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Computational Geosciences

Computational Geosciences

Chief Scientist

The research group develops mathematical models, numerical methods, and professional software for the computational geosciences. Our primary focus is on applications in petroleum production, CO2 sequestration, and surface water.

Research Activity

Numerical methods and software for simulation of petroleum production

We develop accurate, efficient, and robust discretizations and solvers for use in reservoir simulation. In most of our projects, we deliver high-quality software implemented inside commercial software products, in the Clients' in-house software, or as part of an open-source framework.

Flow diagnostics and interactive visualization

We develop interactive tools for flow diagnostics that can compute basic flow patterns, volumetric connections, well allocations, and measures of dynamic heterogeneity. Flow diagnostic tools can be used for fast screening and ranking of multiple realizations, for quality control of geological modelling, or as fast physics-based proxies in optimization workflows.

Multiscale methods, upscaling and coarsening methods

Modeling physical processes that take place at many different physical scales is one of the fundamental challenges in reservoir simulation. We develop various methods for model upscaling rock and rock-fluid properties, possibly combined with methods for grid coarsening that adapt to geology and flow patterns. For the past ten years or so, we have also been among the leading developers for multiscale simulation methods, both mixed finite-element and finite-volume methods.

Improved and enhanced oil recovery

Accurate computational modeling is important when one wants to evaluate the effect of a new strategy for improved or enhanced oil recovery. Our group has developed highly efficient special-purpose simulators, and have studied models or various physical properties including fluid rheology, viscous fingering, geochemistry, dead pore space, etc.

Geological CO2 storage

Supercritical CO2 injected under an impermeable top seal will form a thin layer underneath that slowly migrates in the upslope direction. For the past ten years we developed methods for forecasting the large-scale, long-term migration of CO2 in aquifer systems. This has resulted in MRST-co2lab, which is an open-source software that provides reliable modeling of real storage operations, enables interactive experimentation with public data sets, and simplifies the development and implementation of new models and computational methods. We also perform research on computational methods for CO2-EOR as part of the OPM initiative.

Fractured media

We work on developing new simulation capabilities for fractured media that include flow, geomechanical, and thermal effects. We have worked on discrete fracture network and hybrid fracture modeling.

Discretization and gridding

Standard approaches for describing subsurface rocks lead to complex grids with unstructured topologies and highly deformed grid geometries. We have performed both theoretical studies of consistent discretization methods and amassed a lot of practical expertise working with complex grids. In particular, our open-source software MRST offers rapid prototyping capablities for new simulation methods on general, unstructured grids. This also includes features such as dynamic and static grid adaptivity.

Geomechanics

We work on various discretization methods including virtual finite element methods, mimetic methods, multi-point stress approximation, mixed methods, modified discrete element methods, and phase-field+isogeometric methods

Ongoing projects (2015 - ):

  • Simulation and optimization of large-scale, aquifer-wide CO2 injection in the North Sea (243729)
  • Full-field simulation of water-based EOR (244361)
  • Fractures, flow, and geomechanics
  • Simulation tools for CO2 storage and CO2-EOR (229345)
  • Next generation multiscale methods for reservoir simulation (226035)
  • Decision support for production optimization ( 235317)
  • Uncertainty reduction in monitoring methods for Improved CO2 quantity estimation (233716)
  • Upscaling of water-based EOR methods (VISTA)
  • Geological storage of CO2: mathematical modellling and risk assessment (MatMoRA-II215641)
  • Geilo winter schools in computational mathematics (webpage, 203376)

The grant number is given in paranthesis for project funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Some previous projects ( - 2014):

  • Numerical CO2 laboratory (in MRST199878)
  • Flow diagnostics on structured and stratigraphic grids (in MRST215665)
  • Simulators that write themselves (equelle.org)
  • Center for Integrated Operations in the Petroleum Industry
  • Higher-order, fully-implicit methods for reservoir simulation in MRST
  • Fast prototyping of geochemistry simulators in MRST
  • High-resolution, field-scale simulation of polymer injection (OPM)
  • Steady-state upscaling in complex heterogeneous reservoirs (OPM)
  • Simulation of EOR in clastic reservoirs (OPM)
  • Validation of multiscale mixed finite-elements on realistic reservoir models
  • GeoScale - direct reservoir simulation on geocellular models (186935175962174551162606158908)