StrataSim

User /
Reference

StrataSim
User/Reference Guide
© 2004 Landmark Graphics Corporation

Part No. 162114

February 2004

© 2004 Landmark Graphics Corporation
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StrataSim User / Reference Guide

Contents

StrataSim User / Reference Guide
Introduction
Overview .............................................................................................................

1

Main Advantages of StrataSim .........................................................................

2

Contents of This Guide .....................................................................................

3

Guide Conventions ............................................................................................

4

Preparing Data for StrataSim ...........................................................................

5

Starting StrataSim
Overview .............................................................................................................

6

Selecting the StrataSim Directory ....................................................................

6

Selecting a StrataSim Run ................................................................................

7

Creating a New Run .....................................................................................

9

Re-Running a Previous Run ........................................................................

13

Modifying a Run Description ......................................................................

13

Deleting a Run ..............................................................................................

14

Selecting Well Models .......................................................................................

15

Setting Units of Measurement ..........................................................................

16

Limiting the Size of the Simulation Model ......................................................

17

Limiting the Model .......................................................................................

18

Limiting the Size of the Upscaled Model ...................................................

20

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Workflow Manager
Overview .............................................................................................................

21

Reusing Existing Workflow Diagrams .......................................................

21

Workflow Setup .................................................................................................

22

Workflow Diagram .............................................................................................

23

Workflow Steps ..................................................................................................

24

Steps for Creating a Permeability Attribute ...............................................

25

Steps for Creating an Initial Saturation Attribute ......................................

25

Steps for Investigating Flowbody and Volumetrics ..................................

25

Steps for Running a Unit Mobility Ratio Flow Simulation ........................

26

Steps fpr Running a Unit Mobility Vertical Upscaling Simulation ...........

26

Estimating
Overview .............................................................................................................

28

Estimating Permeability ....................................................................................

29

Estimating Initial Oil Saturations .....................................................................

33

Overview of Leverett J Functions ...............................................................

33

Working with Leverett J Functions ............................................................

34

Fitting a Leverett J Function ..................................................................

34

Cataloging Leverett J Functions ...........................................................

37

Equilibrium Region(s) ..................................................................................

40

Estimating Initial Saturations ......................................................................

41

Creating Hardcopy of Leverett J Functions ..............................................

43

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Setting Up StrataSim
Overview .............................................................................................................

44

Describing Three-Dimensional Variables ........................................................

45

Setting Required Variables .........................................................................

46

Calculating Transmissibilities ....................................................................

49

Permeability ............................................................................................

49

Transmissibility Multipliers ...................................................................

50

Transmissibilities in StrataSim .............................................................

51

Setting Transmissibilities ......................................................................

52

Setting Optional Variables ..........................................................................

54

Constant Pressure Constraint ...............................................................

55

Constant Flow Potential Constraint ......................................................

56

Reference Elevation ...............................................................................

56

Indicating Perforation .......................................................................................

57

Setting Fluid and Rock Properties ...................................................................

59

Using the Fluid and Rock Properties Dialog Box .....................................

60

Setting Interfacial Tension ................................................................................

61

Well Boundary Conditions ................................................................................

62

Editing Well Conditions ...............................................................................

64

Copying Well Conditions .............................................................................

66

Setting Run Parameters ....................................................................................

68

The Pressure Run ........................................................................................

69

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Setting Run Parameters continued
The Saturation Run ......................................................................................

70

Porosity Cut-Off ......................................................................................

70

Permeability Cut-Off ...............................................................................

70

Relative Movable Pore Volume Cut-Off ................................................

71

Saturation Error ......................................................................................

71

Water Cut Limit .......................................................................................

71

Setting Output Options .....................................................................................

72

For a Regular Run ........................................................................................

72

Output at Starting Time ...............................................................................

73

Movable Oil Grid Files .................................................................................

75

Time Steps ....................................................................................................

75

Adding Time Steps .................................................................................

76

Deleting Time Steps ...............................................................................

77

Saturation Attributes ...................................................................................

78

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Running a Simulation
Overview .............................................................................................................

79

Specifying Output Attributes ............................................................................

80

Initializing the Pressure Solver ........................................................................

82

Running a Simulation ........................................................................................

83

Reviewing Results .............................................................................................

86

During the Run .............................................................................................

86

After the Run ................................................................................................

87

Deleting Output Attributes ................................................................................

90

Exporting Run Results to ARIES .....................................................................

91

Technical Reference
Overview .............................................................................................................

92

Darcy’s Law ........................................................................................................

94

An Example of Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law .............................................

95

Hydrostatic Equilibrium ...............................................................................

97

Two-Phase Flow ................................................................................................

98

Darcy’s Law and Two-Phase Flow ..............................................................

98

Total Volumetric Flow Rate .........................................................................

99

Relative Permeabilities ................................................................................ 101
Unit Mobility Ratio ........................................................................................ 103

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Transmissibility ................................................................................................. 105
Summary of Discussion .............................................................................. 106
Transmissibility in Z Direction .................................................................... 107
Transmissibility in X and Y Directions ....................................................... 111
Transmissibility Multipliers ......................................................................... 113
Comparisons of X, Y, and Z Transmissibilities ......................................... 114
Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law — Revisited .................................................. 117
Using Transmissibilities in StrataSim ........................................................ 119
Double Z Transmissibilities Near Very Thin Cells .................................... 120
Elimination of Zero Thickness Cells .......................................................... 121
When Cells Can Be Eliminated .............................................................. 121
How to Eliminate Zero Thickness Cells ................................................ 122
Incompressible Flow Equations in StrataSim ................................................. 125
Equation for Flow Potential ......................................................................... 126
Flow Potential Equation for StrataSim ....................................................... 130
Saturation Equation ..................................................................................... 132
Upstream Weighting of Mobilities .............................................................. 135
Summary of Flow Equations ....................................................................... 135

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Pressure-Constrained Cells ............................................................................. 136
Wells .............................................................................................................. 136
Well Types ............................................................................................... 138
Reference Elevations ............................................................................. 139
Pressure Constraints ............................................................................. 139
Flow Rate Constraints ............................................................................ 140
Phase Rates and Water Cuts for Wells ................................................. 140
Perforations ............................................................................................. 141
Pressure Constrained Nonwell Cells ......................................................... 142

Appendix A.
Running StrataSim in Standalone Mode
Running StrataSim ............................................................................................ 143

Appendix B. StrataSim Files
Overview ............................................................................................................. 145
ASCII Files .......................................................................................................... 146
ASCII Control Files ....................................................................................... 146
ASCII Output Files ........................................................................................ 147
Miscellaneous ASCII Files ........................................................................... 148
Binary Output FilesZ ......................................................................................... 148

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Index ....................................................................................................................

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Introduction
Overview
StrataSim is a three-dimensional reservoir characterization
flow-analysis tool. Because of simplifications in the solution
algorithms, StrataSim is able to run faster and require less memory than
full-physics three-phase flow simulators. These qualities give you more
flexibility to investigate the effects of the geological detail inherent in
models created by Stratamodel modeling programs. StrataSim can be
characterized as a steady-state single-phase simplified physics
flow-simulator.
StrataSim and standard reservoir flow simulators offer complementary
approaches to understanding reservoir flow. Each approach offers you
something that the other does not have.

Standard reservoir flow simulators use simplified geological
models for investigating the effects of complex physics.
StrataSim uses simplified physics for investigating the effects of
complex geological models.

StrataSim helps you develop an understanding of how major features of
a reservoir model affect oil recovery. For example, you can investigate
the effects of permeability distribution, faults, or connectivity of sands.
You can explore infill drilling of a mature reservoir or drilling deviated
wells on a new reservoir. You can use StrataSim to explore other
possibilities as well.
Because of the simplified physics underpinning, it is easier to get
results. So geoscientists as well as reservoir engineers can use it to get a
better understanding of which features in the model affect the results,
facilitating interdisciplinary communication.

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Introduction

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Main Advantages of StrataSim
StrataSim provides a quick sensitivity analysis for:


reservoir architecture
reservoir heterogeneity
effects of well placement on sweep efficiency

Other StrataSim features are:





speed of performing simulations
flow analysis within geological framework
easy visualization
no upscaling necessary
communication tool for geologists and reservoir engineers
complement to full-physics flow simulators
Water injected from left to right

300 layer simulation (cross-section) 12 layer simulation (cross-section)
Typical StrataSim resolution
Typical Full-physics Simulator
resolution

Difference Between High and Low Vertical Resolution Simulation

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Introduction: Main Advantages of StrataSim

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Contents of This Guide
This guide contains the following sections:





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Introduction provides an overview of the product and its
advantages, explains the book’s typographical conventions, and
tells how to prepare data for use in StrataSim.
Starting StrataSim provides instructions for starting the program
and specifying project information.
Setting Up StrataSim provides instructions for setting up your
simulation run.
Running a Simulation tells how to run the simulation and view
the results.
Technical Reference provides detailed information about how the
simulators calculates flow and transmissibilities and handles
pressure-constrained cells.
Appendix A. Running StrataSim Standalone gives instructions
on how to start the program without running it from Stratamodel.
Appendix B. StrataSim Files explains the files that are important
to the program.

Introduction: Contents of This Guide

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Guide Conventions
In StrataSim, certain conventions are used to explain how to access and
use various features of the program. A reference list is provided below:

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Menu Options

Menu options and pushbutton names are
printed in boldface, for example, Setup.

key

Press the indicated key on the keyboard, for
example, Return.

enter startow

Text that you are required to enter is printed in
a different typeface (Courier).
Enter exactly what you see.

enter
projectname

A different typeface in italics (Courier
Italics) indicates that you are to supply
information. At this instruction for example,
you should enter the name of your project.

Click

Move the cursor to the option or object
specified and quickly press and release the
mouse button. Unless otherwise specified,
use Button 1.

Press and drag

Press the mouse button and continue to hold it
down while moving the cursor to the option
you want or to a new location in the graphic
display area; then release the button.

Highlight

In a dialog box, move the cursor to the name of
the item you wish to use and select it with the
mouse.

Select

Move the cursor to the option or object you
want to select and click it.

Double-click

Click the mouse button twice rapidly without
moving the mouse. The first click highlights
the option, object, or text beneath the cursor;
the second click is equivalent to pressing the
OK button to accept the selection.

Triple-click

Click the mouse button three times rapidly
without moving the mouse to highlight a string
of text (more than one word) beneath the
cursor.

Introduction: Guide Conventions

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Preparing Data for StrataSim
StrataSim can be run after you have created an Attribute Model in
Stratamodel that contains porosity and permeability.
You have the following flexibility in StrataSim.

You can have the program read initial saturations (for example,
irreducible water saturation) from the Attribute Model, or you can
specify them as constants in StrataSim.
You can assign saturations to every cell in the model using
interpolation techniques, you can model operations in Stratamodel,
or you can use StrataSim’s estimation capability.
You can supply pressure or flow potential information using wells
or attribute fields.
You can specify well conditions as pressure- or flow-constrained
and non-well cell boundary conditions as pressures or flow
potentials. You can incorporate aquifer pressure information into
the simulation run using model operations in Stratamodel.


Perforation information and well locations are supplied by Well
Models. Building Well Models is a standard procedure in creating a
Stratamodel Attribute Model. You can change well configurations by
rebuilding a Well Model.
Simplified Physics Assumptions

Invading Fluid Properties = Displaced Fluid Properties.

Incompressible Flow (Steady-State).
The volume of the fluids in the reservoir does not change with pressure.

Mobility Ratio equals one.

There are no Capillary Pressure Effects.

Steady-State
The rate of change of pressure with time is zero, which is most applicable in the
case of secondary recovery (e.g., waterflood, pressure maintenance scheme).

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Introduction: Preparing Data for StrataSim

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Starting StrataSim
Overview
This section explains how to perform the followingtasks, which
prepare your StrataSim run for work:



selecting a StrataSim directory
selecting a StrataSim run
selecting well models
setting units of measurement

Selecting the StrataSim Directory
If you are starting StrataSim as a continuation of a Stratamodel task,
you will have already selected your project information
Start StrataSim by using one of the two following methods:

Select Commands → SIM StrataSim Fluid-Flow Analysis from
the Stratamodel menu.

Single-click a StrataSim icon in the icon menu.

Selecting either of these options opens the Specify Run Description
dialog box and the StrataSim main window with all its options inactive.

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Starting StrataSim

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Selecting a StrataSim Run
The first dialog box that appears for StrataSim lists the different runs. If
you have not run any simulations, the list of StrataSim Descriptions is
empty. A run contains all the input needed to run a simulation.

The program uses runs to save input and output. Whenever you create a
new run, you use an old run or the defaults as a template for your
project, then change the settings you want to be different.

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Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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Once you have selected a run description, you will be asked to select a
Well Model. You can select none, one, or many. After the Well Model
selection, the StrataSim main window options become active:

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Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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Creating a New Run
A likely course you may want to follow when you first enter the
program is to create a new run of your project.
1.

You have three options for beginning a run:

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If you have not run StrataSim previously, there are no runs in
the list at the top of the window and the Create button is the
only one active. In that case, click Create, then go on to step 2
on page 11.

Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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If you have a list of previous runs, but you want to create an
entirely new run based on program defaults, click Create with
any run selected. Then go on to step 2 on page 11.

Select any
run.

Click Create.

Defaults Alone Do Not Provide a Solution
The defaults alone, with no changes, will not provide a solution if run
immediately, because all the wells are plugged in the default values.
At a minimum, you must provide a source of flow, either by changing
Constant Pressure Cells or Constant Potential Cells under
Three-Dimensional Variables or by unplugging some of the wells
under Well Conditions.

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Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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If you want to base your new run on a previous run, click the
previous run, then click Copy.

Select a
previous run.

Click Copy.

2.

Click OK.
The StrataSim Run Description dialog box appears. This dialog
box indicates either that you are using the default data or copying
from a previous run.

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3.

Select the input files you want to copy and enter the name in the
Enter New StrataSim Run Description field. You do not have to
enter a number, StrataSim automatically numbers the run for you.
It is a good idea to give the run a description that identifies what
attributes you intend to work with so that you can identify the run
later.

4.

Enter a name into the Enter New StrataSim Run Description field.
You do not have to enter a number, as StrataSim will number it for
you. It is a good idea to give the run a description that identifies
what attributes you intend to work with so that you can identify
that run later. Click OK to close the box. Your new run now
appears in the list of runs.

Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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If you designated certain files to be copied the following dialog
appears to show you which fields were copied. To close this
information dialog, click OK.

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Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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Re-Running a Previous Run
To rerun a previous run with no changes to the description
1.

Select the run.

2.

Click OK.

Select a
previous run.

Click OK.

You can now set up your run. See “Estimating” on page 28.

Modifying a Run Description
Suppose you decided that a run name is not descriptive enough.

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1.

Select the run name.

2.

Click Modify.

3.

Enter a new description in the StrataSim Run Description dialog
box:

4.

Click OK. The run description now appears changed in the list.

Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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Deleting a Run
You may want to delete a run. When you do, the run disappears from
the list and the other runs are renumbered. Delete removes all of the
following:


output files
input files
StrataSim-generated attributes

To delete a run

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1.

Select the run you want to delete.

2.

Click Delete. You are asked to verify whether you want to delete
the files.

3.

Select Yes if you still want to delete the files. StrataSim completely
deletes the run and renumbers the remaining runs.

Starting StrataSim: Selecting a StrataSim Run

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Selecting Well Models
In Stratamodel you may have created several well models because your
well files were formatted differently or to differentiate groups of wells
in your display. Your first activity when running StrataSim is to specify
which of the well models you want to use in the simulation. If you do
not wish to select a well model, you must specify a constant pressure or
constant flow potential in the three-dimensional variables before you
can run a simulation; otherwise, you have not specified a driving force
for flow.

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1.

Usually this dialog box comes up automatically when you have
more than one well model. But if you wish to change your choice,
select Session → Select Well Models.

2.

Choose the well model or models to use in the simulation.
Select or release well models by clicking them.

3.

Click OK when you finish selecting models.

Starting StrataSim: Selecting Well Models

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Setting Units of Measurement
Although it is not required, it is a good idea to set the units of
measurement before you make other specifications.
1.

Select Session → Units of Measurement.

Stratamodel Units Must Match
All units in this dialog box labeled with SGM (SGM Elevation, SGM
Distance, and so on) must match the units used to construct your
Stratigraphic Framework Model and your Stratamodel Attribute Model.

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2.

Set each unit by clicking the menu and selecting it.

3.

Once you set the units, click OK. All menus that use these units
are updated.

Starting StrataSim: Setting Units of Measurement

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Limiting the Size of the Simulation Model
StrataSim provides two ways to limit the size of the model:

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Simulating the whole of a very large model may take time and
computing power. Sometimes, simulating only a subset of that
model can give you the results you need. Session → Limit Size of
Model → SGM allows you to isolate a portion of the Stratigraphic
Framework for simulation by limiting the size of the model to a
specific number of sequences, zones, or blocks.

Running StrataSim simulates fluid flow at the resolution of the
Stratamodel model. You may want to upscale your model to a
resolution that is more common with larger-scale simulation
engines. Session → Limit Size of Model → Upscale allows you
to express the model as a fraction of the number of Stratamodel
cells.

Starting StrataSim: Limiting the Size of the Simulation Model

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Limiting the Model
To simply reduce the size of the model, follow these instructions.
1.

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Select Session → Limit Size of Model → SGM.

Starting StrataSim: Limiting the Size of the Simulation Model

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2.

Use the slider bars to limit the columns and rows. As you move the
sliders, the information below about the size of the StrataSim
Model changes.

If you move
the slider bar . .

the information
changes.

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3.

You can choose to Include the highlighted sequences, zones or
blocks or to Exclude the highlighted ones by pressing the
appropriate radio button.

4.

Depending on your choice in step 3, highlight either the
sequences, zones, and blocks to include or exclude:

5.

When you have limited your model, click OK again.

Starting StrataSim: Limiting the Size of the Simulation Model

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Limiting the Size of the Upscaled Model
You can choose StrataSim’s upscaling capability by specifying the size
of the upscaled model. Upscale allows you to target the number of
upscaled cells, expressed as a fraction of the total number of cells in the
model. The actual number of cells may vary from the target number
because of the following constraints:



There must be at least one upscaled cell per stack.
Cells with a high fluid flow rate may not be lumped together.
Upscaled cells must be from the same StrataSim flowbody.
Upscaled cells may not be greater in volume than the maximum
volume constraint you select.

To upscale the model, follow these instructions:

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1.

Select Session → Limit Size of Model → Upscale.

2.

Use the top slider to target a number of upscaled cells as a fraction
of the total number of cells in the model.

3.

Use the middle slider to select a minimum cell volume, expressed
as a fraction of the average cell volume. This constraint assures
that small cells will be lumped.

4.

Use the bottom slider to select the maximum cell volume, also
expressed as a multiple of the average cell volume. This constraint
assures that there will be more than one upscaled cell per stack.

5.

Click OK to upscale the model.

Starting StrataSim: Limiting the Size of the Simulation Model

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Workflow Manager
Overview
The Workflow Manager is designed to simplify tasks within the most
common StrataSim workflows. The manager leads you step-by-step
through the process of creating attributes or running several different
types of simulations with an easy to follow workflow chart. Two menu
options (Session → Workflow → Setup or Manager) control the
Workflow Manager dialog boxes.
In the Setup dialog, you choose which procedures you want to
accomplish. A Workflow Chart is generated based on your selections
in the Setup dialog. This chart contains buttons to represent each step
needed to accomplish the tasks. As you select each step or button in the
chart, StrataSim opens the appropriate dialog for you to complete.
As of release 2003, when you enter StrataSim, a dialog offers you the
opportunity to use the Workflow Manager immediately:

If you click Yes, the Workflow-Setup dialog box appears.

Reusing Existing Workflow Diagrams
If a workflow diagram exists for the current StrataSim run, a dialog
appears to allow you to choose from the following options:

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1.

Go to the current workflow manager.

