Control of Numerical Dispersion in Streamline-Based Simulations of Augmented Waterflooding
- Abdulkareem M. AlSofi (Imperial College London) | Martin J. Blunt (Imperial College London)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- June 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,102 - 1,111
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant)
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- 265 since 2007
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Augmented waterflooding is when a component is coinjected with water to modify the fractional-flow curve. Examples include polymer flooding, surfactant injection, low-salinity waterflooding, and carbonated-water injection (including applications related to carbon dioxide storage). The numerical simulation of these processes is a challenge for several reasons: The appropriate physical behavior needs to be incorporated consistently into empirical models of the fractional flow, whereas the solutions should minimize numerical dispersion, allowing the correct and accurate tracking of compositional variations.
Lower-order numerical simulations of these processes give excessive front smearing, requiring many thousands of gridblocks in one dimension to resolve the fronts adequately, rendering the predictions from 3D simulations dubious at best. These erroneous predictions are not caused by phase dispersion (the improper prediction of water velocity)--as in black-oil simulation, in which the effect is less significant--but occur because of the coupling of compositional dispersion with fractional flow. Small errors in composition alter the fractional flow, causing the development of incorrect wave speeds. The same effect is also seen in compositional simulation of gas injection.
We propose a simple method for streamline-based simulations that substantially reduces numerical dispersion. The method is rooted in the assumption of segregated flow within a gridblock. After comparing numerical and analytical results in one dimension, we implement the method into a 3Dstreamline-based simulator of polymer flooding that also incorporates a physically based model of the fluid rheology. We demonstrate that traditional simulation methods can vastly overestimate recovery, potentially leading to poor injection design and management decisions. We demonstrate the utility of our approach by suggesting optimal strategies for the design of polymer injection on the basis of our improved simulation technique.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||10|
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