Computational Geosciences and Modelling

Computational Geosciences and Modelling

State-of-the-art computational models for multi-physics, multi-scale flow and transport in energy resources and environment systems

We offer expertise in development of cutting-edge simulation tools to address the critical technical, economic and societal challenges within energy resources and environment systems.

Our research expertise broadly encompasses model, methods and software development. We formulate advanced mathematical models to describe multiphysics phenomena that can improve our understanding of the studied systems. We develop new methods that we combine with state-of-the art algorithms into industry-oriented simulation techology that can be readily applied to investigate real-world problems. Energy resource and environment systems involve many coupled processes acting at multiple scales. Our strength is the ability to provide solutions from the largest field scale to the smallest microscale.

Our research group consists of 14 PhD-educated permanent research staff with backgrounds in applied mathematics, physics and engineering. We are at the forefront of international research within modeling and simulation of subsurface systems, including CO2 storage, IOR/EOR technology, and subsurface H2 storage. We advance new models in wind energy and medical technology. We lead or are a major partner in several national research projects and centres, we publish 20+ papers annually in leading international journals and conferences and have established a 10-year track record in software development.

Sarah Eileen Gasda

Computational Geosciences and Modelling Research Director Computational Geosciences and Modelling - Bergen

+47 56 10 71 14
+47 905 08 106

Reservoir Simulation

Our expertise in reservoir simulation is focused on providing reliable and efficient solutions to coupled multiphase flow and transport problems at the core-, field- and basin-scale. Research activities center around model development and implementation in the Open Porous Media initiative (OPM), a collaborative open-source software development project and open repository for porous media software and data. We are among the chief developers of OPM Flow, a free-ware, community-based reservoir simulator that provides a platform for accessing cutting-edge research while maintaining strict industry standards for user control and functionality. OPM Flow is used for applications in CO2 storage, petroleum IOR/EOR, and underground H2 storage. In addition, we have contributed to specialized software IORCoreSim and IORSim to investigate polymer IOR processes at the core- and field-scale. We have additional expertise with use of the Eclipse reservoir simulator and have contributed to the Matlab Reservoir Simulation Toolbox (MRST).

Direct Simulation of Fluid Systems

We specialize in developing models and simulation tools that provide direct solutions for movement of fluids in porous media and other systems. Our expertise in computational fluid dynamics using lattice Boltzmann (LB) methods is used to interrogate fluid movement in complex pore geometries at the microscale, which have been applied broadly within IOR research. We have developed the LB-simulator BADChIMP that includes reactive flow capabilities to capture geochemical reactions at mineral surfaces, dissolution and precipitation processes, and electrochemical reactions that alter surface charge. We also develop, and use, models for non-Newtonian flow, with application to modeling polymer injection, drilling fluids, and effective turbulence modeling. In addition, we have expertise in level set methods to investigate capillary-controlled displacement, and have developed a robust simulator for interface tracking that can be applied in different two- and three-phase settings. We collaborate closely with SCAL laboratories both at NORCE and at client/partner to perform one-to-one comparisons of our simulators with experimental observations, including CT and microCT, micromodels, SEM, x-ray, etc. These comparisons provide unique insight into multiphysics processes that impact field-scale fluid behavior.

Strategic Research Topics

CO2 Storage

Reservoir simulation is essential for assessment, development, operation, and closure of CO2 storage projects. We develop simulation tools for CO2 that have adapted standard methods based on understanding gained in laboratory experiments, pilot studies and ongoing industry projects. There are many challenging aspects that need to be modelled with reliability. CO2 is a buoyant fluid and more mobile, which leads to gravity override, unstable flow, and hysteresis effects. CO2 injected in storage aquifers will raise reservoir pressure which can lead to fracturing, fault activation, induced seismicity and loss of storage integrity. CO2 can dissolve readily into formation fluid that increases brine density and induces convection of dissolved CO2. CO2 can dry out the formation leading to injectivity problems or can dissolve minerals and well cements leading to loss of well integrity. Finally, CO2 can leak through natural and man-made in the overlying caprock such as faults, fractures, petroleum wells if these pathways are not sealing to flow.

