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by Val Pinczewski School of Petroleum Engineering University of New South Wales Sydney NSW 2052. AUSTRALIA

March, 2002

Prepared for



IMPORTANT NOTICE 2002 University of New South Wales. All rights are reserved. This copy of the manual and accompanying software was prepared in accordance with copyright laws for the sole use of students enrolled in a course at the University of New South Wales. It is illegal to reproduce any of this material or to use it for any other purpose.


1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 BASIC CONCEPTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.1.4 Accumulation of Sediments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Origin of Petroleum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hydrocarbon Traps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Classication of Traps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7 7 7 9 9 11 14 15 15 15 17 18 19 20 23 31 35 36 37

1.2 OIL RECOVERY PROCESSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3 1.2.4 1.2.5 1.2.6 Residual Oil Resource (Target for EOR ) . . . . . . . . . . Residual Oil is Trapped or By-passed . . . . . . . . . . . . Recovery Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Primary Recovery Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Secondary Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tertiary Recovery EOR Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.3 WHAT IS RESERVOIR ENGINEERING? . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION 2.1 RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION PROGRAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 SOURCES OF DATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.2.1 2.2.2 Coring And Core Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wireline Logging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

2.2.3 2.2.4

Pressure and Production Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fluid Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

38 39 42 46

2.3 INTEGRATED FORMATION EVALUATION PROGRAM . . . 2.4 AQUIFER DESCRIPTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 VOLUMETRICS AND INITIAL HYDROCARBON VOLUME 48 3.1 STRUCTURE MAPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 ISOPACH MAPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3 VOLUMETRIC METHOD FOR DETERMINING ORIGINAL OIL-IN-PLACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.4 3.3.5 Reservoir Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 50 53 54 55 55 56 56 67 68 69

Average Porosity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Average Initial Water Saturation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Average Oil Formation Volume Factor . . . . . . . . . . . Determining Initial Oil-In-Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.4 DETERMINATION OF OIL-IN-PLACE MATERIAL BALANCE METHOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5 ESTIMATING RESERVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.6 ESTIMATING DECLINE IN OIL PRODUCTION RATES . . . .

4 HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE DISTRIBUTION IN RESERVOIRS 70 4.1 SUBSURFACE PRESSURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 Water zone pressures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oil zone pressures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gas cap pressures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 71 72 73 74


4.3 GEOTHERMAL GRADIENT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 FLUID PROPERTIES 5.1 PHASE BEHAVIOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1.1 5.1.2 5.1.3 Pure Hydrocarbons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hydrocarbons Mixtures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Classication of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs . . . . . . . . . .

84 86 87 87 89 92 95 98

5.2 PVT PROPERTIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.2.1 Pressure Dependence of PVT Properties . . . . . . . . . .

5.3 CALCULATION OF GAS PROPERTIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 5.3.1 5.3.2 Single Gas Component . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Multi-Component Gas Mixtures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

5.4 DETERMINATION OF OIL PVT DATA FROM LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 5.4.1 5.4.2 5.4.3 5.4.4 Flash Expansion Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Dierential Liberation Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Separator Flash Expansion Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 Procedure for calculating PVT parameters from laboratory data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

5.5 FLUID SAMPLING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 5.6 PVT TESTS FOR GAS CONDENSATE FIELDS . . . . . . . . . 119 5.7 GAS HYDRATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 5.8 SURFACE TENSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 5.8.1 Estimating Surface Tension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124


6.1 ORIGINAL OIL VOLUME BALANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 3

6.1.1 6.1.2 6.1.3 6.1.4 6.1.5 6.1.6

Gas Cap Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135 Released Gas Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Remaining Oil Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 Rock and Connate Water Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . 142 Water Inux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 General Material Balance Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146

6.2 PRIMARY RECOVERY MECHANISMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 6.2.1 Typical Performance Characteristics for the Dierent Drive Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149

6.3 USING MATERIAL BALANCE EQUATIONS . . . . . . . . . . 153 6.3.1 6.3.2 Average Reservoir Pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Knowns and Unknowns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

6.4 MATERIAL BALANCE FOR A CLOSED OIL RESERVOIR . . 157 6.5 MATERIAL BALANCE FOR A CLOSED GAS RESERVOIR . . 159 6.5.1 Water Drive Gas Reservoirs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162

