACTORS
Crude-Oil Base Watson K Factor
Paraffinic 12.212.9
Intermediate 11.512.2
Naphthenic 10.511.5



Watson Characterization Factor
(Pure Components, Oils, and Fractions)
9.0
9.5
10.0
10.5
11.0
11.5
12.0
12.5
13.0
13.5
14.0
0 20 40 60 80 100
API Gravity
W
a
t
s
o
n

K

F
a
c
t
o
r
Oils and Fractions
API Project 44
Fig. 5Reported Watson characterization factors for pure com-
ponents, crude oils, and petroleum fractions.
TABLE 8RANGE OF OIL PROPERTIES USED TO TEST
WATSON K FACTOR RELATIONSHIPS
Property Minimum Maximum
API gravity 0.8 82.7
Specific gravity 0.661 1.070
Molecular weight 92 1320
Watson K factor 10.16 12.94
820 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
and fraction data, with the latter typically constrained to 10.8 < K
w
<
13.5. This range agrees with the ranges for crude oils reported by
Nelson (1958). Figs. 6 and 7 show the accuracy of the method
proposed by Whitson. As expected, the accuracy degrades at
molecular weights greater than 300, with values of Watson char-
acterization factor overpredicted. The updated equation from Riazi
(Figs. 8 and 9) shows increased accuracy up to molecular weights
of approximately 700.
It will be demonstrated later that the Watson characterization
factor can be an important parameter in the correlation of oil vis-
cosity. Therefore, Eq. 16 was updated using nonlinear regression
techniques to minimize the error in predicted Watson K factor
resulting in the following equation:
K b
b M b
b M
M
w
o o
o o
o
b
o
b

+
+

_
,

1
]
1
2 3
4
5 6
exp


11
b
o
b
7
8
, . . . . . . . . . . . . (17)
where
b
1
2012.84 b
5
0.589485
b
2
1.8519 10
3
b
6
3.36211
b
3
3.70833 b
7
0.3333
b
4
1.31441 10
3
b
8
1.0.
The accuracy of Eq. 17 is shown in Figs. 10 and 11. It should
be noted that Eqs. 15 and 16 were developed from lower-molecu-
lar-weight, pure-component data. Eq. 17 was developed using
higher-molecular-weight oil and fraction data and is accurate
over a wide range of properties, as evidenced in Figs. 10 and 11.
However, Eq. 17 is not suitable for lighter pure components with
API gravity greater than 60, a specific gravity less than 0.74, and
a molecular weight less than 150. Table 9 summarizes the results
of the three methods.
For the purposes of this paper, the Watson K factor can be
estimated from a TBP analysis using techniques discussed by UOP
(UOP Method 375-88 1986). Alternatively, it can be calculated
Whitson Method
10
5
0
5
10
15
0 20 40 60 80 100
API Gravity
%

E
r
r
o
r
Fig. 6Error in Whitson method for Watson characterization
factor.
Whitson Method
10
5
0
5
10
15
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Mole Weight
%

E
r
r
o
r
Fig. 7Error in Whitson method for Watson characterization
factor.
Riazi Method
10
5
0
5
10
15
0 20 40 60 80 100
API Gravity
%

E
r
r
o
r
Fig. 8Error in Riazi method for Watson characterization factor.
Riazi Method
10
5
0
5
10
15
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Mole Weight
%

E
r
r
o
r
Fig. 9Error in Riazi method for Watson characterization factor.

Bergman and Sutton Method
10
5
0
5
10
15
0 20 40 60 80 100
API Gravity
%

E
r
r
o
r
Fig. 10Error in Bergman and Sutton method for Watson
characterization factor.
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 821
from the molecular weight and specific gravity using Eq. 17. These
values can be obtained for the oil itself or derived from the plus
fraction values reported in PVT reports. Fig. 12 shows the values
derived for the entire database used in this study. This plot should
provide guidance for typical values of Watson K factor with oil
API gravity.
Dead-Oil-Viscosity Correlations
A review of viscosity measurements shows common evaluation
temperatures of 100 and 210F. The measured data used in the
Viscosity/Temperature Relationships section of this paper were
used to determine the viscosity at a constant temperature of 100F.
The results are shown as a function of API gravity and Watson
characterization factor in Fig. 13. The authors note that the lines in
this plot are not meant to be correlations but are placed simply as
a reference to aid in visualizing the trends. The plot clearly shows
the effect of the Watson characterization factor on viscosity. As the
characterization factor increases (i.e., the oil becomes more paraf-
finic, containing long-chain paraffin molecules), viscosity increases
for a given oil gravity. Furthermore, as the API gravity decreases, the
effect of the characterization factor becomes more important. Fig. 14
illustrates the change in viscosity for a hypothetical set of oils with
a base Watson K of 11.5. The change in viscosity with Watson K
factor is greater as API gravity decreases. It is also noted that the
change is less significant at higher temperatures.
Correlations proposed by Twu (1985), Fitzgerald (1994), Orbey
and Sandler (1993), and Standing (1981) evaluate viscosity using
the Watson K factor (or derived BPT) as a correlating parameter,
while other methods ignore this parameter. Fig. 15 illustrates
this result. The Beggs and Robinson (1975) method is plotted to
illustrate the problem of not accounting for the effect of crude-oil
character on viscosity. By eliminating this key property, one cannot
hope to correlate viscosity accurately.
The Orbey-Sandler and Fitzgerald methods display anomalous
behavior at low gravity and high values of Watson K factor. Refer-
ring to Fig. 15, this behavior could have an impact on the methods
accuracy as the anomaly occurs within a range of expected proper-
ties. Standings method tends to overpredict viscosity at the higher
Bergman and Sutton Method
10
5
0
5
10
15
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Mole Weight
%

E
r
r
o
r
Fig. 11Error in Bergman and Sutton method for Watson char-
acterization factor.
Fig. 12Relationship between the Watson characterization
factor and oil API gravity.








Trends in Viscosity with Watson K at 100F
1.0E-01
1.0E+00
1.0E+01
1.0E+02
1.0E+03
1.0E+04
1.0E+05
1.0E+06
10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5
Watson K Factor
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
p
15 API
20 API
30 API
40 API
50 API
Fig. 13Relationship between API gravity, Watson K factor,
and viscosity.




Change in Viscosity with Watson K
at 100F
1
10
100
1000
11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 12 12.1
Watson K Factor
%

C
h
a
n
g
e

i
n

V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
15 API
15 API and 210F
20 API
30 API
40 API
50 API
50 API and 210F
1
Fig. 14Change in viscosity with Watson characterization factor
for constant API gravity.
TABLE 9ACCUARACY OF WATSON K FACTOR
CORRELATIONS
Method % AE SD % AAE SD
Whitson 1.27 2.20 1.52 2.04
Riazi 0.11 1.15 0.70 0.92
Bergman and Sutton 0.15 0.85 0.50 0.71
822 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
values of Watson K while the Twu method is more reasonably
behaved.
On the basis of observations of the performance of the Twu
method, it was decided to use it as a basis for an updated dead-oil-
viscosity correlation. Various forms from Twu were tested against
the database using a nonlinear regression technique to minimize the
error in calculated oil viscosity. The final resulting equations are
T T
T
T
c
o
b
b

+
+

0 533272 1 91017 10
7 79681 10
4
8
. .
.
bb
b
b
T
T
2
11 3
27 13
2 84376 10
9 59468 10

+

.
.

_
,

1
, . . . . . . . . . . . . (18a)
1
T
T
b
c
o
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18b)
ln . . .
.

2 0 152995 2 40219 9 59688


3 45656
2
( )
+ 1143 632
4
.
, . . . . . . . . (18c)
ln . . ln
. ln

1 0 701254 1 38359 2
0 103604 2
( ) + ( )
+ (
v
))

1
]
2
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18d)


o
o


0 843593 0 128624
3 36159 13749 5
3 12
. .
. .
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18e)

o o o
o
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18f)
x T
b
2 68316 62 0863
0 5
. .
.
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18g)
f x T
o o b 2
2 0 5
47 6033 .
.
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18h)
ln
.
ln
.

210
232 442
2
232 442 +

_
,

_
,

T T
b b
11 2
1 2
2
2
2
+

_
,

f
f
, . . . . . . (18i)
f x T
o o b 1
2 0 5
0 980633 47 6033 . .
.
, . . . . . . . . . . . . (18j)
ln
.
ln
.

