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Open AccessArticle

A Numerical Simulator for Modeling the Coupling Processes of Subsurface Fluid Flow and Reactive Transport Processes in Fractured Carbonate Rocks

by Tao Yuan 1,2, Chenji Wei 3,*, Chen-Song Zhang 4 and Guan Qin 1,*
1
Department of Petroleum Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
2
Department of Reactive Transport, Institute of Resource Ecology, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
3
Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration & Development (RIPED), PetroChina Company Limited, Beijing 100083, China
4
NCMIS & LSEC, Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, Beijing 100190, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 1957; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11101957
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 16 September 2019 / Published: 20 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics)
Water–rock interactions can alter rock properties through chemical reactions during subsurface transport processes like geological CO2 sequestration (GCS), matrix acidizing, and waterflooding in carbonate formations. Dynamic changes in rock properties cause a failure of waterflooding and GCS and could also dramatically affect the efficiency of the acidizing. Efficient numerical simulations are thus essential to the optimized design of those subsurface processes. In this paper, we develop a three-dimensional (3D) numerical model for simulating the coupled processes of fluid flow and chemical reactions in fractured carbonate formations. In the proposed model, we employ the Stokes–Brinkman equation for momentum balance, which is a single-domain formulation for modeling fluid flow in fractured porous media. We then couple the Stokes–Brinkman equation with reactive-transport equations. The model can be formulated to describe linear as well as radial flow. We employ a decoupling procedure that sequentially solves the Stokes–Brinkman equation and the reactive transport equations. Numerical experiments show that the proposed method can model the coupled processes of fluid flow, solute transport, chemical reactions, and alterations of rock properties in both linear and radial flow scenarios. The rock heterogeneity and the mineral volume fractions are two important factors that significantly affect the structure of conductive channels. View Full-Text
Keywords: reactive-transport; fracture evolution; mineral dissolution; fractured carbonate formations reactive-transport; fracture evolution; mineral dissolution; fractured carbonate formations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuan, T.; Wei, C.; Zhang, C.-S.; Qin, G. A Numerical Simulator for Modeling the Coupling Processes of Subsurface Fluid Flow and Reactive Transport Processes in Fractured Carbonate Rocks. Water 2019, 11, 1957.

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