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Integrated Reservoir-Geomechanics Upscaling Workflow

  • Author / Creator
    Zhang, Bo
  • The impact of geomechanical behavior in the SAGD process has received increased attention over the last decade because of its importance in assessing caprock integrity and potential influence on production performance. The deformations and potential shear failures in the reservoir lead to alterations of porosity, absolute permeability and water relative permeability due to high pressure and temperature changes induced by the SAGD process. Ignoring these geomechanical responses in the simulation of the SAGD process may lead to erroneous predictions of reservoir performance and a failure to recognize potential hazards similar to the Joslyn Creek steam release incident. To improve our understanding of these issues, coupled reservoir-geomechanics simulation on a reservoir-scale SAGD project is necessary. However, the limitation of computational power and appropriate upscaling techniques have restricted the wide application of coupled simulation in field cases.
    A local deformation-based upscaling technique has been proposed for the elastic and plastic properties and integrated with the flow-based upscaling technique for permeability. To further improve the computational efficiency of upscaling process for different realizations, the local numerical upscaling technique is integrated with the analytical solution generated from the numerical investigations on the impact of heterogeneity on the stress-strain response and failure modes. The upscaling technique has the best performance when the upscaling ratio is optimized at different regions and directions guided by the level of heterogeneity parameterization in reservoir-scale SAGD processes. The field case study has shown that the proposed technique can reduce the simulation time by 20 times while retaining the accuracy in both geomechanical response and reservoir performance, e.g. steam chamber shape, cumulative oil production, subsurface volume change and surface heave.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-gzas-n027
  • License
    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.