7 RESERVOIR ROCK PROPERTIES AND CORE ANALYSIS PROCEDURES 165 7.1 POROSITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 7.1.1 7.1.2 Eective and Total Porosity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 Laboratory Measurement of Porosity . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

7.2 PERMEABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 7.2.1 7.2.2 7.2.3 Measurement of Permeability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 Laboratory Measurement of Permeability . . . . . . . . . . 179 The Klinkenberg Eect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180

7.3 POROSITY-PERMEABILITY RELATIONSHIPS . . . . . . . . . 182 7.3.1 Capillary Tube Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182


Fractured medium model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

7.4 ROCK COMPRESSIBILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186 7.4.1 7.4.2 7.4.3 Pore Volume Compressibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189

Measurement of Formation Compressibility . . . . . . . . . 190 Use of Rock Compressibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192 194


8.1 DARCYS LAW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 8.1.1 Pressure Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195

8.2 STEADY-STATE FLOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 8.2.1 8.2.2 8.2.3 8.2.4 8.2.5 8.2.6 Horizontal Linear Flow of an Incompressible Fluid . . . . . 197 Radial Flow of an Incompressible Fluid . . . . . . . . . . . 201 Wellbore Damage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 Relationship between s and the size of the altered zone . . 210 Eective Wellbore Radius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212 Flow Eciency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213

8.3 UNSTEADY STATE FLOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215 8.3.1 8.3.2 8.3.3 8.3.4 8.3.5 8.3.6 Radial Diusivity Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216 Liquids Having Small and Constant Compressibility . . . . 219 Pseudo-Steady-State Radial Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 Flow Equations in terms of Average Reservoir Pressure . . 223 Dietz Shape Factors for Vertical Wells . . . . . . . . . . . 225 Approximating Complex Geometries . . . . . . . . . . . . 228

8.4 WELL PRODUCTIVITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 8.4.1 8.4.2 Productivity Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Partial Penetration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

8.5 GAS FLOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 8.5.1 8.5.2 8.5.3 8.5.4 8.5.5 8.5.6 8.5.7 8.5.8 Low pressure approximation p < 3, 000psi and p small 236

High pressure approximation p > 3, 000psi and p small 237 p is not small . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238 Steady and Pseudo-Steady State Radial Gas Flow . . . . . 239 Non-Darcy ow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240 Pressure-squared approximation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 High Pressure approximation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 Gas Well Back Pressure Equation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245

8.6 HORIZONTAL WELLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 8.6.1 8.6.2 Drainage Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251 Productivity of Horizontal Wells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261

For those unfamiliar with reservoir engineering or reservoir geology the following section gives a brief summary of some basic concepts. If you are familiar with this material skip this section.


Accumulation of Sediments

The accumulation of sediments in a basin depends on the balance between the energy of the depositional environment (water velocity) and the sedimentation velocity of the particles. The sedimentation velocity depends on the size and density of the particles. Sediments carried by high velocity streams may be deposited in the delta region of the river where ow velocities are much slower. Smaller particle sediments may be further moved by waves and currents to other locations where the environmental energy is insucient to carry the particles further. This process leads to sorting of sediments with the accumulation of sand grains in one area and clay and silt particles in another area. The depositional energy at a particular location varies with time. This results in a sequential deposition of sand (large particles) and shale (ne particles) producing sequences of sand and shale. (layering). This layering or vertical heterogeneity is the single most important characteristic determining reservoir performance and recovery.

