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Streamline Simulation:

A Technology Update

Akhil Datta-Gupta, SPE, Texas A&M U.

Introduction

Streamline and streamtube methods have been used by the

oil industry for several decades. In recent years, there has

been an increased interest in the technology. This is primarily driven by two factors. First, with the developments

in reservoir characterization, we can now routinely generate high-resolution reservoir models consisting of multimillion cells. This has resulted in a gap between geologic

modeling and flow simulation. Second, with increased

model resolution, there is an increased acknowledgment of

uncertainty. We are interested in assessment of uncertainty

in reservoir description and performance prediction with

multiple plausible reservoir models. Conventional

numerical simulators often are inadequate to satisfy these

needs in a timely fashion.

The primary advantages of streamline methods are

faster computation, improved accuracy (subgrid resolution and reduced numerical dispersion and grid-orientation effects), ability to screen highly detailed geologic

models, quantitative flow visualization, and rapid history

matching or production-data integration into high-resolution reservoir models. The speed and versatility of the

method have led to many novel applications. The disadvantages of streamline models are the difficulties in incorporating complex physical processes and cross-streamline

mechanisms. Streamline models are not a substitute for

conventional grid-based simulators but can play an

important role in bridging the gap between geologic modeling and flow simulation.

Background

Todays streamline simulation was preceded by at least

four other methods for modeling convection-dominated

flow in the reservoir. Line-source/sink methods have

been widely used by the petroleum industry.1,2 These

methods use analytic solutions to the pressure and velocity distribution in the reservoir. The primary limitation of

these methods is the requirement for homogeneous properties and constant reservoir thickness. Streamtube methods are more general and have been applied successfully

for field-scale modeling of waterflooding and miscible

flooding.3-5 In these methods, the flow domain is divided

into a number of streamtubes and fluid-saturation calculations are performed along these streamtubes. However,

the need to keep track of the streamtube geometries can

Copyright 2000 Society of Petroleum Engineers

This is paper SPE 65604. Distinguished Author Series articles are general, descriptive

representations that summarize the state of the art in an area of technology by describing

recent developments for readers who are not specialists in the topics discussed. Written by

individuals recognized as experts in the area, these articles provide key references to more

definitive work and present specific details only to illustrate the technology. Purpose: to

inform the general readership of recent advances in various areas of petroleum engineering.

most applications of streamtube methods have been limited to two dimensions or some form of hybrid approaches to account for 3D effects. Particle-tracking methods

have been used by the oil industry to model tracer transport in hydrocarbon reservoirs and also for groundwater

applications.6 These methods track the movement of a

statistically significant collection of particles along appropriate pathlines; while they generally work well near

steep fronts, they do not work as well for smooth profiles.

Another drawback is the loss of resolution of the front

with the progression of time and the statistical variance in

the concentration response. Finally, front-tracking methods introduce fluid fronts (interfaces) as a degree of freedom in the computation.7,8 The primary limitations of

these methods are the computational burden associated

with complications that arise from the close approach or

intersection of frontal contours.

Although current streamline technology uses many of

the concepts from the past, it has some new elements. We

can now conduct simulations in 3D heterogeneous media.

This has been greatly facilitated by the introduction of the

streamline time-of-flight concept that has eliminated the

need to keep track explicitly of the streamtube geometry.9,10 The time of flight is simply the travel time of a neutral tracer along streamlines. A key underlying concept in

streamline simulation is decoupling the effects of geologic

heterogeneity from transport (saturation) calculations.

This decoupling is accomplished by use of the streamline

time of flight as a coordinate variable.9 The impact of geologic heterogeneity is embedded in the streamline time of

flight. Furthermore, in the time-of-flight coordinate, the

multidimensional saturation equations are reduced to a

series of 1D calculations along streamlines, which greatly

facilitates saturation computations because they are now

decoupled from the underlying geologic grid. Currently,

such calculations are sufficiently general to model timevarying velocity fields, compressible flow, gravity, and

nonuniform conditions such as those arising from infill

drilling and pattern conversions.11-14 Ref. 15, a review

paper, provides a comprehensive list of references on

streamline simulation.