100
232 442
1
232 442 +

_
,

_
,

T T
b b
11 2
1 2
1
1
2
+

_
,

f
f
, . . . . . . (18k)

o o
VCF
100 60
0 999012
100
. , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18l)

od o
100 100
100
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18m)

o o
210 60
0 999012
210
. VCF , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18n)

od o
210 210
210
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (18o)
As a point of further discussion, Eqs. 18a through k follow the
method proposed by Twu. Eqs. 18c, 18d, and 18g through k have
been modified from the original Twu equations using a nonlinear
regression routine designed to minimize the error in the calculated
viscosity. The 9,837 data points included in the regression came
from measurements from oils, petroleum fractions identified in
crude assays, and pure-component data from API 42 (1966) and
API 44. Because the goal of this work is the accurate simulation of
crude-oil viscosity, the pure-component data were limited to data
with Watson characterization factors of 10.8 to 13.0a range con-
sistent for crude oils. Furthermore the data included API-gravity










Trends in Viscosity with Watson K at 100F
1E-01
1E+00
1E+01
1E+02
1E+03
1E+04
1E+05
1E+06
10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5
Watson K Factor
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
p
15 API
20 API
30 API
40 API
50 API
Beggs and Robinson
Twu
Orbey and Sandler
Fitzgerald
Standing
Fig. 15Characteristics of correlations for modeling viscosity
behavior, 20API oil, and variable Watson K factor.











Trends in Viscosity with Watson K at 100F
(Bergman and Sutton)
1.0E-01
1.0E+00
1.0E+01
1.0E+02
1.0E+03
1.0E+04
1.0E+05
1.0E+06
10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5
Watson K Factor
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
p
15 API
20 API
30 API
40 API
50 API
Fig. 16Bergman and Sutton method for modeling viscosity
behavior, variable Watson K factor, and 1550API.
TABLE 10CORRELATIONS THAT PROPERLY MODEL
VISCOSITY CHANGE WITH TEMPERATURE
Method 20API 30API 40API
Twu X X X
Orbey and Sandler X X X
Fitzgerald X X X
Bennison (1998) X
Bergman X X X
Dindoruk and
Christman (2001)
X
Hossain X
Bergman and Sutton X X X
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 823
WAT or boiling-point limit is beyond the scope of this paper. The
data included in the regression included measured data over
the temperature range 40 to 500F, which should easily cover the
range of expected temperature conditions.
The resulting correlation was tested to ensure it met physical-
behavior criteria from real fluids. Fig. 16 shows the behavior of
viscosity with the Watson characterization factor. Over the range of
available data, the method is well behaved. Turning to the change in
viscosity with temperature, Figs. 17 and 18 compare the behavior
Viscosity of Pure Hydrocarbons by Family
0.1 cp
0.3 cp
0.5 cp
1 cp
3 cp
10 cp
100 cp
1000 cp
10,000 cp
400 F 0 F 50 F 100 F 150 F 200 F 250 F 300 F
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7
Ln (T + 310)
L
n

L
n

(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,
c
p

+

1
)
n-Paraffins
Aromatics
Cyclohexanes
Naphthalenes
Olefins
Beal 1
Beal 2
Beggs and Robinson
Glaso
Labedi-Libya
Labedi-Nigeria/Angola
Ng and Egbogah
Kaye
Al-Khafaji
Petrosky
Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt
De Ghetto
De Ghetto-Agip
Bennison
Elsharkawy
Bergman
Dindoruk and Christman
Hossain
Naseri
Fig. 17Accuracy of Category 1 correlations to model viscosity change with temperature for 30API oil.

















Viscosity of Pure Hydrocarbons by Family
0.1 cp
0.3 cp
0.5 cp
1 cp
3 cp
10 cp
100 cp
1000 cp
10,000 cp
400 F 0 F 50 F 100 F 150 F 200 F 250 F 300 F
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7
Ln (T + 310)
L
n

L
n

(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,
c
p

+

1
)
n-Paraffins
Aromatics
Cyclohexanes
Naphthalenes
Olefins
Twu
Orbey and Sandler
Fitzgerald
Standing
Bergman and Sutton
Fig. 18Accuracy of Category 24 correlations to model viscosity change with temperature for 30API 11.5 K
w
oil.
ranges from 0.45 to 135.9 to maintain the integrity of the correla-
tion over the target area of interest (5 to 80API). The method
determines oil viscosity at temperatures of 100 and 210F, which
are standard temperatures historically used in viscosity correlations
and product specifications. The viscosity at the temperature of
interest is then determined using the linear relationship determined
from the Bergman method described in Table 12. The practical
limits of this technique approximately constrain temperatures to
the WAT and boiling point of the oil. The determination of the
824 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
T
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December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 825
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826 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering


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of pure components and crude oil with published correlations
assuming an oil gravity of 30API and a Watson K factor of 11.5.
It was established in Fig. 1 that viscosity should plot linearly and
roughly parallel to the pure-component data. Methods that provide
physically realistic results will honor these criteria. Noticeable
anomalies are detected in the behavior of many of the methods.
These anomalies are typically an abnormal change in the slope of
the line, primarily at extreme temperatures (below 100F or above
200F). Some methods will even predict a decrease in viscosity
with decreasing temperature, which is physically impossible.
As a further test, calculations were performed using all of the
methods. A test matrix including oil API gravities of 20, 30, and
40 over a temperature range of 35350F was established. Using
measured pure-component data as a standard, the methods were
checked for linear behavior and response similar to the pure-com-
ponent data. Table 10 indicates the methods that honored these
criteria. Many methods though were found to provide inconsistent
results. Methods not listed in Table 10 did not meet the criteria for
the conditions tested.
The statistical accuracy of the correlations is summarized in
Tables 13 through 16 and Figs. 19 through 42. It is important
to note both the accuracy and consistency of the methods, which
can be seen in the average-absolute-error and standard-deviation
columns in the Tables 13 through 16 and can also be visualized
in the plots of Figs. 19 through 42. Because the range of data is
rather large, histograms were constructed to examine correlation
accuracy over selected ranges of temperature, API gravity, and
Watson K factor. These results are depicted in Figs. 43 through 49.
Fig. 44 examines correlation accuracy over selected temperature
ranges. Measured data were available to a minimum value of
40F. Several correlations are not designed to evaluate viscosity
at a temperature less than 0F. This range was included only to
illustrate the consistency and range of the new method. A more
conventional (35100F) temperature range was included for a
comparison of all of the methods, in Fig. 44.
Dead-oil-viscosity correlations are used to model oils at sur-
face transportation/process temperatures, intermediate temperatures
between the wellhead and reservoir, and at the reservoir temperature.
Temperature conditions representative of each stage of the produc-
tion process were selected to investigate correlation performance
further. Table 14 provides a statistical summary for the methods
over the temperature range 35100F. Fig. 45 graphically depicts
this summary while providing insight over ranges of oil API grav-
ity. Table 15 and Fig. 46 summarize correlation performance over
the temperature range 100200F, while Table 16 and Fig. 47 cover
the range 200300F. Fig. 48 provides a statistical summary for
temperature conditions greater than 300F. A detailed examination
of these charts and tables reveals inconsistencies in many of the vis-
cosity methods because of their failure to properly model viscosity
changes with temperature over the range of oil gravity. The proposed
method offers increased accuracy and consistency over the range of
temperature and API gravity.
Conclusions
1. A large database of crude-oil, petroleum-fraction, and pure-
component properties was created with the purpose of evaluating
existing dead-oil-viscosity correlations and developing a new
consistent and accurate method.
2. The existing dead-oil-viscosity correlations were categorized
into four groups. Most of the methods fall into Category 1,
which uses oil gravity and temperature to estimate absolute
viscosity. This is the traditional approach and is also the least
accurate approach. Improvements are seen in the Category 2 and
3 approaches; however, the Category 2 method lacks flexibility,
while Category 3 is physically inconsistent at lower tempera-
tures. Category 4 methods add an additional parameter, which
further characterizes the oil and offers increased accuracy in the
calculated viscosity.
3. The determination of the Watson characterization factor was
evaluated using standard industry-accepted techniques. These
were found to be in error when used to characterize the heavier
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 829
TABLE 13STATISTICAL ACCURACY OF VISCOSITY METHODS *
Method # Pts % AE
Standard
Deviation % AAE
Standard
Deviation
> 10%
Error Count

