Thermal enhanced oil recovery simulation often has high computational costs, due to the complex thermal coupling,
strong nonlinearity and small sized grid blocks used to capture the complex physical and chemical recovery processes. The
upstream industry is in urgent need of fast and accurate thermal enhanced oil recovery reservoir simulation technology.
Streamline-based flow simulation has been especially successful in the simulation of large geologically complex and strongly
heterogeneous systems that are challenging for more traditional simulation techniques. The success of streamline simulation is
based on the physical observation that in heterogeneous reservoirs the time scale at which fluids flow along streamlines is often
much faster than the time scale at which the streamline locations change significantly. In this work, we explore the possibility
of extending streamline simulation to the simulation of thermal enhanced oil recovery processes. Based on our previous work,
a true three-dimensional streamline reservoir simulator for hot water flooding is constructed. The simulator takes into account
the temperature dependent oil viscosity and thermal fluid expansion effects. In a global time step, it solves the pressure equation
first, followed by tracing streamlines in three-dimensional reservoirs. Convective energy and mass transport are then solved along
the one-dimensional streamlines, which could potentially significantly increase the computational efficiency of the simulation.
Finally, the solutions are mapped back to the original grid, with the non-convective effects solved, including heat conduction.
The streamlines can effectively describe the movement and distribution of fluids in the reservoir and fully visualize them through
the use of streamlines. Several realistic cases including the highly heterogeneous SPE10 model and the Liaohe oil field Qi40 hot
water flooding are tested and compared with the results from a commercial thermal reservoir simulator. Our streamline simulator
successfully passed the challenging test of SPE10, with realistic multiple well pattern configurations. It also successfully solves
the actual hot water flooding simulation problem for the Liaohe oil field Qi40 reservoir model. We have shown that the three-di
mensional thermal streamline simulator can not only ensure the simulation accuracy, but also reduce the computational cost
through computational complexity analysis. And the streamline simulation also assists flow visualization and quantification of
inter-well connectivity, which may be highly useful in flood management and optimization for reservoir production predictions.
This work serves as the foundation for the future development of thermal streamline simulation technology. A commercial
thermal streamline simulator for hot water flooding may be developed based on this work.