Method

Streamline simulators approximate 3D fluid-flow calculations by a sum of 1D solutions along streamlines. The

choice of streamline directions for the 1D calculations

makes the approach extremely effective for modeling convection-dominated flows in the reservoir. This is typically

the case when heterogeneity is the predominant factor governing flow behavior.

68

DECEMBER 2000

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e)

(f)

(g)

Fig. 1Stepwise illustration of streamline simulation:

(a) permeability field, (b) streamlines, (c) time of flight,

(d) water saturation at 0.35 pore volumes injected (PVI),

(e) streamline updating after infill drilling, (f) revised

time of flight, and (g) water saturation at 0.45 PVI.

isolation of the effects of geologic heterogeneity from the

physics of flow calculations. Mathematically, this is accomplished by use of the streamline time of flight as a coordinate variable. We move to a coordinate system where all

streamlines are straight lines and distance is replaced by

the time of flight. The impact of heterogeneity is embedded in the time of flight and trajectory of the streamlines.

The physical-process calculations are reduced to 1D solutions along streamlines. The streamlines generally are

distributed in space with higher resolution than the underlying spatial grid, thus providing excellent transverse reso-

decoupled from the underlying grid and can be carried out

with little or no intrinsic timestep limitations.

Streamline simulation involves the following basic steps

(illustrated in Fig. 1).

1. Trace the streamlines on the basis of a velocity field,

typically derived numerically with finite-difference or

finite-element methods. Figs. 1a and 1b illustrate this for a

heterogeneous five-spot pattern. Note that streamlines

tend to cluster along the high-permeability streaks, providing higher resolution along preferential flow paths.

2. Compute particle travel time or time of flight along

the streamlines. Fig. 1c shows contours of travel time or

time of flight along the streamlines shown in Fig. 1b. The

time-of-flight contours or isochrones correspond to tracer

fronts in the reservoir. The time-of-flight coordinate provides a quantitative form of flow visualization that can

have a variety of applications in reservoir characterization/management (discussed in the next section).

3. Solve the transport equations (saturation and concentration) along the streamlines. The transport calculations

are performed in the time-of-flight coordinate, effectively

decoupling heterogeneity effects and significantly simplifying calculations (Fig. 1d).

4. Periodically update the streamlines to account for

mobility effects or changing field conditions. Fig. 1e illustrates this for a pattern conversion from a five-spot to a

nine-spot pattern. Once the streamlines are regenerated,

recompute the time of flight along the new streamlines as

shown in Fig. 1f. Finally, saturation calculations are

resumed with the updated time of flight (Fig. 1g). A critical step here is the mapping of information from the old

streamlines to the new streamlines. This can be a potential

source of error during streamline simulation.

The computational advantage of the streamline methods

can be attributed to four principal reasons: (1) streamlines

may need to be updated only infrequently; (2) the transport equations along streamlines often can be solved analytically; (3) the 1D numerical solutions along streamlines

are not constrained by the underlying geologic grid-stability criterion, thus allowing for larger timesteps; and (4) for

displacements dominated by heterogeneity, the computation time often scales nearly linearly with the number of

gridblocks, making it the preferred method for fine-scale

geologic simulations. Furthermore, the self-similarity of

the solution along streamlines may allow us to compute

the solution only once and map it to the time of interest.

Other advantages are subgrid resolution and reduced

numerical artifacts, such as artificial diffusion and grid orientation effects, because the streamline grid used to solve

the transport equations is effectively decoupled from the

underlying static grid.

Applications

The speed and versatility of the streamline approach have

led to a wide variety of applications during recent years.

In this section, we briefly review some of these applications, focusing mainly on those that are sufficiently

mature for practical applications with todays technology.

For illustration purposes, we use a multipattern example

as shown in Fig. 2. The well configuration corresponds to

Secs. 326 and 327 in the North Robertson Unit, a low-permeability carbonate reservoir in west Texas. There are 15

69

DECEMBER 2000

(a)

PVI from time-of-flight connectivity and sweep-efficiency calculations.