2.

Cancel out of the window.

3.

Reset the workflow.

4.

Remove the current workflow.

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Workflow Setup
When you select the Session → Workflow → Setup menu command,
the Workflow-Setup dialog appears. This dialog allows you to choose
which pre-defined task(s) or workflow(s) to construct.

To select any of these procedures for your workflow chart, click in the
box preceding the title. You can select multiple workflows. In the
proceeding illustration, all the workflows have been selected.

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Workflow Diagram
If you select Session → Workflow → Manager, the Dialog Flow
Chart appears to lead you through the tasks you selected with the
Setup command. The example pictured below chose to run all the
different kinds of simulations offered in the Setup dialog box.

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Workflow Steps
Each button represents a step in the workflow and is color coded to help
you track your progress:
Button Color

Meaning

Red

This step is suggested and has not been visited. If you skip a red
button, a warning message appears asking you to verify your
decision.

Yellow

This step is optional. You do not need to accomplish this task to
complete the workflow.

Green

A step that has successfully been completed.

Each button opens a StrataSim dialog. Fill out the values in each dialog
and click OK. If you need help on any dialog, press the Help button on
the dialog and developer’s notes appear.
When you close a dialog, the Workflow button turns to green to indicate
that step has been completed successfully.

Completed steps are green. Optional steps are yellow.
Red steps are not yet completed.

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Steps for Creating a Permeability Attribute
There are three steps in this workflow:
1.

Units of Measurement (page 16)

2.

Limit StrataSim Model Size (page 17)

3.

Permeability Attribute (page 29)

Steps for Creating an Initial Saturation Attribute
There are up to 8 possible steps in this workflow:
1.

Units of Measurement (page 16)

2.

Limit StrataSim Model Size (page 17)

3.

Select Well Model(s) (page 15)

4.

Interfacial Tension (page 61)

5.

Leverett J Curves Fit - Cores (page 34)

6.

Leverett J Catalog - an optional step performed to review the list of
J Functions

7.

Equilibrium Region(s) (PVT Regions)

8.

Initial Saturations (page 78)

Steps for Investigating Flowbody and Volumetrics
There are up to 10 possible steps in this workflow:

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1.

Units of Measurement (page 16)

2.

Limit StrataSim Model Size (page 17)

3.

SGM: Create Well Model(s) - an optional step performed in the
Create Wells feature in Stratamodel. (page 62)

4.

Select Well Model(s) (page 15)

5.

Well Conditions - Perforations (page 64)
or
Well Conditions - Specify (page 64)

6.

Run Parameters (page 45)

7.

Output Options StrataSim (page 72)

8.

StrataSim Physics (Simple)

9.

Flowbody Analysis
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Steps for Running a Unit Mobility Ratio Flow Simulation
There are up to 12 possible steps in this workflow:
1.

Units of Measurement (page 16)

2.

Limit StrataSim Model Size (page 17)

3.

Select Well Model(s) (page 15)

4.

Fluid and Rock Properties (page 59)

5.

3D Variables (page 46)

6.

Well Conditions - Perforations (page 64)
or
Well Conditions - Specify (page 64)

7.

Run Parameters (page 45)

8.

Output Options StrataSim (page 72)

9.

StrataSim Physics (Simple)

10. Flowbody Analysis
or
Production Plots
11. Contacted Oil Nearest Well
12. Tabulated Results

Steps fpr Running a Unit Mobility Vertical Upscaling Simulation
There are up to 13 possible steps in this workflow:

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1.

Units of Measurement (page 16)

2.

Limit StrataSim Model Size (page 17)

3.

Limit Upscaled Model Size

4.

Select Well Model(s) (page 15)

5.

Fluid and Rock Properties (page 59)

6.

3D Variables (page 46)

7.

Well Conditions - Perforations (page 64)
or
Well Conditions - Specify (page 64)

8.

Run Parameters

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9.

Output Options StrataSim (page 72)
or
Output Options Upscale

10. StrataSim Physics (Simple)
11. Flowbody Analysis
12. Tabulated Results

Description Panel
This area displays information telling you why this step is needed as
you roll your cursor over the workflow buttons.

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Estimating
Overview
The Estimation modules help you build attributes for two important
variables that are not well suited for simple interpolation from well data
into a 3D geological model: permeability and initial oil saturation.
StrataSim estimates permeability from porosity as a function of a
permeability indicator. It also estimates initial oil saturation from
Leverett J functions, which depend upon indicators.
Calculating initial oil saturations involves the following steps:
1.

Specify capillary pressure data.

2.

Fit one or more Leverett J Functions to the capillary pressure data.

3.

Estimate initial oil saturation from the Leverett J Functions as a
function a free water elevation. The J function can depend on an
indicator that can be a continuous variable (such as V Shale) or a
discrete variable (such as lithofacies). The free water elevation can
depend on sequence number.

These methods provide an alternative for estimates that rely solely on
interpolations from well logs. In the process, StrataSim identifies
possible sources of error in capillary pressure measurements.
StrataSim uses Leverett J Functions as the basis of this approach for
estimating oil saturations. For more information, see “Overview of
Leverett J Functions” on page 33.

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Estimating Permeability
You can use known porosity values to estimate permeability based on a
permeability indicator (a function and two points on a permeability/
porosity crossplot). If you do not specify a permeability indicator, the
same permeability/porosity correlation is used for the entire model.

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1.

Select Estimation → Permeability. The Estimate Permeability
from Porosity dialog box appears:

2.

Click the Attribute button next to Porosity to select the porosity
attribute. Select an attribute from the resulting list and click OK.

3.

Choose whether the Permeability Indicator is a function of a
Discrete (lithofacies, sequence number, reservoir zone) or
Continuous (V shale, clay content, gamma ray log reading)
variable.

If the correlation depends upon a discrete indicator and if
StrataSim encounters an indicator cell value that does not
appear in the table, it sets the permeability of that cell using the
default (Indicator = 0) correlation. If a default is not provided it
sets the cell value to null.

If the correlation depends on a continuous indicator, StrataSim
linearly interpolates between two indicator values in the table
at the bottom of the dialog box. If the indicator value does not
fall between the two values, then the permeability of that cell is
set to null.
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4.

Click the Permeability Indicator Attribute button to select the
permeability attribute, if desired. If you choose None Selected then
the same Permeability-Porosity correlation is used for the entire
model. Select an attribute from the resulting list and click OK.

5.

At the bottom of the dialog box, use the button to add, modify, or
delete a permeability/porosity correlation.
Any values outside the correlations described in this table are set
to null, as explained in step 3. Choose wheter the Permeability
Indicator is a function of a Discrete (lithofacies, sequence number,
reservoir zone) or Continuous (Vshale, clay content, gamma ray
log reading) variable. The correlations used for this calculation are
two-parameter fits, so it is necessary only to add two points for
each entry in the table.
If you add or modify a correlation, the following dialog box
appears:

6.

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Enter a value for the Permeability Indicator. This value can be
either an integer (for a discrete attribute) or float (for a continuous
attribute), depending upon your choice in step 3. Choose whether
the Permeability Indicator is a function of a Discrete or
Continuous vaiable. The indicator is zero for the default
correlation, which is used whenever other values in the table do
not apply.

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7.

Select a Type of Correlation. In the equations explained in the
bullets below, porosity is expressed in fractions (specified in Units
of Measurement). StrataSim adjusts if your choice for units is
percent.

Semi Log — crossplots of permeability and porosity are most
commonly represented by the log of the permeability on the
ordinate, or y axis.

Log-Log1 — this is a generalized form of the Kozeny equation
(explained in the next bullet), suggested by Timur in 1968.

Log-Log2 — Kozeny’s equation is to plot log(k/(1-por) against
log(por/(1-por). When porosity is very small, the denominators
of the arguments are close to 1, thus collapsing to Timur’s
generalized equation (Log-Log1).

8.

Enter a porosity cut-off, if desired. For porosities below this cutoff, the permeability is set to zero.

9.

Enter two points for a correlation between porosity and
permeability.

10. Select a sequence to Include or Exclude. All sequences are
included in the preceding illustration.
11. Click OK.
12. Continue to add as many correlations as needed, repeating step 5
through 11. At the bottom of the dialog box, use the button to add
modify or delete a permeability/porosity correlation. Any values
outside the correlations described in this table are set to null as
described in Step 4. Choose whether the Permeability Indicator is
a Discrete or Continuous variable. The correlations used for this
calculator are two-parameter fits, so it is only necessary to add two
points for each entry in the table. It is a good idea to specify a
default correlation, signified by Indicator = 0.

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For a discrete indicator, you must specify a correlation for all
values contained in the Stratamodel Attribute Model, cells for
which no value has been specified will be set to null.

For a continuous indicator, you must specify a range of
correlation that includes all values in the Stratamodel Attribute
Model, or the default is used; in case of no default, the cell is
set to null.

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13. When the correlation table at the bottom of the dialog box reflects
the correct values for your attributes, click Calculate to calculate
estimated permeability and save the selections in the dialog box or
click Save to save the selections without calculating.
If you click Calculate, an xterm reports the progress of the
calculation and informs you of the name of the created attribute
that contains the permeability. You can view the permeability in
Show Displays.
14. Press Enter to close the xterm.

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Estimating Initial Oil Saturations
StrataSim uses laboratory measurements of capillary pressure to
determine initial oil saturation, through the following steps:

Specify the capillary pressure data curves to fit with the Leverett J
Function.

Fit one or more Leverett J Functions to the capillary pressure data.

Estimate initial oil saturation from the Leverett J Functions as a
function a free water elevation. The J function can depend on an
indicator that can be either continuous or discrete. The freewater
elevation can depend on sequence number.

This section explains the procedures for completing this estimation.

Overview of Leverett J Functions
The remaining items on the Estimation menu use the Leverett J
Function as a basis for calculating Initial Oil Saturation. The function is
defined as:
(Capillary Pressure)
J = --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- • k ⁄ ( por )
( InterfacialTension ) • (Contact Angle)
where k denotes permeability and por denotes porosity.
This function is dimensionless. To see that this is so, note that in the cgs
system of units, capillary pressure is in dyne/cm2 and permeability is in
cm2. So, the Leverett J Function can be thought of as a dimensionless
capillary pressure.
The Leverett J function is important because in general, two core
samples that have different permeabilities or porosities have different
capillary pressure curves. Consequently, complex models that contain
more than a million cells could require millions of measurements to
describe the necessary capillary pressure curves.
Leverett identified a way around this problem by noticing that it was
easier to correlation capillary pressure curves when he plotted the J
Function on the y axis. The advantage of his approach is that capillary
pressure curves from various core samples with different permeabilities
and porosities can be plotted using a single J function curve.
Leverett J functions are typically correlated with parameters such as
lithology, shale volume, or porosity.

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Working with Leverett J Functions
The choices under the Estimation → Leverett J Function menu
enable you to fit a Leverett J Function to selected capillary pressure
curves or to maintain a catalog of Leverett J functions. For more
information about these functions, see the previous overview of
Leveritt J functions.
The catalog lists the template files included with StrataSim along with
all of your fitted J functions.

Fitting a Leverett J Function
You must have at least one capillary pressure file set to fit a function.
StrataSim helps diagnose two types of errors when attempting to fit a
function.

A negative Irreducible Saturation can indicate an underestimated
pore volume. You can test for this by selecting Variable for
Irreducible Saturation. See Step 4.

In the entry region of the curve, the Wetting Phase Saturation is
expected to remain 1 (or 100, in percent) until a displacement
pressure is overcome. Sometimes a curve exceeds the
displacement pressure at a lower saturation, say 0.95. This usually
indicates the presence of a “dead volume” in the experimental
apparatus. Instead of filling the core sample, the nonwetting phase
was filling up void space in the apparatus.

To fit a Leverett J Function, follow these steps:
1.

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Select Estimation → Leverett J Function.

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2.

Select one or more capillary pressure curve files from the list. You
can see the curve in the graphic at the bottom right of the window.
Use the buttons above the graphic to examine the curve.
If no capillary pressure curves exist, you can import a curve from
an ASCII file by clicking the Import Curve button.

3.

Choose a fitting from the Fitting Function buttons:


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Most curves can be fit using either the O’Meara Unimodal or
Thomeer model
Brooks-Corey and Benson-Anli fit for special cases but do not
seem to have widespread applicability.
Select the O’Meara Bimodal for curves that exhibit bimodal
behaviour and for more flexibility for hard-to-fit unimodal
curves.

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4.

Choose a method to handling values below zero from the
Irreducible Saturation field:

Select Variable (the default) to explore whether there are
errors in the measured data. If a fit encounters a negative
Irreducible Wetting Phase Saturation, an error message appears
to indicate that there may be underestimation in the pore
volume of the core sample. Once you have verified that there
are no errors, refit the curve using Negative Not Allowed.
Select Negative Not Allowed if you are confident of no errors
in the measured data, since values of saturation below zero are
not physical.

.

Results of Using Negative Irreducible Saturation
If a curve with a negative irreducible saturation is used in the
Estimation: Initial Oil Saturation dialog box, StrataSim limits the
lowest calculated oil saturation to zero so that saturations that are not
physical do not appear in your Stratamodel Attribute Model.

5.

Fit the curve by clicking the Fit Curve button under the list of
curves. It will take probably take a few minutes to return a fit or a
bit longer for the bimodal curve, which fits eight parameters. If the
program has problems fitting the curve, an informative error
message suggests some solutions.
Goodness of Fit is shown once the fit is finished. The lower the
value, the better. This criterion is equal to the sum of the squares of
the residuals of the fit.

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6.

Click OK when you have a good fit.

7.

A dialog box appears allowing you to enter a filename for the fitted
function. This function is saved in your project directory file with
an extension of .jff_ss.
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8.

Enter a description of the function. The description can be up to 80
characters long.

9.

Click OK to save the J Function.

Cataloging Leverett J Functions
StrataSim provides a catalog for keeping track of your Leverett J
Functions. The catalog includes templates that have been provided with
the program. You can use the catalog to locate a template or previously
fit function that most closely matches your needs. Template functions
cannot be modified, so you must copy them first to your project
directory.
To create your own template of previously fitted Leverett J Functions,
simply copy (with superuser permission) a J function file (with the
extension .jfn) from your project directory to the StrataSim Template
directory called StrataSim.tpl, which resides in your installation
directory.
To view the catalog

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1.

Select Estimation → Leverett J Function → Catalog.

2.

Click a template or fitted curve.

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Comparing Functions
You can compare functions by selecting more than one from the list and
clicking the Compare button. A dialog box like the following appears:

You can use the buttons at the top of the dialog box to manipulate the
curves for a better view, or you can change the Y Axis Maximum and
use the Re-Plot button.

Copying Functions
You can copy a function for future modifying. You must copy template
files before you can modify them.

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1.

Click the Copy button.

2.

Enter a file name and a description in the dialog box that appears.

3.

Click OK. The copied file is now available for use in your project.

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Viewing or Modifying a Function
You can view any function, but you cannot modify template functions.
If the data that went into fitting a J function is available in your
Stratamodel project directory, this dialog box allows you to view it
along with the fit.
1.

Click View/Modify. The dialog box shows a view of the function
on the bottom right. If you are viewing the function, you can use
the buttons above the graphic to change the view. When you are
finished viewing, skip to step 6. If you are modifying the function,
continue on to the next step.

2.

For copied or modified files only, enter a new name in the filename
box. The file will be copied into the project directory with the
extension .jfn_ss.

3.

Enter a description of the file.

4.

Change the values for the Irreducible Wetting Phase Saturation
and Leverett J Function Displacement Value if desired.

5.

The parameters that are unique to a particular function appear in
the boxed field. To change a value, select the parameter and enter a
new value into the field.

6.

When you finish modifying the function, click OK to save the
modifications.

Removing Functions
You can remove functions by using Clear or Delete.

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Use Clear to remove all functions from the list.
Use Delete to select and delete functions that are not templates.

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Equilibrium Region(s)
The next step is to create one or more equilibrium regions.
1.

Select Estimation → Equilibrium Region(s).

2.

Optional: To add a new region, click the Add button.

3.

Select a Free Water Elevation and the associated sequence(s),
zone(s), or block(s).

4.

Click OK to add the region. The new region appears in the list of
equilibrium regions.

.

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5.

Repeat the previous step for each region you want to include.

6.

Click OK to accept and save all changes.

Estimating Initial Saturations
Once you have fit one or more Leverett J Functions, you can estimate
initial saturations from them.

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1.

Select Estimation → Initial Saturation.

2.

Select an attribute for Porosity by clicking the Attribute button
and choosing one from the list. Click OK.

3.

Select an attribute for Indicator by clicking the Attribute button
and choose one from the list. Click OK.

4.

Select an attribute for Permeability by clicking the Attribute
button and choosing one from the list. Click OK.

5.

Optional: To create a grid of the fluid contact, click the check box
for Output Fluid Contact Grid File. A grid is provided for free
water elevation.
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6.

Optional: To control the output, use these features:

Null or All Water for the Undefined Leverett J Function under
Output Options.

Attributes for the Equilibrium Regions and Aquifer Potential
by clicking Yes.

Fluid Contact Grid File(s) by clicking Yes.

To grade the undefined placement as Optimistic, Neutral, or
Pessimistic.

7.

In the table, add the J Leverett functions the system will use to
compute the Initial Saturation. Click the Add button.

8.

Enter the J Function Indicator.
If you have only one J function in the table, use the default of 0. If
you enter another value, an error message appears.

9.

Select the file from the list. You can use the graphic and button at
the bottom of the dialog box to examine the functions.

10. Click OK.
11. When you have the functions you want, click the Calculate button
to compute the Initial Saturation. An xterm appears that reports the
progress of the calculation and tells you the name and number of
the newly calculated initial saturation attribute in your model.
Press Enter to close the xterm.
You can view your output or the attribute for initial saturation or the oil/
water contact grid in Stratamodel by using Show Displays.

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Creating Hardcopy of Leverett J Functions
From the catalog dialog box, the curve-fitting dialog box, or the table
dialog box under Estimate Initial Oil Saturation, you can print a
hardcopy of the functions.

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1.

Click Hardcopy.

2.

Provide a name for the hardcopy file, which will be written as a
postscript file with an extension of .ps.

3.

Click OK.

4.

Print the file by using standard Unix commands.

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Setting Up StrataSim
Overview
To set up StrataSim, complete the following tasks:

Describe three-dimensional input variables from the Attribute
Model.

Specify perforated intervals from the Well Model.

Adjust fluid and rock properties to obtain a mobility ratio of one.

Specify well conditions.

Set up parameters for the pressure and saturation solutions.

Specify the content and timing of the output.

The first option on the Session menu, Run Description, is
automatically set if you have been running from StrataModel.
(For information about the geological model, see “Selecting the
StrataSim Directory” on page 6. For information about runs, see
“Selecting a StrataSim Run” on page 7.) This option is included in the
Session menu so you can reset it at any time, as long as you are not
running StrataSim in standalone mode (without running StrataModel).
If you are running standalone, this option reminds you what you chose
when you set up the model and project.

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Describing Three-Dimensional Variables
Next you have the option to describe the three-dimensional variables
the simulation uses as input. StrataSim provides defaults for all
variables. However, it is a good idea to check and consider modifying
the following values:




Porosity
Initial Saturation
Residual Oil
Immobile Water
Permeabilities

The other variables are optional.
Units for the constant values for these settings are determined in the
Units of Measurement dialog box.

Volumetrics

Transmissibilities

Optional
Variables

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For most runs, you describe Porosity, Initial Saturation, and
permeability in the Attribute Model. For simpler runs, you can set the
remaining variables to constants, which saves space in the Attribute
Model.

Setting Required Variables
Looking at the Attribute Model
You may want to pull up a display of your Attribute Model from Show Displays
in Stratamodel while you are providing information for setting these variables.

1.

Select Setup → Three-Dimensional Variables.

2.

From the Porosity menu,choose whether to specify a constant
porosity or a variable porosity described by an attribute field.

