Numerical Calculation of Multidimensional Miscible Displacement by the Method of Characteristics
- A.O. Garder Jr. (Humble Oil And Refining Co.) | D.W. Peaceman (Humble Oil And Refining Co.) | A.L. Pozzi Jr. (Humble Oil And Refining Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- March 1964
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 26 - 36
- 1964. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 4.3.4 Scale, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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A new numerical method is proposed for the solution of multidimensional miscible displacement problems. Besides the usual stationary grid associated with numerical procedures, the method uses moving points for which positions and concentrations are computed each time step. Based on the method of characteristics for treating combined transport and dispersion, the method applies equally well to any number of dimensions and, in contrast with other numerical procedures, properly takes into account the physical dispersion, no matter how small. Extensive tests show that accurate solutions of one-dimensional problems can be obtained over a wide range of values of the dispersion coefficient, including zero. They also show that the moving points do not need to be uniformly spaced, and that increasing the number of moving points beyond 2/grid interval does not significantly improve the accuracy of the solution. Two-dimensional calculations using the new method were carried out to simulate laboratory model displacements in which gravity caused overriding of solvent. Good agreement between observed and computed profiles and measured and computed concentrations of produced fluid was obtained for a viscosity ratio of 1.89; at higher viscosity ratios, fair agreement was obtained Computed results were found to be significantly affected by vertical dispersion, and negligibly affected by dispersion in the direction of flow, in agreement with conclusions based on experimental observations.
Although miscible displacement processes are potentially of great economic significance, limited progress has been made in developing mathematical methods for predicting the outcome of a solvent flood. Because of the complexity of the partial differential equations which describe multi-dimensional miscible displacement, numerical methods are a natural approach to their solution. The task of finding suitable numerical approximations to one of the partial differential equations, which involves both dispersion and convective transport, has been particularly difficult. Dispersion in the absence of transport is described by the heat flow equation, a second-order equation of parabolic type. This equation has been very successfully treated by numerical methods. Transport in the absence of dispersion is described by a first-order equation of hyperbolic type. This equation has been treated numerically with some success in one dimension, both by Lagrangian and Eulerian techniques, but extension to two or more dimensions has not been satisfactorily accomplished. Usually one of two things happens: either the numerical solution develops oscillations or it becomes smeared by artificial dispersion resulting from the numerical process. When transport and dispersion are considered simultaneously, this numerical dispersion may dominate the low physical dispersivity that generally characterizes miscible displacement. Stone and Brian have developed a new difference equation for treating combined transport and dispersion in one dimension. By suitable choice of certain parameters, they succeeded in markedly reducing both oscillation and numerical dispersion. However, a satisfactory extension to higher dimensions has not yet been found. Peaceman and Rachford presented a centered-in-time and centered-in-distance difference equation combined with a "transfer of overshoot" procedure which was demonstrated to work well in one dimension. The technique was applied to the two-dimensional miscible displacement problem, but subsequent calculations with zero dispersivity showed little change in results compared with the calculations they presented. This indicates that their method involved a numerical dispersion of the same order as the physical dispersion.
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