On the feasibility of using physics-informed machine learning for underground reservoir pressure management

Dylan Robert Harp, Dan O'Malley, Bicheng Yan, Rajesh Pawar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We evaluate the feasibility of using physics-informed machine learning (PIML) for underground energy-related pressure management. To this end, we develop a PIML framework to manage underground reservoir pressures by training neural networks to determine fluid extraction rates for dedicated extraction wells during fluid injection operations given a range of reservoir conditions (e.g., transmissivity and storativity). We implement an automatically-differentiable analytical physics model of fluid flow in porous media within the PIML framework as a proxy for more complicated models. This allows us to execute a sufficient number of training scenarios to fully evaluate the feasibility of using PIML to support pressure management activities. We quantify the number of physics-model parameters required for automatic differentiation to become more efficient than finite-difference gradient calculations. We use a simple scenario with a single injector, extractor, and critical location for our feasibility analysis. We evaluate the effect of the size of the training dataset (i.e., the number of reservoir condition samples) on the accuracy and efficiency of the PIML framework. For an equivalent number of model evaluations, the larger training dataset took less time to train and produced a neural network that was able to more accurately manage reservoir pressures. We also evaluate the effect of the training dataset batch size (i.e., number of reservoir condition samples used to update the neural network coefficients during training; i.e., how the training dataset is partitioned). While training ran faster with larger batch sizes, they produced neural networks that managed pressures less accurately. We demonstrate the approach on a more complex scenario involving 10 injectors, 10 extractors, and 4 critical locations (a relatively high well density of 20 wells/km2). We provide the number of forward and adjoint model evaluations required in each case as an indication of the feasibility of using PIML for pressure management when more complicated physics models with longer execution times are used.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-02-20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • General Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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