Uncertainty quantification and inverse modeling for subsurface flow in 3D heterogeneous formations using a theory-guided convolutional encoder-decoder network

11/14/2021
by   Rui Xu, et al.
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We build surrogate models for dynamic 3D subsurface single-phase flow problems with multiple vertical producing wells. The surrogate model provides efficient pressure estimation of the entire formation at any timestep given a stochastic permeability field, arbitrary well locations and penetration lengths, and a timestep matrix as inputs. The well production rate or bottom hole pressure can then be determined based on Peaceman's formula. The original surrogate modeling task is transformed into an image-to-image regression problem using a convolutional encoder-decoder neural network architecture. The residual of the governing flow equation in its discretized form is incorporated into the loss function to impose theoretical guidance on the model training process. As a result, the accuracy and generalization ability of the trained surrogate models are significantly improved compared to fully data-driven models. They are also shown to have flexible extrapolation ability to permeability fields with different statistics. The surrogate models are used to conduct uncertainty quantification considering a stochastic permeability field, as well as to infer unknown permeability information based on limited well production data and observation data of formation properties. Results are shown to be in good agreement with traditional numerical simulation tools, but computational efficiency is dramatically improved.

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