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Volume 2017, Article ID 6803294, 11 pages
Research Article

Application of Numerical Modelling and Genetic Programming in Hydrocarbon Seepage Prediction and Control for Crude Oil Storage Unlined Rock Caverns

1Mineral Industries Research Center, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
2Mining Engineering Department, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
3Chemical Engineering Department, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

Correspondence should be addressed to Ebrahim Ghotbi Ravandi; moc.oohay@miharbe_ibtohg

Received 23 November 2016; Revised 2 March 2017; Accepted 15 March 2017; Published 14 June 2017

Academic Editor: Micol Todesco

Copyright © 2017 Ebrahim Ghotbi Ravandi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Seepage control is a prerequisite for hydrocarbon storage in unlined rock caverns (URCs) where the seepage of stored products to the surrounding host rock and groundwater can cause serious environmental and financial problems. Practically seepage control is performed by permeability and hydrodynamic control methods. This paper employs numerical modelling and genetic programming (GP) for the purpose of seepage prediction and control method determination for the crude oil storage URCs based on the effective parameters including hydrogeologic characteristic of the rock and physicochemical properties of the hydrocarbons. Several levels for each parameter were considered and all the possible scenarios were modelled numerically for the two-phase mixture model formulation. The corresponding seepage values were evaluated to be used as genetic programming data base to generate representative equations for the hydrocarbon seepage value. The coefficients of determination () and relative percent errors of the proposed equations show their ability in the seepage prediction and permeability or hydrodynamic control method determination and design. The results can be used for crude oil storage URCs worldwide.