MRST - MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox

The MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST)

MRST is a free open-source software for reservoir modelling and simulation, developed primarily by the Computational Geosciences group in the Department of Mathematics and Cybernetics at SINTEF Digital. The software has a large international user base and also includes third-party modules developed by researchers from Heriot-Watt University, NTNU, University of Bergen, TNO, and TU Delft.

Version 2021b was released on the 13th of September 2021, and can be downloaded under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). To be notified of new MRST releases please join the MRST-announce google group.

The first MRST Symposium will be held online on the 14th and 15th September 2021. More information about the symposium can be found here.

Øystein Klemetsdal recently gave an introductory tutorial at the Transform 2021 conference, organised by Software Underground: Reservoir modelling and simulation with MRST

The GeoScience & GeoEnergy Webinars recently featured a talk on MRST: "Building an Open-Source Community Code: the MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST)" by Knut-Andreas Lie. Link to video

Talk at the MATLAB Energy Conference 2020: "Reservoir Modeling Using MATLAB - The MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST)" by Knut-Andreas Lie. Link to video 

Talk at the MATLAB Energy Conference 2020: "MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox in Action" by Francesca Watson. Link to video

The MRST textbook by Lie has been available online since mid July 2019 and has been downloaded more than 16,000 times since then. A new MRST book that describes more advanced functionality will be published in October 2021 by Cambridge University Press. Read more ...

About MRST

Like MATLAB, MRST is not primarily a simulator, but is developed as a research tool for rapid prototyping and demonstration of new simulation methods and modeling concepts. To this end, the toolbox offers a wide range of data structures and computational methods you can easily combine to make your own custom-made modelling and simulation tools. MRST nonetheless offers quite comprehensive black-oil and compositional reservoir simulators capable of simulating industry-standard models and also contains graphical user interfaces for post-processing simulation results.

The software is organized into:

  • a minimal core module offering basic data structures and functionality, and
  • a large set of add-on modules offering discretizations, solvers, physical models, and a wide variety of simulators and workflow tools.

In the modules, you will find many tutorial examples that explain and showcase how MRST can be used to make general or fit-for-purpose simulators and workflow tools.  Using MATLAB for reservoir simulation may seem strange at first, but most of the tools and simulators are quite efficient and can be applied to surprisingly large and complex models (several real data sets are supplied with the software). For more computationally challenging cases, we recommend using the open-source  OPM Flow simulator from the Open Porous Media initiative.

MRST has a large world-wide user base: altogether, the last releases have more than 25.000 unique downloads. If you have questions about the software, we encourage you to visit our user forum, which was launched in June 2016. We normally try to answer your post within a day or two, but sometimes it may take us a bit longer, e.g., during weekends or when we are approaching a deadline in one of the many research projects we run for various clients.


If you use MRST to write a scientific publication, we request that you cite the MRST book or one of our overview papers:

The MRST book introduces you to grids and petrophysics, discretizations and solvers for incompressible flow, and how you can combine automatic differentiation, a flexible grid format, discrete differential operators, and vectorization in MATLAB to develop fully implicit multiphase simulators.  The book also teaches grid coarsening, upscaling, and flow diagnostics. The first two papers describe the object-oriented automatic differentiation framework in MRST, whereas the third paper explains how to implement discretizations and incompressible solvers over unstructured grids, using a procedural approach.

We encourage you to also look at the many publications that use MRST. Per November 2020, this includes 180 master and PhD theses and 400 journal and proceedings papers written by authors outside of the MRST development team.