A control volume approach to the discretization of the single-phase reservoir flow equation is presented. The finite volume formulation offers an advantage to classical Galerkin or variational finite element methods in that it permits a direct, physical interpretation of the resulting discrete equations through the enforcement of conservation principles over finite volumes or sub-domains. The scheme presented includes the conventional 5-point discrete equation obtained by conventional finite difference methods as a special case, while maintaining the generality and modelling flexibility associated with finite element methods. The finite volume discretization method provides a perspective from which finite element and conservative finite difference concepts can be implemented in a unified approach. The discrete finite volume equations for single phase reservoir flow are derived in detail and compared to those obtained using a Galerkin finite element approach. A single phase numerical example is included to illustrate the geometric flexibility of the finite volume method.

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