Direct simulation of complex grid models of highly heterogeneous and fractured porous media - a technology that bypasses the need for upscaling
Modern methods for 3D geological modelling and reservoir characterisation are leading industry to routinely build very large and detailed reservoir models; grid models of the subsurface geology currently range in size from 10 to 100 million cells and are growing. Such models pose a serious computational challenge to numerical reservoir simulators. Indeed, there is a steadily increasing gap between the level of detail seen in industrial geomodels and the capabilities of current flow simulators. This gap cannot be closed by incremental improvements to legacy simulators.
SINTEF ICT has set an ambitious goal to try to close this gap by developing a unique and novel suit of multiscale reservoir simulation tools. This is done through GeoScale, a portfolio of strategic research projects funded by the Research Council of Norway and various industry partners. In particular, we study:
use of geocellular models as direct input to flow simulation
efficient multiscale pressure solvers
accurate discretization methods on irregular grids
fast transport solvers on coarse, intermediate, and geocellular grids
Using our new simulator technology and striking optimal balances between reduced computational time, geological representation, and complexity of flow physics, we seek to speed up existing work processes by fast flow simulation and bring simulation to new work processes that require almost instant computation of flow responses.
The GeoScale team is also involved in other activities related to flow and transport in porous media: CO2 sequestration, steady-state upscaling, development of efficient computational methods for use in integrated operations, and development of open-source simulators (OPM and MRST).
MATLAB Reservoir Simulation Toolbox
The Matlab Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST) consists of a comprehensive functionality for reading, representing, processing, and visualizing unstructured grids, including the Eclipse corner-point format. The first GPL release has multipoint and multiscale flow solvers and upwind transport solvers capable of handling general unstructured grids. [More]
Lie et al. Open source MATLAB implementation of consistent discretisations on complex grids. Comput. Geosci., DOI: 10.1007/s10596-011-9244-4.