Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 128, Issue 1, pp 221–241 | Cite as

Simulation of Gas Production from Multilayered Hydrate-Bearing Media with Fully Coupled Flow, Thermal, Chemical and Geomechanical Processes Using TOUGH+Millstone. Part 2: Geomechanical Formulation and Numerical Coupling

  • Alejandro F. Queiruga
  • George J. Moridis
  • Matthew T. ReaganEmail author


The TOUGH+Millstone simulator has been developed for the analysis of coupled flow, thermal and geomechanical processes associated with the formation and/or dissociation of \(\hbox {CH}_{4}\) hydrates in geological media. It is composed of two constituent codes: (a) a significantly enhanced version of the TOUGH+HYDRATE simulator, v2.0, that accounts for all known flow, physical, thermodynamic and chemical processes associated with the behavior of hydrate-bearing systems undergoing changes and includes the most recent advances in the description of the system properties, coupled seamlessly with (b) Millstone v1.0, a new code that addresses the conceptual, computational and mathematical shortcomings of earlier codes used to describe the geomechanical response of these systems. The capabilities of the TOUGH+Millstone code are demonstrated in the simulation and analysis of the system flow, thermal and geomechanical behavior during gas production from a realistic complex offshore hydrate deposit. In the second part of this series, we describe the Millstone geomechanical simulator. The hydrate-dependent, rate-based poromechanical formulation is presented and solved using a finite element discretization. A novel multimesh coupling scheme is introduced, wherein interpolators are automatically built to transfer data between the finite difference discretization of TOUGH+ and the finite element discretization of Millstone. We provide verification examples against analytic solutions for poroelasticity and a simplified demonstration problem for mechanically induced phase change in a hydrate sediment.


Methane hydrates Reservoir simulation Geomechanics Coupled processes 



This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Office of Natural Gas and Petroleum Technology, through the National Energy Technology Laboratory, under the U.S. Department of Energy, Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098, and also through a funded collaboration with Chevron.


