Edinburgh, United Kingdom


CompModSim (UK4.1)

Computational Modelling and Simulation Laboratory

Heriot-Watt University offers the following computational facility for static and dynamic modelling of CO2 storage in subsurface geological formations:


  • High Performance Computing (HPC) facility is available for research in CCS

  • Exploits parallel capabilities of modern multi-threaded and multi-core CPUs, and consists of

    • 20 multi-core CPU systems which currently totals over 480 CPU cores

    • 2Tb of RAM

    • Aggregated storage capacity >20Tb.

  • HPC software includes:

    • Matlab

    • CMG reservoir simulation suite (Builder, IMEX black oil, STARS k value compositional and reactive transport simulation, GEM equation of state compositional and reactive transport simulation)

    • Schlumberger Reservoir Simulation suite (Petrel, ECLIPSE black oil simulation, E300 equation of state compositional simulation)

    • Openfoam

    • Anaconda python virtual environment

    • Intel compilers and mkl libraries

    • gnu compilers

    • mpi, fftw, hdf5, blas, cblas, openmpi libraries

  • 3 state of the art teaching rooms each furnished with 16 high end PC workstations that may be used for developing and running multimillion cell dynamic reservoir simulation models as well as projection facilities

  • Software includes all of above plus

    • Petroleum Experts Reveal black oil reactive transport simulation

    • PHREEQC reactive transport simulation

    • Geochemist's Workbench reactive transport simulation

    • 90 seater classroom

    • Visionarium

    • Bespoke industry-academic engagement facility (GRID) including offices, meeting rooms, VC facilities, breakout rooms, project sharing space


State of the Art, uniqueness & specific advantages

The facility is a high specification computational facility, typical of higher grade facilities available at various universities and research organisations. The added value we offer is access to industry standard commercial and also research software for performing CO2 storage calculations, with expertise in using such software for pure research and for more field specific and applied studies. Such expertise has been developed over three decades, much of it by modelling field cases to address industry posed questions, and in direct collaboration with industrial funders. Indeed, various of the researchers available to support use of the facility have direct experience of working in the industry themselves. Heriot-Watt University also offers state of the art teaching and meeting facilities, and has a close relationship with commercial software vendors, regularly organising and hosting training events with them for the benefit of industry and academic staff and students.

Scientific Environment

Training and support for use of software used for storage calculations. We also provide consultancy services - although for these third party software license charges will be passed on at cost.

Operating by

Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University
United Kingdom
STORAGE technologies:
Pressure/injection, Migration, Caprock/well integrity, Reactivity/mineralisation, Leakage, Monitoring, Static modelling, Dynamic modelling
Research Fields:
Fluid dynamics, Chemistry/Geochemistry, Geology/Geophysics, Mechanics/Geomechanics, Monitoring, Modelling, Physical processes, Engineering, Thermodynamics
Facility's fact sheet

Location & Contacts

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Eric Mackay
RICC Contacts - Secondary contact
Florian Doster

Facility Availability

Unit of access (UA)
Availability per year (in UA)
52 weeks
Duration of a typical access (average) and number of external users expected for that access
may vary from one to 52 weeks
Average number of external users expected for typical access
3-4 users

Quality Control / Quality Assurance (QA)

Activities / tests / data are
State of Quality: The primary risk is one of loss of confidential data. Heriot-Watt University has been conducting studies for the oil and gas industry for four decades, which has included running of reservoir simulation models that identify the value of oilfield assets for decades to come. The university maintains high security measures, as might be expected of a higher educational institution. In addition, the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering maintains its own internal firewall and other security measures, which exceed in stringency the standards of the university as a whole.

Operational or other constraints

Specific risks:
Legal issues

CCUS Projects

Other CCUS Projects

Selected Publications

Trans IChemE (September ) 84 (A9) 764-775. (2006)
Simulation of CO2 Storage in Saline Aquifers-
Ghanbari, S., Al Zaabi, Y., Pickup, G.E., Mackay, E.J., Gozalpour, F. and Todd, A.C.
SPE Journal 17(4), 1108-1118. (2012)
Static and Dynamic Estimates of CO2 Storage Capacity in Two Saline Formations in the UK.
Jin, M., Pickup, G.E., Mackay, E.J., Todd, A.C., Sohrabi, M., Monaghan, A. and Naylor, M.
Petroleum Geoscience (November ) 20(4) 304–315. DOI: 10.1144/petgeo2012-048. (2014)
Geomechanical modelling of CO2 geological storage with the use of site specific rock mechanics laboratory data.
Olden, P., Jin, M., Pickup, G., Mackay, E., Hamilton, S., Somerville, J. and Todd, A.
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering DOI: 10.1016/j.jngse.2016.08.030 (2016)
Geochemical Modelling of Formation Damage Risk during CO2 Injection in Saline Aquifers.
Jin, M., Ribeiro, A., Mackay, E., Guimaraes, L. and Bagudu, U.
Transport in Porous Media, 1573-1634 DOI: 10.1007/s11242-019-01304-z (2019)
The Analysis of Compositional Effects on Global Flow Regimes in CO2 Near-Miscible Displacements in Heterogeneous Systems.
Wang, G., Pickup, G.E., Sorbie, K.S. and Mackay. E.J.