Modeling Fluid Flow in Faulted Basins.

Abstract : This paper presents a basin simulator designed to better take faults into account, either as conduits or as barriers to fluid flow. It computes hydrocarbon generation, fluid flow and heat transfer on the 4D (space and time) geometry obtained by 3D volume restoration. Contrary to classical basin simulators, this calculator does not require a structured mesh based on vertical pillars nor a multi-block structure associated to the fault network. The mesh follows the sediments during the evolution of the basin. It deforms continuously with respect to time to account for sedimentation, erosion, compaction and kinematic displacements. The simulation domain is structured in layers, in order to handle properly the corresponding heterogeneities and to follow the sedimentation processes (thickening of the layers). In each layer, the mesh is unstructured: it may include several types of cells such as tetrahedra, hexahedra, pyramid, prism, etc. However, a mesh composed mainly of hexahedra is preferred as they are well suited to the layered structure of the basin. Faults are handled as internal boundaries across which the mesh is non-matching. Different models are proposed for fault behavior such as impervious fault, flow across fault or conductive fault. The calculator is based on a cell centered Finite Volume discretisation, which ensures conservation of physical quantities (mass of fluid, heat) at a discrete level and which accounts properly for heterogeneities. The numerical scheme handles the non matching meshes and guaranties appropriate connection of cells across faults. Results on a synthetic basin demonstrate the capabilities of this new simulator.
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Isabelle Faille, Muriel Thibaut, Marie-Christine Cacas, Pascal Havé, Françoise Willien, et al.. Modeling Fluid Flow in Faulted Basins.. Oil & Gas Science and Technology - Revue d'IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Français du Pétrole, 2014, 69 (4), pp. 529-553. 〈10.2516/ogst/2013204〉. 〈hal-01068329〉

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