Beal 1 8,950 18.6 102.8 59.6 85.8 7,684
Beal 2 9,024 34.5 120.9 68.1 105.7 7,862
Beggs and Robinson 9,024 222.9 2,693.0 248.7 2,690.7 8,203
Glas 9,024 13.2 144.8 52.2 135.7 7,647
Labedi-Libya 9,024 87.5 523.4 121.6 516.5 8,087
Labedi-Nigeria/Angola 9,024 47.4 153.0 85.8 135.3 7,890
Egbogah and Ng 9,024 29.1 95.5 61.8 78.4 7,893
Twu 9,024 9.6 28.7 20.4 22.4 5,228
Kaye 9,024 32.3 216.0 72.6 205.9 7,758
Al-Khafaji 8,973 17.4 342.4 66.5 336.3 7,883
Petrosky 9,024 19.4 141.5 57.1 130.9 7,830
Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt 9,024 18.8 245.7 60.3 238.9 7,600
Orbey and Sandler 9,024 32.9 30.7 34.6 28.9 6,793
De Ghetto 9,024 26.2 93.7 60.0 76.6 7,852
De Ghetto-Agip 9,024 15.7 85.1 55.2 66.6 7,886
Fitzgerald 9,024 9.1 25.9 19.4 19.5 4,939
Bennison 9,024 1.8 502.7 125.6 486.8 8,668
Elsharkawy 9,024 49.9 129.4 73.7 117.4 8,015
Bergman 9,024 33.8 130.3 61.6 119.7 7,730
Standing 9,024 174.3 1.5 E+04 202.4 1.5 E+04 5,839
Dindoruk and Christman 9,024 1.7 85.3 45.3 72.3 7,792
Hossain 9,024 50.4 105.2 81.8 83.1 8,681
Naseri 9,024 15.2 91.8 55.7 74.6 8,153
Bergman and Sutton 9,024 5.1 21.4 16.6 14.5 4,992
* API gravity range: 580; temperature range: 35500F.
TABLE 12SUMMARY OF METHODS RELATING VISCOSITY AND TEMPERATURE AND PROCEDURE TO CALCULATE
VISCOSITY AT ANY TEMPERATURE
Method Calculation Procedure
ASTM The ASTM method is defined



the slope, B, is determined from known viscosity at two temperatures, 100 and 210F

and the viscosity at any temperature, T, can then be determined


convert kinematic viscosity to absolute viscosity



Note: for clarification

Bergman Bergmans method is defined

the slope, B, is determined from known viscosity at two temperatures, 100 and 210F

and the viscosity at any temperature, T, can then be determined

830 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
TABLE 14STATISTICAL ACCURACY OF VISCOSITY METHODS*
Method # Pts % AE
Standard
Deviation % AAE
Standard
Deviation
> 10%
Error Count

Beal 1 1,440 63.1 158.2 91.2 143.8 1,258
Beal 2 1,442 68.0 201.4 90.5 192.3 1,251
Beggs and Robinson 1,442 1,150.0 6,660.0 1,150.0 6,660.0 1,413
Glas 1,442 19.1 130.5 61.2 116.8 1,242
Labedi-Libya 1,442 17.4 82.9 52.1 66.8 1,285
Labedi-Nigeria/Angola 1,442 184.1 287.5 209.2 269.7 1,346
Egbogah and Ng 1,442 12.3 120.4 58.4 106.0 1,247
Twu 1,442 11.7 40.3 25.8 33.2 975
Kaye 1,442 39.2 390.0 91.8 381.0 1,262
Al-Khafaji 1,433 55.2 144.6 84.3 129.8 1,256
Petrosky 1,442 9.6 101.5 60.5 82.0 1,293
Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt 1,442 43.2 152.8 76.4 139.3 1,268
Orbey and Sandler 1,442 38.8 33.2 40.9 30.6 1,174
De Ghetto 1,442 32.1 150.4 74.4 134.5 1,272
De Ghetto-Agip 1,442 2.2 102.2 54.4 86.5 1,282
Fitzgerald 1,442 15.5 25.7 22.4 19.9 924
Bennison 1,442 80.0 130.7 97.7 118.1 1,425
Elsharkawy 1,442 72.5 233.2 95.5 224.8 1,286
Bergman 1,442 52.8 235.6 80.9 227.4 1,229
Standing 1,442 11.5 545.0 70.8 540.5 1,109
Dindoruk and Christman 1,442 2.8 117.4 55.7 103.3 1,276
Hossain 1,442 76.5 149.6 98.5 136.1 1,428
Naseri 1,442 36.1 150.6 77.6 134.0 1,279
Bergman and Sutton 1,442 9.3 21.9 18.1 15.3 847
* API gravity range: 580; temperature range: 35100F.
TABLE 15STATISTICAL ACCURACY OF VISCOSITY METHODS *
Method # Pts % AE
Standard
Deviation % AAE
Standard
Deviation
> 10%

Error Count

Beal 1 4,442 30.8 97.8 61.6 82.0 3,761
Beal 2 4,462 45.5 107.4 70.0 93.3 3,880
Beggs and Robinson 4,462 73.9 126.8 96.9 110.2 4,060
Glas 4,462 7.5 123.8 49.8 113.6 3,762
Labedi-Libya 4,462 23.4 129.6 60.9 116.8 3,867
Labedi-Nigeria/Angola 4,462 42.0 101.5 77.4 77.9 3,962
Egbogah and Ng 4,462 14.2 77.5 52.0 59.1 3,829
Twu 4,462 9.4 27.3 20.6 20.3 2,654
Kaye 4,462 13.1 154.9 58.7 144.0 3,735
Al-Khafaji 4,433 38.8 468.0 69.7 464.4 3,833
Petrosky 4,462 6.3 99.6 49.3 86.7 3,792
Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt 4,462 10.2 189.3 52.8 182.0 3,766
Orbey and Sandler 4,462 34.5 30.3 35.9 28.6 3,423
De Ghetto 4,462 14.1 73.7 52.9 53.2 3,848
De Ghetto-Agip 4,462 1.9 69.0 47.1 50.4 3,827
Fitzgerald 4,462 9.5 25.9 19.8 19.2 2,503
Bennison 4,462 69.7 65.0 82.3 48.1 4,341
Elsharkawy 4,462 36.3 95.4 64.1 79.4 3,903
Bergman 4,462 37.0 112.8 63.3 100.4 3,819
Standing 4,462 338.1 2.1 E+04 367.1 2.1 E+04 2,959
Dindoruk and Christman 4,462 4.6 76.9 45.5 62.1 3,853
Hossain 4,462 68.5 77.2 84.9 58.7 4,376
Naseri 4,462 20.3 60.0 47.6 41.7 3,964
Bergman and Sutton 4,462 5.0 22.3 17.6 14.6 2,657
* API gravity range: 580; temperature range: 100200F.
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 831
TABLE 16STATISTICAL ACCURACY OF VISCOSITY METHODS *
Method # Pts % AE
Standard
Deviation % AAE
Standard
Deviation
> 10%
Error Count

Beal 1 2,404 13.6 53.7 40.5 37.9 2,044
Beal 2 2,434 15.7 73.7 54.6 51.9 2,103
Beggs and Robinson 2,434 10.0 67.0 50.1 45.6 2,100
Glas 2,434 16.0 188.6 50.7 182.4 2,037
Labedi-Libya 2,434 161.8 348.2 174.6 342.0 2,296
Labedi-Nigeria/Angola 2,434 5.4 56.1 41.6 37.9 2,063
Egbogah and Ng 2,434 51.0 95.8 73.3 80.1 2,224
Twu 2,434 8.9 24.0 18.1 18.1 1,318
Kaye 2,434 49.8 158.0 77.1 146.6 2,121
Al-Khafaji 2,421 21.2 125.4 49.9 117.0 2,121
Petrosky 2,434 32.8 176.2 59.0 169.2 2,105
Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt 2,434 14.1 347.9 56.9 343.5 2,000
Orbey and Sandler 2,434 29.5 29.2 31.2 27.4 1,778
De Ghetto 2,434 34.3 82.7 60.5 65.9 2,109
De Ghetto-Agip 2,434 37.0 86.9 63.5 69.8 2,175
Fitzgerald 2,434 5.5 26.1 18.2 19.6 1,239
Bennison 2,434 6.4 86.4 63.5 58.8 2,218
Elsharkawy 2,434 54.4 98.2 75.6 83.1 2,236
Bergman 2,434 22.3 73.8 52.1 56.9 2,072
Standing 2,434 15.9 102.8 28.3 100.1 1,462
Dindoruk and Christman 2,434 1.0 85.7 42.2 74.6 2,075
Hossain 2,434 30.3 76.4 64.4 51.2 2,260
Naseri 2,434 33.2 64.7 52.9 49.9 2,273
Bergman and Sutton 2,434 3.6 20.2 15.2 13.8 1,253
* API gravity range: 580; temperature range: 200300F.
Fig. 19Accuracy of Beal 1 method. Fig. 20Accuracy of Beal 2 method.
crude oils with API gravities less than 20 30API. A new
method was developed that offers accurate results to 10API.
4. Methods to depict linear trends in viscosity with temperature
were evaluated. The Andrade method, which has been widely
used in the industry, was found to be inaccurate. The accuracy of
the ASTM and Bergman methods was found to be comparable.
The Bergman method is recommended over the ASTM method
because it is easier to apply.
5. Methods to correct density for temperature changes were
evaluated. A modified ASTM approach was found to be suitably
accurate for both crude oils and pure components.
6. A chart illustrating the effect of the Watson characterization
factor on oil viscosity was prepared to emphasize the impor-
tance of proper oil characterization to the accurate correlation
of viscosity.
7. Existing correlations were compared for the consistency of the
calculated viscosity with changing temperature using measured
data trends as a metric. Several of the correlations failed this
consistency test.
8. A new method was developed from data collected from the data-
base. The new method (referred to as the Bergman and Sutton
method) provides for accurate and consistent results over a wide
832 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
Fig. 21Accuracy of Beggs and Robinson method.
Fig. 22Accuracy of Glas method.
Fig. 23Accuracy of Twu method. Fig. 24Accuracy of Labedi (Libya) method.
Fig. 25Accuracy of Labedi (Nigeria/Angola) method. Fig. 26Accuracy of Egbogah and Ng method.
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 833
Fig. 27Accuracy of Kaye method.
Fig. 28Accuracy of Al-Khafaji method.
Fig. 29Accuracy of Petrosky method.
Fig. 30Accuracy of Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt method.
Fig. 31Accuracy of Orbey and Sandler method. Fig. 32Accuracy of De Ghetto method.
834 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
Fig. 33Accuracy of De Ghetto-Agip method.
Fig. 35Accuracy of Bennison method.
Fig. 38Accuracy of Standing method. Fig. 37Accuracy of Bergman method.
Fig. 36Accuracy of Elsharkawy method.
Fig. 34Accuracy of Fitzgerald method.
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 835
Fig. 39Accuracy of Dindoruk and Christman method.
Fig. 41Accuracy of Naseri method.
Fig. 42Accuracy of Bergman and Sutton method.
Fig. 40Accuracy of Hossain method.
Effect of Oil API Gravity
All Temperatures
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
B
e
a
l
1
B
e
a
l
2
B
e
g
g
s

