A new method for thermodynamic equilibrium computation of systems with an arbitrary number of phases

Cédric Fraces Gasmi, Denis V. Voskov, Hamdi A. Tchelepi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Reservoir recovery processes involve complex mass and heat transfer between the injected fluid and the resident rock-fluid system. Thermal-compositional reservoir simulators can be used to plan such displacement processes, in which the phase behavior is computed with an Equation of State (EoS). These thermodynamic-equilibrium computations include phase-stability tests and flash calculations, and can consume a significant fraction of the total simulation time, especially for highly detailed reservoir models and a large number of components. Here, we propose a general Compositional Space Parameterization (CSP) method for complex mixtures, especially those where more than two fluid phases can coexist in parts of the parameter space. For a given pressure (P), temperature (T) and overall composition, a unique tie-simplex (tie-line for two phases, tie-triangle for three phases, etc.) can be defined. For a particular composition at P and T, the tie-simplex provides the necessary phase equilibrium information (i.e., phase state and phase compositions). For compositional flow simulation, a set of tie-simplexes can be calculated in a preprocessing step, or adaptively constructed during the simulation. The tie-simplex representation can be used to replace standard phase-equilibrium calculations completely, or it can be used as an initial guess for standard EoS calculations. Challenging examples with two and three phases are presented to validate this tie-simplex CSP approach. Standard EoS methods, which are widely used in industrial compositional simulators, are compared with CSP-based simulations for problems with large numbers of components and complex two-and three-phase behaviors spanning wide ranges of pressure and temperature. The numerical experiments indicate that our multi-dimensional tie-simplex representation combined with linear pressure and temperature interpolation in tie-simplex space, which is implemented as an adaptive tabulation strategy, leads to highly robust and efficient computations of the phase behavior associated with compositional flow simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium Proceedings
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventSPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium 2009 - The Woodlands, TX, United States
Duration: 2 Feb 20094 Feb 2009


ConferenceSPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityThe Woodlands, TX


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