(b)

permeability distribution from Secs. 326 and 327, North

Robertson Unit, west Texas.

generated from well-log data from 30 wells with geostatistical methods.

producer relationships and allocation factors for injectors.

This information comes very naturally from streamline

models but not from conventional numerical simulators.

Fig. 4, where the streamlines depict the injector/producer

relationships in different colors, illustrates this. Because

each streamline is associated with a flow rate, we can now

easily compute allocation factors for the injectors (i.e., what

fraction of the injected fluid is going to which producers).

unique advantage in computing swept volume and

swept areas under the most

general conditions. This is

a direct consequence of the

time-of-flight formulation.

The streamline time of

flight reflects fluid-front

propagation at various

times. For a given time, the

connectivity (volume below the threshold) in the

streamline time of flight

provides a direct measure

of volumetric sweep for

arbitrary heterogeneity and

well configuration (Fig. 3).

Such information can be

useful in reservoir development strategies, such as

infill drilling and pattern

conversion.

Rate Allocation and

Pattern Balancing. The

streamline approach can

aid in reservoir manage-

70

DECEMBER 2000

Fig. 5Comparison of streamline vs. numerical simulation for waterflooding: water saturation at 2.5 PVI and

recovery history.

flood-front management.

Modeling Tracer Flow and Waterflooding. Streamline

methods have been widely used in the past for modeling

and interpretation of tracer tests in the reservoir. Such tracer tests typically involve injection of a finite slug of radioactive tracer. Thus, minimizing numerical dispersion is

essential for inferring heterogeneity on the basis of tracer

tests. Streamline methods can be particularly advantageous

in this regard. Streamline methods have also been used successfully for modeling waterflooding. For example, Fig. 5

compares a waterflood simulation from the streamline

approach with that from a commercial numerical simula-

obtained by geostatistical methods.

close agreement. Depending on the application, streamline

methods can achieve a speedup factor of 1 to 1,000 over

conventional finite-difference simulators. The computational advantage of streamline methods tends to decrease in

the presence of strong gravity effects, compressibility, and

rapidly changing field conditions, such as rate changes,

infill drilling, zone isolation, and pattern conversions.

Ranking Geostatistical Models. The speed of streamline

methods makes them ideally suited for ranking high-resolution geostatistical reservoir models. Geostatistical

71

DECEMBER 2000

nectivity at a given time. Swept volume is expected to correlate with recovery regardless of the displacement

process. In the past, permeability connectivity has often

been used to rank geostatistical models. Permeability connectivity may not be very effective because it accounts

only for heterogeneity. In contrast, time-of-flight connectivity accounts for interaction between heterogeneity and

the imposed flow field. Once the models are ranked, we

can choose appropriate quantiles for detailed analysis,

assessment of uncertainty in reservoir description, and

performance predictions (Fig. 7).

Upgridding and Upscaling. The streamline approach is

suitable for upgridding detailed 3D reservoir descriptions.

By upgridding, we mean selecting a coarse simulation grid

based on an existing fine grid for subsequent upscaling calculations. Streamline-based nonuniform coarsening of

fine-scale descriptions naturally places higher resolution

in regions of fast flow and coarser cells throughout the

bulk of the model. Further, the streamline time of flight

provides a quantitative form of flow visualization that can

have a variety of applications in reservoir management and

reservoir characterization. One such application is validation of different upscaling techniques (Fig. 8).

times of flight.15

reservoir characterization. Such techniques can generate a

large number of fine-scale reservoir models consistent

with a wide variety of data. Each of these models is a plausible description of the reservoir. Fig. 6, which shows

multiple realizations of permeability that are all consistent

with well log data from 30 wells, illustrates this. Streamline methods provide a rapid procedure to rank these

models to identify bounding cases. One approach to ranking can be based on swept volume or time-of-flight con-

(a)

History-Matching/Production-Data Integration. Streamline methods provide a unique advantage for rapid history-matching or production-data integration into high-resolution reservoir models. Integration of production data

into reservoir models typically requires the solution of an

inverse problem. Streamline models have two advantages.