a
n
d

R
o
b
i
n
s
o
n
G
l
a
s

L
a
b
e
d
i-
L
ib
y
a
L
a
b
e
d
i
-
N
i
g
e
r
ia
/
A
n
g
o
l
a
E
g
o
b
a
h

a
n
d

N
g
T
w
u
K
a
y
e
A
l-
K
h
a
f
a
ji
P
e
t
r
o
s
k
y
K
a
r
t
o
a
t
m
o
d
jo

a
n
d

S
c
h
m
i
d
t
O
b
e
y

a
n
d

S
a
n
d
l
e
r
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
-
A
g
i
p
F
it
z
g
e
r
a
l
d
B
e
n
n
i
s
o
n
E
l
s
h
a
r
k
a
w
y
B
e
r
g
m
a
n
S
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
D
i
n
d
o
r
u
k

a
n
d

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
n
H
o
s
s
a
i
n
N
a
s
e
r
i
B
e
r
g
m
a
n

a
n
d

S
u
t
t
o
n
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
5<API<80
API<10
10<API<20
20<API<30
30<API<40
40<API<50
API>50
Fig. 43Summary of dead-oil-viscosity methods by API gravity for temperatures ranging 35500F.
836 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
Effect of Temperature
(All API)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
35-500F
-40-100F
35-100F
100-200F
200-300F
>300F
B
e
a
l
1
B
e
a
l
2
B
e
g
g
s

a
n
d

R
o
b
i
n
s
o
n
G
l
a
s

L
a
b
e
d
i-
L
ib
y
a
L
a
b
e
d
i
-
N
i
g
e
r
ia
/
A
n
g
o
l
a
E
g
o
b
a
h

a
n
d

N
g
T
w
u
K
a
y
e
A
l-
K
h
a
f
a
ji
P
e
t
r
o
s
k
y
K
a
r
t
o
a
t
m
o
d
jo

a
n
d

S
c
h
m
i
d
t
O
b
e
y

a
n
d

S
a
n
d
l
e
r
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
-
A
g
i
p
F
it
z
g
e
r
a
l
d
B
e
n
n
i
s
o
n
E
l
s
h
a
r
k
a
w
y
B
e
r
g
m
a
n
S
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
D
i
n
d
o
r
u
k

a
n
d

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
n
H
o
s
s
a
i
n
N
a
s
e
r
i
B
e
r
g
m
a
n

a
n
d

S
u
t
t
o
n
Fig. 44Summary of dead-oil-viscosity methods by temperature for all ranges of API gravity.
Effect of Oil API Gravity
Temperature 35-100F
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
5<API<80
API<20
20<API<30
30<API<40
40<API<50
API>50
B
e
a
l
1
B
e
a
l
2
B
e
g
g
s

a
n
d

R
o
b
i
n
s
o
n
G
l
a
s

L
a
b
e
d
i-
L
ib
y
a
L
a
b
e
d
i
-
N
i
g
e
r
ia
/
A
n
g
o
l
a
E
g
o
b
a
h

a
n
d

N
g
T
w
u
K
a
y
e
A
l-
K
h
a
f
a
ji
P
e
t
r
o
s
k
y
K
a
r
t
o
a
t
m
o
d
jo

a
n
d

S
c
h
m
i
d
t
O
b
e
y

a
n
d

S
a
n
d
l
e
r
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
-
A
g
i
p
F
it
z
g
e
r
a
l
d
B
e
n
n
i
s
o
n
E
l
s
h
a
r
k
a
w
y
B
e
r
g
m
a
n
S
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
D
i
n
d
o
r
u
k

a
n
d

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
n
H
o
s
s
a
i
n
N
a
s
e
r
i
B
e
r
g
m
a
n

a
n
d

S
u
t
t
o
n
Fig. 45Summary of dead-oil-viscosity methods by API gravity for temperatures ranging 35 100F.
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 837
Effect of Oil API Gravity
Temperature 100-200F
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
5<API<80
API<10
10<API<20
20<API<30
30<API<40
40<API<50
API>50
B
e
a
l
1
B
e
a
l
2
B
e
g
g
s

a
n
d

R
o
b
i
n
s
o
n
G
l
a
s

L
a
b
e
d
i-
L
ib
y
a
L
a
b
e
d
i
-
N
i
g
e
r
ia
/
A
n
g
o
l
a
E
g
o
b
a
h

a
n
d

N
g
T
w
u
K
a
y
e
A
l-
K
h
a
f
a
ji
P
e
t
r
o
s
k
y
K
a
r
t
o
a
t
m
o
d
jo

a
n
d

S
c
h
m
i
d
t
O
b
e
y

a
n
d

S
a
n
d
l
e
r
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
-
A
g
i
p
F
it
z
g
e
r
a
l
d
B
e
n
n
i
s
o
n
E
l
s
h
a
r
k
a
w
y
B
e
r
g
m
a
n
S
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
D
i
n
d
o
r
u
k

a
n
d

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
n
H
o
s
s
a
i
n
N
a
s
e
r
i
B
e
r
g
m
a
n

a
n
d

S
u
t
t
o
n
Fig. 46Summary of dead-oil-viscosity methods by API gravity for temperatures ranging 100200F.
Effect of Oil API Gravity
Temperature 200-300F
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
5<API<80
API<10
10<API<20
20<API<30
30<API<40
40<API<50
API>50
B
e
a
l
1
B
e
a
l
2
B
e
g
g
s

a
n
d

R
o
b
i
n
s
o
n
G
l
a
s

L
a
b
e
d
i-
L
ib
y
a
L
a
b
e
d
i
-
N
i
g
e
r
ia
/
A
n
g
o
l
a
E
g
o
b
a
h

a
n
d

N
g
T
w
u
K
a
y
e
A
l-
K
h
a
f
a
ji
P
e
t
r
o
s
k
y
K
a
r
t
o
a
t
m
o
d
jo

a
n
d

S
c
h
m
i
d
t
O
b
e
y

a
n
d

S
a
n
d
l
e
r
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
-
A
g
i
p
F
it
z
g
e
r
a
l
d
B
e
n
n
i
s
o
n
E
l
s
h
a
r
k
a
w
y
B
e
r
g
m
a
n
S
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
D
i
n
d
o
r
u
k

a
n
d

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
n
H
o
s
s
a
i
n
N
a
s
e
r
i
B
e
r
g
m
a
n

a
n
d

S
u
t
t
o
n
Fig. 47Summary of dead-oil-viscosity methods by API gravity for temperatures ranging 200300F.
838 December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
Effect of Oil API Gravity
Temperature >300F
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
5<API<80
API<10
10<API<20
20<API<30
30<API<40
40<API<50
API>50
B
e
a
l
1
B
e
a
l
2
B
e
g
g
s

a
n
d

R
o
b
i
n
s
o
n
G
l
a
s

L
a
b
e
d
i-
L
ib
y
a
L
a
b
e
d
i
-
N
i
g
e
r
ia
/
A
n
g
o
l
a
E
g
o
b
a
h

a
n
d

N
g
T
w
u
K
a
y
e
A
l-
K
h
a
f
a
ji
P
e
t
r
o
s
k
y
K
a
r
t
o
a
t
m
o
d
jo

a
n
d

S
c
h
m
i
d
t
O
b
e
y

a
n
d

S
a
n
d
l
e
r
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
-
A
g
i
p
F
it
z
g
e
r
a
l
d
B
e
n
n
i
s
o
n
E
l
s
h
a
r
k
a
w
y
B
e
r
g
m
a
n
S
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
D
i
n
d
o
r
u
k

a
n
d

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
n
H
o
s
s
a
i
n
N
a
s
e
r
i
B
e
r
g
m
a
n

a
n
d

S
u
t
t
o
n
Fig. 48Summary of dead-oil-viscosity methods by API gravity for temperatures ranging >300F.
Effect of Watson K Factor
(35 < T <500F)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