Figure 1.1: Schematic of a typical depositional sequence


Origin of Petroleum

The precursors of petroleum, organic matter from dead plants and animals, are deposited together with ne-grained sediments in shallow marine environments during low energy periods of basin formation. Quite water is decient in oxygen leading to the creation of anaerobic conditions and preservation of the organic matter. Anaerobic bacteria decomposes the organic matter to produce compounds of carbon, hydrogen (hydrocarbons) and oxygen. The conversion of the organic matter occurs over geological time as sediments become progressively buried and temperature and pressure increase. The minimum temperature for oil and gas formation is about 150o F and the maximum is about 320o F. Since temperature increases with depth, this results in a burial depth window of between 7,000 ft to 23,000 ft for ne grained sediments containing organic matter (source rocks) to produce oil and gas. Increasing burial causes the ne-grained sediments to undergo compaction and the source rocks eventually become eectively impermeable. As the particles compact the generated hydrocarbon particles (oil or gas) are squeezed from the source rock. This process is called primary migration. The expelled hydrocarbon particles, in the form of colloidal solutions (micelles) or individual drops or bubbles, enter the overlying and underlying water saturated permeable sand layers which have retained their porosity and permeability because the coarse sand grains are stronger than the ne-grained silt and clay particles and therefore better withstand the increasing compaction forces with increasing burial depth.


Hydrocarbon Traps

The expelled hydrocarbon is lighter than the water in the interconnected pore space of the permeable sand layers and moves upwards as a result of buoyancy. This is called secondary migration. The upward migration of generated hydrocarbon continues until it is halted by an impermeable barrier or trap. As hydrocarbon accumulates under the trap a reservoir is formed. The characteristics of hydrocarbon traps are illustrated by considering a porous permeable formation between two impermeable layers which has been folded by tectonic action into an anticline (see the attached gure). This is called an anticlinal trap. The hydrocarbon contained in the reservoir may be oil or gas or both. Here are some commonly used terms to describe petroleum reservoirs. You will probably be familiar with most of these terms.

Figure 1.2: Cross-section for an anticlinal reservoir

Formation: the rocks, These may be either clastic rocks (sandstones) or limestone and dolomite (carbonates). Spill point: the lowest point of the trap that can hold hydrocarbon. Trap closure: the distance between the crest and the spill point. Reservoir: the part of the formation which contains hydrocarbon (oil and/or gas) and connate water. Connate water: water in the pore space occupied by hydrocarbons. Gas cap: gas lled zone or gas reservoir. Oil zone: oil reservoir. Water zone or aquifer: the body of water bearing rock in hydraulic communication with the reservoir. Gas-oil contact: lowest depth at which gas can be produced. Oil-water contact: lowest depth at which oil can be produced. Bottom water: water below the oil-water contact. Edge water: water laterally adjacent the oil-water contact.


Figure 1.3: Anticline structural trap

Figure 1.4: Faulted structural trap


Classication of Traps

Hydrocarbon traps are classied as either structural or stratigraphic.

Structural traps Structural traps are formed by tectonic processes acting on sedimentary layers after deposition. They may be classied as, Fold traps - formed by compressional or compactional anticlines. Fault traps - formed by displacement of blocks of rock as a result of unequal tectonic forces. Diapiric traps - formed by intrusion of salt or mud diapirs.


Figure 1.5: Salt dome structural trap

Stratigraphic traps Stratigraphic traps are produced by facies (rock type) changes in the formation such as pinchouts and lenticular sand bodies surrounded by impermeable shales. The processes involved in the formation of stratigraphic traps are complex because they involve changes in the depositional environment. Stratigraphic traps may be associated with unconformities. An uncomformity forms when a site of sediments is uplifted, eroded and buried again under new layers of sediments that may form the trap. Unconformities generally separate formations formed under very dierent depositional conditions. Study the attached gures in the context of the above discussion. This will improve your understanding of the basic concepts. Note the following important points in the last of the gures: (i) The oil and gas zones in the central block are not in direct pressure communication with the oil and gas zones in the left and right blocks. The oil and gas zones have dierent contacts. (ii) However, it cannot be concluded from the section alone that the central block is completely isolated from the rest of the formation. The blocks may be in pressure communication through the aquifer.


Figure 1.6: Stratigraphic trap

Figure 1.7: Schematic of an oil and gas reservoir with a faulted central block and dierent uid contacts


Figure 1.8: USA oil resource



Oil recovery operations are generally classied into three groups. Primary Recovery - production using only natural reservoir energy (natural water drive, gas cap expansion, solution gas drive and pressure depletion drive). Secondary Recovery - water or gas injection to maintain reservoir pressure (waterooding and immiscible gas injection to supplement natural reservoir energy). Tertiary Recovery - enhanced oil recovery processes (EOR). An EOR process is any process which does a better job of recovering oil than conventional technology (primary and secondary recovery processes). In an EOR process conventional water or gas is replaced by a more eective (more expensive) recovery agent.