First, the streamline simulator can serve as an efficient

forward model for the inverse problem. Second, streamline models allow rapid computation of the sensitivity of

the production response with respect to reservoir parameters, such as permeability and porosity. Such sensitivities

quantify change in production response because of a small

change in reservoir properties and form an integral part of

automatic history-matching algorithms. Furthermore, we

can exploit an analogy between streamlines and seismic

ray tracing to pose the history-matching problem similar

to geophysical inversion and use efficient techniques from

(b)

Fig. 9Streamline-based production-data integration into reservoir models: matching of (a) breakthrough response

and (b) corresponding permeability field.

72

DECEMBER 2000

areas (volumes) during compressible flow.

geophysical inverse theory. With streamline methods, production data integration can be carried out in two steps:

(1) matching first arrivals or breakthrough response at

the wells and (2) matching of amplitudesthat is, the production response at all times. Fig. 9 illustrates arrival-time

matching to reconcile geostatistical models to field production history.

Primary Recovery and Compressible Flow. Streamline

methods can be used to define drainage areas or drainage

volumes associated with wells during primary depletion.

Such drainage volumes can be conveniently defined in

terms of a compressible or diffusive time of flight. A

compressible time of flight is based on the observation that

transient-pressure response propagates at a frontal velocity given by the square root of diffusivity. Fig. 10 shows

the drainage area at various times associated with a single

well producing from a heterogeneous medium. For comparison purposes, the figure also shows the commonly

used tracer time of flight for this case. As expected, pressure fronts propagate several orders of magnitude faster

than the tracer fronts.

Solvent Flooding and Compositional Simulation.

Streamline-based techniques have been used to model solvent flooding and various unstable displacements at the

field scale. Most of these techniques rely on analytic or

numerical solution of multicomponent displacement

processes along streamlines. Excellent agreement with

conventional numerical simulators has been demonstrated

with significant speedup in computation. Streamlinebased fully compositional simulation is receiving increasing interest; however, field-scale application has been limited to date.

Discussion

The efficiency of the current generation of streamline simulators is based on their 1D, large-timestep, implicit-pressure/explicit-saturation (IMPES) formulations. In contrast,

constructions and stability-based timestep restrictions.

These timestep restrictions are removed within conventional simulators by use of fully implicit techniques; therefore, a desire for accuracy rather than numerical stability

limits the timestep.

Probably the most severe limitation of streamline models is

the assumption that fluid transport is 1D and along the

streamlines. When this assumption is violated (e.g., waterflood slumping, transverse diffusion in multicomponent

flows, transverse capillarity, and changing well rates),

timestep operator splitting or multiple timesteps are required

to maintain accuracy. Much of the computational advantage

is lost under these conditions. Note that, in a fundamental

sense, streamline methods are nonconservative. For

unsteady-state simulations, the streamlines vary with time,

generating 3D flux transverse to the original flow directions.

A key step is the resampling of saturations from one set of

streamlines to another. This could lead to potential mass-balance problems. Field experience with streamline models has

been rather limited to date. Streamline technology is still

evolving and lacks many of the foundations of conventional

grid-based methods (error estimates and convergence

proofs). Current developments are occurring rapidly, driven

by both research needs and commercial opportunities.

Three-dimensional black-oil simulation is a commercial reality, as are streamline-based gridding techniques.

Concluding Remarks

In this article, we briefly review the current streamline

technology: its foundation (time-of-flight formulation),

historical precedents, current applications, and potential

limitations. We discuss a wide range of applications to

demonstrate the utility of both the streamline simulation

and its underlying formulation. A major strength of

streamline models is their intuitive appeal. Reservoir engineers relate easily to such quantities as swept volumes and

well-allocation factors, which are derived naturally from

streamline models. The evolution of fluid fronts and their

interaction with heterogeneity can be visualized easily and

quantitatively by use of the streamline time of flight. All

these lead to a natural means for dynamic reservoir characterization, pattern balancing, and flood-front management. It is important to emphasize that streamline models

are not a substitute for conventional grid-based simulators.

