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Modelling in-situ upgrading of heavy oil using operator splitting method

Maes, Julien and Muggeridge, Ann H. and Jackson, Matthew D. and Quintard, Michel and Lapene, Alexandre Modelling in-situ upgrading of heavy oil using operator splitting method. (2015) Computational Geosciences. ISSN 1420-0597

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10596-015-9495-6


The in-situ upgrading (ISU) of bitumen and oil shale is a very challenging process to model numerically because of the large number of components that need to be modelled using a system of equations that are both highly non-linear and strongly coupled. Operator splitting methods are one way of potentially improving computational performance. Each numerical operator in a process is modelled separately, allowing the best solution method to be used for the given numerical operator. A significant drawback to the approach is that decoupling the governing equations introduces an additional source of numerical error, known as the splitting error. The best splitting method for modelling a given process minimises the splitting error whilst improving computational performance compared to a fully implicit approach. Although operator splitting has been widely used for the modelling of reactive-transport problems, it has not yet been applied to the modelling of ISU. One reason is that it is not clear which operator splitting technique to use. Numerous such techniques are described in the literature and each leads to a different splitting error. While this error has been extensively analysed for linear operators for a wide range of methods, the results cannot be extended to general non-linear systems. It is therefore not clear which of these techniques is most appropriate for the modelling of ISU. In this paper, we investigate the application of various operator splitting techniques to the modelling of the ISU of bitumen and oil shale. The techniques were tested on a simplified model of the physical system in which a solid or heavy liquid component is decomposed by pyrolysis into lighter liquid and gas components. The operator splitting techniques examined include the sequential split operator (SSO), the Strang-Marchuk split operator (SMSO) and the iterative split operator (ISO). They were evaluated on various test cases by considering the evolution of the discretization error as a function of the time-step size compared with the results obtained from a fully implicit simulation. We observed that the error was least for a splitting scheme where the thermal conduction was performed first, followed by the chemical reaction step and finally the heat and mass convection operator (SSO-CKA). This method was then applied to a more realistic model of the ISU of bitumen with multiple components, and we were able to obtain a speed-up of between 3 and 5.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Springer editor. The definitive version is available at http://link.springer.com The original PDF of the article can be found at Springer website : http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10596-015-9495-6
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Other partners > Total (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Imperial College London (UNITED KINGDOM)
Laboratory name:
Total E&P
Deposited On:08 Sep 2015 12:57

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