Residual Oil Resource (Target for EOR )

Conventional primary recovery methods are usually very inecient and, on the world average, recover approximately 1/3 of the OOIP. - 2/3 OOIP cannot be produced by conventional recovery technology. - current EOR technology can produce about 20% 30% of the residual oil resource.


Residual Oil is Trapped or By-passed

Oil which cannot be recovered using existing facilities or infrastructure (existing investment) is trapped (microscale) or by-passed (macroscale) - trapping of oil occurs on all reservoir length scales. - Trapping on the micro or pore scale is by capillary forces. - Trapping on the macro or eld scale is caused by areal and vertical bypassing. Trapping on all scales is strongly inuenced by heterogeneity.


Recovery Processes

Unrecovered oil may be classied into two categories: Unrecovered mobile oil and immobile or residual oil. - Unrecovered mobile oil can be recovered by conventional processes by improved access to the reservoir. Reservoir access may be improved by, - inll drilling. - horizontal and multilateral wells. - removal of formation damage caused by completion operations. - fracking. - perforating unperforated layers. - selective shut-o of water and gas producing zones.


Figure 1.9: Residual is trapped or bypassed on all reservoir length scales


Figure 1.10: Recovery processes - Immobile oil cannot be recovered by primary and secondary recovery processes such as waterooding and immiscible gas injection. This oil can only be recovered by tertiary EOR processes. All EOR techniques attempt to recover residual oil by: (i) Improving reservoir sweep eciency . (ii) Mobilizing immobile or residual oil.


Primary Recovery Mechanisms

An estimate of the likely primary production mechanism for a reservoir may be made on the basis of geological data even before the reservoir has been produced. 17

For example: (i) Thin, at reservoirs with low permeability will most likely produce by a solution-gas drive mechanism. (ii) Reservoirs having high closure and high permeability may experience the benecial eects of gravity segregation of oil and gas. This may supplement the eectiveness of the original gas cap, or form a secondary gas cap. (iii) High permeability reservoirs in contact with an extensive aquifer will benet to some degree from natural water inux (water drive). Material balance calculations may be used to determine the relative importance of the various natural drive mechanisms for a particular reservoir. Material balance calculations require: (i) Accurate and comprehensive production history. (ii) Representative uid samples for PVT analysis. (iii) Periodic pressure surveys. The importance of instituting a program to gather this data as early as possible in the development and production life of a reservoir cannot be over emphasized. A good data gathering program is a key component of an eective reservoir management strategy.


Secondary Recovery

Predictions of future reservoir performance are required, amongst other things, to identify the need and timing for secondary gas or water injection. Useful estimates of future production trends can be obtained from a knowledge of: (i) The size of the gas cap relative to the size of the oil reservoir. (ii) The size of the aquifer relative to the size of the oil zone. (iii) Formation permeability can be estimated from core data and ow tests on wells. Drill-stem tests on dry holes and structurally low wells (wells penetrating the aquifer) may yield important indications of aquifer permeability and continuity. Sometimes it is useful to complete dry holes as aquifer observation wells. Pressure data from such wells can be important in characterizing reservoir-aquifer systems. The aquifer can have a profound eect on reservoir performance. 18

Figure 1.11: Steam ooding process


Tertiary Recovery EOR Processes

The same techniques used to determine the need for secondary recovery are used to assess the need for tertiary developments. Decisions regarding the actual implementation of EOR processes are not made until sucient eld data is available to accurately assess primary and secondary performance. EOR processes may be classied into three major categories: 1. Chemical Micellar Polymer Flooding Polymer Flooding Caustic or Alkaline Flooding 2. Thermal Steam Flooding Fire Flooding


Figure 1.12: Carbon dioxide ooding process 3. Miscible Enriched Hydrocarbon Gas Flooding CO2 Flooding Nitrogen and Flue Gas Flooding The complexity of these processes requires the gathering of large quantities of additional laboratory uid and core data and the use of considerably more complex analysis techniques.