A
b
s
o
l
u
t
e

E
r
r
o
r
,

%
All Kw
Kw<11.5
11.5<Kw<12
12<Kw<12.5
Kw>12.5
B
e
a
l
1
B
e
a
l
2
B
e
g
g
s

a
n
d

R
o
b
i
n
s
o
n
G
l
a
s

L
a
b
e
d
i-
L
ib
y
a
L
a
b
e
d
i
-
N
i
g
e
r
ia
/
A
n
g
o
l
a
E
g
o
b
a
h

a
n
d

N
g
T
w
u
K
a
y
e
A
l-
K
h
a
f
a
ji
P
e
t
r
o
s
k
y
K
a
r
t
o
a
t
m
o
d
jo

a
n
d

S
c
h
m
i
d
t
O
b
e
y

a
n
d

S
a
n
d
l
e
r
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
D
e

G
h
e
t
t
o
-
A
g
i
p
F
it
z
g
e
r
a
l
d
B
e
n
n
i
s
o
n
E
l
s
h
a
r
k
a
w
y
B
e
r
g
m
a
n
S
t
a
n
d
i
n
g
D
i
n
d
o
r
u
k

a
n
d

C
h
r
i
s
t
m
a
n
H
o
s
s
a
i
n
N
a
s
e
r
i
B
e
r
g
m
a
n

a
n
d

S
u
t
t
o
n
Fig. 49Summary of dead-oil-viscosity methods by Watson K factor for temperatures ranging 35500F.
December 2009 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 839
range of conditions. All of the viscosity methods were tested
against the database, and the results were reported. These results
can aid in the selection of suitable methods for engineering cal-
culations that require viscosity over the wide range of conditions
encountered in production and processing applications.
Nomenclature
B
o
oil formation volume factor, bbl/STB
K
w
Watson characterization factor
R
s
solution-gas/oil ratio, scf/STB
T temperature, F
T
b
average BPT, R
T
c
critical temperature, R
T
abs
temperature, R
reduced BPT

60
coefcient of thermal expansion at a base tempera-
ture of 60F
kinematic viscosity, cSt
x, f
1
, f
2
,
1
,
2
correlating parameters
absolute viscosity, cp

od
dead-oil viscosity, cp
density, g/cm
3

o
oil density, g/cm
3

o60
oil density at 60F, g/cm
3

oT
oil density at temperature T, g/cm
3

API
oil API gravity

o
oil specic gravity
Subscripts
100 property at 100F
210 property at 210F
Superscripts
n-alkanes property
Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank the management of Marathon Oil
Company and BP America for permission to publish this paper.
Finally, the primary author would like to thank his wife, Nancy.
Without her patience and understanding, this would have never
been written.
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Statistical Quantities
AE average error, %
AE
calc meas
meas

100
1
N
X X
X
i i
i i
N
AAE average absolute error, %
AAE
calc meas
meas

100
1
N
X X
X
i i
i i
N
S standard deviation
S
X X
N
i
i
N

( )

2
1
1
X generic dependent variable
N number of observations
SI Metric Conversion Factors
API 141.5/(131.5+API) g/cm
3
bbl 1.589 873 E 01 m
3
cp 1.0* E 03 Pas
ft
3
2.831 685 E 02 m
3
F (F 32)/1.8 C
F (F + 459.67)/1.8 K
psi 6.894 757 E + 00 kPa
*Conversion factor is exact.
Rob Sutton is a senior technical consultant for Marathon Oil
Company in Houston where he works in the reservoir perfor-
mance group under the upstream technology organization.
He joined Marathon in 1978 after earning his BS degree in petro-
leum engineering from Marietta College. Sutton also holds an
MS degree in petroleum engineering from the U. of Louisiana
at Lafayette. Dave Bergman joined Amoco as a research engi-
neer in 1976 after earning his PhD degree in chemical engi-
neering from the U. of Michigan. He joined BP at the merger
in 1999 until he retired in 2008. During that time, Bergman was
active in laboratory analyses and procedures and equation
of state modeling of reservoir fluids. In his retirement he is still a
consultant for fluid properties and other PVT areas.
2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 1
Discussion of A Consistent and Accurate
Dead-Oil-Viscosity Method
Faruk Civan, SPE, University of Oklahoma
SPE 110194-DS.
Summary
The Vogel-Tammann-Fulcher equation (VTF), which allows for
determination of the high-temperature limit of viscosity, critical-
limit temperature, and activation energy is proven to be simpler,
and more accurate and advantageous than Bergmans equation for
correlation of temperature dependence of oil viscosity.
Introduction
Bergman and Sutton (2009) demonstrated by correlating numerous
experimental viscosity data of various petroleum fluids that the
viscosity equation of Bergman given below performs better than
all other equations investigated in their article:
ln ln ln + ( ) ,

]
]
+ + ( ) 1 A B T T
o
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)
We can write Eq. 1 as either of the following two forms:
+ + + ( ) ,

]
]

1 exp exp ln A B T T
o
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2)
+ ( ) + ( )
,

]
]
1 2 71828 exp , . ... e T T e
A
o
B
, . . . . . . . . . . . . (3)
where represents temperature-dependent viscosity (cp), T is
temperature (F), T
o
310, and A and B are empirical fitting
constants. Further, for best data regression, Bergman and Sutton
(2009) adjusted the constants of this equation from 1 and 310 to
0.974 and 302.7. However, they did not provide any comparison
with the Vogel-Tammann-Fulcher equation (VTF) (Vogel 1921;
Tammann and Hesse 1926; Fulcher 1925). Given the values of
parameters A and B, calculation of viscosity should be made using
Eq. 2, not Eq. 3.
Note that the units used in the above equation by Bergman and
Sutton (2009) are inconsistent. All equations discussed here should
be expressed in consistent units, as indicated in the Nomenclature.
However, we retain the units considered by Bergman and Sutton
(2009) in the following discussion for direct comparison of our
results with theirs.
As explained here, Bergmans equation (Eq. 1) performs well
in correlation of temperature dependence of viscosity because it
is a good approximation to the VTF equation in the range of the
correlated viscosity data. However, it is mathematically complex
and, therefore, requires tedious numerical processing of experi-
mental data. In contrast, the mathematically simple VTF equation
is practical, and it can produce results with comparable or better
accuracy.
Formulation
The VTF equation has been proved to perform very well for many
systems. It is an asymptotic exponential function expressed by
(Civan 2006, 2007, 2008a, 2008b):
ln

c c
C
T T
j
(
,
\
,
(

, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (4)
where represents temperature-dependent viscosity (Pa.s);
c
is a
pre-exponential coefficient (Pa.s); T and T
c
are the actual and the
critical-limit absolute temperatures (K) respectively; and C E/R,
where E is the activation energy (J/kmol) and R is the universal
gas constant [J/(kmolK)]. The best-estimate values of the three
parameters of Eq. 4,
c
, C, and T
c
, can be determined uniquely
using the least-squares method developed by Monkos (2003). An
Excel spreadsheet prepared for this purpose is provided else-
where by Civan (2008a).
It is not surprising that Bergmans equation (Eq. 1) performs
well because it can be manipulated as in the following to show that
it is an approximation to the VTF equation. We carry out the follow-
ing approximate mathematical analysis only for the case of < 1.
This condition can be satisfied by scaling the numerical values of
viscosity in a suitable manner. After all, the order of magnitude
of numerical values of viscosity depends on its unit such as centi-
poise, poise, or Pas. Hence, comparison of its numerical value to
1.0 is meaningless because it depends on its unit. This is a problem
of practical importance associated with Bergmans equation. The
VTF equation does not have such a problem. Obviously, for high
numerical values, we can apply as an approximation + 1 .
Consider the following relationships given by Potter and Gold-
berg (1987):
exp
!
..., x x
x
x ( ) + + + < 1
2
2
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (5)
1
1
1 1
2

+ + + <
x
x x x ..., , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (6)
ln( ) ..., 1
2 3
1 1
2 3
+ + + < x x
x x
x . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (7)
We neglect the second- and higher-order terms in the following
approximate analysis.
Applying Eq. 5, Eq. 3 can be approximated as
( ) + ( ) ( ) +
j
(
,
\
,
(
e T T e T
T
T
A
o
B A
o
B
o
B
1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (8)
Taking a logarithm of Eq. 8 and applying Eqs. 6 and 7 yields
the following for |T/T
o
| < 1:
ln ln ln ln + ( ) + +
j
(
,
\
,
(
+ ( ) A B T B
T
T
A B T B
T
T
o
o
o
1
oo
o
o
A B T B
T
T
A
j
(
,
\
,
(
+ ( ) +
+
j
(
,
,
,
,
\
,
(
(
(
(
ln 1
1
1
++ ( ) + +

