Numerical Study on the Impact of Advanced Phenomena in a Fractured Carbonate Reservoir Subjected to WAG-CO2 Injection


Advanced phenomena related to water-alternating-gas (WAG) injection are usually neglected in numerical simulations. This work evaluates the impact of different physical phenomena on field indicators, considering a typical pre-salt carbonate reservoir (UNISIM-II-D-CO, a dual-por dual-perm compositional case) subjected to WAG-CO2 injection. Additionally, the computational cost incurred by each of these phenomena is evaluated, since it represents a great challenge in optimization and probabilistic studies. The following phenomena are evaluated considering a nominal base case: (i) matrix-fracture transfer calculation, (ii) relative permeability hysteresis, (iii) CO2 and CH4 solubilities in aqueous phase, (iv) diffusion, (v) numerical dispersion control models, and (vi) velocity-dependent dispersion. CO2 and CH4 solubilities in the aqueous phase, as well as molecular diffusion, did not have a significant impact on field indicators, but they increased simulation runtime more than two times. Matrix-fracture transfer modeling was the most impactful factor, followed by hysteresis and velocity-dependent dispersion. Therefore, the impact of these phenomena was also investigated in a probabilistic approach, considering an ensemble of 197 geostatistical scenarios under uncertainty. Risk curves revealed that the advanced matrix-fracture transfer models improve sweep efficiency. This effect is mainly due to gravity force which acts as a driving mechanism for the oil moving from the matrix to fractures. The capillary effect, in turn, was small compared to gravity. The impact of dispersion and hysteresis on risk curves were smaller than the effect of matrix-fracture transfer modelling. However, these phenomena are particularly interesting in UNISIM-II-D-CO due to the presence of Super-K facies. Hysteresis, when applied to low and high permeability layers, reduced gas mobility and, consequently, the gas produced, contributing to the NPV for most models under uncertainty. On the other hand, the velocity-dependent dispersion mainly affected fluid flows in the regions adjacent to Super-K layers, promoting better oil recovery. The inclusion of advanced phenomena related to WAG-CO2 injection can hold importance when modeling fractured carbonate fields, like those found in the Pre-Salt in Brazil. Nevertheless, computational costs might make their inclusion impractical in full-field simulation models employed for optimization and probabilistic studies. In such cases, it is recommended to assess low-fidelity models or alternatives to accelerate simulations, focusing mainly on the most impactful phenomena related to WAG-CO2 injection.