Reservoir Engineering is the science of understanding the production characteristics of oil and gas elds under primary (natural pressure depletion), secondary (water ooding, immiscible gas ooding) and tertiary (EOR) drive mechanisms. A basic understanding of reservoir engineering concepts is necessary for the planning, development and production of oil and gas elds. 20

Figure 1.13: Chemical ooding process

Geologists and Petrophysicists provide a description of the structure of the formation or reservoir and vital physical parameters describing the reservoir internal structure and initial distribution of uids. The reservoir engineer utilizes this data together with well production rates and measured reservoir pressures to analyze and interpret the data in order to optimize oil and gas recovery. Reservoir Engineers are required to answer the following three vital questions: 1. 2. 3. How much hydrocarbon (oil and/or gas) does a reservoir initially contain(initial hydrocarbon in-place)? How much of the hydrocarbon initially in-place can ultimately be recovered? How will the production rates of wells depend on the physical parameters of the reservoir, reservoir geometry (shape), well number and development pattern and how will the rate decline with time?

The rst question may be answered if the shape and size of the pay zone is known and the distribution of porosity and water saturation in the zone are also known. 21

This data is provided by the geologist and the petrophysicist. The reservoir engineer may assist by estimating the positions of gas-oil and water-oil contacts if the positions of these contacts is unknown. The answer to the second question is very complex. It requires the use of sophisticated mathematical models (usually computer based reservoir simulators). These are required to model the many alternative developments which result in dierent ultimate recoveries and protability. The process of producing production forecasts for the dierent recovery mechanisms and development plans will always be associated with some degree of uncertainty because geologic formations are highly heterogeneous and the geological description, no matter how sophisticated, can never capture all the geologic variability. The answer to the third question relies on detailed analysis of pressure and individual well test data.



The basis for a sound understanding of reservoir performance is a good description of reservoir geology (geological model) and the distribution of uids (oil, water and gas) it contains. This is the rst step in a reservoir engineering study.

Rock and Reservoir Description

Reservoir engineering studies require that the physical makeup of a reservoir be represented in a usable manner. This should include; (i) a description of reservoir stratication (reservoir lithology), (ii) a description of reservoir geometry, both areally and vertically, (iii) information on porosity, permeability, and water saturation throughout the reservoir, and (iv) a description of the size and permeability of the adjoining aquifer. This information is represented by various types of maps and cross-sections. These are usually prepared by production geologists.

Reservoir Heterogeneity
Most reservoirs are layered because of variations that existed in the depositional environment. Depositional conditions at any instant also vary from one location to another which results in lateral as well as vertical changes within the reservoir and within individual rock units. As we will see later, these changes result in 23

Figure 2.1: Highly detailes geostatistical models for reservoir characterization


variations in porosity, uid distribution, and permeability. Permeability is a measure of the relative ease with which uids ow through the rock. Wireline logs Electric and other types of logs can be very important tools for determining reservoir layering. Reservoir cross-sections based on logs can show if permeable zones are continuous throughout the reservoir or if they are lenses having limited areal extent. Logs also show the net sand at each well. Net sand is the rock that contains recoverable hydrocarbons and possesses permeability. A geologist should be consulted when analyzing logs for reservoir zonation and net sand thickness. Generally, logs are available for all wells drilled and represent the most complete set of reservoir descriptive data. Methods of analyzing logs and techniques of using logs for determining net sand thickness and evaluating sand continuity are beyond the scope of this course. Core analysis Core analysis data provide an additional basis for determining net sand thickness and reservoir zonation. Core analysis data is more quantitative than logs in describing the reservoir, but generally, only a fraction of the wells are cored. However, in most cases logs are more eective when supported by core data. The logs can be calibrated by core data to make them more useful from a quantitative standpoint. Under some conditions, the calibrated logs can be used to obtain fairly good estimates of the porosity and permeability proles at all wells in a reservoir. Stratication Stratication or heterogeneity occurs on all length scales in a reservoir. Although reservoir stratication is usually considered only in terms of net sand layers and impermeable streaks of sand or shale, stratication also exists within the net sand layers themselves and the degree of porosity and permeability can vary greatly within each strata. Porosity and Permeability The two most important properties of net sand are porosity and permeability. Porosity of net sand usually is in the range from 10 to 30 %. Some limestone and dolomite reservoirs locally may have porosities as high as 60 %. The porosity in reservoir rocks usually occurs in the spaces between rock particles and this is called primary porosity or intergranular porosity. Primary porosity can also exist in fractures and vugs. Primary porosity may be modied by post depositional events. For example, small mineral particles may be deposited in the space be25

