The distinguishing feature of streamline simulation is that fluids are transported over a time step (t to t+Δt) along streamlines rather than from cell-to-cell as in conventional Eulerian grid methods.  Components are assumed to move with the total velocity field (streamlines) until the velocity field is updated to account for its dynamic behavior in time.  The geometry of the streamlines and the velocity of phases and components traveling along streamlines are calculated from the spatial distribution of the static petrophysical properties (permeability, porosity, relative permeability regions, etc.) and the volumes produced/injected at the wells.  The ability of streamlines to visualize flow is powerful, even to the untrained eye.

The most striking advantage of SL simulation compared to other approaches is the information provided by the streamlines themselves.  There are two particularly useful sources of data:

  1. Streamlines can outline the drainage and irrigation volumes associated with producers and injectors respectively.  It is possible to know which grid blocks are associated with which well—injector or producer—at any particular time.  These regions can be used in well-level assisted history matching workflows to decide how to modify static grid properties in order to improve the match between simulated and historically observed volumes.  Another use can be as a metric to establish the effectiveness of upscaling methodologies. In streamline-based rurveillance, the control volume extracted from streamlines associated with an injector/producer is used for material balance calculations.
  2. By summing the volumetric flow rates associated with all the streamlines connecting an injector/producer pair allows to calculate the well rate allocation factors (WAFs), the percentage of flow from one well to each offset well it communicates with.  Streamlines are the most rigorous solution to the challenging problem of associating produced and injected volumes with each other.  Well allocation data are critical for pattern analysis and flood management.

To find out more please see When And Why To Use Streamlines.

Streamlines have been in the literature for a long time. For one of the earliest papers on the subject see Morris Muskat's and Ralph Wyckoff's 1933 paper: A Theoretical Analysis of Water-flooding Networks, which is freely downloadable from the SPE website.

What makes streamlines so attractive?

Streamlines are an attractive alternative to more traditional simulation approaches under the right set of assumptions. Here a set of publications giving an overview of the methodology.

Other unique solutions developed by Streamsim.

  • An efficient surveillance workflow in studioSL to quickly estimate injector-producer relationships, estimate ROIP, and perform short term forecast using ML. See SPEREE April 2008.
  • Use streamline simulation to polymer and surfactant-polymer flooding (see SPE-170106-MSSPE-169746SPE-132774SPE-115545).
  • Geologically consistent history matching. A difficult problem, but SLs offer a way forward.
  • Probabilistic modeling (the EVOLVE workflow) to generate probabilistic incremental forecast recovery curves and probabilistic ROIP maps.
  • A full reactive transport solver along streamlines for low salinity flooding.


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