The significant quantities of oil contained in fractured karst reservoirs in Brazilian presalt fields add new challenges to the development of upscaling procedures to reduce time on numerical simulations. This work aims to represent multiscale heterogeneities in reservoir simulators based on special connections between matrix, karst, and fracture mediums, both modeled in different grid domains within a single porosity flow model. The objective of this representation is to strike a good balance between accuracy and simulation time. Therefore, this work extends the approach of special connections developed by Correia et al. (2019) to integrate both karst and fracture mediums modeled in different grid domains and block scales. The transmissibility calculation between the three domains is a combination of the conventional formulation based on two-point flux approximation schemes and the matrix-fracture fluid transfer formulation. The flow inside each domain is governed by Darcy’s equation and implicitly solved by the simulator. For proper validation and numerical verification, we applied the methodology to a simple case (two-phase and three-phase flow) and a real case (two-phase flow). For the simple case, the reference model is a refined grid model with (1) an arrangement of large conduits (karsts), which are poorly connected; (2) a well-connected and orthogonal system of fractures; and (3) a background medium (matrix). The real case is a section of a Brazilian presalt field, characterized as a naturally fractured carbonate reservoir. The reference is the geological model. The simulation model consists of a structural model with different gridblock sizes according to the scale of the heterogeneities—small-scale karst geometries, medium-scale matrix properties, and larger-scale fracture features—interconnected by special connections. The results for both cases show a significant performance improvement regarding a dynamic matching response with the reference model, within a suitable simulation time and maintaining the dynamic resolution according to the representative elementary volume of heterogeneities, without using an unstructured grid. In comparison to the reference model, for the simple case and the real case, the simulation time was reduced by 42% and 87%, respectively. The proposed method contributes to a multiscale flow simulation solution to manage heterogeneous geological scenarios using structured grids while preserving the high resolution of small-scale heterogeneities and providing a good relationship between accuracy and simulation time.

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