The world is increasingly reliant on unconventional (e.g., shale gas, heavy oil) and deep offshore resources that are difficult and expensive to find and produce. The computational challenges associated with these exploration and production operations are substantial. Specific issues include reliably imaging and characterizing deep subsurface oil and gas reservoirs, accurately simulating flow through these highly heterogeneous systems, and applying these modeling capabilities to quantify uncertainty and optimize field performance. Complications arise from the multiphysics and multiscale character of the wave propagation and fluid flow problems, from the need to perform data assimilation for different properties over a range of scales, and as a result of the challenging model-based optimization problems associated with maximizing reservoir performance.
This program will focus on the key modeling and computational challenges in these areas. Cross-cutting issues and themes will be emphasized throughout. The issues and approaches addressed in this program are directly relevant for other subsurface flow applications such as geological carbon storage and hydrogeological modeling.
William W. Symes (Rice University)
Mary Wheeler (University of Texas at Austin)