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If you chose Attribute Field, a list of the appropriate attributes
for this field appears. StrataSim makes it easy to find the
attributes by giving you a list of the attributes that excludes
StrataSim-generated attributes. Click an attribute field, then
click OK.

If you chose Constant, enter a constant value, expressed in the
units you chose under Units of Measurement, into the text field
beside the attribute constant, and click OK.

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3.

For Initial Saturation, choose oil or water.

4.

Click the menu button and choose whether to specify a constant
value for saturation or a variable attribute. Make specifications in
the dialog boxes that appear, as you did for Porosity.
Appropriate Choices for Saturation Attributes
When StrataSim offers “appropriate” choices for saturation attributes, it
cannot exclude StrataSim output. Suppose, for example, you want to start up
a new run when the last one ended. In this case, the final saturation for the
first run becomes the initial saturation for the second run. Because of such
possibilities, saturation output from previous runs must be included for
consideration.

Phase 2 = 1.0 - Phase 1

StrataSim calculates the initial saturations of the second phase. For
example, if you choose the initial oil saturation to be 0.3 (30%),
the calculated initial water saturation for all of the cells in your
model will be 0.7 (70%).
If you specify the initial oil saturations to be read from an attribute
field, StrataSim calculates the corresponding water saturation for
each individual cell in the model. The units for saturations read
from the Attribute Model can be either a fraction or percent and
can be specified later in the session.

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Since saturation distributions can
cross-cut stratigraphy, it is often
necessary to distribute saturation
data using depth information. This
can be performed using tools from
Stratamodel or by StrataSim’s
Estimation module, using Leverett
J functions.

Saturations vary with depth

Oil saturation values interpolated along the layers of the
Stratigraphic Framework

Saturations adjusted to depth

Oil saturation values assigned to cells using depth information

Saturation Considerations in StrataSim & Stratamodel

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100% saturation = im-mobile water + residual oil saturation + initial
movable oil saturation + initial movable water saturation

5.

Follow the same instructions for Residual Oil and
Immobile Water.

Calculating Transmissibilities
A transmissibility value is associated with the interfacial area between
two cells. Transmissibilities are a function of permeability, cell
geometry, and transmissibility multipliers associated with the interface
between cells.

X

Location of X
Transmissibility

Permeability
Different permeabilities for the x, y, and z directions are available. For
example, the x and y permeability may have been averaged in the well
model using a thickness-weighted arithmetic average, while the
z permeability was averaged using a harmonic average in the well
model. The result will be that the values for the interpolated
permeabilities in the x and y direction are higher than the
z permeabilities.
You can modify permeabilities after interpolation using model
operations in Stratamodel.

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Transmissibility Multipliers
You may wish to apply a multiplier to transmissibilities that are
calculated using only permeabilities and a cross-sectional area between
adjoining cells. Multipliers, for example, can be useful for modeling
shales that are too thin to include explicitly in your Stratigraphic
Framework. You can create three-dimensional multiplier fields for the
x, y, and z transmissibility using Stratamodel templates or Model
Operations.
You can also use a transmissibility multiplier and a barrier attribute that
signals a change across a cell face to investigate, for example, the effect
of barriers to flow because of changes in sequence, layer, or lithology.
For example, suppose you wanted to investigate what happens when
there is no flow across sequence boundaries. You would select
Sequence Number for the barrier attribute and set the Transmissibilities
Multiplier to zero.
Fault Zone Properties
If you have used Badley’s Fault Seal Analysis in Stratamodel, you may import
fault zone thickness and permeability attributes. StrataSim uses cell connection
information to apply these attributes across cell interfaces that occur in fault zones.

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Injector

Injector

Producer

Attribute = 0
Multiplier = 0.0

Injected fluids are allowed to
cross the sequence and layer
boundaries

Flow without transmissibility
dependence
Injector

Injector

Producer

Attribute =
Sequences
Multiplier = 0.0

Injected fluids are not
allowed to cross the
sequence boundaries

Flow with transmissibility
dependence using sequences
Injector

Producer

Injector

Attribute =
Layers
Multiplier = 0.0
Injected fluids are not
allowed to cross the layer
boundaries

Flow with transmissibility
dependence using layers

Transmissibilities in StrataSim
The general definition of transmissibility in the x-direction is:

2∆y ∆z 1 k 1 ∆z 2 k 2
T xi = TM xi ⋅ ---------- ------------------------------------∆x ∆z 1 k 1 + ∆z 2 k 2

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Location of
X Permeabilities
at cell centers
k1
k2

Variable
TMxi

∆Z2

∆Z1
X

Name
transmissibility multiplied in
direction

∆z, ∆z2

cell lengths

k1

x permeability for cell 1

∆x, ∆y

cell width and thickness

Location of
X Transmissibility

You can compare x, y, and z transmissibilities if you assume that two
neighboring cells have the same cell thickness. Assuming that the x, y,
and z permeabilities are isotropic (the same in all directions), the
transmissibilities are then defined as follows:

2∆y∆z k 1 k 2
T x = ----------------- -----------------∆x k 1 + k 2
2∆x∆z k 1 k 2
T y = ----------------- -----------------∆y k 1 + k 2
2∆x∆y k 1 k 2
T z = ----------------- -----------------∆z k 1 + k 2

Assume:∆x = ∆y = 100 ft.

∆z = 1 ft.
Assume that k1 = 10 md and k2 = 1 md
Then:
Tx =

6.67

Ty =

6.67

Tz =

66,666.67

Ratio Tz/Tx = 9995.0

The z transmissibilities are much higher than x and y transmissibilities
because ∆z is typically much smaller than ∆x and ∆y.
Setting Transmissibilities
To set transmissibilities, follow these steps:
1.

The permeability variables are required for all simulations.
Click the button next to X Permeability, and choose either
Attribute Field or Constant.

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If you choose Attribute Field, select an attribute you built for
permeability in the Attribute Model from the resulting dialog
box and click OK.
If you choose Constant, enter a constant in the dialog box that
appears and click OK.

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2.

Repeat step 1 for Y Permeability and Z Permeability. Remember
tat these variables are required.

3.

Optional: To apply a multiplier, use the same procedure again to
specify a constant multiplier or to read one from the attribute
model for x, y, and z. If you do not pick a value for the multiplier,
the default value of 1 assures that there is no implication.
Transmissibility is calculated from permeability and the cell
geometry.

4.

Optional: To investigate the effect of barriers to flow because of
changes in sequence, layer, lithology, and so on, use the following
two barrier selections, which interact with each other.

You can choose an attribute (Attribute for Barriers(a)) whose
change across a cell face will signal the application of a
transmissibility multiplier (Barrier Trans. Multiplier(b)) to
modify flow across the face.
• You can set a constant transmissibility multiplier (Barrier
Trans. Multiplier(b)) to be applied across a face for which the
Barrier Attribute changes, or you can set up a table of barrier
attribute changes for which specific multipliers can be applied.
For either choice, select an attribute for the Attribute for
Barrier(a) and a constant for Barrier Trans. Multiplier(b).
To investigate what happens if there is no flow across sequence
boundaries, select Sequence Number for the barrier attribute and
set the transmissibility multiplier to zero. To determine what
happens if there is not flow between sequences (for example,
between sequence 8 and 12,) select Table as input and between 8
and 12, apply a multiplier of zero.

5.

To factor a fault zone into your calculations, select an attribute
field for Fault Zone Thickness (a) and Fault Zone Permeability
(b). These options assume that you have already constructed the
necessary attributes using the Fault Seal Analysis module in
Stratamodel. If StrataSim does not detect such attributes, you will
receive a warning message.
Fault Seal Analysis calculates the fault zone permeability and
thickness and stores this information in the Attribute Model. These
calculations consider both the juxtaposition of reservoir and
nonreservoir material in the fault zone and the composition and
fabric of the fault rock. StrataSim picks up this information
directly from the Attribute Model and uses it to calculate
Transmissibility Multipliers.

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6.

Click OK to close the Transmissibility Calculation dialog box.

7.

Click OK to close the Three-Dimensional Variables dialog box.

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Setting Optional Variables
The optional three-dimensional variables allow you to constrain the
pressure of flow potential for particular cells within your simulation
model. You might want to do this for several reasons.
Suppose, for example, that you partitioned your entire Stratigraphic
Framework into several smaller simulation models. You may find it
useful to constrain the pressure on the periphery of one model by what
you have already calculated using another model.
As another example, you may want to simulate aquifer influx of water
at a prescribed flow potential. Yet another example would be the
calculation of effective properties over a portion of the reservoir for
which you may want to impose the following left-to-right flow, as
shown in the following example.

High Potential

Injecting Cells

Low Potential

Left-to-Right Flow

Flow
Producing
Cells

To constrain the flow potential as shown above, use the Stratamodel
Model Operations. Put a high potential in cells in the first column and
low potential in cells in the last column. Set all other cells as null to
signal no constraint in these cells.
Sometimes the need for constraints can be clear, but it is not clear
which constraint to use. Here is a simple rule you may find helpful:

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If output from a previous StrataSim run is used as a constraint,
constrain the pressure.
For all other cases constrain the flow potential unless you are
absolutely sure you have properly accounted for gravitational
effects when you calculated the pressure constraint.

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This rule helps to avoid the most common problem: that pressure is
used when flow potential is intended. This confusion between pressure
and flow potential is surprisingly widespread, for example, in
interpreting Darcy’s law. For a more thorough explanation, see “An
Example of Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law” on page 95.
Definition of Reference Elevation
To input data correctly you should understand that reference elevation is equal to
the elevation at which the flow potential equals the pressure.

Constant Pressure Constraint
You can assign constant pressure values to an attribute field using
Model Operations in Stratamodel. Using the rule stated above, you
would constrain pressure using pressures calculated from a previous
run. The constant pressure attribute would consist of the calculated
pressures in the cells that you wish to constrain and nulls in all other
cells.
Constraints are imposed only at cells with nonnull values.
To set Constant Pressure Cells, follow these steps:

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1.

Click the Constant Pressure Cells Attribute Field button.

2.

Select an attribute from the resulting list.

3.

Click OK.

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Constant Flow Potential Constraint
You can assign constant flow potential values to an attribute field using
Model Operations in Stratamodel. The following figure shows an
example with a high flow potential on the left-hand side of the model, a
low value at the right-hand side, and all nulls in between.

low flow
potential

high flow potential
Sequence Numbers

Pressure Distribution

Pressure Distribution in an Onlapping Depositional Environment
To set Constant Potential Cells:
1.

Click the Constant Potential Cells Attribute Field button.

2.

Select an attribute from the resulting list.

3.

Click OK.

Reference Elevation
You must set a reference elevation if you are using Constant Potential
Cells. To set reference elevation

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1.

Click Reference Elevation Constant.

2.

Enter the value of the reference elevation in feet.

3.

Click OK.

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Indicating Perforation
You have the option to read in perforation interval information from a
well model in the Well Model Attributes dialog box. If no data is
available, the wells are assumed to be fully perforated along the length
of the well. StrataSim assumes that there is no pressure drop (zero skin)
between the well and the cells penetrated by the well.
You can input perforations in the well data files used to build a well
model. Any value greater than zero assigned to a depth interval
signifies a perforation zone. We advise you to use the Discrete Well
Model Calculation option for averaging perforations when building a
well model.
Because of the nature of the discrete well model calculation, with some
choices of vertical layer resolution in the Stratigraphic Framework
model small perforation zones may not show up in the final well model.
Distributing the perforation data using the nearest neighbor
interpolation algorithm allows you to verify the location of the
perforations at the well.
Perforations in Well Model
Calculations
Well-logs

Cell
layer 3

GR

Perf.

layer 2
layer 1

After Well Model Build
GR = 30 not perfed! layer 3
GR = 20 perfed

layer 2

GR = 40 perfed

layer 1

To verify perforations, visualize in the attribute model
by using the nearest neighbor interpolation

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To read in perforation information, follow these steps:

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1.

Select Setup → Well Model Attributes.

2.

Select one of the well model names.

3.

Select an attribute to assign to the selected well model, and click
OK.

4.

Optional: Repeat Step 3 for any other well models you want to set
perforations for.

5.

Click OK.

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Setting Fluid and Rock Properties
Use the Properties → Fluid and Rock Properties dialog to set up
fluid and rock properties that deal with assumptions underlying
StrataSim’s flow algorithms that mobility and density ratios equal 1.
The text at the left side of the page explains the formulas for relative
permeability, effective permeability, and mobility ratios.
1.0

Relative Permeability

K'r = end-point relative
permeability
Kr = relative
permeability
Sw = water saturation
0
water
Swr = irreducible
ksaturation
ro
S0r = residual oil
saturation
K = permeability
µ = viscosity
0
λr = endpoint
mobility
S
wr

k

S or

0
rw

1.0

Water Saturation
Effective Permeability:
Ke = Kr × K
λr = K r ⁄ µ

Unit End-point Mobility
Ratio:
K' rw µ o
M = ----------------- = 1
K' ro µ w

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As mentioned in the Introduction, StrataSim assumes incompressible
flow of oil as water. However, this dialog box allows you to specify
formation volume factors and the solution gas/oil ratio. This input does
not affect fluids in the reservoir; it only relates reservoir volumes to
produced volumes. In other words, StrataSim does not simulate flow of
gas in the reservoir; it associates solution gas to produced oil, resulting
in gas production.

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Using the Fluid and Rock Properties Dialog Box
To display and use the Fluid and Rock Properties dialog box, follow
these steps:
1.

Click Properties → Fluid & Rock Properties.

If you change the default values for viscosity and end-point
relative permeability, the change in the mobility ratio appears at
the bottom of the screen. If the mobility ratio is not equal to 1.0,
when you click OK, StrataSim forces it to that value by setting the
relative phases to the average of the values for oil and water. To
ensure unit density, StrataSim uses the average density of both
phases.

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2.

To change the defaults, enter new values in the appropriate fields
and make sure you keep the Mobility Ratio close to 1.

3.

StrataSim assumes that flow due to differences in fluid densities is
negligible compared to overall flow. So the program calculates
gravitational potential using the average density of the oil and
water phases. To change the default Density values, double-click
in the field and enter a new number.

4.

Enter a Formation Volume Factor. StrataSim assumes an
incompressible flow of water and oil. This parameter relates
reservoir volume to stock tank volume. The default for this factor
is 1.0.

5.

Enter the estimated Solution Gas/Oil Ratio by clicking in the
field and typing the new number. The default is zero, indicating
that no gas will be associated with produced gas.

6.

Click OK.

Setting Interfacial Tension
Use the Properties → Interfacial Tension dialog box to input values
of interfacial tension and contact angle.

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Well Boundary Conditions
If you have wells available in your well model, you can specify the
boundary conditions for each well.

Well Traces

StrataSim differentiates between a shut-in well and a plugged well by
ignoring plugged wells in the simulation, while allowing flow to occur
in cells penetrated by shut-in wells.
A shut-in well has no net flow of fluid into or out of the well; however,
there may be flow into or out if its individual cells.
Looking at Wells
You may want to pull up a display of your wells in Stratamodel’s Show Displays
while you are specifying well boundary conditions.

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Display the Well Conditions dialog box by clicking Setup →
Well Conditions.

This dialog box shows the well conditions as they are read from the
Well Model. The first three columns, as you can see in the illustration,
are well name, x location, and y location. These fields are not editable
in StrataSim. They merely reflect data read from the Well Model. The
next five fields are editable.
Well Type — The first editable field is well type. There are four
possible types of wells:

INJT (Injection) — wells that supply water to the reservoir

PROD (Production) — wells that are producing; for these wells
there is a fractional flow of oil and water that is proportional to the
mobile saturations in the producing cells

SHUT (Shut-In) — wells for which there is no flow into or out of
the reservoir, but there may be flow into or out of individual cells;
total net flow sums to zero

PLUG (Plugged) — plugged wells, which are removed from the
simulation

The next four columns are well constraint (Cnt.), well constraint value
(Value), reference elevation (R), and watercut limit (Water Cut).
These four options will be explained in context.
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Editing Well Conditions
If you want to change the well conditions or add information to them,
follow these steps:
1.

In the list of wells, click the well you want to edit.

2.

Click the Edit button.
The dialog box that appears shows the conditions for that well:

You cannot edit the well name, x location or y location. These
values are read directly from the Well Model created in
Stratamodel.
The active states of the other options are controlled by the Well
Type. In the example above, none of the options are active because
the Well Type is Plugged, so the well will not be considered in the
simulation.

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3.

Click the Well Type button and select the appropriate type. You
must have at least one Injector to show flow.

4.

Choose Pressure or Flow Rate if you want to specify a well
constraint. You must choose a constraint for production or
injection wells. The only pressure changes within a well in
StrataSim are caused by differences in hydrostatic head from
changes in elevation.

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5.

If you picked a constraint, enter a value for that constraint into the
Value field. The units for the field appear next to it, depending
upon your choice of constraint. To change the units, select
Setup → Units of Measurement.

6.

Choose a Reference Elevation. This is necessary because pressure
varies along a well with differences in the gravitational head. You
have the following choices:
• Top of Stratigraphic Framework
• Bottom of Stratigraphic Framework
• Top of well
• Bottom of well
For flow rate constrained wells, StrataSim reports a well pressure
located at the Reference Elevation.

7.

You can use the Water Cut Limit field to shut in production wells
that have exceeded a specified cut. Once the limit is reached, the
net flow out of the well is set to zero, but the cells within the well
continue to be at the same flow potential.
Choosing this option causes the pressure field to be recalculated
when the water cut constraint is exceeded. If you merely want to
ensure that your simulation ends when too much water is being
produced from the entire reservoir, select the Run Parameters
dialog box and set the field-wide water cut limit.

8.

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Once you finish editing well conditions, click OK.

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Copying Well Conditions
You can copy conditions for one well onto the description for other
wells.

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1.

Click the well you want to copy.

2.

Click the Copy button.

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3.

In the Copy Well Conditions dialog box, click the target well to
which you want to copy conditions.

4.

Click OK.

5.

Click OK in the Well Conditions dialog box when you are satisfied
with the conditions displayed.

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Setting Run Parameters

Injected Fluids

Oil Saturation Output from a 50-Year Waterflood Simulation Run
The Run Parameters include parameters for the Pressure Run and the
Saturation Run. Open the Run Parameters dialog from Setup →
Run Parameters.

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The Pressure Run
Pressure Run is the common term for the flow-potential run. Usually it
is not necessary to change its defaults.
If you want to change the parameters, follow these steps:
1.

Enter a new number for Maximum Iterations.
For many simulation runs the pressure run converges in the default
500 iterations. If the pressure run does not converge to within the
specified tolerance (relative error), it automatically doubles the
default number of iterations before quitting. If it still does not
converge, StrataSim warns you to increase the default number of
iterations. To avoid a complete re-run, save whatever pressure
solution results and use it to initialize the next run.

2.

Enter a new number for Relative Error.
Increasing the tolerance of the pressure run results in quicker
convergence. The disadvantage of this time-saving approach is that
the resulting pressure field is less accurate.
The definition of relative error is in the following table:
Term

Defining Equation

relative error

| average residual per cell | ÷ average volumetric flow
rate per source cell

residual

net volumetric flow rate of fluid out of a cell - net
volumetric rate of a fluid injected into the cell

For incompressible flow, the residual should equal zero.
Consequently the size of the residual provides a measure of how
well the pressure equation has obtained an incompressible
solution.

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The Saturation Run
If you want to change the defaults for the Saturation Run, enter new
numbers for Porosity Cut-Off, Relative Movable PV Cut-Off,
Saturation Error, and Water Cut Limit. Click OK when the
specifications are complete.

Porosity Cut-Off
Interpolation methods sometimes cause the porosity of a cell to be as
low as 0.0001 percent, a value that looks like zero in a Stratamodel
porosity display. As a onsequence, you may not be aware that such cells
exist in your Attribute Model.
These cells must be eliminated from the StrataSim model, or they will
noticeably slow down the solution of the saturation equation.
You can also use the Porosity Cutoff to create no-flow cells. This can be
very useful in simulations such as flowbody investigations. For
example, you can study flowbodies (or cell connectivity) as a function
of porosity cutoff.

