Representation of Reservoir Geometry for Numerical Simulation
- G.J. Hirasaki (Shell Development Co.) | P.M. O'Dell (Shell Development Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- December 1970
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 393 - 404
- 1970. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology
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For most reservoirs the reservoir thickness and dip vary with position. For such reservoirs, the use of a Cartesian coordinate system is awkward as the coordinate surfaces are planes and the finite-difference grid elements are rectangular parallepipeds. However, these reservoirs may be efficiently parallepipeds. However, these reservoirs may be efficiently modeled with a curvilinear coordinate system that has coordinate surfaces that coincide with the reservoir surfaces. A procedure is presented that may be used to determine a curvilinear coordinate system that will conform with the geometry of the reservoir. The reservoir geometry is described by the depth of the top of the reservoir and the thickness. The mass conservation equations are presented in curvilinear coordinates. The finite-difference equations differ from the usual Cartesian coordinate formulation by a factor multiplying the pore volume and transmissibilities. A numerical example is presented to illustrate the magnitude of the error that may occur in the computed oil recovery if the Cartesian coordinate system is simply modified to yield the correct depth and pore volumes.
Many reservoirs have a shape that is inconvenient and possibly inaccurate to model with Cartesian coordinates. The use of a curvilinear coordinate system that follows the shape of the reservoir can be advantageous for such reservoirs. The formulation discussed here will have the greatest advantage in modeling thin reservoirs but will have little advantage in modeling a reservoir whose thickness is greater than its radius of curvature, such as a pinnacle reef. pinnacle reef. In this paper the reader is introduced to various grid systems used to model reservoirs. A brief discussion of some concepts of differential geometry contrasts differences between Cartesian coordinates and curvilinear coordinates. A curvilinear coordinate system for modeling reservoir geometry is presented. Formulation of the conservation equations in curvilinear coordinates and the necessary modifications to pore volume and transmissibility are discussed. A numerical example illustrates the magnitude of the error that may result from some coordinate systems.
COORDINATE SYSTEMS AND RESERVOIR GRID NETWORKS
A reservoir is usually described with the depth, thickness, boundaries, etc., shown on a structure map with sea level as a reference plane. For example, the subsea depth may be shown as a contour map on the reference plane with a Cartesian coordinate grid superimposed on the reference plane as shown on Fig. 1. The Cartesian coordinates, plane as shown on Fig. 1. The Cartesian coordinates, (y1, y2), have been defined as the coordinates for the reference plane. If the reservoir surfaces are parallel planes, Cartesian coordinates may be used. The Cartesian coordinate may be rotated such that the coordinate surfaces coincide with the reservoir surfaces.
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