Form C4
Version 4.0 (2010/2011)
Heriot-Watt University - Course Descriptor Template
Course Code
1. Course
5. Course
4. School
Engineering and Physical Sciences
6. Delivery:
Location &
Sem 2
7. Pre-requisites
Reservoir Simulation
Collaborative Partner
Baku Higher Oil School, Azerbaijan
Sem 2
3. Credits
4th Year Director of Studies
Approved Learning Partner
Name …………………………………Sem………..
Satisfactory completion of Stage 3 courses
8. Linked Courses
(specify if synoptic)
9. Excluded Courses
10. Replacement Courses
11. Degrees for which
this is a core course
Date Of Replacement:
12. The course may be
delivered to:
UG only
PG only
BEng Petroleum Engineering
13. Available as an Elective?
14. Aims
The overall aim of this course is to:
develop an understanding of the role of simulation in reservoir engineering
to gain insight into the value of simulation
 to provide the appropriate numerical techniques to enhance hydrocarbon recovery
15. Syllabus
Introduction: Description of a simulation model; Simplifications and issues that arise in going from the description of a real reservoir to a reservoir simulation model;
Description or reason and circumstances simple or complex reservoir models are required to model reservoir processes; Input data is required; Typical outputs of
reservoir simulations and their use in reservoir development.
Basic concepts in reservoir engineering: Material balance equation for an undersaturated oil reservoir; Conditions under which the material balance equations are
valid; Single and two-phase Darcy Law in one dimension (1D); Gradient and divergence operators as they apply to the generalised (2D and 3D) Darcy Law;
Permeability as a tensor quantity; 2D and 3D Darcy Law with permeability as a full tensor
Reservoir simulation model set-up: Simulation Input – issues to be addressed by simulation,input data required, format of data; Simulation Output - output of
calculations, quality check output data to check for errors in input, post-processing analysis; Analysis of Results - identify impact of reservoir engineering principles in
calculation performed, Identify numerical effects and impact of grid block size and orientation on results, erform simple upscaling calculation to address numerical
Gridding and well modelling: Concept of gridding and of spatial and temporal discretisation; types of grid in 1D, 2D and 3D used in reservoir simulation; numerical
dispersion and grid orientation and the solution to these numerical problems; local grid refinement (LGR), distorted, PEBI and corner point grids; grid
Form C4
Heriot-Watt University - Course Descriptor Template
Version 4.0 (2010/2011)
fineness/coarseness; streamline simulation; well models and productivity index (PI); average grid block pressure and Peaceman formula; concept of multi-phase flow
to calculate PIw and PIo.
Flow equations: Physics of single phase compressible flow through porous media; equation for single phase compressible flow (PDE); linearization of PDE for slightly
compressible flow involving the hydraulic diffusivity; extension of the single phase pressure equation to 2D; conservation + Darcy’s law in the two phase case to
arrive at the two phase flow equations for compressible fluids and rock.
Numerical methods in reservoir simulation: Simple finite difference expressions for derivatives, (∂P/∂x), (∂P/∂t) and (∂2P/∂x2); forward difference, the backward
difference and the central difference and the order of the error associated with each; apply finite difference approximations to a simple partial differential equation
(PDE); explicit and an implicit numerical scheme; implicit finite difference scheme applied to a simple linear PDE leading to a set of linear equations which are
tridiagonal in 1D and pentadiagonal in 2D; structure of the pentadiagonal A-matrix in 2D for a given numbering scheme going from (i, j) notation to m-notation where
m is an ordered numbering; solution strategy for the non-linear single phase 2D pressure equation where the fluid and rock compressibility are pressure dependent;
discretised form of both the pressure and saturation equation for two-phase flow; IMPES solution strategy for the discretised two-phase flow equations.
Permeability upscaling: Reason for upscaling; calculation ofeffective permeability in simple models by averaging; numerical upscaling of single-phase flow; effects of
heterogeneity on two-phase flow; limitations of applying single-phase upscaling to a two-phase problem; steady-state, capillary-equilibrium upscaling for two-phase
flow; 2-phase dynamic upscaling (the Kyte and Berry Method); upscaling around a well; upscaling from the core-scale to the scale of a geological model, taking
account of fine-scale structure and capillary effects.
16. Learning Outcomes (HWU Core Skills: Employability and Professional Career Readiness)
Subject Mastery
Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive
Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research-Informed Learning)
On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
 Appreciate of the use, application and impact of reservoir simulation in reservoir engineering
 Understand the fundamentals of single phase compressible flow
 Understand the fundamentals of 2 phase flow
 Understand the principles of numerical flow simulation
 Demonstrate the concepts and techniques of upscaling and pseudoisation
 Describe common errors of reservoir simulation
Form C4
Version 4.0 (2010/2011)
Heriot-Watt University - Course Descriptor Template
Personal Abilities
Industrial, Commercial & Professional Practice
Autonomy, Accountability & Working with Others
Communication, Numeracy & ICT
After completing this module, students will be able to:
 Appreciate the scale and complexity of the industry.
Be aware of the social responsibility in protecting the environment and personnel in oil and gas operations.
Understand the role of design codes.
Understand the role of empiricism and approximation in design calculations.
Develop appropriate skills in problem solving.
Appreciate the practical application of chemical engineering fundamentals to equipment design.
17. Assessment Methods
18. Re-assessment Methods
Duration of Exam
Weighting (%)
Synoptic courses?
(if applicable)
2 hours
Duration of Exam
(if applicable)
None – qualifying course
19. Date and Version
Date of Proposal
Date of Approval by
School Committee
Date of

Course Descriptor Template - Heriot