Permeability Cut-Off
Cells with permeability below this cut-off value are treated like no-flow
cells.

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Relative Movable Pore Volume Cut-Off
Stratigraphic Framework Models can sometimes have cells of near zero
volume, which are virtually invisible in Stratamodel displays. These
cells slow down the solution of the pressure equation.
You can eliminate this problem while maintaining conservation of mass
by using the Relative Movable PV Cut-Off. Cells with a pore volume
that is less than the cut-off are lumped into the smallest cell above or
below that exceeds the cut-off. The cells are thereby eliminated from
the simulation.
Computation of Relative Movable Pore Volume
Relative Movable Pore Volume equals Cell Movable Pore Volume divided by the
average movable pore volume of all cells in a particular column of the model.

Saturation Error
You typically do not need to change the Saturation Error.
When a cell is nearly filled with fluid, slight errors in solving the
pressure equation can create oscillations that slow down solution of the
saturation equation.
So, for example, on one time step a cell may be filling up to a mobile
water saturation of 1. On the next step, because of small errors, it may
be emptying itself. Then it may turn around and start filling itself again.
Throughout, the water saturation of the cell may fluctuate between
99.99 and 100.00 percent.
Saturation Error avoids this problem by signalling to StrataSim that a
cell should be prevented from determining time-step size for the
saturation run when the mobile saturation of the cell is within the
specified tolerance.

Water Cut Limit
The Water Cut Limit terminates your simulation when the flow rate out
of your wells is mostly due to water.
For example, if you have a situation in which most of your oil is
recoverable within 5 years, but your simulation is set to run for 20, 15
years of the simulation are not very interesting. If, however, you set
your water cut limit to .99, the simulation would stop when 99% of the
fluid flowing out of the wells is water.

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Setting Output Options
Depending upon whether you have chosen upscaling or not, you have a
two choices of output options: those for a regular run or those for one
that includes upscaling.

For a Regular Run
In the Output Options dialog box (Setup → Output Options → Flow
Simulation) you can specify the output options of StrataSim to the
Attribute Model. These simulation results can be seen using the Show/
Build Displays option in Stratamodel.

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Injectors

Double Five-Spot Injection Pattern Oil Saturation at 12 years

Output at Starting Time
Use the Initial Time Attributes radio buttons to request threedimensional output variables at initial time. The Stratamodel attribute
information in this dialog box allows you to keep track of how many
attributes are available, given your choices for output requests.
The panel at the bottom left of the dialog box shows the attributes
needed in Stratamodel for the run depending upon your selections of
Initial Time Attributes.

A flowbody (or productive flowbody) is a connected group of cells
set off from the rest of the reservoir by no-flow boundaries and
penetrated by at least one injection cell and one production cell.
You can specify injection and production cells using wells or using
constant pressure or flow potential attributes.
A productive flowbody meets at least one of the following criteria:

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It contains one cell in a flow-rate-constrained injection well
and one cell in a flow-rate-constrained production well.
It contains one cell in a flow-rate-constrained injection well
and one cell in a pressure-constrained cell, which is not
necessarily in a well.
It contains one cell in a flow-rate-constrained production well
and one cell in a pressure-constrained cell, which is not
necessarily in a well.

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It contains two pressure-constrained cells that have difference
flow potential values.
Injector

Producer

flow
zero transmissibility barrier

Attribute Model
Productive Flowbody
StrataSim determines the existence of flowbodies before it
continues the simulation run. Flowbodies are written to an attribute
field. Positive values designate productive flowbodies, and
negative integers designate nonproductive ones. Cells that fall
outside flowbodies are assigned zero values.

Pressure is calculated in the pressure run and is written to the
attribute model. StrataSim has the capability of initializing its
pressure run using the pressures from earlier simulation runs. You
can use an earlier pressure field as a time-saving measure or as a
restart for a simulation run after changing well-boundary
conditions or other reservoir parameters.

Volumetric flow rate shows the amount of fluid passing through a
cell because of the potential drop across it.

The residual of a cell is the net volumetric flow rate of fluid out of
a cell through cell faces minus the net volumetric flow rate of fluid
injected into a cell from a source, such as a well or pressureconstrained cell. You can use the residuals output as a quantitative
analysis tool to check on the accuracy of the pressure solution. The
residual values have the units specified for volumetric flow rates. If
the highest residual value is less than one percent of the maximum
flow rate in the reservoir, you can assume that the pressure run has
produced an accurate pressure field.

You can change the units of pressure, volumetric flow rate, and
residuals output to the attribute model under Setup → Units of
Measurement.

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Movable Oil Grid Files
In the Movable Oil Grid Files, you can choose the source of grid files to
be output by the program. You can also choose whether the actual z
value or a z value expressed in pseudo elevation will be output.

Time Steps
With the Number of Time Steps set to 1, every time StrataSim takes a
time step in the saturation run, a report is written to the screen
containing the time, volume of water produced, volume of oil
produced, overall water-cut, and reason for the time-step report. To
decrease the number of time-step reports, change the value of the
number of time steps between time step summaries to a value greater
than one. You set the actual time steps under Saturation Output.
Enter numbers for beginning and ending time of the simulation. The
Ending Time determines the length of the simulation run irrespective of
any choices for Saturation Output.

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Adding Time Steps
Saturation Attributes controls when and how many saturation reports
are written to the Attribute Model. For example, if the beginning time is
zero, the ending time is ten years, and you choose equally spaced time
steps, entering 10 for number of time steps produces saturation reports
at the end of each year.

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1.

Toggle the radio button to select Oil or Water Saturations.

2.

The dialog box appears initially showing no time steps. To make
time steps appear in the list you must specify their intervals. First,
decide whether you want to set equal time steps or to enter specific
time steps.

To specify equal time steps, toggle the Equal Time Steps
button on.

To disable equal time steps, toggle the Equal Time Steps
button off.

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3.

Now you must set the number and occurrence of the time steps:

If you selected equal time steps, move the Set Number of
Time Steps slider to specify the number of steps. As you move
the slider the number of time steps appear.

If you diabled equal time steps, enter a specific time in the
Specify a Time box.

Click the Add One Time Step to List button. Continue to specify
and accept time steps until you have all the time steps needed.
4.

When you have filled out all theOutput Options, click OK.

Deleting Time Steps
To delete time steps, follow these steps:
1.

Click the times you want to delete in the List of Times.

If you select a time by mistake, click it again to clear the selection.
2.

After you highlight the times you want to delete, click the Delete
button near the bottom of the window. The times are deleted.

3.

When you are satisfied with the time step specifications, click OK.

4.

When you have filled out all the Output Options, click OK.

The simulation run is now set up. The next section explains how to run
it.
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Saturation Attributes
The Saturation section controls the type of fluid reported and frequency
of reports written.

Time = 2.0
Injected Fluids

Time = 5.0

Time = 8.0

Cross-Section from Simulation through Random Permeability
Field

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Running a Simulation
Overview
This section covers the three steps for running a simulation once it is
set up, and describes the methods for reviewing the results:



“Specifying Output Attributes” on page 80
“Initializing the Pressure Solver” on page 82
“Running a Simulation” on page 83
“Reviewing Results” on page 86

The section concludes with tasks you may want to perform after you’ve
finished the run:

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“Deleting Output Attributes” on page 90
“Exporting Run Results to ARIES” on page 91

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Specifying Output Attributes
In setting up your run you designated which three-dimensional
variables you wanted to be output. The first step in running the
simulation is to assign these variables to inactive attributes.
1.

Select Simulation → Specify Attributes for Output.
If you have not already run the simulation, the Specify StrataSim
Output Attributes dialog box appears. Otherwise, you are asked to
choose between creating a new run or specifying new output
attributes.

2.

Now you must choose a way to assign attributes.

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If you already have some choices selected, but you want to
change them, use the Clear All Choices button.
If you are not particular about which variables are assigned to
which attributes, you can assign them at once. Select the
attribute you wish to assign first from the list on the left, then
click the All at once button.

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If you want to assign specific variables to specific attributes,
you can assign them one at a time. Click an Inactive Attribute
from the list on the left side of the dialog box and click a
variable in the list on the right side. Finally, select One at a
time to make the assignment.

Click an
attribute.

Click a
variable.

Click
One at a time.

3.

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Once you assign all the StrataSim variables to attributes, click OK.

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Initializing the Pressure Solver
In the setup part of the program you set your parameters for the
pressure solver. Since the pressure solver is iterative, it can reach a
solution faster if you initialize it. You can do this only if previous
pressure solutions exist in the Attribute Model. This menu for
initializing is optional. The solver will still obtain a solution if you
choose not to initialize it.
1.

Select Simulation → Initialize Pressure Solver.
The dialog box that appears asks if you want to use a previous
solution for a faster result.

2.

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To use a previous solution, click it, then click OK. If you do not
want to use a previous solution, just click OK.

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Running a Simulation
1.

Now begin the simulation run by selecting Simulation →
Run Simulation.

2.

At this point a simulation begins to run if you have completed the
following tasks:
• Chosen a run that has no previous output
• Filled out all setup menus
• Specified attributes for output
If not, you encounter the following dialog boxes informing you of
the run status:

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In the example below, a dialog box enables you to doublecheck the variables that were not changed before the run. If you
do not wish to return to the setup, select Run. In this example,
none of the listed items were changed since the current run was
created.

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If you limited the model size, a message appearsand asks if you
want nulls in the unused output attribute cells.

Writing nulls into the unused cells makes it easy to see which
cells have been excluded from the simulation and overwrites
any extraneous information in the cells. However, information
contained in the unused cells may be important in another
simulation run.

If you selected a previous run, a dialog box like the following
one appears:

To retain the output from the previous run, select Create New
Run. To select new output attributes and delete the output of
the previous run, select Specify Output.

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If you choose to create a new run, the following dialog boxes
appear:

Enter a new description for the run and click OK. StrataSim
begins again by copying the files and you must restart the
simulation.

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Reviewing Results
StrataSim provides you with mechanisms for reviewing results both
during and after the simulation run.

During the Run
During the simulation run, an xterm appears that reports the progress of
the simulation.
This shell contains important output for a normal run, including:




Information about reading values and writing them into attributes
A pre-conditioning solution of the flow potential equation
Solution information for the flow potential equation
Volumetric flow rates of sources
Characteristic times

For a successful run, the xterm report also includes a summary of the
time-step information like the one in following example:

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If there is a runtime error or if StrataSim must modify your input to
obtain a successful run, a warning message appears in addition.
For example, the following message tells you that the simulation was
terminated because oil recovery occurred much faster than expected.

After the Run
Although you will most likely view your simulation results in Show
Displays in Stratamodel, you can view some important output while
still in StrataSim. Select Output → Tabulated Results.

Tabulated Results Report Window
This window displays the following information:

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Run description
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Run creation date
Units of measurement used
Description of the Stratigraphic Framework Model
Description of the simulation model
Relative error and iterations for the pressure equation input
Production plot information
3D output variables
Frequency of timestep summaries
Well information
Fluid property information
Flowbody information
Ratios of nonzero transmissibilities for flowbodies and cells
Relative error and iterations for the pressure equation output
Volumetric flow rates of sources
Characteristic times
Volumetric flow rates for wells
Well pressures
Solution of the saturation equation
Time for simulation to complete

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The following example shows the display of a simulation in
Stratamodel Show Displays. Sample displays appear throughout this
guide.
Permeabilities
generated
stochastically

Oil saturation timestep using stochastic
permeabilities in a
left-to-right flow
simulation.

Simulation Using Stochastic Permeabilities

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Deleting Output Attributes
Once you have finished your run, you may want to delete some of your
output attributes. The main reason for doing this is to free up space for
storing attributes in subsequent runs.

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1.

Select Session → Delete Output Attributes.

2.

Click the attributes you want to remove. If you select one
accidentally, click it again to release it.

3.

Click OK.

4.

A message appears and asks you to confirm that you want to delete
the output.

5.

Click Yes to delete the output, No to cancel the deletion.

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Exporting Run Results to ARIES
You can export values from your StrataSim solution to ARIES, for a
complete economic decision analysis. The values provided by
StrataSim to ARIES are “monthly” production volumes for oil and
water in addition to the instantaneous water cut at the end of the month.
ARIES imports this information directly into its historical production
database, allowing you to view the results graphically in many formats
on screen or in hardcopy plots. The volumes can also be used as direct
input to the economics engine using a standard LOAD command.

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1.

Select Session → Export to ARIES. The program asks for a file
name.

2.

Enter a name of eight characters or less in the File Name box.
Note that the dialog box shows you the extension that will be
added to the name.

3.

Click OK. The program notifies you that the ARIES file is being
created.

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Technical Reference
Overview
This section contains essential information about the way StrataSim
works. The topics cover these concepts:

Important concepts for understanding StrataSim results
A clear statement of the equations StrataSim solves

The goal of this section is to provide physical insight into what
StrataSim does. For the geologist, the presentation is relatively free of
differential equations. However, for the reservoir engineer, the results
are stated so that you can easily recognize the finite difference
equations. The derivations presented here are tailored to StrataSim and
the needs of StrataSim users. For additional discussion of mathematical
underpinnings, please consult standard texts, such as in Bear (1972),
Aziz and Settari (1979) or Peaceman (1977).
Even experienced reservoir engineers can be surprised at StrataSim
results. Usually, they are not surprised for long. They think through the
implications of their input and rationalize the outcome. In this regard,
the discussion on transmissibility is particularly important, as
transmissibility is the most important variable governing the outcome
of your StrataSim simulations.
The physics underpinning StrataSim is simpler than for standard
reservoir simulators. This simplicity offers an advantage to reservoir
engineers and geoscientists alike: a modest investment in time can lead
to a greatly enhanced appreciation for StrataSim’s range of capabilities.
This technical reference guide has been purposefully designed to build
up to the flow equations. Consequently, the ratio of explanatory
material to equations is high in the beginning. Eventually, however, the
equations start to dominate. Fortunately, it is not the calculus or finite
difference methods that are difficult; rather, it is subscripts. Once you
get the hang of them, understand the equations is much easier.
Consequently, we urge you to stay with it. Your enhanced
understanding will pay off, through better appreciation of and
communication with your colleagues in reservoir engineering.

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This section presents discussions of:




Darcy’s Law
Two-phase flow, highlighting the StrataSim assumptions for
relative permeabilities and mobility ratio
Transmissibilities
Incompressible flow equations, which are solved to determine
profiles for both flow potential and saturation
Well models and constraints

Along the way, the text explains simplifications to the following areas,
which underpin the StrataSim approach:





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Two-phase flow
Incompressible fluids
Unit mobility ratio
Linear relative permeability curves
Unit density ratio
Zero capillary pressure

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Darcy’s Law
The basis for describing flow in porous media is Darcy’s Law. In one of
its simplest forms for one-dimensional, single-phase flow, Darcy’s Law
states that volumetric flow rate, Fz, in the z direction is proportional to
the derivative in flow potential, Φ with respect to z.
Equation 1

kA ∂Φ
F z = – ------- ------µ ∂z

In Equation one, k denotes permeability; A, cross-sectional area; µ,
fluid viscosity; and z, length along the flow direction. The flow
potential is defined as follows.
Equation 2

Φ = P – ρg ( z 0 – z )

In Equation 2, P denotes pressure; ρ, fluid density; g, the constant of
gravitational acceleration in the direction of the z axis; and z0, a
reference elevation. Because Darcy’s Law deals only with differences
in flow potential, the choice of z0 is entirely arbitrary.
This definition of flow potential assumes that gravity acts parallel to the
z axis. In general, you can imagine choosing a coordinate system that
has components of gravity along each of the three axes. Fortunately,
our models employ the natural coordinate system where gravity acts in
the z direction, as shown in the following figure. Therefore, a more
general formulation is unnecessary. For our models, the z axis points
upward and gravity acts downward. Consequently, the gravitational
acceleration vector is g = – gk , where k denotes the unit vector for
the z axis, as shown in the figure below.
z

g = – gk

y (rows)

x

(c

ol

um

ns

)

Layer Numbers Increase
with Increasing Z

Gravitational Vector in Stratamodel/StrataSim Coordinate System

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Sometimes you will hear Darcy’s Law loosely described as “flow rate is
proportional to pressure drop,” rather than to flow potential. As you can
see from above, this is only strictly true when flow is horizontal
(constant z) or when gravity is zero (for reservoirs in outer space).
Unfortunately, if you think of Darcy’s Law in terms of “pressure”
rather than “flow potential,” you can be surprised by your simulation
results, as shown in the following section.

An Example of Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law
As mentioned above, Darcy’s Law is often misinterpreted, which can
lead to apparently surprising results. As an example of this, consider
the following problem. Suppose you want to determine the effective
permeability in the x direction for a portion of your model. You may try
to do this by setting up a StrataSim run with a pressure drop as shown
in the following figure:
g = – gk
PR
L

z
PL

?

No-Flow
Boundary

x

What Is the Flow Direction If a Pressure Drop Is Imposed Across a
Limited Portion of a Model with No-Flow Boundaries?
In the figure, PL and PR denote pressures on the left and right hand
sides of your model. If PL is greater than PR, you expect to get flow
from left to right.
Granted, if the geology is heterogeneous, you are likely to get some
components of the flow in other than the x direction. However, you can
orient the bulk of the flow in the x direction by imposing no-flow
boundaries on the top and bottom, as shown. From solving the pressure
equation using StrataSim, you can calculate the corresponding
volumetric flow rate for the imposed pressure drop. Given the pressure
drop and flow rate, you can apply Darcy’s Law to the overall model to
calculate an effective permeability.

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Can you detect the flaw in this analysis?
The flaw is that we imposed a constant pressure, not constant flow
potential, on the boundary. If we let the reference elevation, z0, equal L,
the length of the model along the z axis, then the following figure
shows the values of the potential at the top and bottom on both sides of
the model.
Φ = PL

Φ = P L – ρgL

PL > PR

Φ = PR

Φ = P R – ρgL
No-Flow Boundary

Imposing constant pressure leads to a drop in flow potential on the
boundaries. This creates an additional flow along the z axis,
perpendicular to the direction that was intended.
As expected, there is a drop in potential between left and right sides.
However, there is also a drop in potential from top to bottom.
Consequently, there will be a flow not only from left to right but also
from top to bottom.
As you can see from inspecting Darcy’s Law in Equation 1, the
strengths of these flows, both intended and unintended, depend not only
on the size of the drop in flow potential but also on the permeability,
cross-sectional area, and distance over which the flow potential is
imposed. The concept of transmissibility, which incorporates these
other factors into one parameter, is explained in “Transmissibility” on
page 105. Consequently, further discussion of this example is
postponed until then. This example, however, is worth revisiting
because it shows what can go wrong when implications of Darcy’s Law
are poorly appreciated.

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Hydrostatic Equilibrium
An important, yet simple, solution of Darcy’s equation occurs for the
case of no flow, or hydrostatic equilibrium. For the flow rate to be zero,
Φ must be a constant, which we denote as Φ0. From Equation 2 we
obtain the following:
Equation 3
P = Φ 0 + ρg ( z 0 – z )
Suppose z0 denotes the top of your model; then all other values of z are
less than z0. Therefore, P = Φ 0 at the top of the model and
P = Φ 0 + ρgz 0 at the bottom, where z=0. In other words, the pressure,
P, increases linearly with depth (decreasing z). The term after the plus
sign is referred to as the hydrostatic head. Another way to state this
result is that the pressure difference between two points in hydrostatic
equilibrium is equal to the difference in gravitational head.
Like other simulators, StrataSim assumes that wellbore fluids are in
hydrostatic equilibrium. In other words, at any point in the simulation,
a well can be described by a single flow potential and reference
elevation or by a single pressure and reference elevation. In general,
however, that this single potential per well can vary with time,
depending on the density of the wellbore fluids.
StrataSim offers four choices of reference elevations for describing
wellbore pressures:



Top of the well
Bottom of the well
Top of the model
Bottom of the model

Internally, StrataSim datums all pressures to one reference, the bottom
of the model.

