New Software Release

INTERSECT 2020.1 Now Available

Tuesday, 05 May 2020

Product overview

The INTERSECT high-resolution reservoir simulator sets a new standard for reservoir simulation that goes beyond the capabilities offered by current-generation simulators. The result is improved accuracy and efficiency in field development planning and risk mitigation—even for the most complex fields.

The INTERSECT simulator enables engineers to accurately and quickly model

  • complex geological structures
  • highly heterogeneous formations
  • challenging wells and completion configurations
  • advanced production controls for reservoir coupling and flexible field management

Petrel Reservoir Engineering constitutes the user environment for all Schlumberger reservoir simulation solutions, and you can run the INTERSECT simulator from Petrel Reservoir Engineering.

Release highlights

The release of INTERSECT 2020.1 delivers many key features in field management, performance, fidelity, physics, and usability. These features support pattern flood management, reservoir coupling, GPU, RESQML grid input, thermal models and coal seam gas. A number of usability enhancements are delivered. New parallel license and license behaviors are also introduced.

Release updates

Field Management

  • Pattern flood management: Pattern flood management (PFM) provides an automated way of optimizing streamline waterflood simulations to improve oil recovery. Using unique streamline simulation properties, PFM determines how much water to allocate to injectors to enhance the performance of a waterflood. These optimized water injection rate allocations help to manage the reservoir in such a way that oil rate decline is arrested, water breakthrough delayed, or water production suppressed, and volumetric efficiency and ultimate recovery are increased.
  • Improved inflow performance relationship (IPR) modeling in network coupling: A new rate-based method to generate IPR curves for wells is added in INTERSECT 2020.1. The new method enables the generation of nonmonotonic IPR curves, which could happen on gassy wells or when the coupling is at tubing head. ECLIPSE Network Simulator is enhanced to consume such nonmonotonic curves. This new approach improves the robustness and performance of network coupling in many field models.
  • Compositional delumping in reservoir or network coupling: The INTERSECT simulator now supports coupled cases in which reservoirs and network have different fluid systems (including different numbers of components). Component properties such as mole fractions may be lumped or delumped between the individual reservoir or network models. This allows gas reinjection and gas accounting workflows.
  • Reservoir coupling performance: This release includes work to improve performance in reservoir coupling cases in areas including expressions, dynamic lists, and balancing actions. In models containing large numbers of those features, the runtime may be reduced without changing in results.


  • GPU acceleration: The INTERSECT simulator now supports graphics processing unit (GPU). This first release is on the linear solver with a single GPU and is compatible with black oil simulation. The GPU linear solver is based on the CPR-AMG linear solver used for CPU execution with a number of changes made to enable the large-scale parallelism available on the GPU. NVIDIA GPUs of compute capability 3.5 or later are supported. GPU in the INTERSECT simulator will be enriched further in coming versions to include more computation components and improve performance.
  • Improved multiscale sequential fully implicit (SFI) method: INTERSECT 2020.1 delivers algorithmic and implementation improvements in the multiscale SFI method to increase robustness and performance.


  • RESQML: RESQML is an industry initiative to provide open, nonproprietary data exchange standards for the reservoir life cycle. The INTERSECT simulator now supports RESQML grid format for pillar grids. This facilitates the open and seamless exchange of data among software packages in subsurface workflows.
    In this first release, faults, nonneighbor connections (NNC), aquifers, and grid edits are supported. Local grid refinements, grid coarsening, and dual-porosity or dual-permeability models are not supported. More details are provided in the RESQML case example in the installation.


  • Coalbed methane: The INTERSECT simulator can now simulate coalbed methane (CBM) and coal seam gas reservoirs through the support of time-dependent adsorption. A single porosity approach where adsorbed gas components in a cell are represented as extra solution variables is used, as compared to the traditional dual-porosity approach. This allows for a more representative description of the reservoir as well as performant and scalable modeling of CBM reservoirs.
  • Chemical reactions: Chemical reactions enable you to model changes happening within the reservoir by defining the components consumed and produced and speed at which such a change happens. Originally available for thermal simulation only, chemical reactions have been extended to compositional models. This enables you to model reactions between hydrocarbon or water components, such as polymer degradation.
  • Thermal component solubility in water: This option allows any number of hydrocarbon components to be soluble in the water phase for thermal simulations. The water component can only exist in the aqueous and vapor phases. Chemical reactions are supported. Both enumerated and hybrid initialization are supported.


  • IXF Editor: The IXF Editor, a standalone editor for IXF and AFI file format files, is now available for installation from the INTERSECT simulator DVD. It uses the INTERSECT simulator schema information to syntax highlight IXF files and provide assistance and information when creating or editing a file.
  • Use of third-party Python packages: The ability to use third-party Python packages (e.g., NumPy) has been added. This makes it possible to write more powerful custom Python scripts.
  • Manage backward compatibility: A new OptionMgr node has been added to enable you to specify backward compatibility options in the simulator. Such options are typically used to reinstate previous behavior. A list of such options is provided in the new Previous behavior options appendix in the INTERSECT Simulator User Guide.


  • The base INTERSECT license comes with 48-way parallel license : The INTERSECT simulator base license now permits runs with up to 48-way parallel. Such runs could be 48 processes. In previous versions of the INTERSECT simulator, base license only allowed up to 16 processes and up to 3 threads per process.
  • Parallel license change: A new cluster parallel license is added in INTERSECT 2020.1 to enable runs with more than 48-way and up to 128-way parallel. For runs with more than 128-way parallel, both unlimited cluster parallel license and the new cluster parallel license are checked out. Unlimited cluster parallel licenses from previous versions need to be upgraded to accommodate the new behavior.
  • Coupler license behavior change: INTERSECT 2020.1 no longer requires coupler licenses if the coupling is between SIS products, for example, for coupling of multiple INTERSECT simulator reservoirs, or coupling between the INTERSECT simulator and ECLIPSE Network Simulator or PIPESIM steady-state multiphase flow simulator. Coupler licenses are still required for coupling with third-party applications such as GAP (PETEX product).


The INTERSECT simulator sets a new standard for reservoir simulation, bringing benefits to reservoir engineers performing numerical simulation using high-resolution models and complex field operating conditions. The INTERSECT simulator also brings value and benefits for production and completion engineers working with advanced completion simulations and complex hydraulic fracture scenarios. Reservoir geomechanics engineers also can use the INTERSECT simulator when dealing with cases like reservoir integrity analysis and permeability changes, which is possible through the integration of the INTERSECT simulator and VISAGE finite-element geomechanics simulator.