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Christophe PREUX

Head of Department, Physico Chemistry of Complex Fluids and Materials
Christophe Preux graduated from the MATMECA engineering school (+ DEA in applied mathematics) (2003) before completing his doctoral thesis at the University of Bordeaux 1 in partnership with the CEA
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Research engineer in scientific computing
Julien Coatléven graduated from ENSTA (Paris) and completed his doctoral thesis in Applied Mathematics at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and INRIA Rocquencourt. After completing post-doctoral research at
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Rock-Eval® 7 Sulfur: calibration and verification

Table presenting reference materials, Reference values, Analytical methods
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Rock-Eval® : Thermal analysis of rocks and soils

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Basin Reservoir
Innovation and Industry

Our solutions

Carnot IFPEN Ressources EnergétiquesBasins and reservoirs modeling and simulation
oUR solutions

IFPEN develops innovative underground modelling and simulation solutions, both at the scale of sedimentary basins and at the reservoir level. These different solutions can be used to manage uncertainties related to underground exploration and exploitation and to reduce risks.

The results of IFPEN’s research and development are transposed into software, marketed by its partners. IFPEN and its partners also offer collaborative research in the form of JIP and communities, as well as custom-designed studies and services

IFPEN’s work is based on an approach that extends from the microscopic analysis of rock and fluid properties to modeling at the basin or reservoir level. This approach, which combines different disciplines and expertise, associates fieldwork with laboratory studies using state-of-the-art equipment, some of which is custom-built, and is complemented by modeling work. 
Find out more about IFPEN’s expertise and state-of-the-art equipment.


Basin modeling

The software derived from IFPEN’s research focuses on stratigraphic modeling (DionisosFlow™), oil system modeling (TemisFlow™), kinematic modeling using numerical methods (KronosFlow™, Kine3D®) or analog methods (GeoAnalog™). The tools integrate research on various topics such as fluid migration in fractured systems and complex tectonic processes. 

DionisosFlow™ : model sedimentary basin filling

DionisosFlow™ methodology, developed by IFPEN over the past 20 years, consists of modeling sedimentary processes and providing an evolving 3D numerical grid that represents the geometry and nature of the basin’s sedimentary layers, and provides quantitative indications on specific rock properties.
The result of the research and development conducted by IFPEN are transferred in the DionisosFlow software marketed by Beicip Franlab. Additionaly, IFPEN and its partners under DionisosFlow also provides R&D, technical consultancy and technical project engineering studies for others in the field of sedimentary modeling.  


TemisFlow™ : simulate the dynamics of oil systems

TemisFlow™ is an integrated tool for dynamically simulating the evolution of sedimentary basins and the associated oil systems over geological time periods. It can be used to understand and model oil and gas generation, production, migration, trapping and accumulation processes. TemisFlow™ is marketed by Beicip Franlab.


KronosFlow™ : carry out 2D kinematic restoration of basins

KronosFlow™ facilitates the creation of 2D kinematic scenarios to evaluate oil systems in complex geological environments, and can be used to depict phenomena such as the occurrence of high pressures, heat transfer, hydrocarbon accumulation in traps and fluid migration. The mesh evolves over time to faithfully reproduce the deformation in porous media over a geological time scale. KronosFlow™ is part of the TemisFlow™ solution marketed by  Beicip Franlab.


Kine3D® : optimize geological interpretation

Kine3D® facilitates the 3D restoration process, by applying geological, lithological and geomechanical parameters to restore models to their non-deformed state. This process is used to validate structural seismic interpretations and geometries, by incorporating geological constraints. Kine3D® is incorporated into the SKUA® suite marketed by the partner Emerson.


GeoAnalog™ : a digital tool to understand complex geological processes

GeoAnalog™ is a web service aimed at providing a better understanding of the deformation of complex geological structures over time and at helping to interpret seismic data. This service provides access to a catalogue of analogue models acquired in over 1,500 laboratory experiments conducted over 30 years. The web service is available through subscription. New models can also be produced on request by contacting IFPEN.


Modeling and simulation of reservoirs

Software derived from IFPEN’s research focuses on well data analysis (EasyTrace™), fractured reservoir characterization (FracaFlow™), dynamic reservoir simulation (PumaFlow™) and finally, simulation of the thermodynamic behavior of oil fluids (Carbone™). Objective: enhance the reliability of reservoir models to improve productivity.

EasyTrace™ : analyze well logging data

EasyTrace™ is a multidisciplinary 1D data processing and editing tool, featuring a wide range of functionalities within the same package, for geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers. EasyTrace™ is marketed by Beicip Franlab.


FracaFlow™ : model fractures in a reservoir and study the associated uncertainties

FracaFlow™ provides an integrated workflow for characterization, modeling and dynamic calibration of fractured reservoirs. It comprises dedicated modules ranging from the analysis and integration of geological data to fracture modeling with a discrete fracture network (DFN) and dual porosity media upscaling for reservoir simulation. FracaFlow™ is marketed by  Beicip Franlab.


