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Heterogeneity Consideration and Upscaling of elastic properties in coupled geomechanical flow simulation of SAGD Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Khajeh, Mohammad Mehdi
Supervisor and department
Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk (Civil and Environmental Engineering- Geotechnical Engineering Group)
Dr. Jeff Boisvert (Civil and Environmental Engineering - Mining Engineering Group)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Jeff Boisvert (Civil and Environmental Engineerin-University of Alberta)
Dr. Derek Martin (Civil and Environmental Engineerin-University of Alberta)
Dr. R.C.K. Wong (Civil Engineering, University of Calgary)
Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk (Civil and Environmental Engineerin-University of Alberta)
Dr. Ryosuke Okuno (Civil and Environmental Engineerin-University of Alberta)
Dr. Ben Rostron (Earth and Atmospheric Science-University of Alberta)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Geomechanical processes occurring during steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) thermal recovery influence petrophysical and rock mechanical properties of both reservoir and caprock formations. While geostatistical techniques provide multiple equi probable geological realizations for petrophysical properties, rock mechanical properties are traditionally considered as homogenously in reservoir geomechanical simulations of the SAGD process. This research has shown that consideration of heterogeneous facies and rock mechanical properties will result in a larger range of possible outcomes, such as vertical displacement within the reservoir, than simulation models that adopt homogeneous facies and property distributions. Typically, only a select number of geological realizations are selected for simulation. Randomly selecting geological realizations will not accurately represent uncertainty and they should be selected based on appropriate ranking criteria. A ranking criterion, which is in good correlation with expected elastic deformation of reservoir, has been developed in this research. The developed ranking technique is based on expected elastic deformation of each cell considered in numerical simulation of SAGD. Geometrical calibration parameters are adopted within the developed ranking technique. Upscaling of geological models and moving from high resolution geological models to coarse scale simulation models results in reduction of number of cells and accordingly reduction of computational cost. A new numerical technique for upscaling of elastic properties has been proposed. Two major advantages of the new geomechanical upscaling technique include the ability to consider transversely isotropic deformation and independence from coarse scale properties with respect to facies configuration. The ranking and upscaling approaches were applied to a McMurray Formation field case study dataset. In comparison to upscaling techniques based on averaging, the numerical upscaling technique provided a reduction in simulation error. In addition, application of the upscaling technique to real field data confirmed the reduction in computational time for reservoir geomechanical simulations.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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