Our project have its sources at the Karst reservoirs of Traim Basin in Xinjiang Province, in China. The challenge of our industrial partner "Schlumberger" was to improve the oil production of the karst reservoirs, giving birth to the SimKarst project.

Karst reservoirs of Tarim Basin in Xinjiang Province of People’s Republic of China have been verified as an area with large quantities of oil and gas.

Carbonate formations of Ordovician age buried at more than 6000-meters depth in Tarim basin contain complex cave systems full of oil and water that are being exploited by Chinese national oil companies: Petrochina Tarim Oil Company, and Sinopec North-West Company.

Below the network of caves, an aquifer constituted by a porous medium where water goes up by capillarity effect under oil.

When oil is produced from a well, water goes up from the aquifer and a large quantity of oil is blocked due to the complex geometry of the caves. Therefore, a multiphase flow simulator is needed to optimize the production.

Very few oil reservoirs in the world produce oil from caves. For traditional reservoirs the oil is contained in the micro-porosity of rocks with typical pore size less than 30 microns. However, in Tarim carbonate oilfields the karsts form complex networks of connected caves, with some caves larger than 300 meters and height exceeding 10 meters.

Existing reservoir simulators applied in the oil and gas industry are designed to simulate fluid flow in porous media governed by Darcy's law. These simulators are not appropriate for simulating fluid flow in cave networks where Darcy's law does not apply. The ultimate objective for schlumberger is to design a 3D reservoir simulator that can make realistic multi-phase flow simulations (gas, water, and oil) in large (20 x 20 km) and complex cave networks made of thousands of caves distributed in 3D space and connected according to a given pattern.

Navier Stokes model is impracticable because of complexity of the cave geometry for the boundary conditions and massive calculation and data burden.

Bernard Montaron proposed to investigate the feasibility of using cellular automata technology for such a simulator. This is one important objective of the so-called SimKARST project at Schlumberger China Petroleum Institute (SCPI).

The first part of the project started in October 2012 with two PKU students that developed a prototype cellular automata software to simulate 2D flow of water and oil in a cell with a simple geometry.This Method which is not based on physics laws but several rules, for example, the oil blocks will always move upwards when the water blocks are on top of them. So this method needs to prove its accuracy.

Therefore, an experiment on a specific geometry was realized in summer 2013 by two Enseeiht students: Nicolas Sobecki and Thibault Moreau, to verify and assist the development of the simulator.

The simulator is still under development and more cases are needed to verify its accuracy.

The aim of this project is to provide simulation results with different geometry using CFD software.