Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Reservoir Engineering

Advanced Reservoir Simulation for Conventional and Unconventional Reservoirs

Course Code: N971
Instructors:  Jim Gilman
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
5 days


This class addresses advanced topics in reservoir simulation though lectures and hands-on exercises. Each topic will address both conventional and unconventional reservoirs. Topics include appropriate choice of grids, initialization methods, multi-phase flow assumptions, rock-fluid interactions and PVT formulations. Special considerations for dual-media (naturally fractured reservoirs) are also addressed.


All very good, plus good pre-course information package from Nautilus.

Duration and Training Method

Five days of classroom lectures interspersed with exercises and practical computer-based workshops using simulation software.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Evaluate choices with regard to building grids for simulation.
  2. Evaluate choices with regard to initializing dynamic models.
  3. Evaluate choices with regard to modeling multiphase flow and rock-fluid interaction.
  4. Evaluate choices for PVT approximations.
  5. Evaluate dual-media modeling choices for naturally fractured reservoirs.

This course addresses simulation concepts which approximate the physical principles that govern subsurface fluid flow and phase behavior in a variety of geologic environments. Course attendees should have a basic knowledge of reservoir engineering and familiarity with commercial reservoir simulators such as ECLIPSE. The course aims to address a number of advanced topics in simulation of both conventional and unconventional reservoirs. The key topics that are covered are outlined below. Not all topics will be addressed in detail because of limited available time. More times will be spend on those topics of most interest to the attendees.

  • Reservoir Simulation Grids
    - Honoring geology, phase fronts, fractures, and computational limitations
    - Upscaling from 3D Descriptions
    - Aquifer Approximations
    - The value of conceptual models
    - Local grid refinement considerations
    - Approximating stimulated and propped hydraulic fractures
  • Fluid Physical Property Data (PVT data)
    - Two component vs Equations-of-State formulations
    - Choosing the number of components in equations-of-state
    - Bubble-point suppression in tight reservoirs
  • Rock-Fluid
    - Relative Permeability and Capillary Pressure Assumptions
    - Pros and Con’s of End-point scaling
  • Modeling Hysteresis
    - Approximating Rock Compaction
    - Surface Tension Effects
    - Importance of Adsorption and diffusion
  • Initialization (Initial Pressures, Saturations, and Compositions)
    - Honoring Initial Conditions in Complex Systems
    - Using end-Point scaling for initial saturation variability
    - Non-equilibrium initialization for unconventionals
  • Well Completion and Rate/Pressure Data
    - Simulator assumptions for well connections calculations
  • Well connections in horizontal wells and hydraulic fractures
    - Matching pressure in unconventional reservoirs
    - Incorporating Special Data Types (e.g. ptt, PLT, RFT, tracer)
  • Advancing the Simulator through Time
    - Linear and Non-linear Convergence Criteria
    - Making your model run better – data issues and stability
    - General Black-oil Tuning Recommendations for Fully Implicit Method
    - Tuning Implications of Parallel Processing
    - Numerical Effects of Pinch-Outs, Local Grid Refinement and Irregular Grids
  • Dual Media Modeling of Naturally Fractured Conventional and Unconventional Reservoirs
    - Characterization of Fractured Reservoirs for Simulation
    - Alternative Models to Represent Multi Scale Transport
    - Transfer Function Choices and Adjustments
    - Numerical Issues and Run-time Optimization
    - Modeling stimulated and propped natural fractures in unconventionals

This course has been designed for engineers who wish to improve their understanding of practical methods for modeling fluid-flow in conventional and unconventional reservoirs.

Jim Gilman

Jim has over 30 years experience in the petroleum industry. He is currently Director of Engineering at iReservoir.com where he is involved in providing integrated reservoir characterization and modeling services to the petroleum industry using the state-of-the-art geoscience and engineering technologies. Project work has included reservoir engineering and simulation for unconventional reservoirs, high temperature – high pressure gas, gas condensate recycling, ranking of geologic models using streamline simulation, enhanced oil recovery and naturally fractured reservoirs.

Jim’s expertise includes specialization in the area of application and development of numerical simulators for fluid flow in petroleum reservoirs. He was a co-developer of a major oil company’s 3-D, 3-phase simulator for naturally fractured reservoirs and was instrumental in testing and debugging of the dual-porosity versions of commercial black-oil and compositional simulators for their applications. In addition to simulation expertise, has been involved in training, consultation, and project work in the areas of reservoir engineering, reservoir simulation, naturally fractured reservoirs, horizontal wells and production risk/uncertainty analysis. He also was manager of a multi-disciplinary organization involved in 3-D geologic modeling, laboratory special core analysis, reservoir simulation and general reservoir engineering. Jim has authored or co-authored over twenty articles dealing with naturally fractured reservoirs and other reservoir engineering topics. He recently co-authored a 2013 SPE Primer “Reservoir simulation History Matching and Forecasting”. He was a member of the SPE Editorial Review Committee from 1987-2000 and served as an Executive Editor for SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering. He has also served as chairman of the SPE Monograph and Books Committees, an SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation, and an SPE Forum on Fractured Reservoirs. Jim is a registered professional engineer, and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Affiliations and Accreditation
MSc CSM - Chemical Engineering
BSc Montana State University - Chemical Engineering

Courses Taught
N950:  Applied Reservoir Simulation
N971:  Advanced Reservoir Simulation for Conventional and Unconventional Reservoirs


CEU: 4.0 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.