Total-sponsored R&D leverages Comsol/AVIZO combo

Center for Heavy Oil Studies describes full physics, dual-phase pore scale flow modeling.

Following its successful investigation of shale gas source rocks by ExxonMobil (Oil ITJ July 2011), researchers from the University of Pau’s Open & Experimental Center for Heavy Oil (CHLOE) have applied a similar approach to model different flow régimes in computerized tomographic (ÁCT) imagery of sandstones. The research, presented at the Comsol user conference late last year, targets upscaling of fundamental physical observation and modeling from pore scale to real-world flow simulation at the macro scale.

Starting with ÁCT images constructed with Simpleware’s ScanIP, the models were imported into Comsol for study. Simulation leverages Navier-Stokes equations and their extension to a diffuse interface. Image processing with Avizo Fire is performed on the ÁCT volumes to evaluate porosity, connectivity and other parameters.

The research, sponsored by Total, includes streamline simulation with Comsol Multiphysics of single phase flow as well as more complex investigations of dual phase flow. The latter has been applied to problems such as viscous fluid front fingering, trapping and remobilization and reactive transport. Lead researcher Igor Bogdanov believes that such direct numerical simulations at pore-scale will in the future be widely used in modeling of porous media, particularly for petroleum applications. The full paper is available from Comsol.

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