Multi-Physics Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods for Subsurface Flows

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Joyce Rigelo, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, United States, Victor Ginting, University of Wyoming, Mathematics, Laramie, WY, United States, Arunasalam Rahunanthan, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Mathematics and Computer Science, Edinboro, PA, United States and Felipe Pereira, University of Texas at Dallas, Mathematical Sciences, Dallas, TX, United States
For CO2 sequestration in deep saline aquifers, contaminant transport in subsurface, and oil or gas recovery, we often need to forecast flow patterns. Subsurface characterization is a critical and challenging step in flow forecasting. To characterize subsurface properties we establish a statistical description of the subsurface properties that are conditioned to existing dynamic and static data. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm is used in a Bayesian statistical description to reconstruct the spatial distribution of rock permeability and porosity. The MCMC algorithm requires repeatedly solving a set of nonlinear partial differential equations describing displacement of fluids in porous media for different values of permeability and porosity. The time needed for the generation of a reliable MCMC chain using the algorithm can be too long to be practical for flow forecasting. In this work we develop fast and effective computational methods for generating MCMC chains in the Bayesian framework for the subsurface characterization. Our strategy consists of constructing a family of computationally inexpensive preconditioners based on simpler physics as well as on surrogate models such that the number of fine-grid simulations is drastically reduced in the generated MCMC chains. In particular, we introduce a huff-puff technique as screening step in a three-stage multi-physics MCMC algorithm to reduce the number of expensive final stage simulations. The huff-puff technique in the algorithm enables a better characterization of subsurface near wells. We assess the quality of the proposed multi-physics MCMC methods by considering Monte Carlo simulations for forecasting oil production in an oil reservoir.