A Fully Implicit, Compositional, Parallel Simulator for IOR Processes in Fractured Reservoirs
- Reza Naimi-Tajdar (University of Texas at Austin) | Choongyong Han (University of Texas at Austin) | Kamy Sepehrnoori (University of Texas at Austin) | Todd James Arbogast (University of Texas at Austin) | Mark A. Miller (University of Texas at Austin)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- September 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 367 - 381
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.8.3 Coal Seam Gas, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.2.2 Fluid Modeling, Equations of State, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.1.5 Geologic Modeling, 5.6.3 Pressure Transient Testing, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.8.6 Naturally Fractured Reservoir, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.6 Natural Gas
- dual-porosity model, fractured reservoirs, parallel simulator
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Naturally fractured reservoirs contain a significant amount of the world oil reserves. A number of these reservoirs contain several billion barrels of oil. Accurate and efficient reservoir simulation of naturally fractured reservoirs is one of the most important, challenging, and computationally intensive problems in reservoir engineering. Parallel reservoir simulators developed for naturally fractured reservoirs can effectively address the computational problem.
A new accurate parallel simulator for large-scale naturally fractured reservoirs, capable of modeling fluid flow in both rock matrix and fractures, has been developed. The simulator is a parallel, 3D, fully implicit, equation-of-state compositional model that solves very large, sparse linear systems arising from discretization of the governing partial differential equations. A generalized dual-porosity model, the multiple-interacting-continua (MINC), has been implemented in this simulator. The matrix blocks are discretized into subgrids in both horizontal and vertical directions to offer a more accurate transient flow description in matrix blocks. We believe this implementation has led to a unique and powerful reservoir simulator that can be used by small and large oil producers to help them in the design and prediction of complex gas and waterflooding processes on their desktops or a cluster of computers. Some features of this simulator, such as modeling both gas and water processes and the ability of 2D matrix subgridding are not available in any commercial simulator to the best of our knowledge. The code was developed on a cluster of processors, which has proven to be a very efficient and convenient resource for developing parallel programs.
The results were successfully verified against analytical solutions and commercial simulators (ECLIPSE and GEM). Excellent results were achieved for a variety of reservoir case studies. Applications of this model for several IOR processes (including gas and water injection) are demonstrated. Results from using the simulator on a cluster of processors are also presented. Excellent speedup ratios were obtained.
The dual-porosity model is one of the most widely used conceptual models for simulating naturally fractured reservoirs. In the dual-porosity model, two types of porosity are present in a rock volume: fracture and matrix. Matrix blocks are surrounded by fractures and the system is visualized as a set of stacked volumes, representing matrix blocks separated by fractures (Fig. 1). There is no communication between matrix blocks in this model, and the fracture network is continuous. Matrix blocks do communicate with the fractures that surround them. A mass balance for each of the media yields two continuity equations that are connected by matrix-fracture transfer functions which characterize fluid flow between matrix blocks and fractures. The performance of dual-porosity simulators is largely determined by the accuracy of this transfer function.
The dual-porosity continuum approach was first proposed by Barenblatt et al. (1960) for a single-phase system. Later, Warren and Root (1963) used this approach to develop a pressure-transient analysis method for naturally fractured reservoirs. Kazemi et al. (1976) extended the Warren and Root method to multiphase flow using a 2D, two-phase, black-oil formulation. The two equations were then linked by means of a matrix-fracture transfer function. Since the publication of Kazemi et al. (1976), the dual-porosity approach has been widely used in the industry to develop field-scale reservoir simulation models for naturally fractured reservoir performance (Thomas et al. 1983; Gilman and Kazemi 1983; Dean and Lo 1988; Beckner et al. 1988; Rossen and Shen 1989).
In simulating a fractured reservoir, we are faced with the fact that matrix blocks may contain well over 90% of the total oil reserve. The primary problem of oil recovery from a fractured reservoir is essentially that of extracting oil from these matrix blocks. Therefore it is crucial to understand the mechanisms that take place in matrix blocks and to simulate these processes within their container as accurately as possible. Discretizing the matrix blocks into subgrids or subdomains is a very good solution to accurately take into account transient and spatially nonlinear flow behavior in the matrix blocks. The resulting finite-difference equations are solved along with the fracture equations to calculate matrix-fracture transfer flow. The way that matrix blocks are discretized varies in the proposed models, but the objective is to accurately model pressure and saturation gradients in the matrix blocks (Saidi 1975; Gilman and Kazemi 1983; Gilman 1986; Pruess and Narasimhan 1985; Wu and Pruess 1988; Chen et al. 1987; Douglas et al. 1989; Beckner et al. 1991; Aldejain 1999).
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