Characterizing flow in oil reservoir rock using SPH: absolute permeability

Holmes, David W., Williams, John R., Tilke, Peter, and Leonardi, Christopher R. (2016) Characterizing flow in oil reservoir rock using SPH: absolute permeability. Computational Particle Mechanics, 3 (2). pp. 141-154.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


In this paper, a three-dimensional smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulator for modeling grain scale fluid flow in porous rock is presented. The versatility of the SPH method has driven its use in increasingly complex areas of flow analysis, including flows related to permeable rock for both groundwater and petroleum reservoir research. While previous approaches to such problems using SPH have involved the use of idealized pore geometries (cylinder/sphere packs etc), in this paper we detail the characterization of flow in models with geometries taken from 3D X-ray microtomographic imaging of actual porous rock; specifically 25.12 % porosity dolomite. This particular rock type has been well characterized experimentally and described in the literature, thus providing a practical 'real world' means of verification of SPH that will be key to its acceptance by industry as a viable alternative to traditional reservoir modeling tools. The true advantages of SPH are realized when adding the complexity of multiple fluid phases, however, the accuracy of SPH for single phase flow is, as yet, under developed in the literature and will be the primary focus of this paper. Flow in reservoir rock will typically occur in the range of low Reynolds numbers, making the enforcement of no-slip boundary conditions an important factor in simulation. To this end, we detail the development of a new, robust, and numerically efficient method for implementing no-slip boundary conditions in SPH that can handle the degree of complexity of boundary surfaces, characteristic of an actual permeable rock sample. A study of the effect of particle density is carried out and simulation results for absolute permeability are presented and compared to those from experimentation showing good agreement and validating the method for such applications.

Item ID: 40564
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2196-4386
Keywords: smooth particle hydrodynamics, X-ray µCT, no-slip boundary conditions, absolute permeability
Funders: Schlumberger-Doll Research Center, Saudi Aramco
Projects and Grants: Geonumerics Project
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2015 04:59
FoR Codes: 40 ENGINEERING > 4012 Fluid mechanics and thermal engineering > 401204 Computational methods in fluid flow, heat and mass transfer (incl. computational fluid dynamics) @ 30%
49 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 4903 Numerical and computational mathematics > 490302 Numerical analysis @ 30%
40 ENGINEERING > 4012 Fluid mechanics and thermal engineering > 401208 Geophysical and environmental fluid flows @ 40%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering @ 60%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8902 Computer Software and Services > 890201 Application Software Packages (excl. Computer Games) @ 20%
85 ENERGY > 8502 Mining and Extraction of Energy Resources > 850203 Oil and Gas Extraction @ 20%
Downloads: Total: 5
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page