DEL023 1230788 Development of Delft3D-GT

Aanleiding van het project

There is a clear demand from the oil and gas industry to include process-based forward model such as Delft3D in their work flow. However, the Delft3D software and interfacing is designed for experienced hydrodynamic and morphological modellers and is therefore not optimized for a workflow in the Oil and Gas Industry in its present form. In order to make the software better accessible for non-expert modellers such as resevoir geologists in asset teams we propose to develop a shell around the software that simplifies its use and allows for schematic model set-up based on a small number of descriptors and is inked to an online database to store model output. As the identification of trends over a large number of runs is of most value, data aggregation and analysis tools that can link results from large number of simulations is part of the system.

Doel van het project

The purpose of the work is to develop software (Delft3D-GT) that can simulate realistic depositional processes and their products in a shallow marine depositional environment. The software is accessed through user-friendly web-based user interfaces (GUI), these clients are in principle platform independent.
Delft3D-GT will be developed under an open source software licence (GNU GPL V3).
With the software it is expected that the oil industry can improve the performance (i.e. increase extraction volumes) from existing and new hydro-carbon reservoirs. Furthermore, the tool is a valuable tool for applied and fundamental research at knowledge institutes and universities to study and better understand the morphological development and stratigraphy of depositional systems.

Uitgevoerde activiteiten

1. Develop a web-based graphical user interface (gui) that is easy-to-use to simplify model input, setup, visualization and interpretation of the Delft3D code base. Main envisaged functions of the Delft3D-GT GUI that have to be developed are:
a. Preparation of the full model input parameters using default or commonly used values and providing input options only relevant for typical geological use.
b. A scenario builder which can be used to set-up and facilitate the execution of a large number of pre-set simulations.
c. Link to the database to store and load (sets of) model simulations, retrieve previous inputs (e.g. to investigate correlations between parameters. Store and load scripts with new or existing post processing functionality, etc.. The upload to the database will be provided through a specific export facility which also allows the user to provide/add meta information.

d. Scripting facility (Python or similar) that will allow for automated input data preparation, model execution and post-processing of simulation results.
e. Data export facility which converts model results to appropriate (and available) formats for external software (e.g. RMS, Petrel, JewelSuite or SBed).
2. The database development (referred to as DataLab) is embedded in Delft3D-GT. Storage and dissemination of model data (input and output) is the main task of the DataLab database. Two layers are identified in DataLab. The base layer consists primarily of the model results (but also input files, model version and a link to the model version database will be available), the top layer consists of aggregated parameters/properties (e.g. channel networks, net/gross ratio, etc.). The DataLab will contain the available scripts (among others from the PhD-studies at Delft University) to derive these properties from the base layer which are subsequently stored in the top layer. As it is a shared (online) system, it will facilitate the incorporation of new scripts (or updates of old script

Gerealiseerde resultaten

Release of Delft3D-GT Version 1.0 is the primary result of this project.

In collaboration with universities and Statoil we hope to interest other oil companies to join this research activities. As Delft University is also supported by Statoil for this project (seperate contract), PhD\\\\\\\’s andpostdocs are expected to contribute and use the software in their research which ultimately will result in journal papers.

We have build a track record in this regard as in earlier research projects with Statoil and Delft University several papers in high-impact journals were published.


In our discussion with all major players in the oil industry (Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Statoil and Total) we have not found any available tools or initiatives similar to the developments that we propose. However, all clearly expressed their interest in moving into more process-based modelling. However lack of epxerience and knowledge has hampered previous initiatives.

This development of Delft3D-GT is unique in its kind and will undoubtely raise interest of the industry.

Coupling of Delft3D to groundwatermodels (IMOD) and relevant D-Series software is an opportunity to combine different knowledge knowledge fields and develop new niche markets.


The project primarily focusses on software development. However, the software will be developed under an open source license GPL-V3. After the first release it will be made freely available.

During the development we will visit various conferences and workshops to show the first results and raise interest by other parties to join the development.

Link naar projectresultaten…