PorePy: An Open-Source Simulation Tool for Flow and Transport in Deformable Fractured Rocks

by   Eirik Keilegavlen, et al.

Fractures are ubiquitous in the subsurface and strongly affect flow and deformation. The physical shape of the fractures, they are long and thin objects, puts strong limitations on how the effect of this dynamics can be incorporated into standard reservoir simulation tools. This paper reports the development of an open-source software framework, termed PorePy, which is aimed at simulation of flow and transport in three-dimensional fractured reservoirs, as well as deformation of the reservoir due to shearing along fracture and fault planes. Starting from a description of fractures as polygons embedded in a 3D domain, PorePy provides semi-automatic gridding to construct a discrete-fracture-matrix model, which forms the basis for subsequent simulations. PorePy allows for flow and transport in all lower-dimensional objects, including planes (2D) representing fractures, and lines (1D) and points (0D), representing fracture intersections. Interaction between processes in neighboring domains of different dimension is implemented as a sequence of couplings of objects one dimension apart. This readily allows for handling of complex fracture geometries compared to capabilities of existing software. In addition to flow and transport, PorePy provides models for rock mechanics, poro-elasticity and coupling with fracture deformation models. The software is fully open, and can serve as a framework for transparency and reproducibility of simulations. We describe the design principles of PorePy from a user perspective, with focus on possibilities within gridding, covered physical processes and available discretizations. The power of the framework is illustrated with two sets of simulations; involving respectively coupled flow and transport in a fractured porous medium, and low-pressure stimulation of a geothermal reservoir.


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