Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Reservoir Engineering

Applied Reservoir Simulation

Course Code: N950
Instructors:  Jim Gilman
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
5 days


This course is an overview of reservoir simulation concepts and assumptions and discusses data selection, preparation and integration; the strengths and weaknesses of various types of models and modelling strategies; the computing environment and the steps required to create a credible model. The concepts will be illustrated via ECLIPSE software, but the concepts are applicable to other simulation packages.


I am just starting to work in a simulation program (project) and this course helped me to get a better understanding of how Eclipse-Petrel work.

Duration and Training Method

This is a five-day classroom course comprising lectures and hands-on simulation activities (approximately 50/50 ratio). Participants will be provided a basic geologic description, basic fluid descriptions, relative permeabilities, capillary pressure data, initial conditions, and historical rate data. These data will be input into the simulator with minimal reformatting, where participants will perform a history matching exercise. The simulation result will be compared to historical data and with results from others in the class, thus highlighting how different input assumptions can affect the simulation results.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

1. Formulate concepts in order to justify, propose and design reservoir simulation models.
2. Develop simulation data requirements and assemble appropriate data.
3. Compose data preparation guidelines and synthesise / integrate dynamic data to create data files for reservoir models.
4. Formulate production data for integration with the reservoir simulation process.
5. Evaluate model outcomes and adjust data in order to enhance history matches and generate forecasts for selected development options.
6. Assemble and use simulation results for reservoir evaluation and study documentation.

The workshop begins with an overview of general reservoir simulation concepts and assumptions, followed by a discussion of data preparation and history matching techniques. Significant time will be allocated for hands-on application of the simulator.  Topics of discussion include introduction to reservoir simulation, introduction to ECLIPSE, grids, aquifers, PVT data, rock and fluid data, initial conditions, and time-dependent data. The class builds upon a single example simulation which applies many of the most common elements of a simulation study. The class will not use all the auxiliary tools for preparing simulation data (e.g. 3D geomodels, PVT programs or vertical-flow performance analysis). However, the application of such software in the simulation workflow will be discussed. The specific software to be used will be Eclipse black-oil for simulations, Eclipse Office for xy plotting, and Floviz for 3D visualization. Third party visualization software such as, S3GRAF or TECPLOT RS, may also be used depending on license availability.

The course will generally follow the basic outline shown here, but all the material may not be covered in detail depending on the level of experience of the participants with the ECLIPSE software. The order of presentation of the material is subject to change, depending on the level of student familiarity with the various topics.

Review of Reservoir Simulation

  • Assumptions and Sources of Error
  • Finite Difference and Material Balance
  • Simulator formulations (e.g. Streamline, finite element)
  • Preparing Data and History Matching
  • Review of Simulator Features and Data Structure
  • Overview of auxiliary Software (e.g. geomodels, PVT, SCAL, VFP, visualization)
  • Editing files and Running the Simulator
  • Introduction to Workshop Problem(s)

Building and Running a Simulation File

  • Reservoir Simulation Grids and Model Types
    • Gridding Considerations
    • Geologic Descriptions (2D and 3D)
    • Upscaling from 3D Descriptions
    • Aquifer Descriptions
  • Fluid Physical Property Data (PVT data)
    • Discussion of laboratory data
    • Overview of PVT data generation
  • Rock-Fluid 
    • Discussion of laboratory data
    • Relative Permeability and Capillary Pressure Assumptions
    • Hysteresis
    • Rock Compaction
    • Surface Tension Effects
  • Initialization (Initial Pressures, Saturations, and Compositions)
    • Specifying Initial Conditions
    • Using end-Point scaling for initial saturation variability
    • Non-equilibrium initialization
  • Well Completion and Rate/Pressure Data
    • Incorporating well connection data
    • Incorporating a historical rate deck and user file
    • Incorporating VFP Tables
    • Other Special Data Types (e.g. ptt, PLT, formation tester pressures, tracer)
  • Advancing the Simulator Through Time
    • Convergence Criteria
    • Making your model run better – data issues and stability

History Matching and Forecasting Reservoir Performance

  • History Matching Methodology
    • Volumetric Adjustments
    • SCAL and PVT Considerations
    • Integration with Characterization
    • Assisted History Matching
  • History Matching Workshop Problem
    • Volumetric Considerations / Aquifer
    • Contacts / Initial Conditions
    • Permeability
    • PVT and SCAL
    • Special Well Data
  • Forecasting Methodology
    • Optimizing recovery from the workshop problem
    • Water and / or Gas Injection
  • Review of Participants Workshop Results

Special Features and Auxiliary Programs (as Time Permits)

  • Overview of Special Features
    • Local grid refinements, compositional and well models
  • Using Networks for Surface Facilities
  • Basics of Compositional Simulation and EOS
  • Dual-porosity/dual-permeability for fractured reservoirs

Open Work Session

  • Requests by participants (as time permits)

This workshop is intended for individuals who use ECLIPSE or similar software for reservoir simulation studies. Participants are assumed to have some background in simulation concepts and in running basic simulation models. Prior experience using ECLIPSE or a similar simulator is required.

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
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