Complex well model has proved to be important for capturing the full physics in wellbore, including pressure losses, multiphase effects, and advanced device modelling. Numerical instability may be observed especially when the well is produced at a low rate from a highly productive multi-phase zone. In this paper, a new multi-level nonlinear solver is presented in a state-of-the-art parallel complex wellbore model for addressing some difficult numerical convergence problems. A sequential two-level nonlinear solver is implemented, where the inner solver is used to address the convergence in the constraint rate equation, and then the entire complex network is solved using an outer solver. Finally, the wellbore model is coupled with the grid solution explicitly, sequentially, or implicitly. This novel formulation is robust enough to greatly improve the numerical stability due to the lagging in the computation of mixture density in wellbore constraint rate equation and the variation in the fluid composition over Newton iterations in network nonlinear solver.

The numerical challenge in the complex well model and the improvement of performance with the new nonlinear solver are demonstrated using reservoir simulation. Models with complex wells running into convergence problems are constructed and simulated. With this novel nonlinear solver, simulation gives much more reliable results on well productions without numerical oscillations and computational cost is much less.

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