Reservoir Simulation: Do I Need Both the Simulator GUI and Model Designer?

Yes, you probably need both. Used together, these two modules give you the most comprehensive reservoir simulation pre- and post-processing — we’ll explain why in a moment. But first, you need to understand a bit of the history behind reservoir simulation software.

You may have used (or are using) programs from a reservoir simulation system that’s owned by one of the biggest names in the industry. It’s about four decades old and consists of an arcane collection of very expensive software tools that are labor-intensive and quite challenging to master. Because of this, not everyone can use, nor universally understand, the intricacies of this legacy software, and that’s too bad. Every person on your operations team – from geophysicists to financial analysts – needs to understand the results and implications of reservoir simulations. That fact casts a big vote against using arduous 40-year-old tools.

Wouldn’t you prefer to use a modern reservoir simulator that was actually developed in this century?

Welcome to the next generation of reservoir modeling software

In 2005, Rock Flow Dynamics (RFD) was established with a mission to design and code – from the ground up – an advanced set of fully integrated reservoir engineering software tools that would be easier to learn, intuitive to use, cheaper to buy and faster to run. RFD assembled a team of mathematicians, petroleum engineers, physicists and parallel supercomputing experts and set to work.

In October 2005, attendees at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dallas were introduced to tNavigator® – a revolutionary new reservoir flow simulator engine that exploited modern high-performance computing power to make its technology affordable for companies of all sizes. When the user-friendly post-processing Graphical User Interface (GUI) was introduced the next year, it was a big hit. Everybody who tried tNavigator loved it!

Using the tNavigator simulator and its GUI, you could visualize simulation results as they happened rather than having to wait for the end of the run. Even better, users could interact with the simulator as it runs; for example, allowing for perforations to be closed interactively if a given simulation shows too much water is being produced. The simulator GUI offered other advantages, too:

  • Waterflood management: streamlines, tracers, drainage plots, allocation factors;
  • Multiple views: 1D, 2D, 3D, cross-plots, histograms, bubble maps, well profiles, etc.;
  • Sector modeling: automatic split and merge;
  • A graph calculator and templates;
  • Mouse control to stop and restart simulation;
  • Advanced property calculator and filter.

The only issue users had with the simulator GUI’s close association with the simulation engine was that its ability to perform other pre- and post-processing tasks was limited, especially when modeling multiple scenarios.

So the tNavigator Model Designer module was born…

Model Designer’s advanced computing architecture adds an additional level of abstraction to enable the most desired pre- and post-processing features engineers want:

And now the answer to the original question: do I need both the Model Designer module and the simulator GUI?

If you will be working interactively with only single models, using the simulator GUI will probably be all you need. But if you’re building complex models, you’ll see huge gains in efficiency if you use Model Designer. And if you are building and adjusting complex models, plus you want the level of interactivity the simulator GUI affords, you will need both.

Chances are, you fit in the latter category – most users do. Without the Model Designer module, you’re missing so much for such a small incremental investment. (Now we hear you thinking: “But how much does it cost?!”)

Even with its advanced functionality, tNavigator’s pricing is extremely competitive. Ask any Model Designer user – cost is never the issue. Chances are you’ll pay much less for tNavigator’s pre- and post-processing tools than you would for those archaic software tools from the Big Guys.

To learn more, and try tNavigator yourself, request a demo or visit the Contact Us page and call one of our 20 offices located throughout North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Australasia.