Abstract

A generalization of upstream weighting is proposed as a method for reducing grid-orientation effects in reservoir simulation. For the two sample problems studied,. a piston-flow waterflood and a realistic gas injection, the piston-flow waterflood and a realistic gas injection, the grid-orientation effect was almost completely eliminated. The new generalized upstream weighting (GUW) method is particularly attractive because it is fast and accurate, and particularly attractive because it is fast and accurate, and can be added easily to an existing simulator that uses upstream weighting.

Introduction

The grid-orientation effect is a well-known phenomenon in finite-difference reservoir simulation. Numerical results are highly dependent on the orientation of the finite-difference grid imposed on the model. In practice it occurs whenever one has a strongly adverse mobility ratio. This happens when one tries to push a viscous oil with a highly mobile fluid, such as steam or hydrocarbon gas. This paper presents a technique for reducing grid-orientation effects that is fast, flexible, and easily added to an existing simulator.

A good survey of the research in this area was recently published. With this in mind, we will give an published. With this in mind, we will give an idiosyncratic interpretation of some of the techniques suggested by others.

The main numerical difficulty in petroleum reservoir simulation is largely a consequence of the need to estimate individual phase mobilities halfway between finite-difference gridpoints. Because averaging the values from adjacent gridpoints is numerically unstable, the midgridpoint typically is assigned the value at the next upstream point. The idea of looking upstream for information point. The idea of looking upstream for information is found throughout much of computational fluid dynamics.

Many improvements on one-point upstream weighting have been proposed in the reservoir simulation literature. The principal attractions of these techniques are that they can be interchanged easily within existing computer codes and do not add significantly to computation time. We found that the upstream weighting procedures have a common feature. If the midgridpoint in procedures have a common feature. If the midgridpoint in question lies, for example, on a grid line in the x direction, these techniques consider only other points on this same grid line in the extrapolation/interpolation process.

A second body of literature developed around the idea of using a nine-point (instead of the standard five-point) finite-difference scheme to represent two-dimensional (2D) second derivatives. Because the nine-point scheme is a weighted superposition of two 5-point grids with a common center point and a 45 * relative rotation, the procedure averages away the grid-orientation effect to some extent without explaining it. Nevertheless, the nine-point grid schemes include one attractive feature absent from the upstream schemes: the weighting parameter can be tuned to improve the quality of the results. parameter can be tuned to improve the quality of the results. Perhaps the biggest fault of these procedures is that they Perhaps the biggest fault of these procedures is that they do not extend easily to three dimensions. The widening of the matrix bandwidth also increases the computation time.

Our proposed technique is a modification of a procedure used successfully in the convective-heat transfer literature. It amounts to a generalization of one-point upstream weighting, accomplished by the introduction of mobility values from nearby points that lie in the true upstream direction rather than along a single grid line. This is explained in more detail in the next section. Note that the technique requires very little computer time. In fact, because most reservoir simulators use an automatic timestep adjustment, the improved stability of the technique, relative to standard upstream procedures, allows larger timesteps to be taken. Also, two adjustable parameters that permit the grid-orientation effect to be almost parameters that permit the grid-orientation effect to be almost completely eliminated are introduced. Finally, because the procedure works well with the standard five-point finite-difference representation of 2D second derivatives, it generates easily to three dimensions and is completely compatible with most reservoir simulators.

Governing Equations

The conservation equations for multiphase fluid flow in porous media are well known. However, the porous media are well known. However, the equations for three-phase flow are listed below for completeness. The continuity equations are as follows.

SPEJ

P. 902

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