PumaFlow™ : simulate the life of the reservoir and recovery scenarios

PumaFlow™ is a dynamic simulator to predict and optimize hydrocarbon production for all recovery processes. It is based on mathematical models of fluid circulation during production (hydrocarbons and associated fluids, such as water or CO2) and injection. This reference solution for fractured reservoirs (dual medium simulation based on a rigorous formulation of matrix-fracture exchanges) is used by the EOR Alliance and marketed under a partnership between IFPEN, Beicip-Franlab and KAPPA.


Carbone™ : characterize the thermodynamic behavior of oil fluids

Carbone™ integrates a complete thermodynamic library capable of processing laboratory data to simulate the thermodynamic behavior of oil fluids in order to support field production simulation models. Carbone™ is marketed under a partnership with IFPEN, Beicip-Franlab and KAPPA.


Uncertainty management and calibration

CougarFlow™ : quantify uncertainties, optimize models and analyze the associated risks

CougarFlow™ combines experiment program design and response surface methodologies, which facilitate uncertainty quantification and model optimization. It is widely used in reservoir modeling, and can also be used in basin modeling to improve models. CougarFlow™ is marketed by Beicip-Franlab.




IFPEN organizes and coordinates JIPs (Joint industry projects), collaborative research projects bringing together several industrial partners who cooperatively finance a program designed to solve a specific problem. With this format, the financial risks are shared upstream and research results are shared downstream. This collaboration provides a platform to explore avenues leading to innovations and offers partners a genuine competitive advantage by giving them fast access to new technologies. IFPEN is coordinating JIPs in partnership with more than 30 national and international companies.

JIP DORS (Dionisos Organic-Rich Sediments) : understand the production, decomposition and preservation of organic matter 

The first phase of the JIP (DORS 1) focused on developing base modules to model organic matter production and decomposition processes in various environments (marine, land and lacustrine). The second phase, DORS 2, aims to calibrate the marine organic matter module on the basis of geochemical proxies, improve the link to oil system modeling, and describe the influx of nutrients resulting from underground leaching and transported in underground water flows into lakes.
>>See « Dionisos organic-rich sediments: DORS 2 » sheet

Dors 2

JIP CarDIO (Carbonate early diagenesis - DionisosFlow™) : understand and model the transformation of carbonaceous sediments in rocks under the effect of diagenetic processes

This JIP aims to model the early diagenesis of marine and coastal carbonates: the development of physical laws for different diagenetic reactions (cementation, dissolution, etc.) in different subsurface environments (marine, lacustrine, hypersaline, meteoric, etc.) with incorporation of the interactions between surface and underground water flows, and sediment transformation processes.
>> See CarDIO sheet


JIP AQUARIUS (Architecture and QUAntification of a Reservoir In a lacUStrine system) : understand and quantify the physical properties of carbonaceous reservoirs in a lacustrine system

Following the COMPAS (Cretaceous Outcrop analog from Argentina for microbial Pre-salt Atlantic Series) JIP, the AQUARIUS JIP aims to characterize and evaluate carbonate-rich reservoirs in a lacustrine system with complex architectures and different heterogeneity scales, using the Green River Formation (USA) as an outcrop analog. 


SmartAnalog™ : model 3D outcrops to improve the characterization of complex reservoirs

To understand and correctly describe complex geological reservoirs, SmartAnalog™ provides 3D outcrop modeling, using photogrammetry and interactive visualization techniques. Digital geological outcrop analogs are used as a basis for the geological and geostatic interpretation of reservoirs.

Smart Analog

TELLUS : digital transformation serving Earth sciences


The TELLUS solution gives community members the opportunity to explore applications of emerging digital technologies (data science, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc.) in the field of geosciences, regardless of the industrial sector concerned.  
Members share their usage scenarios, while IFPEN provides scientific intelligence and holds seminars to present the findings.
Each member then has the opportunity to further explore a specific usage scenario through a service or bilateral collaboration with IFPEN.


IFPEN offers its expertise in modeling and simulating the underground environment for industry and public authorities, and proposes customized research services. 

Studies on well productivity in the presence of gas condensates

In the presence of natural gas condensates, the productivity of oil and gas producing wells falls due to the accumulation of a condensate ring in the vicinity of the well. Oil companies need to understand the reason for this drop in productivity and consider solutions to prevent it and anticipate it.

IFPEN provides reliable well productivity forecasts supported by laboratory experiments along with advanced and accurate modeling of physical phenomena close to wells. Laboratory experiments are conducted using a unique patented technology, the CAL-X™ high-throughput coreflood test bench. The CooresFlow research software is used to simulate reactive transport.

Bassin Réservoir
Innovation and Industry

Our strenghts

Carnot IFPEN Ressources EnergétiquesBasins and reservoirs modeling and simulation

Over the course of many years, IFPEN has developed renowned expertise in:

  • descriptive and quantitative geosciences, sedimentology, petrophysics, geochemistry, and geological modeling
  • physical sciences, physical chemistry of complex materials and fluids, fluid, solid and structural mechanics, and applied mathematics (numerical methods)
  • Information technology (high performance computing, software design, etc.)
  • digitalization (data science, cloud computing, IoT, smart sensors, virtual reality, etc.)

