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The unsteady flow of a weakly compressible fluid in a thin porous layer II: three-dimensional theory

Needham, D. J., Langdon, S., Samson, B. A. and Gilchrist, J. P. (2013) The unsteady flow of a weakly compressible fluid in a thin porous layer II: three-dimensional theory. The Quarterly Journal of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics, 66 (1). pp. 97-122. ISSN 0033-5614

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/qjmam/hbs021

Abstract/Summary

We consider the problem of determining the pressure and velocity fields for a weakly compressible fluid flowing in a three-dimensional layer, composed of an inhomogeneous, anisotropic porous medium, with vertical side walls and variable upper and lower boundaries, in the presence of vertical wells injecting and/or extracting fluid. Numerical solution of this three-dimensional evolution problem may be expensive, particularly in the case that the depth scale of the layer h is small compared to the horizontal length scale l, a situation which occurs frequently in the application to oil and gas reservoir recovery and which leads to significant stiffness in the numerical problem. Under the assumption that $\epsilon\propto h/l\ll 1$, we show that, to leading order in $\epsilon$, the pressure field varies only in the horizontal directions away from the wells (the outer region). We construct asymptotic expansions in $\epsilon$ in both the inner (near the wells) and outer regions and use the asymptotic matching principle to derive expressions for all significant process quantities. The only computations required are for the solution of non-stiff linear, elliptic, two-dimensional boundary-value, and eigenvalue problems. This approach, via the method of matched asymptotic expansions, takes advantage of the small aspect ratio of the layer, $\epsilon$, at precisely the stage where full numerical computations become stiff, and also reveals the detailed structure of the dynamics of the flow, both in the neighbourhood of wells and away from wells.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
ID Code:31205
Publisher:Oxford University Press

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