We specialize in development of dedicated simulation tools for CO2 storage, with focus on reliable and accurate models for storage processes and containment. Our contributions include: CO2-brine PVT and transport properties, CO2 impurities, CO2 dissolution-convection, fault and fracture flow, thermal effects, wettability alteration, and biogeochemistry. OPM Flow has been upgraded for fit-for-purpose CO2 functionality through the CO2STORE keyword, which also includes HPC capabilities to enable massively parallel simulation on multi-million cell models for regional storage assessment. We have used expertise in ensemble-based methods to develop new approaches to estimate capacity and to quantify leakage risk under uncertainty. We use these methods to carry out needed studies for accelerating deployment of CO2 storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In particular, we investigate pressure management strategies for multi-site injection, estimation of CO2 leakage risk along faults and wellbores, and bio-cementation plugging of leakage pathways deep in the reservoir.


There are a multitude of EOR techniques, spanning from methods aiming at changing the wettability of the formation to liberate oil, to methods for flow diversion and mobility control for improving sweep efficiency. Besides these types of EOR strategies there are a many other, like miscible and immiscible WAG injection, CO2 injection, and surfactant and foam flooding. Further, the electrification of the NCS will demand even more complete physical based models as the possibility for fluctuating power supply, from renewable sources, will complicate the injection patterns in the reservoir. To understand these processes requires investigations on all relevant scales ranging from pore to core to field. We have focused on developing numerical methods for physical based simulations of these demanding systems.

IORSim is a field scale simulation tool that is an add on to reservoir simulators (like OPM and Eclipse) that can be used to simulate the chemical mechanisms that are relevant for reservoir management. This is accomplished by implementing a complete description of all the possible geochemical reactions in the water phase that could take place in the reservoir: mineral dissolution/precipitation, surface complexation, ion exchange and release of CO2 to and from an oil phase. IORSim will model the transport of aqueous chemical species based on the flow fields generated by the reservoir simulator. A change in relative permeability and capillary pressure can then be linked to one or several of these chemical mechanisms. This information will then be back propagated to the reservoir simulators through these changes in the flow functions.

At the pore scale, we have developed state-of-the-art level set methods for investigating three-phase capillary pressure curves with hysteresis and phase trapping related to WAG injection and gas storage processes. The methods are being developed further to handle interfacial processes important to multiphase systems and foams, like Ostwald ripening.

Models for polymer flooding and chemical EOR have been developed for our lattice Boltzmann simulator BADChIMP. The simulator will handle multiple chemical species and fluid phases, where the interaction between minerals and aqueous chemical species is accounted for by a general geochemical solver that can be used for both carbonate and sandstone reservoirs.

Wind Energy

We develop flow modelling methods to capture energy production loss in wind turbines, due to surface erosion of the turbine blades. To do so, we utilize and develop our in-house LB-based simulator BADChIMP. This is applied as a numerical wind tunnel to calculate loss of lift on each individual turbine blade. The simulator can for instance also be used for Large Eddy Simulations (LES) to effectively capture the high turbulent air flow in the vicinity of the turbine blades.

H2 Storage

OPM compositional modeling, coupled biogeochemistry under development


Meet the Team
Aksel Hiorth

Research Professor - Stavanger
+47 51 87 50 40

David Landa Marban

Researcher - Bergen
+47 56 10 71 10

Espen Jettestuen

Senior Researcher - Oslo
+47 51 87 56 75
+47 932 19 697

Jan Ludvig Vinningland

Senior Researcher - Oslo

+47 412 79 060

Johan Olav Helland

Senior Researcher - Stavanger
+47 51 87 52 26

Olav Aursjø

Senior Researcher - Stavanger
+47 51 87 52 55

Ove Sævareid

Senior Researcher - Bergen
+47 51 87 56 37

Per Pettersson

Senior Researcher - Bergen
+47 56 10 71 34

Svenn Tveit

Senior Researcher - Bergen
+47 56 10 71 43

Tor Harald Sandve

Senior Researcher - Bergen
+47 51 87 56 34

Trine Mykkeltvedt

Researcher - Bergen
+47 51 87 56 29

Håkon Hægland

Senior Researcher - Bergen
+47 56 10 71 18

Birane Kane

Researcher - Bergen
+47 51 87 56 45

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