+
B T B
BT
T T
o
o
o
ln
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (9)
Thus, Eq. 9 can be cast in the form of a VTF-type equation as
ln ln ,
ln ln ,

+
+
+ ( ) +
o
o
o o o
C
T T
A B T B C BT
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (10)
We see by comparing Eqs. 4 and 10 that
c

o
and T
c

T
o
. Hence, this exercise proves that Bergmans equation can be
approximated to match the form of the VTF equation.
2 2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
does not give the best fit of data. The best-estimate values of the
parameters of the VTF equation and, thus, the accurate correlation
of temperature dependence of n-paraffin and crude-oil viscosity
can be obtained (as shown in Figs. 3 and 4, respectively) using
the spreadsheet program prepared by Civan (2008a) based on the
Monkos (2003) least-squares regression method. The best-estimate
parameter values for n-paraffin were determined with a coefficient of
regression of R
2
0.9993 (very close to 1.0) as
c
, pre-exponential
coefficient of viscosity, 0.0064 cp; T
c
, critical-limit temperature of
viscosity, 632.47 F; and C, activation energy of viscosity/univer-
sal gas constant, 2720.49R. The best-estimate parameter values
for crude oil were determined with a coefficient of regression of
R
2
0.9998 (very close to 1.0) as
c
, pre-exponential coefficient
of viscosity, 0.0211 cp; T
c
, critical-limit temperature of viscosity,
129.16F; and C, activation energy of viscosity/universal gas con-
stant, 2492.86R. This exercise demonstrates that the VTF equation
can represent the viscosity data very accurately when the equations
parameters are determined by the method of Monkos (2003).
Note that the correlation of various experimental data by Berg-
man and Sutton (2009) using Eq. 1 indicates that B<0 (See Fig. 1).
Thus, the limits of Bergmans equation can be derived from Eq. 3,
as indicated by Eqs. 11 and 12, as
0,T
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (11)
,T T
o
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (12)
Application, Comparison, and Discussion
We do not have the actual numerical values of the viscosity data
used by Bergman and Sutton (2009), but we can generate them
from their figures by digitizing. Obviously, the values extracted
this way involve uncertain amounts of digitizing errors in addition
to the possible experimental errors associated with the data. How-
ever, this is sufficient for our purpose of proving that Bergmans
equation is an approximation to the VTF equation in the range
of data.
For example, Figs. 1 and 2 show the straight-line plots of the
typical data extracted from Bergman and Sutton (2009) accord-
ing to Bergmans equation and the VTF equation, respectively.
Both equations describe the data accurately, with coefficients of
regression very close to 1.0. This exercise demonstrates that both
Bergmans equation and the VTF equation yield comparable-qual-
ity correlations in the range of data used here. However, Bergmans
equation involves a double logarithm in the ordinate ln[ln(+1)]
and a single logarithm in the abscissa ln(T+T
o
) in order to accom-
plish a straight-line plotting of data. It is, therefore, more-compli-
cated and -tedious than the VTF equation, for which straight-line
plotting of data can be accomplished on a semilog coordinate
system by plotting ln vs.
1
T T
o
+
.
The correlation presented by the VTF equation in Fig. 2 used
the value of T
o
310 according to Bergmans equation. This value
n-Paraffin
y = 1.8479x+9.6534
R = 0.9992
Crude Oil
y = 2.7791x+18.667
R = 0.9997
2
1
0
1
2
3
5.8 5.9 6 6.1 6.2 6.3
l
n
[
l
n
(

+
1
)
]
,

c
p
ln(T+310), T F
n-Paraffin
Crude Oil
Fig. 1Correlation of temperature dependence of viscosity
according to Bergmans equation.
n-Paraffin
y=861.18x3.4646
R=0.9956
Crude Oil
y=8018.7x12.485
R=0.9986
2
0
2
4
6
8
10
0.0018 0.0022 0.0026 0.003
l
n


c
p
1/(T+310), T F
n-Paraffin
Crude Oil
Fig. 2Correlation of temperature dependence of viscosity
according to the VTF equation.
y=2716.6x5.0529
R=0.9993
2.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.0011 0.0013 0.0015 0.0017
l
n

(

,

c
p
)
1/(TT
c
), 1/F
n-Paraffin
Fig. 3Correlation of temperature dependence of n-paraffin
viscosity according to the VTF equation by Monkos (2003)
least-squares regression.
y=2492x3.8549
R=0.9998
5.0
5.5
6.0
6.5
7.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
9.0
0.0035 0.0040 0.0045 0.0050 0.0055
l
n

(

,

c
p
)
Crude Oil
1/(TT
c
), 1/F
Fig. 4Correlation of temperature dependence of crude-oil vis-
cosity according to the VTF equation by Monkos (2003) least-
squares regression.
2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 3
Recall that, for best data regression, Bergman and Sutton (2009)
adjusted the constants of this equation from 1 and 310 to 0.974
and 302.7. If the adjusted values are considered, then the lower
limit of viscosity will be 0.974+1.0 0.026.
On the other hand, noting that B<0 (see Fig. 1) and, thus, C>0
(see Figs. 2 through 4), the limits of the VTF equation can be
derived from Eq. 10, as indicated by Eqs. 13 and 14, as

o
T , , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (13)
,T T
o
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (14)
Therefore, the lower limit of the VTF equation
o
is determined
depending on the fluid type as illustrated above for n-paraffin and
crude oil, respectively. Extensive examples are provided elsewhere
by Civan (2006, 2007, 2008a), who determined the best-estimate
values of the parameters T
o
,
o
, and C for the oils as a function of
gravity (API) or for the brines as a function of the dissolved salt
type and concentration.
Conclusion
It is concluded that the VTF equation is simpler (Eq. 4), and more
accurate and advantageous than Bergmans equation (Eq. 1). The
VTF equation should be tested further using the actual numerical
values of all the data used by Bergman and Sutton (2009) to avoid
the digitizing errors. However, the best-estimate values of T
o
,
o
,
and C should be determined according to Monkos (2003) using
the spreadsheet given by Civan (2008a).
Nomenclature
A, B empirical constants, dimensionless
C derived parameter equal to the E/R ratio, K
E activation energy, J/kmol
R universal gas constant, J/(kmolK), or coefcient of
regression, dimensionless
T actual absolute temperature, K
T
c
, T
o
critical-limit absolute temperature, K
x a general variable
temperature-dependent viscosity, Pa.s

