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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The RealGas and RealGasH2O Options of the TOUGH+ Code for the Simulation of Coupled Fluid and Heat Flow in Tight/Shale Gas Systems


We developed two new EOS additions to the TOUGH+ family of codes, the RealGasH2O and RealGas . The RealGasH2O EOS option describes the non-isothermal two-phase flow of water and a real gas mixture in gas reservoirs, with a particular focus in ultra-tight (such as tight-sand and shale gas) reservoirs. The gas mixture is treated as either a single-pseudo-component having a fixed composition, or as a multicomponent system composed of up to 9 individual real gases. The RealGas option has the same general capabilities, but does not include water, thus describing a single-phase, dry-gas system. In addition to the standard capabilities of all members of the TOUGH+ family of codes (fully-implicit, compositional simulators using both structured and unstructured grids), the capabilities of the two codes include: coupled flow and thermal effects in porous and/or fractured media, real gas behavior, inertial (Klinkenberg) effects, full micro-flow treatment, Darcy and non-Darcy flow through the matrix and fractures of fractured media, single- and multi-component gas sorption onto the grains of the porous media following several isotherm options, discrete and fracture representation, complex matrix-fracture relationships, and porosity-permeability dependence on pressure changes. The two options allow the study of flow and transport of fluids and heat over a wide range of time frames and spatial scales not only in gas reservoirs, but also in problems of geologic storage of greenhouse gas mixtures, and of geothermal reservoirs with multi-component condensable (H2O and CH4) and non-condensable gas mixtures. The codes are verified against available analytical and semi-analytical solutions. Their capabilities are demonstrated in a series of problems of increasing complexity, ranging from isothermal flow in simpler 1D and 2D conventional gas reservoirs, to non-isothermal gas flow in 3D fractured shale gas reservoirs involving 4 types of fractures, micro-flow, non-Darcy flow and gas composition changes during production.

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