Multiscale Modeling of Particle Transport in Petroleum Reservoirs

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French, Layne Bryan
Multiscale; Network Model; Reservoir Simulation; Particle Transport; Porous Media
thesis / dissertation description
Modeling subsurface particle transport and retention is important for many processes, including sand production, fines migration, and nanoparticle injection. In this study, a pore-scale particle plugging simulator is concurrently coupled with a streamline reservoir simulator to predict the behavior of particles in the subsurface. The coupled simulators march forward in time together. The automated communication between the two models enables the prediction of spatially and time dependent parameters that control the particle transport process. At each time step, the reservoir simulator provides the inlet velocity and particle concentration of the fluid suspension to the pore-scale model which outputs the permeability, porosity, and retention coefficient. This permits the reservoir simulator to include pore-scale physics at selected locations to determine the number of particles retained and the formation damage. The pore-scale simulator tracks the path of individual particles as they are simultaneously injected into the sample and produces an effluent particle concentration curve that is fit with a continuum-scale advection-dispersion model. The advection-dispersion model is matched to the pore-scale data by adjusting two parameters: the dispersion and retention coefficient. The retention coefficient dictates the number of particles retained across a grid block in the reservoir simulator. Incorporating fundamental pore-scale physics into the streamline reservoir simulator improves its predictive ability by updating the particle retention and formation damage of a grid block at each time step.