  1. Balay, S., Abhyankar, S., Adams, M.F., Brown, J., Brune, P., Buschelman, K., Eijkhout, V., Gropp, W.D., Kaushik, D., Knepley, M.G., McInnes, L.C., Rupp, K., Smith, B.F., Zhang, H.: PETSc web page. (2014)
  2. Biot, M.A., Willis, D.G.: The elastic coefficients of the theory of consolidation. J. Appl. Mech. 24, 594–601 (1957)Google Scholar
  3. Biot, M.A.: General theory of three-dimensional consolidation. J. Appl. Phys. 12(2), 155–164 (1941)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dana, S., Ganis, B., Wheeler, M.F.: A multiscale fixed stress split iterative scheme for coupled flow and poromechanics in deep subsurface reservoirs. J. Comput. Phys. 352, 1–22 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dean, R.H., Gai, X., Stone, C.M., Minkoff, S.E., et al.: A comparison of techniques for coupling porous flow and geomechanics. SPE J. 11(01), 132–140 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Geuzaine, C., Remacle, J.F.: Gmsh: a three-dimensional finite element mesh generator with built-in pre- and post-processing facilities. Int. J. Numer. Methods Eng. (2009)Google Scholar
  7. Hirose, T., Tanikawa, W., Hamada, Y., Lin, W., Hatakeda, K., Tadai, O., Wu, H.Y., Nomura, S., Abe, N., Gupta, L.P., Sugihara, T., Masaki, Y., Kinoshita, M., Yamada, Y.: Strength characteristics of sediments from a gas hydrate deposit in the Krishna–Godavari basin on the eastern margin of India. Mar. Petrol. Geol. (2018).
  8. Itasca Consulting Group: Flac3d: Fast Lagrangian analysis of continua in 3 dimensions. Technical report. Minneapolis, Minnesota (2002)Google Scholar
  9. Jones, E., Oliphant, T., Peterson, P., et al.: SciPy: Open source scientific tools for Python (2001–2018). Accessed 01 Jan 2016
  10. Kim, J., Moridis, G.J.: Gas flow tightly coupled to elastoplastic geomechanics for tight and shale gas reservoirs: material failure and enhanced permeability. In: Americas Unconventional Resources Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 2012aGoogle Scholar
  11. Kim, J., Moridis, G.J.: Modeling and numerical simulation for coupled flow and geomechanics in composite gas hydrate deposits. In: 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, 24–27 June 2012bGoogle Scholar
  12. Kim, J., Moridis, G.J.: Numerical studies for naturally fractured shale gas reservoirs: Coupled flow and geomechanics in multiple porosity/permeability materials. In: 46th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, 24–27 June 2012cGoogle Scholar
  13. Klar, A., Uchida, S., Soga, K., Yamamoto, K., et al.: Explicitly coupled thermal flow mechanical formulation for gas-hydrate sediments. SPE J. 18(02), 196–206 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Moridis, G.J.: User’s Manual of the Meshmaker v1.5 Code: A Mesh Generator for Domain Discretization in Simulations of the Tough+ and Tough2 Families of Codes. Technical Report LBNL-1005134, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2016)Google Scholar
  15. Moridis, G.J., Kowalsky, M.B., Pruess, K.: Tough+Hydrate v1.0 User’s Manual: A Code for the Simulation of System Behavior in Hydrate-Bearing Geologic Media. Technical Report LBNL-0149E, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2008)Google Scholar
  16. Nishida, A.: Experience in developing an open source scalable software infrastructure in Japan. In: Computational Science and Its Applications—ICCSA 2010. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6017 (2010)Google Scholar
  17. Queiruga, A.F.: Cornflakes: first public release. (February 2018a)
  18. Queiruga, A.F.: Popcorn: first public release. (February 2018b)
  19. Queiruga, A.F., Moridis, G.: Numerical experiments on the convergence properties of state-based peridynamic laws and influence functions in two-dimensional problems. Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Eng. 322, 97–122 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Queiruga, A.F., Reagan, M.T.: tough\_convert: version 1.0, February 2018.
  21. Queiruga, A.F.: Microscale Simulation of the Mechanical and Electromagnetic Behavior of Textiles. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley (2015)Google Scholar
  22. Rutqvist, J., Moridis, G.J.: Numerical studies on the geomechanical stability of hydrate-bearing sediments. SPE J. 14(2), 267–282 (2009). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rutqvist, J., Moridis, G.J., Grover, T., Collett, T.: Geomechanical response of permafrost-associated hydrate deposits to depressurization-induced gas production. J. Petrol. Sci. Eng. 67, 1–12 (2009). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. SymPy Development Team: SymPy: Python library for symbolic mathematics, 2016.
  25. The MPI Forum: MPI: A Message-Passing Interface Standard. Technical report, Knoxville, TN, USA (1994)Google Scholar
  26. Uchida, S., Soga, K., Yamamoto, K.: Critical state soil constitutive model for methane hydrate soil. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 117(B3) (2012)Google Scholar
  27. Uchida, S., Klar, A., Yamamoto, K.: Sand production model in gas hydrate-bearing sediments. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. 86, 303–316 (2016). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Van der Walt, S., Colbert, S.C., Varoquaux, G.: The numpy array: a structure for efficient numerical computation. Comput. Sci. Eng. 13(2), 22–30 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Verruijt, A.: Theory and Problems of Poroelasticity. Delft University of Technology, Delft (2013)Google Scholar
  30. Waite, W.F., Jang, J., Collett, T.S., Kumar, P.: Downhole physical property-based description of a gas hydrate petroleum system in NGHP-02 Area C: a channel, levee, fan complex in the Krishna–Godavari Basin offshore eastern India. Mar. Petrol. Geol. 2018.
  31. Yang, D., Moridis, G.J., Blasingame, T.A.: A fully coupled multiphase flow and geomechanics solver for highly heterogeneous porous media. J. Comput. Appl. Math. 270, 417–432 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Petroleum Engineering DepartmentTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Energy Geosciences DivisionLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations