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STARS - Advanced Processes & Thermal Reservoir Simulator

STARS is the undisputed industry standard in thermal reservoir simulation and advanced recovery processes. Reservoir engineers use STARS to simulate changes to the reservoir based upon fluid behaviour, steam or air injection, electrical heating or chemical flooding.

  • Modelling of dispersed components and simulate formation of emulsions and foams, and predict asphaltene precipitation/deposition
  • Accurately model the physics of all in-situ recovery processes
  • Multi-scale modelling from core floods to field-scale
  • Increase confidence in field development plans and support capital expenditures
  • Design accurate SAGD well pairs
  • Seamless integration with CMOST for rapid, accurate history matches and uncertainty analysis, while leveraging limited engineering time

STARS is a thermal, K-value compositional, chemical reaction and geomechanics reservoir simulator ideally suited for advanced modelling of recovery processes involving the injection of steam, solvents, air and chemicals.  The robust reaction kinetics and geomechanics capabilities make it the most complete and flexible reservoir simulator available.  

Heavy Oil & Thermal - STARS enables the simulation of complex in-situ processes by representing the physical processes as a series of reactions between the various fluid and solid components in the reservoir – those reactions can be tuned by the reservoir engineer to match the laboratory experiments and field results.

Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) - STARS simulates the wellbore treatment procedures required to evaluate the effectiveness of chemical additives used in chemical EOR processes. Globally, STARS is also the most widely used foam simulator as it is the only commercial simulator to mechanistically model the complex physical processes involved in foam flooding.

Wellbore Completions - FlexWell models a variety of wellbore completion configurations, including concentric wellbores and flow-control devices, while properly accounting for well trajectories. Engineers are able to calculate wellbore pressure gradients to determine its impact on reservoir simulation inflow and outflow. 

Geomechanics - STARS includes a rigorous, iteratively-coupled 3D geomechanics module, as well as, integration with third party packages for modelling subsidence, compaction and dilation behaviour that occurs during thermal or advanced processes recovery method. 


  • Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)
  • Expanding Solvent SAGD (ES-SAGD)
  • Steam flooding
  • Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS)
  • Thermal VAPEX
  • Hot water flooding
  • Hot solvent injection
  • In-Situ combustion (Air Injection)
    • High & low temperature oxidation
      (HTO & LTO)
  • Electrical & Radio Frequency (RF) Heating


  • Emulsions, gels, foams
  • ASP (Alkaline-Surfactant-Polymer) Flooding
  • Microbial EOR
  • Low Salinity waterflooding
  • Reservoir souring
  • Brightwater polymer flooding


  • Flow Control Devices (FCDs)
  • Transient flow
  • Multiple tubing strings
  • SAGD start-up
  • Liquid accumulation


  • Compaction and subsidence
  • Rock failure
  • Dilation
  • Creep


  • Fines Migration
  • Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS)
  • Sand transport & production (wormholes)
  • Asphaltene precipitation, flocculation, deposition and plugging
  • Wax precipitation

To sign up for any of the STARS specific training courses, please visit our training page or contact

Introduction to CMG's Modelling Workflows (2-days)

The course will introduce the latest technology in pre and post-processing capabilities in CMG simulators. These include Builder, which handles the bulk of data preparation for black oil (IMEX), compositional (GEM) and advanced thermal/chemical process (STARS) simulators. Note: This course was formerly known as 'Introduction to IMEX, Builder & Results'. Read more...

Introduction to Thermal EOR Modelling (2-days)

The course will introduce concepts of the STARS simulator with emphasis on component design and other advanced features available in STARS. Note: This course was formerly known as 'Introduction to STARS'. Read more...

Numerical Tuning Techniques for CMG Simulators (1-day)The course will introduce concepts of CMG simulators (IMEX/GEM/STARS) with emphasis on numerical tuning and diagnosis of STARS problems. Read more...

SAGD Simulation using STARS (4-days)The course will review the basic concepts of SAGD recovery and how to simulate this process using STARS. After the review of basic concepts the course will provide detailed instruction on the complexities of simulating this extensively used bitumen recovery process. Read more...

Chemical EOR Simulation using STARS (3-days)The course will introduce the basic concepts of chemical flooding and how to simulate this process using the advanced reservoir simulator STARS. The topics will progress from laboratory design through simulations to field implementation. Read more...

Advanced Wellbore Modelling in STARS (2-days)The Flexible Wellbore (FlexWell) Model is a fully-coupled implicit wellbore model with the following capabilities: Accurately calculate the wellbore pressure gradient to determine its impact on reservoir inflow/outflow. Read more...

Geomechanics in GEM & STARS (2-Days)

This course will introduce the geomechanical concepts from simple dilation/compaction table input to complex finite element strain/stress approaches. Stress-related phenomenon will be discussed including rock deformation and subsidence. Read more...

Modelling of Carbonate Naturally Fractured Reservoirs (3-days)

The course will start by covering the geological aspects of carbonate fractured reservoirs, NFRs, in terms of matrix and fractures characterization and determination of its intrinsic and effective properties needed for reservoir modelling. The course will explore concepts of wettability, Pc and Kr curves of carbonate reservoirs. Read more...

The 2013 Mid-Year Release (STARS 2013.13) is now available. If you would like more information about the new release, please visit the software release page or contact our sales team.

STARS 2013 - New Feature Highlights:

  • Improved corner point efficiency provides an 8x savings in storage than previous versions of STARS
  • Simulate multiple types of flow control devices (FCD) within the same tubing strings
  • Enhanced support for low salinity modelling
  • More flexible relative permeability interpolation over more variables
  • Accurately model field implementation with specific gas-lift port locations referenced to depth
  • Save time by conducting geomechanics simulation on any STARS model using GEOGRID & Geomechanical post-processing
  • Upwind technique - accuracy of 9-point without previous limitations



Common Code

All CMG simulators have a base set of common modules to ensure compatibility, speed and quality of output remains consistent.

Advanced gridding options

  • LGR
  • Cartesian
  • Cylindrical
  • Fully non-orthogonal corner point grids
  • Dynamic Gridding (DynaGrid)

Wellbore Model

  • Control well production and injection at the field, group, platform and well models
  • Voidage replacement
  • Gas lift optimization
  • Gas recycling
  • Flexible Wellbore (FlexWell)

Adaptive Implicit Formulation

Run Time Dimensioning

Comprehensive Rock-Fluid Interaction

  • Relative permeability with hysteresis
  • End-point scaling
  • Capillary pressure with hysteresis

64-bit Windows & Linux

  • Operating environments and performance standardized for 64-bit compatible for Windows, Linux, Intel and IBM

Seamless integration with CMOST

NOTE: Customers using a 32-bit system are requested to use the 2012 release or older.

Overview of CMG Hardware & Operating System Recommendations:

  • System requirements for medium-large, large and very large reservoir models using IMEX, GEM and STARS (see PDF below)
  • Workstation recommendation
    • 2-socket Intel “SandyBridge” Xeon E5-26xx CPUs
    • 64GB RAM
    • Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit or Red Hat Linux, 64-bit


For complete details on the hardware and operating system requirements, please download the 2013 Hardware and Operating System Recommendations.