Pore-scale modeling and reservoir predictions: objectives, techniques and results

Società Geologica Italiana

Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra "A. Desio"
Università degli Studi di Milano

Aula Taramelli, ore 14:30, mercoledì 21 dicembre 2016

Relatore: Dott. Ivan Lunati
Invited researcher
Institute of Earth Sciences
Faculty of Geosciences and Environment
University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract
Recent advances in high performance computing and imaging techniques have fostered pore-scale simulations of flow through porous media as a mean to investigate physicochemical processes at the scale at which they actually occur. Today's computational resources allow us to model pore-scale processes with sub-pore resolution by using classic Computational Fluid Dynamics tools that couple the Navier-Stokes equations with the Volume of Fluid method to track the interface. With respect to other approaches, this technique offer the advantage that the model parameters are the physical parameters and that they are based on rigorous conservation principles. First, we validate the method by modeling microfluidic experiments in Hele-Shaw cells filled with obstacles, which have been built by soft lithography. Then, we illustrate how numerical simulations can be used to advance our understanding of coupled processes at the pore scale and (possibly combined into multiscale and multiphysics algorithms) to investigate how macroscopic equations emerges. Our main objective is to discuss the opportunities offered by these tools and how they can be optimally used to improve reservoir scale predictions.

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