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Multiscale-streamline simulation of highly heterogeneous and fractured reservoirs

The purpose of the project is to develop a prototype multiscale mixed finite-element pressure solver in the ECLIPSE FrontSim streamline reservoir simulation software. FrontSim is a three-phase, 3D simulator that models multiphase flow of fluids along streamlines.

Contact person

Comparison of saturation profiles computed on a fine-scale grid, by an upscaling method, and by the multiscale method for a 2D fracture-corridor problem. The setup is quarter-five spot with injector in the upper-left corner and a producer in the lower-right corner.

Background and objectives

Detailed fracture modeling creates higher demands for improved fluid flow simulation. The project will develop a prototype reservoir simulator that can simulate fluid flow with industry acceptable accuracy directly on a detailed and complex geological model including detailed fracture modeling. The simulator should perform these simulations with higher computational efficiency than what is possible with fully implicit simulators. This will make it possible to simulate directly on geological models that has up to 100 million grid cells in less than 15 hours using a single state-of-the-art (at the end of the project) Windows-based PC.

This will be achieved by:

  • Developing a multiscale mixed finite-element code for corner-point geometry and implementing this code into the streamline reservoir simulator FrontSim.
  • Developing a computational method to ensure unconditional stability of a streamline method regardless of time-step length.
  • Developing a multiscale mixed finite-element code for corner-point geometry and fractured reservoirs and implementing this code into the streamline simulator FrontSim.
  • Develop a parallel capability for FrontSim.
  • Perform extensive testing and verification of each of the points above against state-of-the-art and industry standard simulation tools.

Project outcome

We developed a multiscale pressure solver in ECLIPSE FrontSim, which was the first successful implementation of multiscale technology inside a commercial simulator. 

The project also layed the foundations of a continued collaboration with SLB that eventually would lead to the development the INTERSECT multiscale sequential fully implicit simulator.

Key Factors

Project duration

01/01/2006 - 31/12/2008

Project type

Innovation project


The Research Council of Norway, grant no. 174551


Schlumberger Information Systems


Project team

  • Bård Skaflestad

    Bård Skaflestad

    Senior Software Developer
  • Jostein Roald Natvig

    Jostein Roald Natvig

    Senior Scientific Computing Engineer