Numerical simulation in deformable porous media. Application to carbon dioxide storage.

Project facts

Project promoter
University of Zaragoza
Project Number:
ES07-0016
Target groups
Researchers or scientists
Status:
Completed
Initial project cost:
€19,150
Final project cost:
€13,713
From EEA Grants:
€ 13,713
The project is carried out in:
Spain

Description

Over the last years, the global temperature has risen at an accelerating pace due to emissions of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is most challenging to deal with, due to its prevalence as a by-product from industrial processes, and the study of CO2 capture and storage is under active consideration. We expect to develop coupled multiphase multicomponent flow and geomechanics fast solvers to simulate real applications for environmental problems mainly related to CO2 storage in geological formations. These problems are computationally complex, and traditional simulations become too expensive. To overcome this, we propose the use of geometric multigrid methods on semi-structured grids. Proposed solvers will be very useful for a wider scientific community with interest in porous media, flow processes, and large-scale simulation applications relevant to carbon storage, as well as very beneficial for both involved groups from Spain. The Norwegian group at University of Bergen has a long standing expertise related to modeling and simulation of subsurface systems, which shall complement the Spanish expertise.

Summary of project results

Numerical simulation is fundamental in the research of applied sciences and engineering. In the last decades, the simulation of multiphysics problems, where different models interact to describe a complex phenomenon, has received a lot of interest. The project had the double aim of advancing in the numerical simulation techniques and in the improved understanding of the physics in the application field. These are the keys for well understanding of these processes and the development of new techniques for the solution of real life problems. The project focused on the solution of consolidation problems in fractured porous media and the deformation of reservoirs during the carbon dioxide injection stage. These problems are very important for the sustainability of the Earth and therefore any advances in their study are very useful for mankind. These problems are computationally complex, and apparently no software tools exist for simulating complex processes such as coupled multiphase flow with geomechanics, and the current computational limitations place significant restrictions on realistic problem sizes that can be solved. The main aim of the project was to develop coupled multiphase multicomponent flow and geomechanics fast solvers to simulate real applications for environmental problems mainly related to CO2 storage. Such algorithms may be useful not only for academic model problems, but also for real life applications that share the characteristics of couple systems. Partners believe that the advances they have proposed in the project will precisely achieve that purpose, and also the industry will benefit from access to state-of-the-art algorithms for computational simulation. Moreover, the simulation methods that are being designed in the frame of the collaboration started with this project, will be very useful for a wider scientific community with interest in porous media, flow processes, and large-scale simulation applications relevant to carbon storage. As a result of the cooperation, a draft joint paper is started, other papers have been submitted and published separately by participants, and several additional workshops and seminars have been held in order to discuss and to share with other researchers the research line and advances.

Summary of bilateral results

The organization of workshops and meetings on which both partners were involved provided an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss about the development of the objectives of both research teams and of the project, and to work together. The brainstorming and exchange of ideas that took place in such meetings were the basis for the work developed during the project but also for the future collaborative work, and also opened new research lines in order to widen the collaboration to different topics. Both groups involved in the project learned from the expertise of the other, since there is both a diversity and complementarity in the expertise of the two research teams. The Norwegian group is well known to be a leader in the modelling and simulation of subsurface systems and its application to real applications, whereas the Spanish group has its expertise in the development of efficient numerical methods and the study of stable discretizations for the kid of problems dealt with in the project. The intention of partners is to continue with the fruitful collaboration started in the project, beyond its completion, and to apply for common projects in the future. Besides the bilateral relations, the Spanish group has established other collaborations to deal with topics very closely related to the project, with researchers at the Delft University and CWI, the Netherlands, The Pennsilvania State University, USA, Tufts University, USA, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland, and the Institute of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences, Belarus. These cooperations shall contribute to a wider networking in the future.