Figure 2.2: Vertical heterogeneity or layering


Figure 2.3: Examples of structural and geological complexity


Figure 2.4: Schematic of wireline logging operation

tween sand grains to produce microporosity. These digenetic changes may greatly reduce the original porosity and permeability of a rock. Typically, the permeabilities of the net sand portion of a reservoir will vary from 10 md or less to 500 md or more. The ability of a rock to allow uid ow is proportional to permeability, so uid ow proles in the reservoir may be very uneven. The process of reservoir description is sometimes referred to as formation evaluation and reservoir characterization. It involves the following steps: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Gathering of data on the physical characteristics of formation rocks. Gathering of data on the characteristics, occurrences and distribution of uids within these rocks. Interpretation of the above data for accuracy and reliability. These data are used to evaluate initial volumes of oil and gas in the reservoir Evaluation of potential sources of reservoir production energy. e.g. extent of aquifer and size of gas cap.


Figure 2.5: Formation microscanner and resistivity logs


Figure 2.6: Schematic of a rotory core barrel


Figure 2.7: Diamond coring bits

Data collection is expensive (wireline logging, sampling, pressure testing etc.) and the collection of poor quality or inaccurate data is contradictory and wasteful. It is therefore necessary to place considerable eort into preparing an eective data gathering program.



The primary objectives of a data gathering program are to answer the following questions: (i) (ii) Does the formation contain commercial quantities of oil and gas? How should the reservoir be produces to maximize economic return?

or, more specically, (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) How much stock tank oil and/or free gas is initially in place? What is the likely primary recovery mechanism and will it be necessary to supplement this energy by water or gas injection? What are the oil and gas reserves (production volumes for a particular eld development)? How will individual well rates decline, and how can the decline in production rate be arrested? 31

Figure 2.8: Schematic of a sidewall coring gun


Figure 2.9: Full diameter core


Figure 2.10: Length scales for laboratory core analysis

Figure 2.11: Sampling anisotropic core


The above questions cannot all be answered immediately after drilling of a discovery well. However, provided that the data gathering program is well thought-out, the engineer can arrive at reasonable planning estimates. As the eld is developed and produced, additional data becomes available, and this is integrated with the existing data to reduce the level of uncertainty associated with the initial estimates. The overall data gathering program is thus a continuing process over the life of the eld. It is important to recognize this when developing the initial data gathering program.



The following is a guide to the type of data which may be collected with the drilling of the rst well in a reservoir: Original reservoir pressure and temperature. Gross reservoir thickness at the well. Lithology of the reservoir rock. Stratigraphic sequence of rock at the well. Reservoir porosity. Initial uid saturations. Well productivity (permeability). Characteristics of reservoir uid.

The above information is obtained from: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Core samples. Wireline logs. Fluid samples. Pressure and production testing.


Additional delineation or development wells drilled after the rst discovery well should provide the following data: Reservoir thickness variations to allow mapping of the eld. Areal variations in permeability, porosity and water saturation. Continuity of stratigraphic units between wells. Vertical permeability variations (vertical barriers to ow) in the reservoir. Variations of sub-sea depth of reservoir top and base for structure maps. Depth Of gas-oil and oil-water contacts. Variations in uid compositions within the reservoir.

These factors are determined in the same manner as for the rst well. The presence of multiple wells allows interference testing between wells to determine average permeabilities between wells and to test the continuity of individual sand units. Not all of the above data will be collected from each well drilled. The engineer must continually assess the data gathering process and only collect that data which materially reduces the level of uncertainty in estimating the important reservoir parameters. When areal variations in rock properties are large, it may be necessary to collect all the data from all the wells drilled and to drill additional data wells.


