Understanding Reservoir Mechanisms Using Phase and Component Streamline Tracing and Visualization Conference Paper uri icon


  • Streamline simulation has received considerable attention because of its computational efficiency and also for being visually appealing and physically intuitive. Conventionally streamlines are traced using total fluid fluxes across the grid cell faces. The visualization of total flux streamlines shows the movement of tracer and water flood front, injector-producer relationship, swept volumes for injectors and drainage volumes for producers. However, total fluxes mask many important features of reservoir flow embedded in the individual phase fluxes. These include reservoir dynamics, such as phase distribution, appearance and disappearance of phases, local drive mechanisms and reservoir miscibility conditions for CO 2 or solvent flooding. In this paper we demonstrate the benefits of visualizing phase and component streamlines, which are traced using phase and component fluxes respectively. Both three-phase black oil and compositional simulation are used to visualize reservoir flow and to understand the drive mechanisms active in the reservoir. Although the phase and component streamlines are not suited for flow simulation because of their local discontinuities, these streamlines provide unique insight into the reservoir processes and recovery mechanisms. In this study, the phase and component streamline tracing is done using phase/component fluxes from commercial finite-difference black oil and compositional simulators. We demonstrate the power and utility of the phase and component streamlines using synthetic and field examples. The phase streamlines are shown to capture the dominant flowing phases in different parts of the reservoir and to help us optimize locations of infill injectors and producers. Based on the appearance and disappearance of phase streamlines, we can identify the regions of the field where different drive mechanisms such as waterflood and solution gas drives are active. The field applications involve waterflooding in a structurally complex reservoir in South America and also, a CO 2 injection project in a large carbonate reservoir in Canada. We use component streamlines to track the movement of injected CO 2 in the reservoir. By tracking the phase and component streamlines, we can clearly distinguish the CO 2 in the gas phase and the dissolved CO 2 . Ths not only helps optimize CO 2 injection but also has important implications in the effectiveness of the CO 2 sequestration. Copyright 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Kumar, S., Datta-Gupta, A., & Jimenez, E.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • October 2009