Currently, the speed and versatility of these models make

them ideally suited for bridging the gap between geologic

modeling and flow simulation.

JPT

Acknowledgments

We thank M.K. Chaudhury, a graduate student at Texas

A&M, for his contribution in preparing this manuscript

and J.W. Jennings, Bureau of Economic Geology (Austin),

for his comments. Several meaningful discussions on the

topic with M.J. King of BP are gratefully acknowledged.

References

11. Muscat, M.: Flow of Homogeneous Fluids, Intl. Human

Resources Development Corp., Boston, Massachusetts (1982).

12. LeBlanc, J.L. and Caudle, B.H.: A Streamline Model for Secondary Recovery, SPEJ (March 1971) 7.

13. Martin, J.C. and Wegner, R.E.: Numerical Solution of Multiphase Two-Dimensional Incompressible Flow Using

73

DECEMBER 2000

AIME, 267.

14. Emanuel, A.S. et al.: Reservoir Performance Prediction

Methods Based on Fractal Geostatistics, SPERE (August

1989) 311; Trans., AIME, 287.

15. Hewett, T. and Behrens, R.: Scaling Laws in Reservoir Simulation and Their Use in a Hybrid Finite Difference/Streamtube

Approach to Simulating the Effects of Permeability Heterogeneity, Reservoir Characterization II, L. Lake and H.B. Carroll (eds.), Academic Press Inc., London (1991) 402.

16. Schafer-Perini, A.L. and Wilson, J.L.: Efficient and Accurate

Front Tracking for Two-Dimensional Groundwater Flow

Models, Water Resources Research (1991) 27, No. 7, 1471.

17. Glimm, J. et al.: Front Tracking for Petroleum Reservoir Simulation, paper SPE 12238 presented at the 1983 SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, San Francisco, 1518 November.

18. Bratvedt, F. et al.: A New Front Tracking Method for Reservoir Simulation, SPERE (February 1992) 107.

19. Datta-Gupta A. and King M.J.: A Semianalytic Approach to

Tracer Flow Modeling in Heterogeneous Permeable Media,

Advances in Water Resources (1995) 18, No. 1, 9.

10. Pollock, D.W., Semianalytical Computation of Pathlines

for Finite-Difference Models, Groundwater (1988) 26, No.

6, 743.

11. Batycky, R.P., Blunt, M.J., and Thiele, M.R., A 3D Field-Scale

Streamline-Based Reservoir Simulator, SPERE (November

1997) 246.

Solute Transport, Water Resources Research (1999) 35, No.

10, 306.

13. Bratvedt, F., Gimse, T., and Tegnander, C.: Streamline Computations for Porous Media Flow Including Gravity, Transport in Porous Media (1996) 25, No. 1, 63.

14. Kulkarni, K.N., Datta-Gupta, A., and Vasco, D.W.: A Streamline Approach to Integrating Transient Pressure Data Into

High-Resolution Reservoir Models, paper SPE 65120 presented at the 2000 SPE European Petroleum Conference,

Paris, 2425 October.

15. King, M.J. and Datta-Gupta, A.: Streamline Simulation: A

Current Perspective, In Situ (1998) 22, No. 1, 91.

Akhil Datta-Gupta is an associate professor of petroleum

engineering at Texas A&M U. in College Station, Texas. e-mail:

datta-gupta@spindletop.tamu.edu. He previously was at BP

Exploration/Research and Lawrence Berkeley Natl. Laboratory.

His research interests include reservoir characterization and

simulation and environmental remediation. He holds a BS

degree from the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, and MS and

PhD degrees from the U. of Texas, Austin, all in petroleum engineering. The recipient of the 1992 AIME Rossiter W. Raymond

Award and a 2000 Cedric K. Ferguson Certificate, Datta-Gupta

is a 19992000 Distinguished Lecturer and member of the Engineering Professionalism Committee, has been a member of the

Editorial Review Committee since 1995, and was a 199697

member of the Workforce Supply and Demand Committee.

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DECEMBER 2000

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Discussion of Streamline Simulation: A Technology Update

M.R. Thiele, SPE, and R.P. Batycky, SPE, StreamSim Technologies Inc.

