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Adaptive anisotropic meshing and remeshing technique for the numerical modelling of SAGD process

Y. Mesri, W. Zerguine, and T. Coupez

Research Notes, 19th International Meshing Roundtable, Springer-Verlag, pp.Research Note, October 3-6 2010


19th International Meshing Roundtable
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA.
October 3-6, 2010

IFP, 1 et 4 av. de Bois-Preau, BP 311, 92852 Rueil-Malmaison Cedex, France.
ARKEMA - CERDATO, F-27470 Serquigny, France.
MINES ParisTech, CEMEF, CNRS UMR 7635, BP 207 1 rue Claude Daunesse 06904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex , France.

This note describes an adaptive meshing and automatic remeshing technique for the numerical modelling of the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage process and called SAGD. The topics will be illustrated here is the numerical modelling of the development of steam chamber in the reservoir field. Steam chamber inevitably occurs during thermal and geomechanical processes and have a major impact on the final oil recovery. This phenomena seems to be simple but their mechanisms are not very well understood. Different methods allow to model SAGD process and a central idea realized through several studies is that the near-well region must be heated rapidly and efficiently for significant early-time response. To improve early-time response of SAGD, it is necessary to heat the near-wellbore area to reduce oil viscosity and allow gravity drainage to take place. Ideally heating should occur with minimal circulation or bypassing of steam. Since project economics are sensitive to early production response, we are interested in optimizing the start-up procedure. An investigation of early-time processes to improve reservoir heating will be discussed. We perform a numerical simulation study of combinations of steam injection and steam circulation prior to SAGD in an effort to better understand and improve early-time response. In these case, the quality of the numerical solutions are strongly related to the accuracy of calculations around the considered temperature front, and so for a given computational cost, optimal accuracy is obtained by using anisotropic meshes, with refinement close to the high error of temperature field. Periodic remeshing is performed such as the refinement zone describe accurately the temperature front displacement. Results from this study, including temperature distributions, display the behaviour of steam diffusion and conduction prior to SAGD. The mesh adaptation improve dramatically the description of the temperature distributions.

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