In this paper, we propose a fully implicit space-time multiscale scheme to improve computational efficiency in solving nonlinear multiphase flow in porous media. Here, error estimators are used for adaptively changing the spatial-temporal mesh. This algorithm applied to the black-oil model is compared to a standard control volume approach using a fine time and spatial mesh.

Error estimators are introduced to determine subdomains of the reservoir in which high nonlinearity hinders Newtonian convergence. This is followed by applying local fine timesteps to these marked regions, whereas the remaining regions retain the coarse time scale. Once a temporal discretization is determined for different parts of the reservoir, the spatial mesh is refined for treating saturation fronts. The nonmatching interfaces arising from different temporal and spatial scales are resolved by the enhanced velocity method, which enforces strongly the continuity of fluxes. This whole system is solved monolithically.

Results from a three-phaseblack-oil model are described. The multiscale solution is compared to a uniformly fine spatial mesh and fine timestepping solution to confirm accuracy. Solutions from both Gaussian and channelized permeability fields are presented. In the multiscale solution, we observe temporal refinements being applied to the water and gas saturation fronts by reducing the timestep size to guarantee Newtonian convergence. We also observe that the extent of refinements is balanced between the two saturation fronts based on their respective nonlinearity. For Gaussian permeability fields, the algorithm only treats saturation fronts spatially, whereas for channelized permeability fields, the geological features are also considered. Production profiles for the three phases match well between the two solutions under specific refinement criteria. We also investigate the improvement in computational efficiency, as well as the algorithm scalability in regard to increasing problem sizes. We observe a speedup of approximately 10 for solving the linear system, and such speedup increases as the problem size expands.

In reservoir simulation, schemes that attempt to decouple the diffusion and advection process become less robust as the physics becomes more complex. Our approach, which is focused on handling the high nonlinearities, can be treated fully implicitly and provide a reduction in simulation costs. This approach can also be applied to model order reduction in providing accurate snapshot solutions.

NOTE: This paper is published as part of the 2021 Reservoir Simulation Conference Special Issue.

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