Update1 highlights a powerful new

development in reservoir simulation

technology. While the article gives a

useful overview, it does not convey

important considerations relevant in

the discussion of the state of the art of

this new technology.

Success of Streamline Simulation

The resurgence and success of streamline-based reservoir simulation over

the last 5 years is a result of streamline-based simulators now being

able to solve real field problems.

Three main factors have contributed

to this resurgence.

1. The extension of the method to

truly 3D systems.2-4

2. Periodic updating of the streamlines to capture nonlinear flow effects

due to nonunit mobility ratio displacements and changing well conditions.3,4

3. The ability to include multiphase gravity effects through operator

splitting.5

The time-of-flight (TOF) formalism

does contribute in part to Item 1 by

allowing 3D conservation equations

to be recast along each streamline, but

it is only one component to the overarching, central themes of Items 1

through 3.

Swept Pore Volumes and

Ranking

While streamlines do allow for rapid

calculations of swept volumes on the

basis of TOF, this measure is based on

a single set of streamlines (usually the

first). Use of such ranking criteria is

correct only in the case of simple fixed

streamlines with fixed well conditions

(linear flow); trying to infer recoveries

regardless of displacement process

as implied in the articlewould in

most cases lead to wrong forecasts. As

the flow becomes more nonlinear, and

more frequent updates of the stream(SPE 71204)

lines are required for proper modeling, the rank preservation of sweptpore-volume calculation from the first

set of streamlines necessarily becomes

a poor approximation of the recovery

behavior of the system. This point is

demonstrated by progressively allowing more physics (gravity and mobility) to affect the recovery at breakthrough for even a system as simple as

a 3D quarter-five spot as shown in

Fig. 1. The ranking of swept volume

correlates very well with breakthrough recoveries determined by use

of fixed streamlines (Fig. 1a), but progressively degrades as mobility and

gravity affect the recovery responses.

Fig. 1b is a ranking of recovery for a

waterflood, and Fig. 1c is a ranking

for a first-contact miscible (FCM)

flood. Including additional effects,

such as well rate changes and the

desire to predict ultimate recovery,

will necessarily invalidate any ranking

based on swept volume by use of TOF.

Unfortunately in screenings of real

field models, it is almost always necessary to include mobility, gravity, and

changing well conditions to capture

the true range of recovery variability.

History-Matching/ProductionData Integration

Streamline methods do provide a

unique approach to the historymatching problem. As noted, streamlines allow for fast forward simulations of each new flow model, thereby

allowing a larger parameter space to

be investigated or shorter turnaround

times. But the use of sensitivity coefficients as an integral part of automatic

history matching has been shown

only in the context of fixed streamline

problems with no gravity (linear

systems).6,7 Not mentioned is the

more promising assisted history

matching (AHM) method based on

streamlines,8 which has been used

with great success in many recently

published field cases.9-11 The method

exploits the ability of streamlines to

attached to individual wells or well

groups that then can be manipulated

to yield excellent matches. Because

AHM does not solve an inverse problem, it is perfectly suited to cases

where streamlines are predominantly

used: injection/production displacements on large geomodels with

many wells.

Compressible Flow

The introduction of a diffusive TOF

allows determination of the radius of

investigation of a pressure pulse, but it

is not an extension of the streamline

method to compressible flow because

it does not address mass transport

along streamlines. Introducing a diffusive TOF will not give production

profiles for modeling primary production problems with solution gas, field

cases where voidage is far from 1.0, or

cases where fluid properties are a

function of pressure. The difficulty in

solving compressible systems by use

of streamlines lies in the need to

account for both pressure and saturation along streamlines and the coupling of these variables through time.

Commercial streamline codes exist

that model the compressible transport

along streamlines; however, many of

the speed advantages associated with

modeling incompressible systems

with streamlines diminish because of

the increased dependence on pressure

JPT

that must be honored.

References

11. Datta-Gupta, A.: Streamline Simulation: A Technology Update, JPT

(December 2000) 68.

