August 5, 2013
Journal Article

Fully Coupled Well Models for Fluid Injection and Production


Wells are the primary engineered component of geologic sequestration systems with deep subsurface reservoirs. Wells provide a conduit for injecting greenhouse gases and producing reservoirs fluids, such as brines, natural gas, and crude oil, depending on the target reservoir. Well trajectories, well pressures, and fluid flow rates are parameters over which well engineers and operators have control during the geologic sequestration process. Current drilling practices provided well engineers flexibility in designing well trajectories and controlling screened intervals. Injection pressures and fluids can be used to purposely fracture the reservoir formation or to purposely prevent fracturing. Numerical simulation of geologic sequestration processes involves the solution of multifluid transport equations within heterogeneous geologic media. These equations that mathematically describe the flow of fluid through the reservoir formation are nonlinear in form, requiring linearization techniques to resolve. In actual geologic settings fluid exchange between a well and reservoir is a function of local pressure gradients, fluid saturations, and formation characteristics. In numerical simulators fluid exchange between a well and reservoir can be specified using a spectrum of approaches that vary from totally ignoring the reservoir conditions to fully considering reservoir conditions and well processes. Well models are a numerical simulation approach that account for local conditions and gradients in the exchange of fluids between the well and reservoir. As with the mathematical equations that describe fluid flow in the reservoir, variation in fluid properties with temperature and pressure yield nonlinearities in the mathematical equations that describe fluid flow within the well. To numerically simulate the fluid exchange between a well and reservoir the two systems of nonlinear multifluid flow equations must be resolved. The spectrum of numerical approaches for resolving these equations varies from zero coupling to full coupling. In this paper we describe a fully coupled solution approach for well model that allows for a flexible well trajectory and screened interval within a structured hexahedral computational grid. In this scheme the nonlinear well equations have been fully integrated into the Jacobian matrix for the reservoir conservation equations, minimizing the matrix bandwidth.

Revised: September 26, 2013 | Published: August 5, 2013


White M.D., D.H. Bacon, S.K. White, and Z.F. Zhang. 2013. Fully Coupled Well Models for Fluid Injection and Production. Energy Procedia 37. PNNL-SA-91038. doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.295