Speeding up compositional reservoir simulation through an efficient implementation of phase equilibrium calculation

Abdelkrim Belkadi, Wei Yan, Elsa Moggia, Michael Locht Michelsen, Erling Halfdan Stenby, Ivar Aavatsmark, Emanuele Vignati, Alberto Cominelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Compositional reservoir simulations are widely used to simulate reservoir processes with strong compositional effects, such as gas injection. The equations of state (EoS) based phase equilibrium calculation is a time consuming part in this type of simulations. The phase equilibrium problem can be either decoupled from or coupled with the transport problem. In the former case, flash calculation is required, which consists of stability analysis and subsequent phase split calculation; in the latter case, no explicit phase split calculation is required but efficient stability analysis and optimized coding of the basic thermodynamic subroutines are still crucial to the overall speed. This work tries to provide a comprehensive strategy to increase the speed for compositional simulation. This strategy begins with the coding of the basic thermodynamic properties, including the derivatives of fugacities with respect to molar numbers. Then, in the algorithms for stability analysis and phase split calculation, successive substitution with acceleration and minimization-based second-order methods are combined to gain both robustness and efficiency. For compositional simulations, the results from previous simulation steps provide the possibility to skip stability analysis by the shadow region method in the single phase regions. The approach was implemented in the general purpose research simulator (GPRS) developed by Stanford University. GPRS is a modular, state of the art reservoir simulation and its architecture makes the implementation and evaluation of new ideas and concepts easy. Tests on several 2-D and 3-D gas injection examples indicate that with an efficient implementation of the thermodynamic package and the conventional stability analysis algorithm, the speed can be increased by several folds. Application of the shadow region method to skip stability analysis can further cut the phase equilibrium calculation time. Copyright 2013, Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium 2013
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)978-1-61399-233-3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event2013 SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium - The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and, The Woodlands, TX, United States
Duration: 18 Feb 201320 Feb 2013


Conference2013 SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium
LocationThe Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and
CountryUnited States
CityThe Woodlands, TX
Internet address


  • Algorithms
  • Equations of state
  • Petroleum reservoir evaluation
  • Phase equilibria
  • Telecommunication systems
  • Water injection
  • Petroleum reservoirs
  • Compositional reservoir simulation

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