12. Pollock, D.W., Semianalytical Computation of Pathlines for Finite-Difference Models, Groundwater (1988) 26,

No. 6, 743.

13. Thiele, M.R., Batycky, R.P., Blunt, M.J.,

and Orr, F.M. Jr.: Simulating Flow in

Heterogeneous Media Using Streamtubes and Streamlines, SPERE (1996)

10, No. 1, 5.

26

MAY 2001

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30

1

1

15

30 1

15

30 1

Recovery at Breakthrough, %

15

M.R., A 3D Field-Scale StreamlineBased Reservoir Simulator, SPERE

(1997) 11, No. 4, 246.

15. Bratvedt, F., Gimse, T., and Tegnander,

C.: Streamline Computations for

Porous Media Flow Including Gravity, Transport in Porous Media (1996)

25, No. 1, 63.

16. Vasco, D.W., Yoon, S., and DattaGupta, A.: Integrating Dynamic Data

Into High-Resolution Reservoir Mod-

Sensitivity Coefficients, SPEJ (1999)

4, No. 4, 389.

17. Wen, X.-H., Deutsch, C.V., and Cullick, A.S.: Integrating Pressure and

Fractional Flow Data in Reservoir

Modeling With a Fast StreamlineBased Inverse Method, paper SPE

48971, presented at the 1998 ATCE,

New Orleans, 2730 September.

18. Emanuel, A. and Milliken, W.J.: History Matching Finite-Difference Mod-

presented at the 1998

ATCE, New Orleans,

2730 September.

19. M i l l i k e n , W. J . ,

Emanuel, A.S., and

Chakravarty, A.: Applications of 3D

Streamline Simulation

to Assisted History

Matching, paper SPE

30

63155 presented at the

2000 ATCE, Dallas,

14 October.

10. Grinestaff, G.H., and

Caffery, D.J.: Water11. flood Management: A Case Study of

the Northwest Fault Block Area of

Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Using Streamline Simulation and Traditional Waterflood Analysis, paper SPE 63152

in Proc. of the 2000 ATCE, Dallas

(October).

11. Lolomari, T. et al.: The Use of Streamline Simulation in Reservoir Management: Methodology and Case Studies, paper SPE 63157 in Proc. of the

2000 ATCE, Dallas (October).

Akhil Datta-Gupta, SPE, Texas A&M U.

and Mr. Batycky reflect their personal

views on what are the overarching,

central themes and what is promising in streamline simulation. I will

not comment on these. I will briefly

respond to the points that relate to

the paper.

General

Streamline technology is not new. Nor

is it appropriate for solving real field

problems under all conditions. In

fact, the two situations emphasized in

the discussion (i.e., gravity dominated

flow and frequently changing field

conditions) are situations when

streamline models start to lose computational advantage over conventional finite-difference models. The

purpose of the paper was to highlight

situations where streamline models

offer maximum potential; thereby

(SPE 71764)

indiscriminate use of the technology.

Swept Pore Volumes and

Ranking

Nowhere in the paper is it indicated

that the swept volume should be calculated using a single fixed set of

streamlines. In fact, for changing

field conditions, swept volumes

should be calculated incrementally

during pressure updates. This discussion is based on a wrong premise and

the results presented at least partly

reflect the erroneous sweep calculations. The quantile-preserving property of any ranking scheme will be

affected if important physical processes are carelessly ignored.

History-Matching/ProductionData Integration

There seems to be confusion regarding linear systems because the

papers referred to in the discussion

problems. Also, it is implied that the

streamline-based sensitivity coefficients may not apply when streamlines are updated because of changing

field conditions. This is certainly not

the case.

Compressible Flow

As discussed in the paper, the diffusive time of flight (TOF) can be used

to define drainage radius during primary depletion for arbitrary heterogeneous media. In turn, the drainage

radius can be related to cumulative

production.1 The statement diffusive

TOF will not give production profiles

for modeling primary production is

inaccurate and unsubstantiated. JPT

Reference

1. Johnson, P.W.: The Relationship

Between Radius of Drainage and Cumulative Production, SPEFE, March 1988,

267.

27

MAY 2001

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