The single-cell transport problem for two-phase flow with polymer
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionComputational Geosciences. 2016, 20 (3), 495-507. 10.1007/s10596-015-9502-y
Polymer injection is a widespread strategy in enhanced oil recovery. Polymer increases the water viscosity and creates a more favorable mobility ratio between the injected water and the displaced oil. The computational cost of simulating polymer injection can be significantly reduced if one splits the governing system of two-phase equations into a pressure equation and a set of saturation/component equations and use a Gauss–Seidel algorithm with optimal cell ordering to solve the nonlinear systems arising from an implicit discretization of the saturation/component equations. This approach relies on a robust single-cell solver that computes the saturation and polymer concentration of a cell, given the total flux and the saturation and polymer concentration of the neighboring cells. In this paper, we consider a relatively comprehensive polymer model used in an industry-standard simulator, and show that, in the case of a discretization using a two-point flux approximation, the single-cell problem always admits a solution that is also unique.