A Fully Coupled Network Model: Comparison With Other Integrated Models on Field Cases

Fig. 1—Run-time comparison.

There has been increasing interest in integrated simulation of reservoirs, wells, and surface facilities, which is particularly important for companies with major assets in deep offshore fields. The basic approach for integration can be split into decoupled or separated (between a reservoir simulator and a facility simulator), iteratively coupled, and fully coupled networks, with increasing stability and efforts in implementation. This paper covers the development of a state-of-the-art fully coupled network inside a next-generation commercial reservoir simulator and compares different coupling approaches on real field cases.


Two basic and diverse strategies exist for integrated simulation. The separated strategy focuses on loosely coupling separate software together, typically between an existing reservoir simulator and an existing facility simulator. The combined strategy focuses on tight integration within a single piece of software, typically a reservoir simulator that also models surface facilities. Both of these strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, and both are actively used in the industry.

In the separated strategy, a reservoir simulator is used for reservoir and wells modeling and a facility simulator is used for surface-facility modeling. The information exchange [well inflow performance relationship (IPR) from reservoir to facility and well pressure/rate constraint] happens per timestep or periodically between the two simulators through a custom-made controller.

The main advantages of this strategy are its low cost in development (mostly associated with the controller) and its flexibility in allowing users to use the reservoir and surface simulators that fit  their needs best.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 173251, “A Fully Coupled Network Model—Practical Issues and Comprehensive Comparison With Other Integrated Models on Field Cases,” by H. Cao, SPE, P. Samier, SPE, H.M. Kalunga, E. Detige, and E. Obi, SPE, Total, prepared for the 2015 SPE Reservoir Simulation Symposium, Houston, 23–25 February. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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A Fully Coupled Network Model: Comparison With Other Integrated Models on Field Cases

01 July 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 7


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