Coring And Core Analysis

Coring is the most basic formation evaluation tool. It provides the engineer with the only opportunity to physically inspect a piece of the reservoir. It provides the only means of determining, (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Reservoir wettability. Capillary pressure. Relative permeability. Residual oil saturation.


These are important in determining formation production characteristics and reservoir recovery factors. Measurements on reservoir core samples are also required for: (i) (ii) Calibration of wireline logs, essential for quantitative log interpretation. Identifying potential causes of formation damage.

It is dicult to base an entire reservoir description entirely on core analysis data. This is because even in a heavily cored reservoir, the total cored volume constitutes only a very small fraction of the entire reservoir volume. As a result, it is very dicult to assess the statistical signicance of the data. At least one well in the reservoir should be cored over the entire producing interval. The data obtained provides valuable information for describing vertical variations in reservoir rock properties.


Wireline Logging

Wireline logging provides information on: (i) (ii) (iii) lithology, porosity, water saturation,

of the formation penetrated by a well. Whereas only a few wells are fully cored, it is common practice to log all wells in the eld. Logs provide the basis for determining, (i) gross and net formation thickness, (ii) correlations identifying individual reservoir sand units, (iii) continuity of reservoir sand units,


There are three basic types of log: 1. 2. 3. Electric fundamental log run in all wells drilled. Most electric logs must be run in an uncased hole containing conducting uid. Sonic Usually run in open hole. Radioactivity can be run successfully under nearly all wellbore conditions.

Although logs provide valuable data for reservoir description, the main purpose of logging is to identify a suitable completion interval for the well. A logging program should be designed to designed to provide the data required for reservoir description at a minimum cost. Lithology and borehole conditions must be considered in the selection of a suitable suite of logs. This will usually require a trial-and-error process of selecting the most eective combination of logs for a particular reservoir. Prior experience is a major fracture in the design of an eective logging program.


Pressure and Production Testing

Pressure and production tests are designed to determine, (i) (ii) uid content, formation productivity.

Production tests repeated on a yearly basis over the life of a well provide valuable information on, (i) wellbore plugging, (ii) reservoir pressure decline, (iii) invasion of the wellbore by water or gas. Pressure build-up and draw-down tests involve owing a single well at a constant rate for a predetermined period of time and then shutting-in the well and observing the rate at which the wellbore pressure rises or falls with time. An analysis of the pressure response allows an estimate of formation productivity and permeability.


Figure 2.12: Wireline formation interval tester

Interference tests provide checks on formation permeability and continuity. These tests involve owing a production well and measuring the resulting pressure decline at nearby wells. Drill-stem tests are usually run at the time the well is drilled to determine if the well should be completed over the interval identied by the well log. The DST tool allows us to make a temporary completion to conduct pressure build-up and draw-down tests. DSTs are useful for: (i) testing the potential production intervals, (ii) locating the positions of gas-oil and oil-water contacts, (iii) Determining average reservoir pressure.


Fluid Sampling

Reservoir oil usually contains a considerable amount of dissolved gas. When the oil is produced to the surface the gas comes out of solution and the oil volume consequently shrinks. The oil that lls a barrel at surface conditions will have occupied between 10%50% at reservoir conditions. 39

Figure 2.13: Initial and production formation pressure data with owmeter survey


Figure 2.14: Single and multi-well pressure tests

Figure 2.15: Rate and pressure history for an interference test


To determine oil-in-place it is necessary to know the number of stock tank barrels occupied by a reservoir barrel of oil. Other important properties of oil, such as density and viscosity, also change when solution gas is released. These properties are very important in reservoir uid ow calculations and must be accurately known. In large reservoirs having high closure, uid properties may vary signicantly both areally and vertically. Enough samples should be taken to adequately describe these variations. Reservoir uid may be sampled in two ways: 1. 2. Subsurface wireline samplers in the wellbore at the perforations or as part of the initial open-hole formation evaluation program. Recombined surface samples oil and gas samples from the test separator recombined in the ratio of the produced gas-oil ratio.