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Two-Phase Flow
This section describes StrataSim’s assumptions concerning relative
permeabilities and mobility ratio. The primary motivation for
employing these assumptions is to minimize the time and computer
memory spent in solving the equation for the flow potential, which is
described in “Equation for Flow Potential” on page 126. To be sure,
the models we use entail simplifications over what is possible with
standard reservoir simulators. Nevertheless, StrataSim still allows you
to investigate a very important aspect of relative permeability, the
immobile saturations which define the end-points of the curves.
This section includes:


A presentation of Darcy’s Law for two-phase flow.
An expression for the total volumetric flow rate
StrataSim’s assumptions concerning relative permeabilities and
mobility ratio

Darcy’s Law and Two-Phase Flow
The extension of Darcy’s Law to two-phase flow entails applying
Darcy’s Law for single-phase flow to each phase individually:
Equation 4

∂Φ w
F wz = – kλ rw A ----------∂z

and
Equation 5

∂Φ o
F oz = – kλ ro A ---------∂z

where
Equation 6
k rw
k ro
λ rw = -------- , λ ro = ------µw
µo

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The subscript β in the following description denotes the phase, either
“o” for oil or “w” for water. The relative mobility of the phase,
denoted by λrβ, is equal to the relative permeability of the phase, krβ,
divided by the viscosity, µβ. Oftentimes, two-phase flow is discussed in
terms of the mobility, which consists of the relative mobility multiplied
by the permeability. To separate explicitly the effects of reservoir
architecture from effects of reservoir fluids, the relative mobility is
employed instead.

Total Volumetric Flow Rate
This section derives an expression for the total volumetric flow rate in
terms of the flow potential in the water phase. Applying Equation 2 for
each of the phases obtains the following equations:
Equation 7

Φo = Po –ρ0 g ( z0 – z )

and
Equation 8

Φw = Pw – ρw g ( z0 – z )

Subtracting Equation 7 from Equation 8 obtains an expression for the
oil-phase flow potential in terms of the water-phase oil potential,
capillary pressure, and density difference between phases:
Equation 9

Φo = Φw + Φc

where
Equation 10

Φ c = P c + ∆ρg ( z 0 – z )

and
Equation 11
Equation 12

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Pc ( Sw ) = Po – Pw
∆ρ = ρ w – ρ o

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The capillary pressure, Pc, which is defined as the difference between
the oil and water phase pressures, is a function of water saturation. The
potential, Φc, describes the contribution of both capillary pressure and
gravitational effects, which depend on the density difference between
fluids.
Substitute Equation 9 for the flow potential in the oil phase for
Equation 5 for the flow rate in the oil phase. Then add the oil and water
phase flow rates together to obtain the desired result for the volumetric
flow rate for both phases.
Equation 13
∂Φ w
∂Φ c
F z = F wz + F oz = – kA  λ r ----------- + λ ro ----------
 ∂z
∂z 
Equation 13 defines the total relative mobility. Note that the lack of a
phase subscript indicates that the variable refers to a total for both
phases.
Equation 14

λ r = λ rw + λ ro

The expression for the total volumetric flow rate in
Equation 13 will be used later, in “Incompressible Flow Equations in
StrataSim” on page 125, to derive the flow potential equation.

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Relative Permeabilities
For a given rock-fluid, two-phase system, the relative permeability of a
particular phase is usually taken to depend only on the saturation of that
phase:
Equation 15
k rβ = k rβ ( S β ), β = o, w
StrataSim simplifies the description of the relative permeabilities in
Equation 15 to the linear relationships shown in the following figure.

Relative Permeability

1.0

k

0
ro
k

0

S wr

S or

0
rw

1.0

Water Saturation

StrataSim assumes linear relative permeabilities to oil and water.
However, the immobile saturations can be different for every cell in
your model.
The StrataSim model for relative permeabilities is as follows:
Equation 16
k rw = k

0 ˆ
0
S , k ro = k ( 1 – Sˆ )
rw
ro

where
Equation 17
S w – S wr
Sˆ = -----------------------------1 – S or – S wr

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The immobile saturations for water and oil are denoted by Swr and Sor.
The end-point relative permeabilities to water and oil are denoted by
k0rw and k0ro respectively. The movable water saturation, denoted by
Sˆ , varies between zero and 1.
Linear relative permeability curves certainly have a precedent. In fact,
such assumptions were commonplace before the advent of highpowered computers. Muscat (1937), for example, implicitly assumed
them in order to obtain analytical expressions for two-dimensional flow
in standard pattern floods, such as line drive or five spot. Dake (1978),
provides another example for how such curves are used to model
segregated flow. The StrataSim approach is to use these assumptions,
which have proved so worthy in the past. The computing power is
reserved, not for the physics, but for describing high-resolution
geological models.
The linear model captures end-point information. For example, the
immobile saturations can be different for every cell in your model.
StrataSim reads in immobile saturations directly from your Attribute
Model. Because it is closely linked your geological modeling package,
StrataSim offers you great flexibility to investigate sensitivity of
recovery predictions to immobile saturations.
Immobile saturations can easily be expressed as functions of
attributes — such as layer, sequence, elevation, lithofacies.
For example, if you are modeling a fluvial environment, you may want
to assign immobile saturations as a function of lithofacies: mud clast,
cross beds, ripple laminated beds, crevasse splays, etc. Or for a
carbonate model with a significant diagenetic overprint, you may want
to assign immobile saturations as functions of elevation, sequence, or
layer.
Even linear relative permeability models depend upon measured data
for input. Thus, this section concludes with a word or two on
measurement of relative permeabilities.
The three most commonly used methods for measuring relative
permeabilities are the Welge unsteady-state method (Welge, 1952;
Johnson et. al., 1959), the steady-state method (Osoba et al., 1951 and
Leverett and Lewis, 1940), and the centrifuge method (Hagoort, 1980;
O’Meara and Lease, 1983; O’Meara and Crump, 1985).
Strictly speaking, relative permeabilities depend on a number of other
parameters than saturations. For example, wettability, interfacial
tension, and flow rate all can play a role in affecting experiments
designed to measure relative permeabilities on core samples.

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Whether you run StrataSim or a standard simulator, wettability is
important. Wettability affects not only the shape of the relative
permeability curves but also the end-points. Consequently, to obtain the
correct relative permeabilities, it is crucial to measure under the correct,
in situ, wettability conditions. This is an area of much intense research.
Given the attendant uncertainties, StrataSim offers you an excellent
way to explore the sensitivity of immobile saturations on your recovery
predictions.
Interfacial tension and flow rate are relatively unimportant in the
StrataSim context. They are of interest, primarily in chemical flooding,
where the idea is to decrease the residual (or trapped) oil saturation
after waterflood through decreasing interfacial tension. For further
discussion on this topic, see Taber (1969) and Stegemeier (1977).

Unit Mobility Ratio
Given the relative permeabilities of Equation 16, we can now calculate
the total mobility, as defined in Equation 14. Using Equation 6, which
describes the relative phase mobilities, derives:
Equation 18
λr = λ

0
[ Sˆ + M ( 1 – Sˆ ) ]
rw

For Equation 18, the end-point relative mobilities of water and oil are
defined as:
Equation 19
0
0
k
k
0
rw 0
ro
= ---------- , λ = -------λ
µ w ro µ o
rw
The end-point mobility ratio is defined as:
Equation 20
0
λ
rw
M = ---------0
λ
ro

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Note that M is defined so that M exceeds one if the end-point relative
mobility of the water exceeds the end-point relative mobility of the oil.
Displacements for which M exceeds 1 are referred to as unfavorable
mobility ratio displacements, because the likelihood of viscous
fingering and of a drawn out recovery curve is increased. On the other
hand, displacements for which M is less than 1 are referred to as
favorable mobility ratio displacements. Such displacements are stable,
typified by piston-like saturation fronts.
StrataSim assumes that the end-point mobility ratio, M, equals 1:
Equation 21
λr = λ

0
0
= λ ↔M = 1
rw
ro

This is not a particularly bad assumption for many waterfloods.
Typically, the viscosity of water, µw, is less than the viscosity of oil, µo.
However, the end-point relative permeability to water, k0rw, is often less
than the end-point relative permeability to oil, k0ro. Thus, the effects
compensate.
StrataSim requires you to specify a viscosity and an end-point relative
permeability for only one phase. The relative mobility of the other
phase is calculated to insure a unit mobility ratio.
A consequence of StrataSim’s unit mobility ratio assumption is that the
total relative mobility does not depend on saturation. As you will see in
the next section, this has a great advantage in minimizing the time
needed to solve the equation for flow potential.
Not to put too fine a point on it, here is a possibility that may be useful
to you in modeling the case where this end-point mobility changes in
every cell. To do this, simply define the end-point relative mobility as
an attribute. Using Model Operations, construct attributes that are the
product of end-point relative mobility and permeabilities in the three
coordinate directions. Then read these reduced permeabilities into your
StrataSim model instead of the original permeabilities.

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Transmissibility
Perhaps the most important variable governing the outcome of your
StrataSim simulations is transmissibility. This variable encapsulates the
effects of permeability, cell thickness, and cross-sectional area on flow.
Moreover, modifications of it are used to model effects of shales,
fractures, and faults.
Transmissibility is too important to remain in the obscurity of
numerical analysis if geoscientists and reservoir engineers are to
appreciate the effect of geology on shaping flow. Given our experience
in interpreting StrataSim simulations, an extensive discussion of it is
warranted.
In recent years, there has been much interest in “upscaling” reservoir
simulations, where simulations on a fine-scale are used to estimate
effective properties on a coarser scale. Even here, the emphasis seems
to be on calculating “effective permeabilities” not on “effective
transmissibilities.” People who write numerical simulators, however,
know that the latter, rather than the former, are more crucial to
determining flow.
Unfortunately, one of the problems with lurking in obscurity is that
definitions of transmissibility can vary from text to text. There seems to
be no commonly accepted definition of transmissibility. If this were not
bad enough, groundwater hydrologists have complicated matters by
talking about “transmissivity.”
Perhaps a reason that transmissibility is under-appreciated is that the
usual definitions tend to lump too many things together. For the present
discussion, we adopt the following definition:
Transmissibility between two cells is defined as an average of the
permeability, multiplied by cross-sectional area, divided by the
distance between cell centers.
This definition reduces to what Aziz and Settari (1979) refer to as the
“constant part of the transmissibility,” excluding effects of viscosity,
relative permeability, and compressibility. In other words, our
definition concentrates on the effects of the reservoir itself, and
separates out the effects of reservoir fluids. This is consistent with
StrataSim’s effort to highlight the importance of geology on shaping
flow.
The appropriate way to “average” permeability, cross-sectional area,
and distance between cell centers is the subject of “Transmissibility in
Z Direction” on page 107 and “Transmissibility in X and Y
Directions” on page 111.
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Summary of Discussion
Highlights from the following discussion on transmissibility are as
follows:

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Transmissibility combines effects of permeability, cell thickness,
and cross-sectional area on flow rate between adjoining cells. It is
transmissibility, not permeability, which needs to be kept in mind
when thinking about flow between cells (“Transmissibility in Z
Direction” on page 107).

X and Y transmissibilities equal zero when the thickness of either
adjoining cell is zero (“Transmissibility in X and Y Directions” on
page 111).

Transmissibility multipliers can be used to model shales, fractures,
and faults without requiring additional cells (“Transmissibility
Multipliers” on page 113).

Z transmissibility can often be quite larger than X and Y
transmissibilities; consequently, small potential differences in z
can cause sizeable flow rates, and vice versa. Do not be surprised if
you see vertical stripes in your pressure displays. This is a
consequence of high Z transmissibility causing little variation of
pressure with elevation (“Comparisons of X, Y, and Z
Transmissibilities” on page 114).

For the case of “An Example of Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law” on
page 95, where constant pressure, rather than constant flow
potential, was specified on the boundaries, there is an unexpected
flow in the z direction. Due to high Z transmissibility, the
magnitude of this flow can overwhelm the intended flow in the x
direction (“Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law — Revisited” on
page 117).

StrataSim offers the user two choices for input of transmissibilities
and two choices for input of transmissibility multipliers (“Using
Transmissibilities in StrataSim” on page 119).

Displays of Z transmissibility may indicate higher than expected
values due to very thin or zero thickness cells (“Double Z
Transmissibilities Near Very Thin Cells” on page 120).

StrataSim eliminates zero thickness and thin cells from your
simulation model (“Elimination of Zero Thickness Cells” on
page 121).

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The following presentation introduces transmissibility in a physically
meaningful way through applying Darcy’s Law to flow between
adjoining cells. The discussion proceeds without involving finite
difference methods. The approach is to consider flow first in the
direction of the z axis, then in the directions of the x and y axes. Once
transmissibility equations are obtained, the section examines their
physical significance, pointing out features that have a high impact on
simulation results. The discussion tells you what to look for and how
easily to overcome any problems. StrataSim features for
transmissibility input are discussed. In addition, the discussion revisits
the example of “An Example of Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law” on
page 95 to explain how these misinterpretations can be compounded
for typical models in which z transmissibilities are much higher than x
and y transmissibilities.

Transmissibility in Z Direction
To develop the concept of transmissibility, consider an application of
the single-phase version of Darcy’s Law to flow between two adjoining
cells that are stacked one upon the other along the z axis, as shown in
the figure below. Although the use of subscripts may at first seem
cumbersome, bear with it. The final result introduces you to exactly the
form of the transmissibility that is used by StrataSim and for that
matter, many numerical simulators.
∆x
A = ∆x ⋅ ∆y

∆y

FZ

k zijk + 1 ,Φ ijk + 1

∆z ijk + 1

∆z ijk

( ∆z ijk + ∆z ijk + 1 ) ⁄ 2
k zijk ,Φ ijk

FZ

Transmissibility in z Direction Is Calculated by Considering Flow
Through Two Vertically Aligned, Adjoining Cells

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Consider flow of an incompressible (constant density) fluid through the
two cells where Fz denotes the volumetric flow rate. Because of mass
conservation, this rate does not vary spatially. The indices for the top
and bottom cells are (i,j,k+1) and (i,j,k) respectively, where the indices
(i,j,k) denote the x, y, and z axes respectively. The index of the interface
between cells is (i,j,k+1/2), where the 1/2 refers to the boundary
between cells, which is not necessarily the same as the point halfway
between cell centers.
Permeabilities in the z direction are denoted by kz ijk for the lower cell
and kz ijk+1 for the upper one. The cells have the same cross-sectional
area, A, equal to ∆x·∆y where ∆x and ∆y denote lengths along the x
and y axes. This regular grid in the x, y plane is the case for all
Stratamodel models.
If we let Φijk and Φιjk+1 denote the flow potentials at the centers of the
two cells and Φijk+1/2 denote the flow potential at the interface between
the two blocks, we can calculate the difference in flow potentials
between cell centers as the sum of the differences between centers and
the interface.
Equation 22
Φ ijk + 1 – Φ ijk = ( Φ ijk + 1 – Φ ijk + 1 ⁄ 2 ) + ( Φ ijk + 1 ⁄ 2 – Φ ijk )
The cells are of different thicknesses, denoted by ∆zijk and ∆zijk+1.
Consequently, the distance from the center of the (i,j,k) cell to the
interface is (∆zijk)/2 and the distance from the interface to the center of
the (i,j,k+1) cell is (∆zijk+1)/2.
Applying Darcy’s Law to calculate the differences in flow potentials on
the right-hand side of the equation obtains the following:
Equation 23

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µF z ∆z ijk + 1 ∆z ijk
Φ ijk + 1 – Φ ijk = – ----------------- ------------------ + -----------2∆x∆y k zijk + 1 k zijk

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Because the flow rate, Fz, does not vary spatially, this equation can be
rewritten in terms of the volumetric flow rate of fluid through the
interface, Fz ijk+1/2 and the transmissibility of the interface, Tz ijk+1/2:
Equation 24
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
F zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = – ----------------------- ( Φ ijk + 1 – Φ ijk )
µ
where
Equation 25
k zijk k zijk + 1
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = 2∆x∆y ------------------------------------------------------------------∆z ijk k zijk + 1 + ∆z ijk + 1 k zijk
Thus, the volumetric flow rate is equal to the transmissibility divided by
viscosity multiplied by the difference in flow potentials. Notice that the
transmissibility is defined at the interface between cells and it combines
the effects of permeability, cell thickness, and cross-sectional area on
flow rate (or flux) across the face between the two cells.
Transmissibility, not permeability, must be kept in mind when thinking
about flow between cells. So, extremely low permeability does not
necessarily result in no flow if it is counterbalanced, for example, by a
large cross-sectional area.
For example, in many of your simulations, the lengths of cells in the x
and y directions, ∆x and ∆y, will be much larger than the length in the z
direction. The latter may be on the order of feet and the former on the
order of hundreds of feet. In this case, even small permeabilities can
result in substantial transmissibility and, consequently, flow. Flow
within laterally continuous but thin turbid sands is an example of this.
This topic is re-examined in “Comparisons of X, Y, and Z
Transmissibilities” on page 114, which compares transmissibilities in
the three directions and describes the significance of the differences to
your simulations.

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The above derivation assumed that the two cells were rectangular. In
general, this is not the case for Stratamodel models. However, such a
situation can be approximated as shown in the figure below:
Actual

Approximation

∆z ijk + 1

∆z ijk

Approximation of Nonrectangular Cells for Calculating
Transmissibility in the z Direction
The left-hand portion of the figure depicts two cells that are not
rectangular. The right-hand portion shows how StrataSim approximates
them as rectangular cells with the same thickness as in the actual cells.
To be sure, this is only an approximation. A more rigorous
consideration of such nonrectangular cells would require consideration
of flow in other than just the z direction. The consequence of this for
three-dimensional flow is the occurrence of “cross-derivative” terms in
the flow potential equation. For a discussion of these terms, see Chapter
9 in Chin (1993). However, as stated by Chin, the inclusion of these
terms is typically neglected in standard reservoir simulators. Certainly,
if standard simulators do not include them, StrataSim’s “relaxed
physics” approach does not warrant their inclusion.

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Transmissibility in X and Y Directions
For the case of flow in the direction of the x or y axes, we start
immediately with the general situation in which the cells are not
rectangular. The figure below depicts this for flow along the x axis:
Actual

∆z ijk

∆x

∆z i + 1 jk

Approximation
∆x

Fx

∆z ijk

k xijk, Φ ijk
A ijk = ∆z ijk ⋅ ∆y

∆z i + 1 jk

Fx

k xi + 1 jk, Φ i + 1 jk
A i + 1 jk = ∆z i + 1 jk ⋅ ∆y

As before, consider flow of an incompressible fluid through the two
cells where Fx denotes the volumetric flow rate. Strictly speaking, this
flow is two-dimensional at least. However, ignore all but the x
component of flow and assume that Fx does not vary spatially. The
permeabilities in the x direction of the two cells are denoted by kxijk for
the left-most one and kxi+1jk for the right-most one. The cells are of
different cross-sectional area, denoted by ∆zijk·∆y and ∆zi+1jk·∆y
respectively. However, they have the same length, ∆x, in the direction
of flow.
If Φijk and Φi+1jk denote the flow potentials at the centers of the two
cells, and Φi+1/2 jk denotes the flow potential at the interface between the
two blocks, you can calculate the difference in flow potentials between
cell centers as the sum of the differences between centers and the
interface:
Equation 26
Φ i + 1 jk – Φ ijk = ( Φ i + 1 jk – Φ i + 1 ⁄ 2 jk ) + ( Φ i + 1 ⁄ 2 jk – Φ ijk )

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Applying Darcy’s Law, Equation 1, for flow in the x direction to
calculate the differences in flow potentials on the right-hand side of the
equation obtains the following:
Equation 27

µF x ∆x
1
1
Φ i + 1 jk – Φ ijk = – ----------------- -------------------------------------- + ----------------------2∆y ∆z i + 1 jk k xi + 1 jk ∆z ijk k xijk

You can rewrite this in terms of the flux of fluid through the interface
and the transmissibility of the interface:
Equation 28
T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk
F xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk = – ------------------------ ( Φ i + 1 jk – Φ ijk )
µ
where
Equation 29

2∆y ∆z ijk k xijk ∆z i + 1 jk k xi + 1 jk
T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk = ---------- -------------------------------------------------------------------∆x ∆z ijk k xijk + ∆z i + 1 jk k xi + 1 jk

The derivation for the y direction transmissibility proceeds the same as
for the transmissibility in the x direction. To avoid repetition, here are
the results:
Equation 30
T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k
F yij + 1 ⁄ 2k = – ------------------------ [ Φ ij + 1k – Φ ijk ]
µ
where
Equation 31

2∆x ∆z ijk k yijk ∆z ij + 1k k yij + 1k
T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k = ---------- ------------------------------------------------------------------∆y ∆z ijk k yijk + ∆z ij + 1k k yij + 1k

Notice that when the cell thickness of either cell becomes zero in either
Equation 29 or Equation 31, the transmissibility also becomes zero.
This confirms what you would expect if either cell in the above figure
disappears. Naturally, there would be no flow into it.

