This paper describes the use of vorticity to optimize the generation of coarse simulation grids from finely gridded geological models, thereby reducing (or removing) the need for two phase upscaling. Vorticity has been used in the simulation of flow in porous media since de Josselin de Jong1 first discussed it in 1960. However this is the first time, to our knowledge, that it has been used in the area of upscaling.

Vorticity maps are generated from simulations of single-phase flow in the finely gridded geological model of interest. A coarse simulation grid is then derived which is more refined in areas of high vorticity and coarser in areas of low vorticity. The method is demonstrated for simple, layered and lens heterogeneities as well as Model 1 from the SPE Comparative Study in Upscaling2. Good matches between fine and coarse grid simulations of waterflooding are obtained, compared with using a conventionally generated coarse grid model.

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