Unified thermo-compositional-mechanical framework for reservoir simulation

T. T. Garipov, P. Tomin, R. Rin, D. V. Voskov, H. A. Tchelepi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


We present a reservoir simulation framework for coupled thermal-compositional-mechanics processes. We use finite-volume methods to discretize the mass and energy conservation equations and finite-element methods for the mechanics problem. We use the first-order backward Euler for time. We solve the resulting set of nonlinear algebraic equations using fully implicit (FI) and sequential-implicit (SI) solution schemes. The FI approach is attractive for general-purpose simulation due to its unconditional stability. However, the FI method requires the development of a complex thermo-compositional-mechanics framework for the nonlinear problems of interest, and that includes the construction of the full Jacobian matrix for the coupled multi-physics discrete system of equations. On the other hand, SI-based solution schemes allow for relatively fast development because different simulation modules can be coupled more easily. The challenge with SI schemes is that the nonlinear convergence rate depends strongly on the coupling strength across the physical mechanisms and on the details of the sequential updating strategy across the different physics modules. The flexible automatic differentiation-based framework described here allows for detailed assessment of the robustness and computational efficiency of different coupling schemes for a wide range of multi-physics subsurface problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1057
Number of pages19
JournalComputational Geosciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • Geomechanics
  • Multi-physics coupling
  • Multiphase flow
  • Reservoir simulation
  • Thermal-compositional-mechanics

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