Development of an equation-of-state thermal flooding simulator
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In the past thirty years, the development of compositional reservoir simulators using various equations of state (EOS) has been addressed in the literature. However, the development of compositional thermal simulators in conjunction with EOS formulation has been ignored, in particular. Therefore in this work, a fully implicit, parallel, compositional EOS-based simulator has been developed. In this model, an equation of state is used for equilibrium calculations among all phases (oil, gas, and aqueous). Also, the physical properties are calculated based on an equation of state, hence obviating the need for using steam tables for calculation of water/steam properties. The governing equations for the model comprise fugacity equations between the three phases, material balance, pore volume constraint and energy equations. The governing partial differential equations are solved using finite difference approximations. In the steam injection process, the solubility of oil in water-rich phase and the solubility of water in oil phase can be high. This model takes into account the solubility of water in oil phase and the solubility of hydrocarbon components in water-rich phase, using three-phase flash calculations. This simulator can be used in various thermal flooding processes (i.e. hot water or steam injections). Since the simulator was implemented for parallel computers, it is capable of solving large-scale thermal flooding problems. The simulator is successfully validated using analytical solutions. Also, simulations are carried out to compare this model with commercial simulators. The use of an EOS for calculation of various properties for each phase automatically satisfies the thermodynamic consistency requirements. On the other hand, using the K-value approach, which is not thermodynamically robust, may lead to results that are thermodynamically inconsistent. This simulator accurately tracks all components and mass transfer between phases using an EOS; hence, it will produce thermodynamically consistent results and project accurate prediction of thermal recovery processes. Electrical heating model, Joule heating and in-situ thermal desorption methods, and hot-chemical flooding model have also been implemented in the simulator. In the electrical heating model, electrical current equation is solved along with other governing equations by considering electrical heat generation. For implementation of the hot-chemical heating model, first the effect of temperature on the phase behavior model and other properties of the chemical flooding model is considered. Next, the material and energy balance and volume constraints equations are solved with a fully implicit method. The models are validated with other solutions and different cases are tested with the implemented models.