c
,
o
pre-exponential coefcient, Pa.s
References
Bergman, D.F. and Sutton, R.P. 2009. A Consistent and Accurate Dead-Oil-
Viscosity Method. SPE Res Eval & Eng 12 (6): 815840. SPE-110194-
PA. doi: 10.2118/110194-PA.
Civan, F. 2006. Viscosity-temperature correlation for crude oils using an
Arrhenius-type asymptotic exponential function. Petroleum Science
and Technology 24 (6): 699706. doi: 10.1081/LFT-200041178.
Civan, F. 2007. Brine Viscosity Correlation with Temperature Using
the Vogel-Tammann-Fulcher Equation. SPE Drill & Compl 22 (4):
341355. SPE-108463-PA. doi: 10.2118/108463-PA.
Civan, F. 2008a. Predicting Brine Viscosity With Temperature and Concentration
Using the Vogel-Tammann-Fulcher (VTF) Equation (Addendum to SPE
108463). Paper SPE 118750 available from SPE, Richardson, Texas, USA.
Civan, F. 2008b. Use Exponential Functions to Correlate Temperature
Dependence. Chemical Engineering Progress 104 (7): 4652.
Fulcher, G.S. 1925. Analysis of Recent Data of the Viscosity of Glasses.
J. of the American Ceramic Society 8 (6): 339355. doi: 10.1111/
j.1151-2916.1925.tb16731.x.
Monkos, K. 2003. A Method of Calculations of the Parameters in the Vogel-
Tammann-Fulchers Equation: An Application to the Porcine Serum Albu-
min Aqueous Solutions. Current Topics in Biophysics 27 (12): 1721.
Potter, M.C. and Goldberg, J. 1987. Mathematical Methods, second edition.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall.
Tammann, G. and Hesse, W. 1926. Die Abhngigkeit der Viscositt von
der Temperatur bie unterkhlten Flssigkeiten. Zeitschrift fr anor-
ganische und allgemeine Chemie 156 (1): 245257. doi: 10.1002/
zaac.19261560121.
Vogel, H. 1921. Das Temperature-abhngigketsgesetz der Viskositt von
Flssigkeiten. Phys. Zeit. 22: 645646.
4 2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
Reply to Discussion of A Consistent and
Accurate Dead-Oil-Viscosity Method
David F. Bergman, Consultant and Robert P. Sutton, Marathon Oil Company
SPE 110194-RP.
Faruk Civans discussion of our 2009 (Bergman and Sutton 2009)
paper focuses on a small but important part of viscosity modeling,
namely the accurate simulation of the temperature effect on oil vis-
cosity. As discussed in our paper, many correlations fail to model
the change in dead-oil viscosity with temperature adequately.
We demonstrated the accuracy of industry accepted methods that
establish linear relationships of dead-oil viscosity with tempera-
ture. The methods evaluated came from ASTM (Wright 1969),
Andrade (1930) and Bergman (Whitson and Brul 2000). A data
set of 6,614 viscosity measurements from 1,301 samples was
assembled to evaluate and test method accuracy. We did not include
an evaluation of Vogels method in our paper.
Discussion
As reported by Poling et al. (2000), Andrades equation from 1930
provides a linear relationship of the natural logarithm of viscosity
with reciprocal absolute temperature, as follows:
ln
.
+
+
A
B
T 459 67
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1)
Vogels equation appeared earlier in the literature in 1921 and was
largely unnoticed (Scherer 1992). Later publications by Tammann
and Hesse (1926) and Fulcher (1925) brought focus to this equa-
tion form, which is currently known as the VTF method in honor
of its contributors. Essentially, the equation is of the same form as
Andrades equation with the exception of a variable temperature
offset instead of the constant used by Andrade to obtain absolute
temperature:
ln +
+
A
B
T C
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2)
The form of Eq. 2 may also be recognized as the Antoine equa-
tion, which has gained use in the correlation of vapor pressure.
Poling et al. (2000) state that the Antoine equation is usable over
a limited pressure range and should never be extrapolated beyond
data limits used to develop the equation coefficients (A, B, and C).
Examples will be shown to illustrate that these concepts also apply
to the VTF equation for the correlation of the viscosity/temperature
relationship.
Civan claims the units used in Bergmans equation (Eq. 3)
are inconsistent, which is false. Further claims are made that the
Bergman and VTF equation forms are approximately the same.
Bergman, along with 19 of the 23 literature dead-oil-viscosity
methods identified in Table 11 from our paper, used viscosity and
temperature units of cp and F, respectively. Bergman modified
a form of the MacCoull-Walther equation long used by ASTM
to develop linear kinematic viscosity/temperature relationships
(Wright 1969). Table 1 compares the development (Stachowiak
and Batchelor 2005) of both the Bergman and VTF equation forms.
These results show that the two equation forms are different.
Bergman empirically developed the equation by examining
relationships that linearize absolute viscosity/temperature data while
using common oilfield units, resulting in the following equation:
ln ln ln +
( )
,

]
]
+ +
( )
1 310 A B T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (3)
The original equation used by ASTM added 0.8 to the kinematic-
viscosity term, which limited the equations use to certain higher-
viscosity lubricating oils. In the equations current form, ASTM
varies the constant from 0.7 to 0.863, depending on kinematic
viscosity. Bergmans equation uses a value of 1, effectively making
the equation suitable for all ranges of dead-oil absolute viscosity.
The relationship was originally developed primarily from pure-
component viscosity and temperature data, as indicated on the
Bergman plot in Fig. 1. The relationship linearizes data from not
just one sample but uses the aggregate data set, and further work
by Bergman and Sutton confirmed this relationship using a more
diverse sample data set. Several uses of this relationship and the
Bergman plot have subsequently been identified, which include
Pure-component paraffin, aromatic, cyclohexane, naphthalene,
and olefin liquid hydrocarbons exhibit viscosity/temperature behav-
ior trends that are approximately linear and parallel in nature.
Express dead-oil viscosity as a linear function of temperature.
Provide a basis for determining the consistency of measured
crude-oil viscosity and temperature data.
Identify non-Newtonian liquid viscosity behavior.
In his discussion, Civan prepared plots from two data sets that
were digitized from the Bergman plot. This data included measure-
ments from n-hexane and a 16.9API crude oil. Civans Fig. 1 plots
the data using Bergmans coordinates and illustrates the linear and
approximate parallel nature of these significantly different liquids.
Civans Fig. 2 recreates the plot using VTF equation coordinates
and arbitrarily uses a temperature offset of 310. The resulting
relationships are linear over the limited temperature interval but
deviate from linear as the temperature range is expanded. Fur-
thermore, the slopes of the lines differ by an order of magnitude,
which complicates their use in verifying measurement consistency.
To further test the applicability of the VTF equation, the data set
used previously to validate Bergmans relationship was used to
find an average temperature offset (C) for the VTF equation. This
was determined to be 165.51. The resulting equation accuracy is
compared to our prior work in Table 2.
Optimizing the temperature offset results in improved method
accuracy over Andrades method, but the accuracy lags results from
ASTM, Bergman, and Bergman and Sutton. Fig. 2 was developed
using the VTF form equation and a constant temperature offset of
165.51. Note that the temperature relationships are not linear over
a wide temperature range and the significant change in slope for
different samples hinders checks for data quality and consistency.
This illustrates the problem of using an average temperature offset
with a diverse set of samples.
Optimal usage of the VTF equation is achieved by specifically
fitting the equation to individual fluids, as indicated by Civan in the
development of his Figs. 3 and 4. The temperature offsets used in
these figures are approximately 634 (Civan Fig. 3) and 129 (Civan
Fig. 4), which results in widely varying ranges for each plots
x-axis. Combining the results on a single plot provides results that
plot near opposite ends of the x-axis, which creates difficulty in the
comparison and validation of samples. As a further test of using
the VTF equation to aid in sample validation, the example from
the Bergman plot labeled wax was investigated. This sample
had viscosity measured at temperatures above and below the wax
appearance temperature. The change in viscosity character (i.e.,
slope change) is clearly apparent in the Bergman plot because
of a non-Newtonian behavior resulting from the presence of wax
crystals in the oil at lower temperatures. Fig. 3 shows this effect
is effectively muted by the tuned VTF equation.
2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 5
TABLE 1DEVELOPMENT OF BERGMAN FORM AND VTF FORM EQUATIONS
MacCoull-Walther Form Equation Vogel (VTF) Form Equation
Bergman modified the MacCoull-Walther equation as follows
Assuming d=2.718 281 828 and taking the natural logarithm on
each side of the equation
.
.
The natural logarithm is taken again to develop a linear equation
.

Using pure component hydrocarbon viscosity/temperature data
from several families of compounds routinely found in crude oil,
Bergman empirically determined a=1 and e=310, which results in
the final equation
.

Taking the natural logarithm on each side of the equation gives
the following result
,

which simplifies to the following linear equation
For the temperature offset c, Andrade used c=459.67 as his
method preceded the more general VTF method. For mineral
oils over a wide range of temperature, Cameron (1945)
determined c=139. For crude oils, Civan (2006) recommended
c=0. Bergman and Sutton determined a value of c=165.51 from
their database.

( )
[
[ ]
[ ]
( )
]
Viscosity of Pure Hydrocarbons by Family
0.1 cp
0.3 cp
0.5 cp
1 cp
3 cp
10 cp
100 cp
1000 cp
10,000 cp
0F 50F 100F 150F 200F 250F 300F 400F
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
5.6 5.8 6 6.2 6.4 6.6
Ln (T, F + 310)
L
n

L
n

(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,
c
p

+

1
)
n-Paraffins
Aromatics
Cyclohexanes
Naphthalenes
Olefins
Crude Oils
Inconsistent
Measurement
Wax
8.6 API
16.9 API
16.1 API 39.9 API
25.9 API
32.4 API
35.0 API
Linear Trend
Fig. 1Bergman plot with crude-oil examples.
TABLE 2ACCURACY OF METHODS FOR VISCOSITY/TEMPERATURE EXTRAPOLATION

Method
%
Average Error
Standard
Deviation
% Average
Absolute Error
Standard
Deviation
ASTM 0.01 1.13 0.77 0.83
Andrade (Eq. 1) 0.19 6.10 3.85 4.74
Bergman (Eq. 3) 0.01 1.31 0.93 0.93
Bergman and Sutton 0.00 1.20 0.84 0.85
VTF (Eq. 2, C=165.51) 0.07 3.88 2.59 2.89
6 2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
The primary use in our paper for Bergmans Eq. 3 is to deter-
mine viscosity at different temperatures. The Bergman and Sutton
method determines dead-oil viscosity at 100 and 210F and then,
using Eq. 3, evaluates viscosity at a specific temperature of interest.
Since the VTF equation is a three-parameter equation, it cannot
be used in this scenario because it cannot be defined properly as a
fully tuned equation from only two data points. Therefore, further
discussion of the VTF method is only for academic interest.
Viscosity data for pure n-decane was derived at a pressure
of 100 psia using methods available from NIST (Lemmon et al.
2010). This pressure was selected to increase the upper temperature
limit to a comparable value investigated by Bergman and Sut-
ton. The resulting data are plotted in Fig. 4, in which a smooth
Bergman Plot Using VTF Formulation
4
2
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
0.001 0.002 0.003 0.004 0.005 0.006 0.007
1/(T, F + 165.51)
L
n