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Transmissibility Multipliers
Suppose you want to model the effect of a very thin, yet laterally
continuous shale. For example, suppose the shale is only 0.5 ft. thick
and your cells are 20 ft. thick. Do you define an additional sequence in
your Stratamodel model just for the shale? Probably not. There is an
easier way. You can approximate the shale as being a property of the
interface between adjoining cells, rather than requiring a cell itself.
However, doing this begs the question of how to modify the
transmissibility between the two cells to account for the effect of the
shale on flow.
Of course, if the shale is a no-flow boundary, the answer is simply to set
the transmissibility to zero. If the shale allows flow, the standard way to
handle this is to incorporate “transmissibility multipliers” in
Equations 25, 29, and 31.
Equation 32
TM zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 k zijk k zijk + 1
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = 2∆x∆y ------------------------------------------------------------------∆z ijk k zijk + 1 + ∆z ijk + 1 k zijk
Equation 33

2∆y TM xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk ∆z ijk k xijk ∆z i + 1 jk k xi + 1 jk
T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk = ---------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------∆x
∆z ijk k xijk + ∆z i + 1 jk k xi + 1 jk

Equation 34

2∆x TM yij + 1 ⁄ 2k ∆z ijk k yijk ∆z ij + 1k k yij + 1k
T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k = ---------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------∆y
∆z ijk k yijk + ∆z ij + 1k k yij + 1k

The default value for the multipliers is one. The most common
modification entails setting a multiplier to zero for no-flow interfaces.
Multipliers greater than one would signify an enhancement to flow
because of a high permeability zone. Assignment of values is typically
ad hoc.
You could obtain an alternative to using transmissibility multipliers by
deriving the above equations again with the addition of a permeability
barrier of finite extent located on one side of the interface between
adjoining cells. The formulas equivalent to Equations 25, 29, and 31
would obtain additional terms including the barrier permeability and
thickness. This approach requires two Stratamodel attributes, barrier
permeability and thickness, instead of a single transmissibility
multiplier. Given the uncertainty in describing the flow characteristics
of barriers, this extra degree of complexity is usually not worth it.

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Transmissibility multipliers can also be used to model flow due to
fractures and faults. Faults described in Stratamodel can be made either
sealed or open by appropriate choice of multipliers. A possible way to
model fractures is to make transmissibility multipliers dependent
(through a model operation) on, say, local curvature of the stratigraphic
framework model.

Comparisons of X, Y, and Z Transmissibilities
Equations 25, 29, and 31 describe how to calculate transmissibilities
for the general case where cell thickness is variable. To simplify
comparison of transmissibilities, consider these equations for the case
where cells are of the same thickness, ∆z:
Equation 35
2∆x∆y k zijk k zijk + 1
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = ----------------- ----------------------------------∆z k zijk + 1 + k zijk
Equation 36
2∆y∆z k xijk k xi + 1 jk
T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk = ----------------- ----------------------------------∆x k xijk + k xi + 1 jk
Equation 37
2∆x∆z k yijk k yij + 1k
T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k = ----------------- ----------------------------------∆y k yijk + k yij + 1k
Reservoirs are usually far larger in area extent than vertical.
Consequently, in many of your simulations the lengths of cells in the x
and y directions, ∆x and ∆y, will be much larger than the length in the z
direction, ∆z. This suggests that the z transmissibility is often much
larger than x and y transmissibilities. Notice when you use “Show
Displays” to examine transmissibilities, that the color bar may be the
same, but the scale values can easily be four to six factors of ten higher
for z transmissibility than for x and y transmissibilities.

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To illustrate this point further, consider the following dimensionless
numbers, Nzx and Nzy, which are composed of ratios of
transmissibilities:
Equation 38
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
∆x 2 k z
- =  ------- ----N zx = ---------------------- ∆z k x
T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk
Equation 39
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
∆y 2 k z
N zy = ----------------------- =  ------- ---- ∆z k y
T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k
Dimensionless numbers are often a good way to examine contrasting
effects. Instead of simply stating that the z transmissibility can be
“high,” the dimensionless numbers can answer the question “high
compared to what?”
Consider the following example:
∆x = 100 ft. ∆y = 100 ft.

∆z = 1 ft.

kx = ky = kz
then
N zx = 10, 000

N zy = 10, 000

In light of Equations 24, 28, and 30, you can interpret this in two ways.
For a given difference in flow potential, the flow rate in the z direction
will be 10,000 times greater than in the x or y directions. Or, for a given
flow rate, the flow potential drop in the z direction will be 10,000 times
smaller than in the x or y directions. The latter suggests that, in many
cases such as this one, we can expect the flow potential not to vary
along the z axis. This is equivalent to saying we expect hydrostatic
equilibrium to prevail.
Consider a case where you have specified constant potential within a
vertical well that is only partially completed. The foregoing analysis
suggests that you should not be surprised if, at the (x, y) location of the
well, your simulation shows the same potential for all values of z
irrespective of whether they are penetrated by the well.

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Now, consider what happens when Nzx and Nzy drop to 1,000. This can
be done in the above example by holding everything else constant and
by decreasing the vertical-to-horizontal permeability ratio by a factor of
10. In other words, kx still equals ky, but kz/kx= 0.1. Should you expect a
change in simulation results? Probably not. For a given flow rate, the
flow potential drop in the z direction will still be 1,000 times smaller
than in the x or y directions.
Consequently, what seems to be a large change in permeabilities is not
likely to have much of an effect on simulation results, thus
underscoring the importance of transmissibility versus permeability.
On the other hand, for values of Nzx and Nzy near 1, you should expect
to see a significant change when the vertical-to-horizontal permeability
ratio decreases by a factor of 10.
Equations 35, 36, and 37 make it clear that transmissibilities are
comprised of harmonic averages of permeabilities. This is the natural
outcome of summing flow in series, as in “Transmissibility in Z
Direction” on page 107 and “Transmissibility in X and Y Directions”
on page 111. The result for summing flow in parallel is an arithmetic
average.

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Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law — Revisited
“An Example of Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law” on page 95 considers a
case where specifying constant pressure, rather than constant flow
potential, on the boundaries can lead to unexpected flow in the z
direction. This section revisits this example to show how the magnitude
of the inadvertent flow can be compounded due to high z
transmissibility.
For lengths and permeabilities in the x and z directions, we shall use the
example from “Comparisons of X, Y, and Z Transmissibilities” on
page 114:
∆x = 100 ft.

∆z = 1 ft.

kx = kz
Recall that in this case, which is not atypical, the z transmissibility is
much greater than the x transmissibility.
To simplify calculations, we consider just a four-cell version of the
model discussed in “An Example of Misinterpreting Darcy’s Law” on
page 95, as shown in the following figure:
∆x = 100 ft.

Φ = PL
Fx

Fz

∆z = 1 ft.

Fz

Φ = PR

Fx

Φ = P L – ρgL

Φ = P R – ρgL

No-Flow Boundary

In this case, there are only four volumetric flow rates to be concerned
about, as shown in Figure. On dropping the (i,j,k) subscripts on flow
rate and transmissibility, we arrive at the following equation comparing
flow rates in the z and x directions.

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Equation 40

T z ρg∆z
F
∆x 2 k z ρg∆z
-----z = ----------------------------- =  ------- ----- ---------------------- ∆z k x ( P L – P R )
Fx
Tx ( PL – PR )

Suppose you impose a pressure drop across the model, shown again of
500 psi.
P L = 1000 psi

P R = 500 psi

If the fluid flowing through the model is water, then the pressure
gradient is 0.43 psi/ft.:
ρg∆z = 0.43 psi
Consequently
F
-----z = 8.6
Fx
Therefore, with a not atypical transmissibility ratio, we can easily
generate a sizeable flow in the z direction by imposing a constant
pressure, rather than constant flow potential, on the boundary.
If you were to construct such a model using StrataSim, you would
probably use more than two cells in each direction. In that case, a large
contrast in the vertical to horizontal transmissibility ratio would cause a
sizeable volumetric flow rate in cells along the boundaries where
constant pressures have been constrained. However, within one cell
inside these boundaries, the pressure is no longer constrained.
Consequently, the high z transmissibility would cause pressures to
approach hydrostatic equilibrium, thereby resulting in very little
vertical flow. When visualizing volumetric flow rates in “Show
Displays,” you would see a high band of values within the boundary
cells and much lower values within the rest of the model.

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Using Transmissibilities in StrataSim
The rules for storing transmissibility information are as follows:

The X transmissibility, describing flow across the interface
between the (i,j,k) and (i+1,j,k) cells, is stored as an attribute of the
(i,j,k) cell.

The Y transmissibility, describing flow across the interface
between the (i,j,k) and (i,j+1,k) cells, is stored as an attribute of the
(i,j,k) cell.

The Z transmissibility, describing flow across the interface
between the (i,j,k) and (i,j,k+1) cells, is stored as an attribute of the
(i,j,k) cell.

The same rules apply to the storage of transmissibility multipliers.
StrataSim offers you two choices for input of transmissibilities:

Specify transmissibilities explicitly as input attributes.

Specify permeabilities and transmissibility multipliers which are
used to calculate transmissibilities.

In the first case, you save disk space by requiring only three attributes
to describe transmissibility. In the second case, you have a choice of
whether to save calculated transmissibilities in three additional
attributes or to calculate them “on the fly.”
If you want to specify transmissibility multipliers, StrataSim offers two
choices:

Specify transmissibilities explicitly as input attributes.

Specify an attribute whose change requires application of a
multiplier.

The second option is a useful one for easy investigation of the
importance of flow across boundaries. For example, it requires
changing only one input parameter to modify transmissibility
multipliers across layers or sequences.

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Double Z Transmissibilities Near Very Thin Cells
Occasionally, in the Stratamodel modeling process, cells can occur
whose thickness is either zero or very nearly zero. Generally, if you are
a user of only Stratamodel, you will not notice these cells because you
cannot see them in “Show Displays.” However, when you use
StrataSim, you can see their effect if you display the z transmissibility.
You will observe z transmissibilities that are approximately double
what you expect. This section explains why this occurs. In the
following section, we provide a way to avoid this problem for zero
thickness cells only.
As pointed out in “Transmissibility in X and Y Directions” on
page 111, when the cell thickness of either cell across the interface
becomes zero, the x and y transmissibilities also become zero.
However, this is not the case for the z transmissibility. To illustrate,
assume that the transmissibility multipliers are equal to one. Consider
Equation 25 for the case where ∆zijk+1 is zero:
Equation 41
k zijk
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = 2∆x∆y -----------∆z ijk
Compare Equation 41 with what happens in Equation 25 when the
(i,j,k+1) cell has the same thickness and permeability as the (i,j,k) cell.
Equation 42
k zijk
T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = ∆x∆y -----------∆z ijk
Notice that the transmissibility in Equation 41 is double the
transmissibility in Equation 42.
Imagine, now, that you are inspecting Z transmissibilities in “Show
Displays.” If you were to see a jump in transmissibility between two
apparently adjoining cells that have the same z direction permeability, it
would not be wrong. This jump occurs because of the presence of a
very thin, near zero thickness cell that you are not seeing in the display.
If the apparently adjoining cells have nearly the same z permeability,
the anomalous transmissibility will be double what you expect. Of
course, once you know where the thin cell is — by virtue of the double
transmissibility — you can search for it using the zoom feature.

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Elimination of Zero Thickness Cells
This section explains how StrataSim eliminates zero thickness cells.
Typically, zero thickness cells most frequently cause the “double”
transmissibilities described in the previous section.

When Cells Can Be Eliminated
StrataSim allows you to eliminate very thin cells. To do so, you must
make an a priori decision on what constitutes “thin.” Overestimation
could easily eliminate cells that are important to the simulation.
Although the method for elimination of thin, non-zero thickness cells is
straightforward, it is complicated and will not be presented here.
Eliminating thin, nonzero thickness cells requires you to lump
transmissibilities, thickness, volume, pore volume, and saturation of
such cells into neighboring cells. Then, after simulation, saturations
need to be “un-lumped,” to apportion fluids to the eliminated cells.
Eliminating zero thickness cells, however, is much simpler. Because
they have no volume, there is no need to lump and un-lump saturations.
Furthermore, zero thickness assures zero transmissibility in the x and y
directions, eliminating the need for lumping these quantities also. The
only problem is to account for flow in the z direction.
At first glance, you might decide that a reasonable way to eliminate a
zero thickness cell is to connect the cells above and below it, as if the
zero thickness cell were not there. Unfortunately, even zero thickness
cells can affect flow in the z direction.
Suppose, for example, such a cell contains a zero transmissibility
multiplier in the z direction. In this case, the two neighboring cells
above and below it should not communicate. Consequently, ignoring
the effect of the zero thickness cell would obtain the wrong result. Such
situations, by the way, are not farfetched. They easily occur when
transmissibility multipliers are assigned to sequence or layer
boundaries, because it is at these boundaries that Stratamodel is most
likely to insert zero thickness cells.

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How to Eliminate Zero Thickness Cells
This section describes how to lump z transmissibility for zero thickness
cells. Consider the figure below, which depicts three superposed
Stratamodel cells and the corresponding approximation to two cells
made by StrataSim.
Notice that the subscripts to describe cells are different in Stratamodel
and StrataSim. This is necessary, although a bit confusing. Without
getting wrapped up in subscripts, suffice to say, Stratamodel (SGM)
cell (i,j,L) corresponds to StrataSim cell (i,j,k) and Stratamodel (SGM)
cell (i,j,L+2) corresponds to StrataSim cell (i,j,k+1). Stratamodel
(SGM) cell (i,j,L+1) is the zero thickness cell whose effect is subsumed
into the Z transmissibility between each of the two StrataSim cells.
Actual

Approximation

SGM cell (i, j, L+2)

T zijL + 3 ⁄ 2

SIM cell (i, j, k+1)

∆z ijk + 1

SGM cell (i, j, L+1)

T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2

∆z ijk

T zijL + 1 ⁄ 2
SGM cell (i, j, L)

SIM cell (i, j, k)

Approximation of Nonrectangular Cells for Calculating
Transmissibility in the z Direction
“Transmissibility in Z Direction” on page 107 shows how to calculate
transmissibility in the z direction between two cells. We now apply the
same reasoning to obtain an effective z transmissibility for the interface
between the two StrataSim cells of the figure above by considering flow
between the three Stratamodel cells. From Equation 24, we obtain the
flow rate across the interfaces between Stratamodel cells in terms of
transmissibilities evaluated at the interfaces and flow potentials
evaluated at cell centers.

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For the two Stratamodel cells of the figure above, the flow rates at the
interfaces are calculated as follows:
Equation 43
T zijL + 1 ⁄ 2
F zijL + 1 ⁄ 2 = – ------------------------ ( Φ ijL + 1 – Φ ijL )
µ
Equation 44
T zijL + 3 ⁄ 2
F zijL + 3 ⁄ 2 = – ------------------------ ( Φ ijL + 2 – Φ ijL + 1 )
µ
In Equation 44 the transmissibilities are defined as in Equation 25 in
“Transmissibility in Z Direction” on page 107.
The flow potential between centers of the top and bottom cells of the
StrataSim approximation can solved for by summing the difference in
flow potential between the top Stratamodel cell and the middle one
together with the difference between the middle Stratamodel cell and
the bottom one:
Equation 45
Φ ijk + 1 – Φ ijk = ( Φ ijL + 2 – Φ ijL + 1 ) + ( Φ ijL + 1 – Φ ijL )
The flow potential difference on the left hand side of this equation can
be obtained through rewriting Equation 24:
Equation 46

µF zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
Φ ijk + 1 – Φ ijk = – -------------------------T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2

By rewriting Equations 43 and 44 to substitute into the right-hand side
of Equation 45 for the flow potential differences between Stratamodel
cells, we obtain the following:
Equation 47

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µF zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
µF zijL + 3 ⁄ 2 µF zijL + 1 ⁄ 2
--------------------------- = -------------------------- + --------------------------T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
T zijL + 3 ⁄ 2
T zijL + 1 ⁄ 2

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Recall that the flow rate in the z direction does not vary spatially:
Equation 48
F zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = F zijL + 3 ⁄ 2 = F zijL + 1 ⁄ 2
Consequently, the transmissibility between the two StrataSim cells is
given as:
Equation 49

1
1
1
----------------------- = ------------------------ + -----------------------T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
T zijL + 3 ⁄ 2 T zijL + 1 ⁄ 2

Not surprisingly, the harmonic average is the way to approximate the z
transmissibility between the two StrataSim cells. This is the same kind
of average arrived at in Equation 25 in “Transmissibility in Z
Direction” on page 107 for calculating the z transmissibility from
permeabilities.
Using Equation 32 to evaluate the transmissibilities on the right side of
Equation 49 for the case where the middle cell is of zero thickness
obtains the following result to the transmissibility between the two
StrataSim cells:
Equation 50
2∆x∆yTM zijL + 3 ⁄ 2 TM zijL + 1 ⁄ 2 k zijL + 2 k zijL
T zijK + 1 ⁄ 2 = --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------∆z ijL TM zijL + 3 ⁄ 2 k zijL + 2 + ∆z ijL + 2 TM zijL + 1 ⁄ 2 k zijL
Thus, if the transmissibility multiplier between the zero thickness cell
and the cell above it is zero, the transmissibility between the two
StrataSim cells is zero.

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Incompressible Flow Equations in StrataSim
This chapter derives equations needed to simulate incompressible, twophase flow. At first, the flow potential equation is derived in a more
general form than is used by StrataSim, which serves as a good starting
point for illustrating some of StrataSim’s key simplifying assumptions.
This approach leads naturally into a presentation of StrataSim’s
condensed flow potential equation. Then the saturation equation is
derived. The assumption of incompressible flow requires that the
density of the phases does not vary with pressure. Therefore, the
following derivations entail volume balances, which are equivalent to
mass balances.
StrataSim uses a modified IMPES scheme, see Peaceman (1977) or
Aziz and Settari (1979). IMPES means that the flow potential is solved
for implicitly and the saturations explicitly. The solution for the flow
potential of water is obtained for all of the cells simultaneously, or
implicitly. Once the flow potential is obtained, the saturations for each
cell are updated cell by cell, explicitly, using the saturation equation.
Typically, an IMPES scheme solves the flow potential and saturations
once for every time step in the simulation. However, as will be shown
in the following section, the StrataSim assumptions require that the
flow potential equation need only be solved once. Except for changes in
boundary conditions, such as well constraints, the flow potential does
not vary with time. Consequently, there is no need to solve the flow
potential equation at every time step, as in a standard IMPES scheme.