These skills are useful when it comes to understanding sedimentary basins and hydrocarbon reservoirs and more generally, when it comes to understanding:
•    multiphase phenomena and fluid/rock interactions,
•    geomechanical aspects,
•    reactive transport modeling,
•    multiscale modeling, and modeling of heterogeneous or fractured media,
•    flows in porous media,
•    optimization and uncertainties.

From the field to the laboratory and modeling

Through the IFPEN Ressources Énergétiques Carnot Institute, IFPEN has laboratory equipment to help it gain a deeper understanding and to conceptualize geological processes, especially in fields such as porous media imaging, geochemistry and microfluidics (link to the web pages of the corresponding Carnot Institute platforms when they are online).
IFPEN links data gathered in the field, laboratory and modeling tools. Its researchers carry out small and large scale characterization and propose an interpretation that links the two together. Their geoscientific expertise ranges from understanding the phenomena involved at the nano and microscopic scale to modeling at the basin scale.

High-performance computing: IFPEN is developing a new generation of simulators using the Arcane open source HPC platform developed with the CEA, with the objective of increasing the performance of its geosciences applications.

A leading edge in digital technologies

The digital transition calls for transformational change in exploration and production activities and working methods. IFPEN plans to provide guidance and support for their partners through a POC (proof of concepts) approach to help them grasp digital technologies to optimize how they exploit their data (AI and Big Data), improve their performance (HPC-AI coupling and task automation) or make the best use of their models (Natural Language and AI).  
To give a few examples, the SmartAnalog™ tool uses 3D photogrammetry to produce digital copies of complex geological outcrops, while the GeoAnalog web service catalogues a range of dynamic geological models reproduced in the laboratory and scanned in 3D. IFPEN also coordinates the TELLUS Community, in which IFPEN and their partners address issues related to digital transformation for Geosciences 4.0. 

Two subsidiaries and a partner for the industrial development of research-based software

Logo BeicipBeicip-Franlab conducts technical and economic studies and markets geoscientific software developed by IFPEN. Beicip-Franlab is active in over 100 countries. Its basin modeling and reservoir simulation software solutions are world references.

Logo TechAdvantageTECH’advantage is developing expertise in software architecture, modeling, 3D visualization, scientific computation, graphic interfaces and digital technologies, acquired in the industrial development of software used in geosciences.

Kappa Since 2016, KAPPA Engineering (KAPPA) has teamed with IFPEN and BF to collaborate on the industrial development of a complete reservoir simulation chain that incorporates the Carbone thermodynamic tool and the PumaFlow simulator. 

A software suite covering everything from basin modeling to reservoir simulation

Most of the software products stemming from IFPEN’s research are bundled into the OpenFlow Suite™ integrated solution marketed by  Beicip-Franlab
This software suite comprises the TemisFlow, DionisosFlow, FracaFlow, CougarFlow and EasyTrace.
The Carbone and PumaFlow software form part of the Kappa range and supplement it.




Innovation and Industry

Basins and reservoirs modeling and simulation

Carnot IFPEN Ressources EnergétiquesBasins and reservoirs modeling and simulation 
overview and challenges

Sedimentary basins and the geological reservoirs that lie within them contain exploitable natural resources, including hydrocarbons, minerals, water, heat, etc. Sound knowledge of sedimentary basins and reservoirs in the underground environment is essential to reduce the risks associated with operations undertaken in such areas. The approaches and tools developed to exploit oil and gas resources can also be used for other activities, such as the storage of certain materials, for example, CO2, natural gas, hydrogen or nuclear waste. 

Sedimentary basin modeling addresses various challenges in the resource exploration phase:
•    reducing operational risks: overpressure, fluid types, acid gases, etc.,
•    more quantitative predictions: multi-physical approaches, etc.
•    reducing the degree of uncertainty at all levels: identification and quantification
•    the potential to have tools that can easily be used by non-experts.

Reservoir simulation provides the industry with the means to address the following issues during the resource exploitation phase: 
•    reduce the uncertainties and risks associated with complex reservoirs: for example, dense fracture networks
•    optimize field development 
•    develop comprehensive dynamic simulation solutions for the behavior of porous media and complex fluids, and especially for EOR

For more than thirty years, IFPEN has developed laboratory techniques and high-performance software, which provide a detailed understanding of the oil system at the scale of basins and reservoirs.
IFPEN also provides assistance for the industry in process digitalization by carrying out POC (proof of concepts) actions that focus on their data.

Our solutions                         Our strenghts


Individual page

Antoine FECANT

Research engineer / Project manager
Antoine Fécant holds an engineering degree from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille (2004) and a DEA (Master degree) from the University of Lille I the same year. He then obtained a PhD
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Researcher in Complex Fluids / Ph.D. in Chemistry
_ Maira completed her Ph.D. thesis at the Institute for Research on Catalysis and the Environment of the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (CNRS) and Saint-Gobain Provence Research on the catalytic