Practical considerations in developing numerical simulators for thermal recovery

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical simulation of steam injection and in-situ combustion-based oil recovery processes is of great importance in project design. Development of such numerical simulators is an on-going process, with improvements made as the process description becomes more complete, and also as better methods are devised to resolve certain numerical difficulties. This paper addresses some of the latter, and based on the author's experience gives useful guidelines for developing more efficient numerical simulators of steam injection and in-situ combustion. The paper takes up a series of questions related to simulating thermal processes. Included are: the elimination of constraint equations at the matrix level, phase change, steam injection rate, alternative treatments of heat loss, relative permeabilities and importance of hysteresis effects, improved solutions to the grid orientation problem and other simulation problems such as potential inversion, grid block size, time-step size control and induced fractures. The points discussed in the paper should be of use to both simulator developers and users alike, and will lead to a better understanding of simulation results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-290
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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