Dynamic optimization of thermodynamically rigorous models of multiphase flow in porous subsurface oil reservoirs

Tobias Kasper Skovborg Ritschel, John Bagterp Jørgensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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In this paper, we consider dynamic optimization of thermal and isothermal oil recovery processes which involve multicomponent three-phase flow in porous media. We present thermodynamically rigorous models of these processes based on 1) conservation of mass and energy, and 2) phase equilibrium. The conservation equations are partial differential equations. The phase equilibrium problems that are relevant to thermal and isothermal models are called the UV and the VT flash, and they are based on the second law of thermodynamics. We formulate these phase equilibrium problems as optimization problems and the phase equilibrium conditions as the corresponding first order optimality conditions. We demonstrate that the thermal and isothermal flow models are in a semi-explicit differential-algebraic form, and we solve the dynamic optimization problems with a previously developed gradient-based algorithm implemented in C/C++. We present numerical examples of optimized thermal and isothermal oil recovery strategies and discuss the computational performance of the dynamic optimization algorithm in these examples.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Process Control
Pages (from-to)45-56
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Dynamic optimization
  • Single-shooting
  • The adjoint method
  • Thermal and isothermal oil recovery
  • Multicomponent multiphase flow
  • Phase equilibrium
  • UV flash
  • VT flash


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