Multi-level discrete fracture model for carbonate reservoirs

L. Li*, D. Voskov

*Corresponding author for this work

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

7 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


The main challenge for predictive simulation of carbonate reservoirs is associated with large uncertainties in the geological characterization with multiple features including fractures and cavities. This type of reservoirs requires robust and efficient forward-simulation capabilities to apply data assimilation or optimization technique under uncertainties. The interaction between reservoir matrix and various features introduces a complex multi-scale flow response driven by global boundary conditions. The Discrete Fracture Models (DFM), which represent fractures explicitly, is capable to accurately depict all important features of flow behavior. However, these models are constrained by many degrees of freedom when the fracture network becomes complicated. The Embedded DFM, which represents the interaction between matrix and fractures analytically, is an efficient approximation. However, it cannot accurately reproduce the effect of local flow conditions, especially when the secondary fractures are present. In this study, we applied a numerical upscaling of DFM a triple continuum model where large features are represented explicitly using the numerical EDFM and small features are upscaled as a third continuum. In this approach, we discretize the original geo-model with unstructured grid based on DFM and associate the mesh geometry with large features in the model. Using the global solution, we generate local boundary conditions for the model capturing the response of primary features to the flow. Applying local boundary conditions, we resolve all secondary features using a fine scale solution and update the local boundary conditions. This procedure is applied iteratively using the local-global-upscaling formalism. To demonstrate the accuracy of the Multi-Level Discrete Fracture Model, several realistic cases have been tested. By comparing with fine scale DFM solution and the traditional EDFM technique, we demonstrate that the proposed model is accurate enough to capture the flow behavior in complex fractured systems with advanced computational efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th European Conference on the Mathematics of Oil Recovery, ECMOR 2018
EditorsD. Gunasekera
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9789462822603
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Event16th European Conference on the Mathematics of Oil Recovery, ECMOR 2018: 3–6 September 2018, Barcelona, Spain - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 3 Sep 20186 Sep 2018
Conference number: 16


Conference16th European Conference on the Mathematics of Oil Recovery, ECMOR 2018
Abbreviated titleECMOR 2018
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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