Several compositional reservoir simulators based on equations of state (EoS) have been designed. Yet, few of them can deal with thermal processes such as steam injection and no fully compositional thermal simulation of the steam injection process has been proposed with extra-heavy oils yet. Those simulations appear essential and will offer better tools to decide whether to carry out the exploitation of a heavy oil field or not. In those processes, the accurate modelling of the water/steam phase plays an important role and accurate multiphase equilibrium calculations are necessary. Thermodynamics generate highly nonlinear problems. Besides, in reservoir simulation a huge amount of phase equilibrium calculations is required, and a single failure may cause significant error propagations leading to false solutions. This study presents several improvements leading to a more robust and efficient phase equilibrium calculation (stability and flash) program. A general multiphase flash implementing all the developed algorithms is presented and tested against experimental and literature data. It can handle any number of phases; a numerical example consists in a four-phase simulation of CO2 injection. Simulations of steam flooding are performed with highly heterogeneous reservoirs. Besides, a fully compositional simulation of the SAGD process for an extra heavy bitumen is performed, which appears to be the one of the first simulation of the kind in the literature.
- Heavy oil
- Multiphase flash
- Phase equilibrium calculations
- Phase stability
- Steam flooding