A compositional wellbore/reservoir simulator to model multiphase flow and temperature distribution

P. Pourafshary, A. Varavei, K. Sepehrnoori*, A. Podio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Production of hydrocarbon often involves gas and liquid (oil/water) concurrent flow in the wellbore. As a multi-phase/multi-component gas-oil mixture flows from the reservoir to the surface, pressure, temperature, composition and liquid holdup distributions are interrelated. However, nearly all two-phase wellbore simulations are currently performed using "black oil" simulators. In this paper, a compositional-wellbore model coupled with a reservoir simulator to compute pressure and temperature distribution is presented. In this work, compositions of liquid and gaseous phases in the wellbore can be determined by two-phase equilibrium flash calculations and by considering the slip between phases. Our simulator has the capability of predicting the temperature profile in the wellbore, which helps to predict multiphase flow physics such as liquid holdup and pressure drop more accurately. As the wellbore model is coupled with a reservoir simulator, it can be used as a tool to calculate fluid-flow compositions between reservoir and wellbore. The simulated results of our compositional model were compared to the equivalent blackoil model for pressure and temperature distribution. Although the input requirements and computing expenses are higher for compositional calculations than for blackoil, our simulations show that in some cases, such as those involving highly-volatile oil and retrograde condensate gas, ignoring compositional effects may lead to errors in pressure profile prediction for the wellbore.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-52
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • compositional simulator
  • flash calculation
  • flow
  • multiphase
  • wellbore/reservoir simulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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