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Equation for Flow Potential
The equation for flow potential (often referred to as the pressure
equation) can be derived by balancing the net volumetric flow rate out
of the six faces of a cell with the volumetric rate of injection into the
cell:
(Net flow out of cell) - (Rate of injection into cell) = 0
The following figure shows the volumetric flow rates for the six faces.
Note that volumetric rates can be used instead of mass flow rates
because StrataSim assumes incompressible flow.
F xi – 1 ⁄ 2 jk

z

F zijk + 1 ⁄ 2
F yij – 1 ⁄ 2k

F yij + 1 ⁄ 2k
y

F xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk

x

F zijk – 1 ⁄ 2
The Equation for Flow Potential Is Obtained by Balancing Total
Volumetric Flow Rate out of Cell Faces with the Total Volumetric
Rate of Injection into the Cell

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The mathematical expression for the volume balance is as follows,
where Qijk denotes the total volumetric rate of injection into the (i,j,k)
cell.
Equation 51
F xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk – F xi – 1 ⁄ 2 jk
+ F yij + 1 ⁄ 2k – F yi j – 1 ⁄ 2 k
+ F zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 – F zijk – 1 ⁄ 2 – Q ijk = 0
Now, derive expressions for the volumetric flow rates for the cell faces.
Comparison of Equation 13, describing the total volumetric flow rate
for two-phase flow, with Equation 24 for the total volumetric flow rate
in single phase flow results in an expression for the total volumetric
two-phase flow rate at the interface between the (i,j,k+1) and (i,j,k)
cells:
Equation 52
F zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = – T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 λ rijk + 1 ⁄ 2 ( Φ wijk + 1 – Φ wijk )
– T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 λ ro ijk + 1 ⁄ 2 ( Φ cijk + 1 – Φ cijk )
In Equation 52, Φc denotes the capillary potential defined in Equation
10, and the relative mobilities at the cell interfaces are defined in terms
of the movable saturation at the interface:
Equation 53
λ rijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = λ r ( Sˆ ijk + 1 ⁄ 2 )
and
Equation 54
λ roijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = λ ro ( Sˆ ijk + 1 ⁄ 2 )
The proper way to evaluate saturation at the interface is covered in
“Saturation Equation” on page 132.

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In the same way as for the z direction, comparison of Darcy’s Law for
flow in the x and y directions with Equation 28 and Equation 30 yields
expressions for the total volumetric two-phase flow rate at the interface
between the (i+1,j,k) and (i,j,k) cells and the interface between the
(i,j+1,k) and (i,j,k) cells:
Equation 55
F xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk = – T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk λ ri + 1 ⁄ 2 jk ( Φ wi + 1 jk – Φ wijk )
– T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk λ roi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk ( Φ ci + 1 jk – Φ cijk )
Equation 56
F yij + 1 ⁄ 2k = – T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k λ rij + 1 ⁄ 2k ( Φ wij + 1k – Φ wijk )
– T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k λ ro ij + 1 ⁄ 2k ( Φ cij + 1k – Φ cijk )
Substituting these expressions for the volumetric flow rates for the cell
faces into the volume balance of Equation 51 results in the flow
potential equation:
Equation 57
– A xijk Φ wi + 1 jk – A xi – 1 jk Φ wi – 1 jk
– A yijk Φ wij + 1k – A yij – 1k Φ wij – 1k
– A zijk Φ wijk + 1 – A zijk – 1 Φ wijk –1
+ B ijk Φ wijk = Q ijk – D ijk Φ cijk
+ C xijk Φ ci + 1 jk + C xi – 1 jk Φ ci – 1 jk
+ C yijk Φ cij + 1k + C yij – 1k Φ cij – 1k
+ C zijk Φ cijk + 1 + C zijk – 1 Φ cijk – 1

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In Equation 57 the coefficients on the left-hand side of the equation
contain the total mobility evaluated at the interfaces:
Equation 58

A xijk = T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk λ ri + 1 ⁄ 2 jk
A yijk = T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k λ rij + 1 ⁄ 2k
A zijk = T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 λ rijk + 1 ⁄ 2

and
Equation 59
B ijk = A xijk + A xi – 1 jk
+ A yijk + A yij – 1k
+ A zijk + A zijk – 1
The coefficients on the right-hand side of the equation contain the
relative mobility to oil evaluated at the interfaces
Equation 60

C xijk = T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk λ roi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk
C yijk = T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k λ roij + 1 ⁄ 2k
C zijk = T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 λ roij + 1 ⁄ 2

and
Equation 61
D ijk = C xijk + C xi – 1 jk
+ C yijk + C yij – 1k
+ C zijk + C zijk – 1
For a given time step, the flow potential for water, Φw, is solved using
Equation 57, which is a matrix equation containing the flow potential
for water on the left-hand side. The solution for the flow potential of
water is, therefore, obtained for all of the cells simultaneously, or
implicitly. The right-hand side is evaluated at the previous time step.
Once the flow potential of water for all cells is obtained, the saturations
for each cell are updated on a cell-by-cell basis, explicitly, using the
saturation equation, which is derived in the next section.

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Flow Potential Equation for StrataSim
The section examines the effect of StrataSim’s assumptions on solving
the equation for flow potential. The discussion begins with the
following two assumptions:

mobility ratio is equal to one
relative permeability curves are linear

Under the two assumptions, the total relative mobility does not change.
Consequently, the coefficients on the left-hand side of the flow equation
are independent of saturation and, thereby, time. From Equation 58, we
obtain the following:
Equation 62
A xijk = T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk λ r
A yijk = T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k λ r
A zijk = T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 λ r
In Equation 62, the superscripts of 0 on the relative mobilifier have
been removed. These coefficients need only be calculated once.
Because of the unit mobility assumption, the total relative mobility,
Equation 50, can be evaluated for either phase, oil or water.
The coefficients, described by Equation 60, on the right-hand side of
the flow equation change with saturations. However, because the total
relative mobility is constant, they can be calculated from the A
coefficients shown in Equation 62.
Equation 63
C xijk = T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk λ r ( 1 – Sˆ i + 1 ⁄ 2 jk ) = A xijk ( 1 – Sˆ i + 1 ⁄ 2 jk )
C yijk = T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k λ r ( 1 – Sˆ ij + 1 ⁄ 2k ) = A yijk ( 1 – Sˆ ij + 1 ⁄ 2k )
C zijk = T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 λ r ( 1 – Sˆ ijk + 1 ⁄ 2k ) = A zijk ( 1 – Sˆ ijk + 1 ⁄ 2 )

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Next, consider the effect of assuming that the fluids are of the same
density and that there is no pressure difference between the phases:

density ratio equals zero
capillary pressure equals zero

These assumptions require Φ c = 0 .On substituting this result into
Equation 57, we obtain the following simplified version of the flow
potential equation
Equation 64

– A xijk Φ wi + 1 jk – A xi – 1 jk Φ wi – 1 jk
– A yijk Φ wij + 1k – A yij – 1k Φ wij – 1k
– A zijk Φ wijk + 1 – A zijk – 1 Φ wijk – 1
+B Φ
=Q
ijk

wijk

ijk

Thus, the remaining portion of the right-hand side involves only the
source term, Qijk. Neither the left- nor right-hand sides vary with time,
unless, of course, the source conditions are changed. Consequently, the
flow potential equation need only be solved once because the flow
potential does not change throughout the course of the flow. We now
examine how to evaluate the source term, both at wells and at non-well,
pressure constrained cells.

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Saturation Equation
The saturation equation for water can be derived by balancing the net
volumetric flow rate of water out of the six faces of a cell minus the
volumetric rate of water injection into the cell with the rate of
accumulation of water in the cell:
(Net water flow out of cell) - (Rate of water injection into cell) (Rate of accumulation of water in cell) = 0
The following figure shows the volumetric flow rates of water for the
six faces. Note once again that you can use volumetric rates instead of
mass flow rates because StrataSim assumes incompressible flow.
F wxi – 1 ⁄ 2 jk

z

F wzijk + 1 ⁄ 2
F wyij – 1 ⁄ 2k

F wyij + 1 ⁄ 2k
y

F wxi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk

x

F wzijk – 1 ⁄ 2
The Equation for Flow Potential Is Obtained by Volume Balance
on Total Flow Rate into a Cell

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Comparing Equation 4, describing the volumetric flow rate of water in
two-phase, with Equation 24, for the total volumetric flow rate in single
phase flow, results in an expression for the volumetric flow rate of
water at the interface between the (i,j,k+1) and (i,j,k) cells:
Equation 65
F wzijk + 1 ⁄ 2 = T zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 λ rwijk + 1 ⁄ 2 ( Φ wijk + 1 – Φ wijk )
In the same way, comparison of Darcy’s Law for flow in the x and y
directions with Equation 28 and Equation 30 yields expressions for the
total volumetric two-phase flow rate at the interface between the
(i+1,j,k) and (i,j,k) cells and the interface between the (i,j+1,k) and
(i,j,k) cells:
Equation 66
F wxi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk = – T xi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk λ rwi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk ( Φ wi + 1 jk – Φ wijk )
Equation 67
F wyij + 1 ⁄ 2k = – T yij + 1 ⁄ 2k λ rwij + 1 ⁄ 2k ( Φ wij + 1k – Φ wijk )
Note, once the flow potential equation has been solved, the volumetric
flow rates of water in Equation 65, Equation 66, and Equation 67 can be
evaluated.
Before we write the volume balance, we show how to calculate the
accumulation of water in the cell from one time step to the next. This is
equal to the water saturation difference between time steps multiplied
by the pore volume of the cell. In terms of the movable saturation of
water, we obtain the following for the accumulation:
Equation 68
n+1 ˆ n
(Rate of accumulation of water in cell) = φ ijk ( 1 – S wrijk – S orijk )∆x∆y∆z  Sˆ
–S
 ijk
ijk
Movable pore volume of cell

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In Equation 68 φ denotes porosity, and the superscripts n and n+1
denote time steps. Note, the (i,j,k) subscript on the immobile
saturations indicates that they can be different for every cell in your
model. This expression can be simplified by defining the movable pore
volume of the cell as a new variable:
Equation 69
n+1 ˆ n
–S
(Rate of accumulation of water in cell) = pvm ijk  Sˆ
 ijk
ijk
where the following expression describes the movable pore volume for
the (i,j,k) cell
Equation 70

pvm ijk = φ ijk ( 1 – S wrijk – S orijk )∆x∆y∆z

Let Rijk denote the rate at which water enters the cell, then
Equation 71

R ijk = – F wxi + 1 ⁄ 2 jk + F wxi – 1 ⁄ 2 jk
– F wyij + 1 ⁄ 2k + F wyij – 1 ⁄ 2k
– F wzijk + 1 ⁄ 2 + F wzijk – 1 ⁄ 2
+ Q wijk

In Equation 71, Qwijk denotes the volumetric rate of water injection
into the (i,j,k) cell. Now, we can write the volumetric balance on water.
Solving for the saturation at the n+1 time step results in the following:
Equation 72

∆tR ijk
n+1
n

= Sˆ
+ ---------------ijk
ijk pvm ijk

This is the so-called “saturation equation.” To solve it, the volumetric
flow rates on the right-hand side of Equation 71 are first obtained
through solving the flow potential equation implicitly. Then, saturations
are updated, cell-by-cell, or explicitly, using Equation 72.

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Upstream Weighting of Mobilities
The flow potential equation contains relative mobility terms that are
evaluated at interfaces between cells. Unfortunately, calculating these
terms is not straightforward. In fact, some obvious choices, such as
midpoint weighting, are numerically unstable. How best to weight
contributions to relative mobility from both sides of the interface has
been the subject of a sizeable body of research. See, for example,
discussions in Peaceman (1977) or Aziz and Settari (1979). The main
focus of this research is to identify mobility-weighting schemes that are
both numerically stable and accurate.
StrataSim employs the single upstream weighting scheme for relative
mobilities. In reference to Equations 53 and 54, define the scheme in
terms of the saturation for evaluating the mobility. Considering the flow
between cell (i,j,k) and cell (i,j,k+1), this scheme is defined as follows:
Equation 73
Sˆ ijk + 1 ⁄ 2 =

Sˆ ijk if F zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 > 0
Sˆ ijk + 1 if F zijk + 1 ⁄ 2 < 0

In other words, evaluate the relative mobility using the saturation
upstream cell.

Summary of Flow Equations
The procedure to solve the equations for the flow potential and
saturations is as follows:
1.

Use Equation 73 to solve for the water flow potential for all cells
simultaneously.

2.

Use this solution for the water flow potential equation to evaluate
the volumetric flow rates of water at the cell faces using Equations
65, 66, and 67.

3.

Use Equation 71 to calculate the rate at which water leaves the
cell.

4.

Update movable water saturation of cells using Equation 72.

The flow potential is solved for implicitly and the saturations explicitly.
The solution for the flow potential of water is, therefore, obtained for
all of the cells simultaneously, or implicitly. After the flow potential of
water for all cells is obtained, the saturation of each cell is updated on
cell by cell, explicitly.

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Pressure-Constrained Cells
This section contains information on pressure-constrained well and
nonwell cells.

Wells
StrataSim employs the following assumptions to simplify handling
wells:

There is no pressure drop between the wellbore and the cell that it
lies within.

Fluid flow within wellbores is assumed to occur without frictional
losses.

The first assumption entails ignoring pressure differences between the
wellbore and the cell it is in. This is a simplification over what is
assumed for full-physics simulators. In the latter case, the pressure
difference between cell and wellbore is assumed to be proportional to
the volumetric flow rate. As in, for example, Craft and Hawkins (1991),
the proportionality constant is called the “productivity index,” in the
case of production wells, or the “injectivity index,” in the case of
injection wells. For the case of vertical wells, Peaceman (1983) and
others have shown how to relate this proportionality constant to the
well radius and the “skin” friction factor. However, no such relationship
exists for a arbitrarily deviated well.
The second of these assumptions is typical of most full-physics
simulators. In this case, pressure differences in wells are due to
differences in hydrostatic pressure, or gravitational head. As in
Equation 3, which describes hydrostatic equilibrium within the
reservoir, we obtain the following similar result for the wellbore
pressure:
Equation 74

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In Equation 74, PRm denotes the wellbore pressure of the mth well at a
reference elevation, zRm, and ρ denotes the average density of fluid in
the wellbore. This reference elevation can be anything you desire.
Typical points of reference are the top or bottom of the stratigraphic
framework model or the top or bottom of the wellbore. Equation 74 can
be used to describe either the water or oil pressure, since in the
wellbore the capillary pressure is assumed to be zero.
Since the flow equations are written in terms of the flow potential of
water, Φ w , an expression for its value along the wellbore can now be
derived. We shall assume that the fraction of water in the wellbore is
equal to the instantaneous water cut for the well. If Wm denotes the
water cut for the mth well, then the average density is calculated as
follows:
Equation 75

ρ = W m ρ w + ( 1 – W m )ρ o

Substitution of this and Equation 74 into Equation 26 obtains the
following expression for the flow potential of water within the mth
wellbore:
Equation 76

Φ wm = Φ wRm – ( 1 – W m )∆ρg ( z Rm – z )

where
Equation 77

Φ wRm = P Rm – ρ w g ( z 0 – z Rm )

Inspection of Equation 76 reveals the following:
The flow potential of water is constant along the well only if one of
three conditions apply:


The fluids have no density difference, ∆ρ = 0 .
The water cut is unity, Wm = 1.
Elevation along the well is constant.

The first case occurs for unit density ratio flow. The second case always
occurs for injection wells. The third case occurs for a well which is
horizontal over its entire perforated interval.

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Inspection of Equation 77 reveals that the reference wellbore flow
potential of water, Φ wRm , is equal to the reference pressure, PRm, when
the reference elevation for the well, zRm, is the same as StrataSim’s
internal reference elevation, z0.
StrataSim allows for two ways to constrain an injection or a production
well:

Pressure constraint
Volumetric flow rate constraint

Well Types
StrataSim handles four types of well:



Injection well
Production well
Shut-in well: no net flow into or out of well
Plugged well: excluded from simulation

The first two of these are self-explanatory.

Shut-In Wells
A shut-in well is a special case of an injection or production well. Such
a well is flow rate constrained such that there is no net volumetric flow
either into or out of the well. There may, however, be flow into or out of
individual cells in the well. Nevertheless, their total flow must sum to
zero.
“Shut-in” may describe the condition of a well that watered out in an
earlier simulation. In the current simulation, this well has no
production; however, its open wellbore allows communication between
layers.
Shut-in wells can serve to model flow between non-neighboring cells.
For example, flow along faults or fractures can be modeled by virtual
shut-in wells.

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Plugged Wells
A plugged well is effectively ignored in the simulation. This is a useful
option when you do not want to be bothered with modifying your
Stratamodel well model once you have entered StrataSim. Suppose, for
example, you want to try out several possible combinations of wells.
There are two ways to this. One way entails redefining your well model
every time you want to run a new combination. An easier way entails
setting up a single well model that contains all the wells of interest. In
this way, you can simulate different combinations by selectively
“plugging” wells that you want removed from consideration in a
particular StrataSim run.

Reference Elevations
StrataSim requires you to specify a reference elevation for all but
plugged wells, whether they are pressure or flow rate constrained. As
mentioned above, pressure constraints must be referenced to an
elevation. For flow rate constrained wells, StrataSim reports back the
calculated pressure and flow potential at your specified reference
elevations. There are four choices for such elevations:



Top of StrataSim reservoir model
Bottom of StrataSim reservoir model
Top cell in the well
Bottom cell in the well

If you were to choose either of the first two for all of your wells, you
could also datum all wells to the same elevation. This can be a useful
way to compare flow capacities of your wells. On the other hand, the
last two choices are useful when you know the well pressures at some
particular location with the cells which are penetrated by a well.

Pressure Constraints
Pressure constraints are easier to handle computationally. You specify a
pressure and its corresponding elevation. Then, the wellbore flow
potential of water is calculated using Equation 76. For this case, the
matrix equation for flow potential, Equation 57, is modified for cells
within the well. If the (i,j,k) cell is within the well, then the “A”
coefficients are set to zero, B ijk is set to 1, and the right-hand side is set
equal to the flow potential calculated by Equation 76.

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Flow Rate Constraints
Constraining the volumetric flow rate is a bit more complicated than
pressure. The total volumetric flow rate into or out of the mth well is
the sum of the volumetric flow rates for all of the individual cells within
the well:
Equation 78
Nm

Q tm =

∑ Qmi( p ) j( p )k ( p )

p=1

In Equation 78 Nm denotes the total number of cells in the mth well and
Qmi(p)j(p)k(p) denotes the total volumetric flow rate for the pth cell of the
mth well. You can obtain the volumetric flow rates for individual cells
by substituting from Equation 57. Thus, Equation 78 becomes an
equation for the total volumetric flow rate in terms of the water flow
potential at the well’s reference elevation.

Phase Rates and Water Cuts for Wells
This section distinguishes between injection cells, for which Qmijk > 0,
and production cells, for which Qmijk < 0. An injection well has only
injection cells and a production well has only production cells.
However, a shut-in well has a mixture of both, so that the total rate
sums to zero.
In the same way as Peaceman (1977), we assume that the volumetric
flow rates of each phase leaving a production cell is proportional to the
mobility of the phase in the cell containing the well. Therefore, for
volumetric flow rate of water, the following results:
Equation 79

Q wijk = f ijk Q ijk if Q ijk < 0

In Equation 79 the function f of saturation denotes the ratio of water
mobility to the sum of the water and oil mobilities:
Equation 80

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λ rw
f ( Sˆ ) = --------------------λ rw + λ ro

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For the case of unit mobility ratio, this function is simply equal to the
movable water saturation. Consequently, for the volumetric production
flow rate of water for the pth cell in the mth well is as follows:
Equation 81
Q wmi ( p ) j ( p )k ( p ) = Sˆ i ( p ) j ( p )k ( p ) Q mi ( p ) j ( p )k ( p ) < 0
As can be seen from Equation 76, when the density difference is not
zero, the flow potential of water within the wellbore depends on water
cut except for injection wells, where Wm = 1. The water cut is defined
as the fraction of the total production rate which is due to water:
Equation 82
Nm

∑ Sˆi( p ) j( p )k ( p ) Qmi( p ) j( p )k ( p )

p=1
- for Q mi ( p ) j ( p )k ( p ) < 0
W m = ---------------------------------------------------------------------N
m

∑ Qmi( p ) j( p )k ( p )

p=1

To calculate the water cut at a given time step, use movable saturations
and total volumetric rates at the previous time step. This presents a
problem for the initial time step because there is no previous volumetric
flow rate. The approach here is to update water cuts via Equation 82 as
the iterative solution of the flow potential equation proceeds.
The volumetric injection flow rate of water for the pth cell in the mth
well is as follows:
Equation 83
Q wni ( p ) j ( p )k ( p ) = W m Q mi ( p ) j ( p )k ( p ) for Q mi ( p ) j ( p )k ( p ) > 0
This equation is particularly important for injection cells within a shutin well. Unlike injection wells, shut-in wells can have both oil and
water in the wellbore.