(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
p
)
n-Paraffins
Aromatics
Cyclohexanes
Naphthalenes
Olefins
Crude Oils
16.1 API
8.6 API
16.9 API
25.9 API
35.0 API
32.4 API
39.9 API
Inconsistent
Measurement
Wax
Fig. 2Check of VTF method for linear viscosity/temperature behavior.
Wax Example
y=433.76x 0.9791
R
2
=0.9971
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
0 0.002 0.004 0.006 0.008 0.01 0.012 0.014
1/(T, F + C)
L
n
(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
p
)
Wax appears as
measurement variation
Fig. 3Failure of VTF method to detect nonlinear behavior resulting from wax crystals.
relationship is established over the temperature range 20 to 500
F. This large temperature variation is required because viscosity
models may be used in cold environments (deep water or arctic)
or in hot environments (deep reservoir or thermal). Furthermore,
this approximates the temperature range of 100 to 700F reported
by Wright (1969) for the MacCoull-Walther equation. Results dis-
playing method error with temperature show the Bergman method
to be more accurate overall when compared with the VTF method
(Fig. 5). The average temperature offset of 165.51 determined from
our larger data set was used in the development of Fig. 5. The use
of a generalized temperature offset adversely affects the accuracy
of the VTF method; however, improved accuracy can be obtained
when the equation is tuned using linear regression, as described
2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 7
by Civan (2008), where all three coefficients are optimized. The
significantly improved results from the tuned VTF equation are
compared with Bergmans equation in Fig. 6.
For data encompassing large temperature intervals, the tuned
VTF method displays a characteristic trend to underpredict viscosity
at low temperatures and overpredict viscosity at high temperatures.
For application with the Bergman and Sutton method, viscosity is
calculated at two temperatures, as previously discussed. Results for
Bergmans equation were determined using only data at these two
temperatures. In order to test the tuned VTF equation for extrapo-
lation accuracy, a third intermediate point was added so that the
equations three coefficients could be determined. These results are
provided in Fig. 7. The error resulting from Bergmans equation
is only slightly larger than the error determined from fitting the
entire data set. The VTF results show error similar to that in the
evaluation in Fig. 6 at low temperature. For the intermediate tem-
perature range used to fit the equation, the results are comparable
to the results from Bergmans equation. At higher temperatures, the
error becomes excessive. This test confirms the observation from
Poling et al. (2000) that data fitted with an Antoine style equation
are modeled accurately over a limited (temperature) interval, and
the tuned equation should not be extrapolated.
Civan recommends the use of correlations that were developed
to use oil API gravity to determine the constants A and B used
in the VTF equation. In that work, Civan (2006) recommended a
constant temperature offset (C 460) where the equation was
defined with temperature units of degrees Rankine. The problems
previously discussed with an average temperature offset went
unnoticed because of a limited temperature range of the viscosity
data and only four measurements available for each sample. Fur-
thermore, the method is limited to oils with API gravity ranging
from 20 to 50. The slope term, B, is correlated with a quadratic
equation, which can be problematic if used outside the specified
range. As a side note with reference to Fig. 4, the values of the
VTF constants, A, B, and C vary with the portion of the viscosity/
temperature relationship fitted with the VTF equation. Therefore,
n-Decane Viscosity at 100 psia
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
100 0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Temperature, F
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
p
VTF Coeffs
A=3.49548
B=1,370.5
C=333.73
VTF Coeffs
A=5.24354
B=3,582.2
C=632.85
VTF Coeffs
A=10.771
B=40,738
C=3,641.6
VTF Coefficients for all data
A=5.0834, B=3,091.8, C=546.36
Fig. 4n-decane viscosity and VTF equation coefficients.
Comparison of Viscosity Method Error
(Decane)
20
10
0
10
20
30
40
100 0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Temperature, F
%

E
r
r
o
r
Bergman
VTF
Fig. 5Comparison of method errors where VTF method uses a constant temperature offset (165.51).
8 2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
general correlations using only a parameter such as API gravity
are insufficient to define these parameters adequately.
Civans viscosity equation does not include a term (such as the
Watson K factor) to address the chemical nature of the crude oil.
As demonstrated by Bergman and Sutton (2009), neglecting this
important parameter often results in inconsistencies and excessive
model error. Results from Civans viscosity equation are added to
the Bergman plot displayed in Fig. 8. In general, the results do not
follow normal viscosity trends with temperature. This inconsistency
was traced to the data used to develop the model that is displayed
on the Bergman plot in Fig. 9. Civan identified an inconsistency
with the data from the 22API oil sample; however, a review of
Fig. 9 shows that all of the data for samples lighter than 30API
are inconsistent and do not follow established viscosity trends
with temperature. This example illustrates the power of the Berg-
man plot to aid in the determination of data quality. A subset (oils
with API gravities consistent with Civans data) of our database
of 9,837 viscosity measurements from 3,047 samples was used to
investigate the accuracy of Civans viscosity model. The statisti-
cal results are compared with the Bergman and Sutton method
and are presented in Table 3. The inclusion of oils with
API
<
20 or
API
>50 in this analysis results in significantly larger error
for Civans method, while the accuracy of the Bergman and Sutton
method is essentially the same as the results given in Table 3 (see
Table 13 in the original paper). On the basis of these results, we do
not concur with Civans recommendation to use his method.
In conclusion, the Bergman equation has been shown to be
superior to the VTF equation for general broad application and
recommendations made in our original paper stand. Civan goes
to great length in his discussion to equate the VTF equation with
Bergmans equation; however, as can be seen from our discussion,
it is not equivalent; it cannot be applied generally and is actually
Comparison of Viscosity Method Error
(Decane)
10
5
0
5
10
15
20
25
100 0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Temperature, F
%

E
r
r
o
r
Bergman
VTF
Fig. 6Comparison of method errors with equations fit over entire data range.
Comparison of Viscosity Method Error
(Decane)
10
5
0
5
10
15
20
25
100 0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Temperature, F
%

E
r
r
o
r
Bergman
VTF
Fig. 7Comparison of method errors with equations fit to data at 100 and 210F.
2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering 9
Bergman Plot with Civan Viscosity Method
10,000 cp
1000 cp
100 cp
10 cp
3 cp
1 cp
0.5 cp
0.3 cp
0.1 cp
400F 300F 250F 200F 150F 100F 50F 0F
3
2
1
0
1
2
3
5.6 5.8 6 6.2 6.4 6.6
Ln (T, F + 310)
L
n

L
n

(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,
c
p

+

1
)
n-Paraffins
Aromatics
Cyclohexanes
Naphthalenes
Olefins
Civan
20 API
40 API
30 API
50 API
Fig. 8Behavior of Civan (2006) viscosity equation.
Bergman Plot with Viscosity Data from Civan (2006)
1000 cp
100 cp
10 cp
3 cp
1 cp
0.5 cp
0.3 cp
300F 250F 200F 150F 100F 50F
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
5.8 5.9 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5
Ln (T, F + 310)
L
n

L
n

(
V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,
c
p

+

1
)
n-Paraffins
Aromatics
Cyclohexanes
Naphthalenes
Olefins
Hashim & Hassaballah Data
20 API
50 API
30 API
40 API
Oil data ranges 20-50 API
with 2 API increments
Fig. 9Consistency of data used in the development of Civans viscosity equation.
TABLE 3ACCURACY OF VISCOSITY METHODS FOR 20 <
API
< 50 AND 38 < T < 500F
Method # Pts
%
Average Error
Standard
Deviation
% Average
Absolute Error
Standard

Deviation

Civan 7,054 332 3,922 353 3,920
Bergman and Sutton 7,054 5.4 21.5 17.0 14.3
10 2010 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
less accurate than Bergmans equation. Civan states that the VTF
equation is simpler and easier to use than Bergmans equation.
While the VTF equation correlates viscosity using a single loga-
rithm rather than the double logarithm used in Bergmans equation,
the VTF equation also requires a linear-regression routine to tune
the equations constants. As shown by the example for a waxy-
crude sample, this can lead to erroneous conclusions. Bergmans
equation does not carry the complexity of using a regression rou-
tine to optimize the equation. Civan explores the use of constants
(0.907 and 302.7) derived by Bergman and Sutton; however, these
were developed only to demonstrate the soundness of Bergmans
original equation and were not recommended for use by Bergman
and Sutton. We recommend the use of the original Bergman equa-
tion on the basis of its simplicity and demonstrated accuracy.
Nomenclature
a, b, c empirical constants
a, b, c empirical constants
A, B, C empirical constants
T temperature, F
T
abs
temperature, R
absolute viscosity, cp
kinematic viscosity, cSt
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