Understanding reservoir mechanisms using phase and component streamline tracing
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Conventionally streamlines are traced using total flux across the grid cell faces. The visualization of total flux streamlines shows the movement of flood, injector-producer relationship, swept area and movement of tracer. But they fail to capture some important signatures of reservoir dynamics, such as dominant phase in flow, appearance and disappearance of phases (e.g. gas), and flow of components like CO2. In the work being presented, we demonstrate the benefits of visualizing phase and component streamlines which are traced using phase and component fluxes respectively. Although the phase and component streamlines are not appropriate for simulation, as they might be discontinuous, they definitely have a lot of useful information about the reservoir processes and recovery mechanisms. In this research, phase and component streamline tracing has been successfully implemented in three-phase and compositional simulation and the additional information obtained using these streamlines have been explored. The power and utility of the phase and component streamlines have been demonstrated using synthetic examples and two field cases. The new formulation of streamline tracing provides additional information about the reservoir drive mechanisms. The phase streamlines capture the dominant phase in flow in different parts of the reservoir and the area swept corresponding to different phases can be identified. Based on these streamlines the appearance and disappearance of phases can be identified. Also these streamlines can be used for optimizing the field recovery processes like water injection and location of infill wells. Using component streamlines the movement of components like CO2 can be traced, so they can be used for optimizing tertiary recovery mechanisms and tracking of tracers. They can also be used to trace CO2 in CO2 sequestration project where the CO2 injection is for long term storage in aquifers or reservoirs. They have also other potential uses towards study of reservoir processes and behavior such as drainage area mapping for different phases, phase rate allocations to reservoir layers, etc.
Kumar, Sarwesh (2008). Understanding reservoir mechanisms using phase and component streamline tracing. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from