We present a new streamline-based simulator applicable to field scale flow. The method is three dimensional (3D) and accounts for changing well conditions that result from infill drilling and well conversions, heterogeneity, mobility effects, and gravity effects. The key feature of the simulator is that fluid transport occurs on a streamline grid rather than between the discrete gridblocks on which the pressure field is solved. The streamline grid dynamically changes as the mobility field and boundary conditions dictate. A general numerical solver moves the fluids forward in space and time along each streamline. Multiphase gravity effects are accounted for by an operator-splitting technique that also requires a numerical solver. Because fluid transport is decoupled from the underlying grid, the method is computationally efficient and very large time-steps can be taken without loss in solution accuracy.

We present results of the streamline-based simulator applied to tracer, waterflooding, and first-contact miscible (FCM) displacements in two and three dimensions. Where possible, comparisons with conventional methods indicate that the streamline model minimizes numerical diffusion and is up to two orders of magnitude faster. We also demonstrate the efficiency of the method on a field-scale, million-gridblock, 36-well waterflood that includes a pattern-modification plan to improve oil recovery. Last, we present results of the method applied to the House Mountain waterflood in Canada.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.