Parallel Reservoir Simulations with Sparse Grid Techniques and Applications to Wormhole Propagation

  • Yuanqing Wu

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In this work, two topics of reservoir simulations are discussed. The first topic is the two-phase compositional flow simulation in hydrocarbon reservoir. The major obstacle that impedes the applicability of the simulation code is the long run time of the simulation procedure, and thus speeding up the simulation code is necessary. Two means are demonstrated to address the problem: parallelism in physical space and the application of sparse grids in parameter space. The parallel code can gain satisfactory scalability, and the sparse grids can remove the bottleneck of flash calculations. Instead of carrying out the flash calculation in each time step of the simulation, a sparse grid approximation of all possible results of the flash calculation is generated before the simulation. Then the constructed surrogate model is evaluated to approximate the flash calculation results during the simulation. The second topic is the wormhole propagation simulation in carbonate reservoir. In this work, different from the traditional simulation technique relying on the Darcy framework, we propose a new framework called Darcy-Brinkman-Forchheimer framework to simulate wormhole propagation. Furthermore, to process the large quantity of cells in the simulation grid and shorten the long simulation time of the traditional serial code, standard domain-based parallelism is employed, using the Hypre multigrid library. In addition to that, a new technique called “experimenting field approach” to set coefficients in the model equations is introduced. In the 2D dissolution experiments, different configurations of wormholes and a series of properties simulated by both frameworks are compared. We conclude that the numerical results of the DBF framework are more like wormholes and more stable than the Darcy framework, which is a demonstration of the advantages of the DBF framework. The scalability of the parallel code is also evaluated, and good scalability can be achieved. Finally, a mixed finite element scheme is proposed for the wormhole simulation.
Date of AwardSep 8 2015
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorShuyu Sun (Supervisor)


  • parallelism
  • Reservoir simulation
  • Sparse grids
  • Wormhole

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