Enhanced Oil Recovery methods can involve complex physical phenomena such as thermal and multiphase fluid flow and rock-fluid interactions with geomechanical effects. The numerical modelling of these recovery methods can induce significant cpu time. Here a numerical procedure that performs coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical simulations in an efficient way is presented. This procedure relies on an iterative coupling between a thermal reservoir simulator based on a finite volume method and a geomechanical one based on a finite element method. The coupling method [1, 2] is particular; it allows the use of separate grids for the geomechanical and the thermal fluid flow simulations in order to decrease cpu time. A strong enhancement of the procedure presented here is that it is adapted to allow the use of Adaptive Mesh Refinements (AMR) for the thermal fluid flow simulations in order to further decrease cpu time. The considered AMR method [3] provides a relevant description of the fluid and thermal fronts. The efficiency of this coupling procedure is illustrated on a synthetic but realistic test case involving Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) method. The results show that the proposed modelling procedure provides relevant results and important decrease of the mesh sizes.


The modelling of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methods can induce significant cpu time, especially when geomechanical and thermal effects are involved. A typical example of EOR method that can lead to a numerically expensive modelling is Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). It is well known [4, 5] that to provide a relevant estimation of the production obtained through SAGD process, complex physical phenomena should be considered. Then, the temperature and pressure changes induced by the process lead to a modification of the stress state that induces an evolution of reservoir porosity and permeability [6].

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.