Compositional Reservoir Simulation of Liquid Rich Shale Production

A common trend in the modern oil production is that the resources to be developed become more challenging and the processes involved become more complex.

More activities are directed to unconventional resources like heavy oil and liquid rich shale (LRS). Compositional simulation of the involved reservoir processes share some common challenges in terms of phase equilibrium description and calculation.

This PhD project, sponsored by ConocoPhillips, is aimed to answer some of these challenges in compositional simulation of LRS production.

For production from shale, where the pore sizes can be down to tens of nanometers, phase equilibrium in confined spaces plays an important role. Capillary pressures and adsorption must be taken into account and their influence on multicomponent phase equilibrium will be evaluated. It is worth mentioning that many phase equilibrium calculations within confined spaces are not standard ones and reliable and robust algorithms must be developed in the study.

Another issue to be studied is whether more rigorous and advanced thermodynamic models, such as PC-SAFT and CPA, will give a more accurate description than the cubic equations of state commonly employed in compositional simulations.

The time used in phase equilibrium calculation is significant in common compositional reservoir simulations. The computational efficiency of phase equilibrium, especially its stability analysis part, can become a bottleneck. It will be investigated how to bypass stability analysis in the above mentioned multiphase equilibrium scenarios in an efficient and reliable manner.

The PhD project will be among the first attempts to implement advanced equations of state into compositional reservoir simulators. Development of more efficient algorithms to reduce the calculation time of stability analysis will benefit compositional simulation in general. In particular, it can make it practical to apply more advanced models to the computation demanding compositional reservoir simulation.

Supervisor: Prof. Erling H.Stenby,

co-supervisor: Senior Researcher Wei Yan:

co-supervior: Prof.. Emeritus: Michael L. Michelsen,



Erling Halfdan Stenby
Head of Department, Professor
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 20 12


Wei Yan
Associate Professor
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 23 79