Oil Migration Simulation

Oil fields are another example of complex systems where emergent features arise out of the interactions of many independent agents, in this case droplets of oil, that are migrating with formation water flows between structural traps.

Green dots represent drops of oil. The "hills" shown by colored contrours are local structural features - domes or anticlines. Changing the migration energy setting changes where the oil drops will end up. A low setting means that the oil drops will stay in whatever local structures they first migrate to. A high setting means that they will continue to migrate.
This simulation is inspired by the "King of the Hill" model in Adventures in Modeling by Vanessa Colella, Eric Klopfer, and Mitchel Resnick.

King of the Hill is in Adventures in Modeling by Vanessa Colella, Eric Klopfer, and Mitchel Resnick published by Teachers College Press, 2001.

This simulation runs within the StarLogo framework. For more information on StarLogo see
Steps to run the simulation:

1). Press the "Setup" button. This will create the oil drops and the underground structure.

2). Press the "Go" button. This will start the oil drops migrating into the local structures. The oil will accumulate at the tops of each local domes.


Use the Oil Drops slider to increase or decrease the amount of oil in the simulation.

Use the Migration Energy slider control to change the magnitude of the migrating droplets. At low energy values the oil will remain in the first structure it migrates to. Medium energy will allow the oil drops to keep migrating into successively higher structures. The highest energy setting means that the oil droplets can be pushed right out the structures and continue migrating. From an oil exploration sense the structure would be termed "wet" with oil shows.

Copyright (c) 2001 by Sawatch Software, Inc.
Page Last updated: Nov. 6, 2004