Full Pressure Coupling for Geomechanical Multiphase Multicomponent Flow Simulation

Fig. 1—Color plots of the pressure (a) and divergence of deformation (b) after 5 years of injection for Example 1.

Simulation of coupled flow and geomechanics is of rising importance as unconventional subsurface exploration pushes the operational envelope of geological media. Coupling schemes are commonly assigned to three categories: decoupled, iteratively coupled, and fully coupled. This paper focuses on iterative coupling and presents a new coupling scheme: full pressure coupling (FPC). Here, the geomechanics is solved fully coupled to a single-phase-flow problem using global pressure, and the resulting deformation is iteratively coupled to a multiphase multicomponent flow solver.


Geomechanical response to fluid flow is important for several subsurface applications. Historically, geological subsidence has been seen as a response to petroleum production and a result of groundwater production. Recently, coupling of flow and geomechanics has received renewed attention, in the context of ground level uplift associated with the In Salah CO2-storage site and in the context of hydraulic fracturing for the purposes of enhancing geothermal systems and shale-gas production. The authors note a trend away from considering systems where a geomechanical response may be important toward using the geomechanical coupling directly in the engineering design. Simultaneously, there is a need for more-robust algorithms for handling strongly coupled hydromechanical systems.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 173232, “Full Pressure Coupling for Geomechanical Multiphase Multicomponent Flow Simulations,” by Florian Doster, SPE, Heriot-Watt University, and Jan Martin Nordbotten, SPE, University of Bergen, prepared for the 2015 SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, Houston, 23–25 February. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Full Pressure Coupling for Geomechanical Multiphase Multicomponent Flow Simulation

01 July 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 7


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