The fast marching method (FMM)-based rapid flow simulation has been shown to accelerate simulation efficiency by orders of magnitude by transforming 3D simulation to equivalent 1D simulation using the concept of the “diffusive time of flight” (DTOF). However, the 1D transformation does not directly apply to multiwell problems. In this paper, we propose a novel DTOF-based multidomain multiresolution discretization scheme to accelerate multiwell simulation of unconventional reservoirs. Our method formulates multiwell simulation problems based on the DTOF which displays the pressure front propagation in unconventional reservoirs. The DTOF contours are used to partition the reservoir into local and shared domains. A local domain is where the flow is dominated by a single well, and the shared domain is where the fluid flow is influenced by multiple wells. The DTOF contours expand independently in local domains and interfere in the shared domain. After the partitioning, each domain is discretized using a multiresolution scheme whereby the original 3D fine mesh is preserved near the wells to account for detailed physics including gravity, and the rest of the domain is discretized into 1D mesh based on the DTOF contours to alleviate the simulation workload. The power and efficacy of our approach are demonstrated using synthetic and field-scale simulation models with different degrees of geologic and well-completion complexity. The simulation results, number of active cells, and computation time for the proposed discretization scheme are compared with the original high-fidelity 3D model for each case. The results show that the proposed method is suitable for multiwell simulation problems in unconventional reservoirs and can accelerate flow simulations by orders of magnitude with minimal loss of accuracy. The novelty of this work is the creation of DTOF-derived multiresolution discretization with local and shared domains to simplify and accelerate the calculation of subsurface flow problems, especially in unconventional reservoirs. Our workflow can be easily interfaced with commercial simulators, making it suitable for large-scale field applications.

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