Perforations
StrataSim reads perforation information from the well model. Given
the assumptions of the StrataSim well description, a simplified
perforation model is used. If no perforation information is read from
the well model, then all cells in wells are considered to be fully
perforated. If a perforation index is read, then volumetric flow rates
calculated for individual cells from Equation 57 is multiplied by this
index.
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Pressure Constrained Nonwell Cells
At times, it can be useful to constrain non-well cells to constant flow
potential or constant pressure. One example of this is in modeling
aquifer influx. Another example occurs when calculating effective
properties of substantial portions of the reservoir, through simulating
flow due to pressure drop in a single direction.
StrataSim allows you to specify either constant flow potential or
constant pressure for any cell within your reservoir model. In this case,
the matrix equation for flow potential, Equation 64, is modified for
such cells in the same way as if there is a pressure constrained cell
within a well. If the (i,j,k) cell is within the well, then the “A”
coefficients are set to zero, Bijk is set to 1, and the right hand side is set
equal to the calculated flow potential, Φn.
For solving the saturation equation, the assumption is that any fluid
influx needed to maintain such constant flow potential or pressure is
comprised entirely of water.

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Appendix A.
Running StrataSim in Standalone Mode
This appendix describes how to run StrataSim in standalone mode —
that is, without running it from StrataModel. Although you must build a
Stratamodel framework and Attribute Model before you run StrataSim,
once that is done you can enter StrataSim directly at any time. You only
need to start StrataSim and specify the project information.

Running StrataSim
1.

Change to the product directory and enter StrataSim from an
xterm or shell.
The first time you enter StrataSim, the StrataSim main window
and the following dialog box appear. The options in the main
window remain inactive until you complete specification in some
preliminary dialog boxes.

If you run StrataSim from the Stratamodel icon or Commands
menu, this dialog box is inactive. The information helps you verify
that you are running the right project and version.

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If you are running without Stratamodel, follow this procedure to
make the selections:
2.

Enter your user name in the Enter User Name box. Use the same
user name that you used when you created your Attribute Model
(and Well Model if you are using wells) in Stratamodel.
If you have previously used this user name to store project
information, you can set all the other selections by clicking Reset
at this time. Then click OK and skip the rest of this procedure.
If you have not used this user name before, continue on.

3.

Click the Set SGM Project Directory button and use the filter
button to find the project directory, just as you used one to find the
StrataSim directory. This should be the directory that contains
your project data and the geological model you created in
Stratamodel. If you do not choose a directory that contains an
Stratamodel project, there will be no projects listed in the
Stratamodel Project Name dialog box.

4.

Click the Set SGM Project Name button and select your project
name from the list. This project should contain the geological
model you created in Stratamodel. Click OK.

5.

Click the Set SGM Project Version button and select the version
created in Stratamodel that describes your geological model. Click
OK.

Once you have either viewed the information about your Stratamodel
project or selected your project information, click OK.
Now you are ready to run the program by following the instructions in
“Starting StrataSim,” starting on page 6.
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Appendix B. StrataSim Files
Overview
When you run StrataSim, several files appear in the project directory.
These files contain information you supplied during the StrataSim
session.
All StrataSim files use the Stratamodel project/version, denoted by
proj000n, as a prefix. Files that are specific to a StrataSim run attach an
additional 000m to this prefix, where m denotes the StrataSim version
number. Except for production data files for individual wells, suffixes
are denoted by a period followed by three letters and _ss. The suffix for
a production data file is a period followed by the wellid (up to twelve
characters) followed by _pw. The unique suffix for production data files
prevents conflicts with the suffixes for StrataSim control files.
Character Changes in Production Data Files
If you name your wellid using a metacharacter such as a slash, that metacharacter
will be changed to an underscore.

The following sections contain a brief description of StrataSim files.

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ASCII Files
There are three types of ASCII files: control files, output files, and
miscellaneous files. All ASCII files begin with a file name of the form
proj000n000m.

ASCII Control Files
The following are control files that are filled out through queries from
the user interface.
File
Extension

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Description

.ais_ss

Contains information about how attributes needed to run StrataSim
are stored in the Stratamodel Attribute Model

.cap_ss

Contains information on how to calculate a Leverett J Function
from one or more capillary pressure curves

.cpc_ss

Contains capillary pressure data

.fis_up

Contains the size of the upscaled model

.jfn_ss

Describes a fitted Leverett J Function

.oss_ss

Describes your choices for StrataSim output. For example, time
step summary information or three-dimensional output, such as
pressure, residuals, flow rate, and saturations

.prm_up

Contains permeability correlations

.sec_ss

Describes simulation options, such as fluid properties, that depend
on the choice of flow model assumptions. For example, properties
are required for only one phase if incompressible, unit mobility
ratio, or unit density ratio flow is used

.sis_ss

Describes portion of the Stratigraphic Framework Model being
used for the StrataSim simulation model. This file describes the
areal (x, y) simulation grid as well as the layers and sequences
contained in the simulation model. Modify only through user
interface

.soi_ss

Describes the initial oil saturation

.sol_ss

Describes your choices for solver parameters, including porosity
and thickness cutoffs

.tis_ss

Contains information about how attributes needed to calculate
transmissibilities are stored in the Stratamodel Attribute Model.
Such attributes include permeabilities and transmissibility
multipliers

.uni_ss

Describes your choices for units of measurement

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File
Extension

Description

.wbc_ss

Describes boundary conditions at wells: well type, constraint,
reference elevations

.wis_ss

Contains information on well model attributes: perforations

.wmd_ss

Contains Stratamodel well model names to be used in simulation

ASCII Output Files
The following are output files that describe results from a StrataSim
session.
File Name or Extension

Description

specified_name.cpc_ss

Contains capillary pressure curves output by
Capillary Pressure Data

specified_name.jfn_ss

Modified Leverett J Functions

.con_ss

Contains contacted Oil output data

.fdb_ss

Contains flowbody output data

.oss_up

Contains output options for upscaling

.tab_ss

Contains a summary of both input and output from
StrataSim run

.wellid_pw

Contains a summary of production data for
production or shut-in wells named wellid. Every
file contains cumulative water production,
cumulative oil production, and water cut data as
functions of time

simdir/proj000n.wrn_ss

Contains StrataSim warning messages

It is a good habit to inspect your .tab_ss file after every run. This file
provides valuable information on several aspects of your run, from
flowbodies to overall production data to performance indicators for
solvers of the flow potential and saturation equations.
The wellid that is used as part of the suffix in production data files’
names is the same wellid that appears in your Stratamodel files. This
name can be up to twelve characters long.

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Miscellaneous ASCII Files
The following file is for StrataSim internal use. It should not be edited.
File Extension

Description

.att

Describes where StrataSim output was stored in
the Stratamodel Attribute Model on the previous
StrataSim run. This file offers you the opportunity
to overwrite previous results.

Binary Output FilesZ
The following binary files are output from StrataSim.

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File Name

Description

.prd_ss

Contains a summary of production data for all
production wells.

.prd_up

Binary file containing production data

simdir/proj000n.ver_ss

StrataSim run descriptions

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Index
StrataSim User / Reference Guide
A
advantages over other simulators 2
Attribute Model
output solution to 72-77
attributes
assigning variables all at once 80
assigning variables clearing choices 80
assigning variables one at a time 81
assigning variables to 80-81
deleting after run 90
transmissibilities as 119
B
boundary conditions of wells 62-67
C
cells
calculating transmissibilities (different
thicknesses) 108
calculating transmissibilities (same
thickness) 114
connected as flowbodies 73
faces:volumetric flow rate equation 127
injection vs. production in a well 140
limiting number of 20
nonrectangular
and zero thickness 122
nonrectangular and transmissibilities 110
nonrectangular and transmissibilities (x, y
directions) 111
pore volume cut-off 71
pressure constrained 136-142
pressure constraint of nonwell cells 142
very thin thickness 120
very thin thickness (eliminating) 121
zero thickness:eliminating 121-124

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centrifuge method of measuring relative
permeabilities 102
columns
limiting in simulation model 17
command
starting StrataSim from an xterm 143
compressibility: excluding effects 105
constraint of flow potential 56
constraint of flow potential: rules 54
constraint of flow rate
in shut-in well 138
into or out of a well 140
within well 64
constraint of injection or production well 138
constraint of pressure
calculation of 139
in nonwell cells 142
to a constant value 55
within cell 136-142
within well 64
constraint of pressure: rules 54
contents of guide 3
control files 146
conventions used in guide 4
Create button 9
D
Darcy’s Law 94-97
and two-phase flow 98
developing concept of transmissibilities 107
equations (total volumetric two-phase flow
rate) 128
misinterpretation of 95-96, 117-118
data preparation 5
default template 7
Delete Run button 14

Index

149

Landmark

density ratio of fluids
zero assumption 131
dimensionless numbers
using to examine contrasting effects 115
E
Ending Time 75
equation
for balance of total volumetric flow rate 127
for end-point mobility ratio 103
for end-point relative mobilities of water/oil
103
for flow potential 94, 126, 128
StrataSim’s assumptions 130-131
for gravitational acceleration vector 94
for hydrostatic equilibrium 97
for incompressible flow 125-135
for relative permeabilities 101
for relative permeabilities: StrataSim model
101
for saturation 132-134
for total mobility 103
for transmissibilities (uniformly thick cells)
114
for transmissibilities (variable thickness
cells) 108
for transmissibilities (x direction) 112
for transmissibilities(in y direction) 112
for volumetric flow rate 94
for volumetric flow rate (cell faces) 127
for water cut 137
for well’s volumetric injection flow rate 141
equilibrium
hydrostatic 97, 115, 118
estimation 28-43
fitting a Leverett J Function 34-36
overview 28
permeability 29-32
permeability: type of correlation 31

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F
files
control 146
for StrataSim internal use 148
important 145-148
output 147
suffixes: StrataSim and production data 145
flexibility in assigning saturations/pressure
information 5
flow
and transmissibility 109
assumptions 5
describing in porous media, see Darcy’s Law
examples of constraining 54
in shut-in vs. plugged well 62
incompressible
residual equation 69
two-phase
equations 125-135
modeling flow due to fractures and faults
with transmissibility multipliers 114
none across sequence boundaries
indicating using transmissibilities 50
potential
constant along well
restrictions 137
constraining 54, 56
defining equation 94
equation 126, 128
StrataSim’s assumptions 130-131
summary 135
oil-phase
equations 99
relationship to reference elevation 55
single per well 97
solving for 69
total volumetric flow rate in terms of
equations 99-100

Index

150

Landmark

flow continued
rate
constraint of
in shut-in well 138
into or out of a well 140
within well 64
equal to zero 97
defining equation 97
for cell faces
equation 127
for oil and water phases
equation 100
importance in StrataSim context 103
total volumetric
equations 99-100
volumetric
as output 74
as proportional to pressure difference
between cell and wellbore 136
defining equation 94
injection for a cell
equation 141
relationship to transmissibility 109
volume balance
equation 127
two-phase 98-104
and Darcy’s Law 98
flowbodies
as output 73
definition 73
fluids
density ratio
zero assumption 131
properties 5, 59-61
Formation Volume Factor 61

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G
gravitational acceleration vector 94
H
highlighting
or selecting
one word or value 4
hydrostatic equilibrium 97, 115, 118
hydrostatic head
causing pressure changes within well 64
I
index
productivity or injectivity 136
initial oil saturations
estimating 41-43
Initial Time 73-74
injection well 63
injectivity index 136
internal files 148
introduction 1-5
K
Kozeny’s equation
brief description 31
L
Leverett J Function
catalog 37-39
comparing functions 38
copying 38
creating hardcopy 43
equation 33
fitting to a capillary pressure curve 34-36
modifying 39
overview 33
viewing 39

Index

151

Landmark

Log-Log1
correlation for estimating permeability 31
Log-Log2
correlation for estimating permeability 31
M
mobility
end-point relative of water and oil
equation 103
relative
upstream weighting of 135
total
equation 103
relative
equation 100
mobility ratio 5, 59-61
end-point
equation 103
StrataSim’s assumptions 98-104
unit assumption 103-104
consequences 104
model
limiting size 17-19
upscaling 20
Modify Run Description button 13
multiplier
applying to transmissibilities 50
N
numbers
dimensionless
using to examine contrasting effects 115

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O
oil
phase
fluid and rock properties 60
residual
as required three-dimensional variable 45
output
files 147
of solution 72-77
assigned to attributes 80-81
flowbodies 73
number of time steps 75
saturation 78
variables at starting time 73-74
viewing results 86-89
overview 1
of reference section 92-93
P
perforation 57-58
information read from well model 141
zones not showing up in final well model 57
permeabilities
effective 59-60
end-point relative 104
relationship to transmissibilities 49
relative 59-60, 101-103
and wettability 103
equation 101
excluding effects on transmissibility 105
measurement of 102
centrifuge method 102
steady-state method 102
Welge unsteady-state method 102
simplification to linear relationships 101
precedent 102
StrataSim model 101
StrataSim’s assumptions 98-104

Index

152

Landmark

permeability
cut-off 70
estimating 29-32
indicator 29
phase rate
for wells 140-141
physics
flow 5
fluid properties 5
mobility ratio 5
simplified assumptions 5
for handling wells 136-142
of perforation model 141
plugged well 63
ignored in simulation 139
porosity
as required three-dimensional variable 45
cut-off 31, 70
pressure
as output 74
assigning constant values 55
assumptions for perforation 57
capillary
zero assumption 131
constant
vs. constant flow potential 96
constraint
of nonwell cells 142
within cell 136-142
within well 64
calculation of 139
difference between cell and wellbore
as proportional to volumetric flow rate
136
of flow potential
constraining 54
rate of change with time 5
relationship to reference elevation 55
single per well 97
solving for 69
number of interations 69
relative error 69
definition 69

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Pressure Solver 68-69
initializing 82
production data
files
naming wellid 145
production well 63
shutting in with water cut limit 65
productivity index 136
project
information
setting 143-144
purpose
of StrataSim 1
R
reference elevation
choices for 139
definition 55
relationship to flow potential and pressure
55
set to a constant 56
single per well 97
specifying 65
reference section 92-142
overview 92-93
relative permeability 59-61
reservoir
effects vs. effects of reservoir fluids 105
residual
as output 74
equation for 69
for incompressible flow 69
using to evaluate pressure solution 69
resolution
vertical 2
results
viewing 86-89
rock
properties 59-61

Index

153

Landmark

rules
for constraining flow potential or pressure
55
for storing transmissibility information 119
runs
changing description of previous run 85
creating new 9-11
default 7
deleting 14
modifying description 13
previous
selecting with no changes 84
selecting 7-14
selecting previous run with no changes 83
using to save input and output 7
S
saturation
adding time steps 76-77
as output 78
considerations in StrataSim and SGM 48
deleting time steps 77
equation 49, 132-134
summary 135
error 71
flexibility in assigning 5
fluctuation 71
immobile
expressed as functions of attributes 102
initial
as required three-dimensional variable 45
calculation of 47
specifying an attribute
appropriate choices 47
permeability cut-off 70
porosity cut-off 70
relationship to relative permeability of a
phase 101
relative movable pore volume cut-off 71
solving for 70-71
upstream cell
using for evaluating relative mobility 135
water cut limit 71

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Saturation Solver 68-71
Semi Log
correlation for estimating permeability 31
sequences
limiting in simulation model 17
Set SGM Project Directory button 144
Set SGM Project Name button 144
Set SGM Project Version button 144
setup 44-77
limitations in standalone 44
shale
modeling thin, laterally continuous
using transmissibility multipliers 113
shortcuts
double-clicking to select data 4
triple-clicking to highlight 4
shut-in well 63
constraint of flow rate 138
simulation
running 79-89
starting 83-85
viewing results 86-89
simulators
advantages of StrataSim over others 2
StrataSim vs. standard 1
size of model
limiting 17
solution
output 72-77
Solution Gas/Oil Ratio 61
solver
of simulation equations 68-71
startup
from an xterm 143-144
from inside SGM 6-14
steady-state method
of measuring relative permeabilities 102
stratasim command 143
Stratigraphic Framework Model
limiting size 17-19
matching units 16
problems with thin cells 71
suffix
for StrataSim files 145

Index

154

Landmark

T
tasks
for setup 44
template 7
tension
interfacial
in StrataSim context 103
time
starting
specifying attributes for 73-74
steps
adding 76-77
deleting 77
number in output report 75
water cut at a given
calculating 141
Timur
generalized form of Kozeny’s equation
brief description 31
transmissibilities 49-53, 105-124
calculated by permeabilities and multipliers
119
calculating 49-53
choices of input for 119
comparisons of x, y, and z 114-116
definition 105
definition in StrataSim 51
double z near very thin cells 120
examples of using 50-51
explanation of 53
in StrataSim
rules 119
in x and y directions 111-112
in x direction
equation 112
in y direction
equation 112
in z direction 107-110
and nonrectangular cells 110
calculation of 107
compounding magnitude of inadvertent
flow 117
location of 49

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transmissibilities continued
multipliers 50, 113-114
options 119
using to model
effects of thin, laterally continuous shale
113
flow due to fractures and faults 114
permeability values 49
summary 106-107
where cells are the same thickness
equations 114
two-phase flow 98-104
typographical conventions used in guide 4
U
units
of measurement 16
upscaling 20
constraints 20
V
variables
not changed before run 83
three-dimensional 45-56
assigned to attributes 80-81
optional 54-56
purpose 54
requested at starting time 73-74
required
setting 46-49
specifying a constant 46
specifying an attribute field 46
vector
gravitational acceleration
defining equation 94
version
selecting 144
vertical resolution 2
viscosity 59-61
and unit mobility ratio 104
excluding effects on transmissibility 105

Index

155

Landmark

W
water
cut
at a given time step
calculating 141
equations 137
for wells 140-141
limit 65, 71
immobile
as required three-dimensional variable 45
phase
fluid and rock properties 59-60
weighting
upstream
of mobilities 135
Welge unsteady state method
of measuring relative permeabilities 102
well model
and perforation information 141
boundary conditions 63
reading perforation interval information from
57
selecting 15
Well Model Attributes
for reading perforations 58
wellbore
cells within and pressure drop 136
fluid flow within 136
wellid
name of 145
wells
assumptions to simplify handling of
136-141
boundary conditions
copying 66-67
editing 64-65
constraining pressure or flow rate within 64
constraint of flow rate into or out of 140
definition of
injection 63
plugged 63
production 63
shut-in 63

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wells continued
difference between plugged and shut-in 62
phase rates and water cuts for 140-141
plugged
ignored in simulation 139
shut-in
and flow rate constraint 138
types of 63, 138-139
with constant flow potential
restrictions 137
wettability 103
relationship to relative permeabilities 103
X
X and Y transmissibilities 111-112
Z
Z transmissibility 107-110
zero thickness cells
elimination of 121-124

Index

156