Streamline-based simulation of water injection in naturally fractured reservoirs
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The current streamline formulation is limited to single-porosity systems and is then not suitable for application to naturally fractured reservoirs. Describing the fluid transport in naturally fractured reservoirs has been recognized as a main challenge for simulation engineers due to the complicated physics involved. In this work, we generalized the streamline-based simulation to describe the fluid transport in naturally fractured reservoirs. We implemented three types of transfer function: the conventional transfer function (CTF), the diffusion transfer function (DTF), and the empirical transfer function (ETF). We showed that these transfer functions can be implemented easily in the current single-porosity streamline codes. These transfer functions have been added as a source term to the transport equation that describes the saturation evolution along the streamlines. We solved this equation numerically for all types of transfer functions. The numerical solution of the continuity equation with DTF and ETF requires discretizing a convolution term. We derived an analytical solution to the saturation equation with ETF in terms of streamline TOF to validate the numerical solution. We obtain an excellent match between the numerical and the analytical solution. The final stage of our study was to validate our work by comparing our dual-porosity streamline simulator (DPSS) to the commercial dual-porosity simulator, ECLIPSE. The dual-porosity ECLIPSE uses the CTF to describe the interaction between the matrix-blocks and the fracture system. The dual-porosity streamline simulator with CTF showed an excellent match with the dual-porosity ECLIPSE. On the other hand, dual-porosity streamline simulation with DTF and ETF showed a lower recovery than the recovery obtained from the dual-porosity ECLIPSE and the DPSS with CTF. This difference in oil recovery is not due to our formulation, but is related to the theoretical basis on which CTF, DTF, and ETF were derived in the literature. It was beyond the scope of this study to investigate the relative accuracy of each transfer function. We demonstrate that the DPSS is computationally efficient and ideal for large-scale field application. Also, we showed that the DPSS minimizes numerical smearing and grid orientation effects compared to the dual-porosity ECLIPSE.
Al-Huthali, Ahmed (2003). Streamline-based simulation of water injection in naturally fractured reservoirs. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from