No single wireline tool or procedure is capable of providing all the data required to characterize a reservoir and its contents. It is therefore necessary to develop an integrated formation evaluation program which consists of a carefully considered mix of: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Logs - these provide most of the data for reservoir characterization. Cores - used to calibrate logs for quantitative interpretation. Well testing - provide estimates of permeability and productivity. Fluid sampling - only means of determining reservoir uid properties.

The best approach is to adopt a Key Well Program. The following steps are taken in the development of such a program: 1. A number of Key wells are selected to provide a representative coverage over the reservoir. A rule of thumb is that at least one well is needed for each 640 acres. For heterogeneous reservoirs this is reduced to 320 acres or less. 42

Figure 2.16: Bottom hole sampling tool


Figure 2.17: Surface sampling for laboratory recombination


A data gathering program is designed for each key well. This will include logging, coring and well testing to provide complete reservoir coverage over the reservoir. Determining which logs provide the best quantitative data by comparing log interpretations with core data. Logs run in non-key wells are then interpreted according to the correlations developed for the key wells. Any available production data from key wells is also used to aide log interpretation. The above data gathering procedures are continuously monitored with the objective of eliminating any unnecessary or ineective procedures.


4. 5.

The above steps ensure a data gathering procedure which is both simple and cost eective. A reservoir description program is needed during all phases of the producing life of a eld. 1. 2. Early in the development of the eld this information is required to achieve proper well spacing and productive completions. After eld development the information is used for reservoir energy control in order to achieve high ultimate recovery. 44

Figure 2.18: Key well program


Figure 2.19: Aquifer models - limited data and interference


Secondary and Tertiary recovery. To eectively engineer these processes it is necessary to have an accurate reservoir description and an estimate of hydrocarbon recovery.

In addition to production wells it may be necessary to drill observation wells. These wells can provide data which includes: (i) (ii) (iii) Reservoir pressure. Pressure gradients in the reservoir. Position and movement of contacts. Contacts can be detected by production tests, cased hole logging and 4D high-resolution interwell seismic.



The aquifer is the total volume of porous water-bearing rock in pressure communication with a hydrocarbon reservoir. The size and permeability of an aquifer will control how much water drive energy is available to the reservoir. The aquifer 46

energy will determine if the reservoir will produce primarily by water drive or by liquid or gas expansion within the reservoir. Reservoir drive mechanisms will be discussed in detail later in the course. At the present time, we are concerned only with methods of determining the size and permeability of an aquifer. If an aquifer is large, most of the information on it must come from wells drilled outside the reservoir area. Logs and drill-stem tests on dry holes are about the only source of aquifer data. Logs will show the thickness of water-bearing rock that is in communication with the reservoir. If enough dry holes are available, the areal extent of the aquifer can be estimated. An estimate of the aquifer permeability can be determined from the results of drill-stem tests on dry holes. Equations for calculating permeability from ow test data will be studies in the portion of the course entitled uid ow. The aquifer can have a major eect on the production-pressure performance of a reservoir. This topic will be covered in detail in the section on water drive reservoirs.



The rst step in a reservoir study is to accurately determine the initial hydrocarbon volume. This requires data which will allow us to calculate the size and geometry of the reservoir and the uid volumes which the reservoir contains. In this section we will briey look at how maps and cross-sections are used to describe the geometry of a reservoir and calculate the hydrocarbon volume in-place. Contour maps are commonly used to show reservoir geometry and the distribution of important reservoir parameters.



Structure maps show the geometric shape of a reservoir or formation. The maps may show the top or the bottom of a structure or reservoir unit. Examples of top of structure maps are attached. These maps also show the positions of uid contacts in the reservoir. Structure maps are prepared by geologists. The data on which the maps are drawn usually come from; (i) well control, (ii) geophysical data usually in the form of time maps, and (iii) geological models of depositional and post-depositional events. Gross thickness isopach maps show the total interval between the top and the base of the reservoir rock for each well. Structure maps on the top and on 48

Figure 3.1: Isometric schematic of the Ekosk structure


Figure 3.2: Top-of-structure map of a hydrocarbon reservoir the base of the reservoir can provide data for the isopach map. Frequently, most of the wells are not drilled to the base of the reservoir so a base structure map cannot be drawn. In this case, the gross sand interval must be estimated from reservoir cross-sections based on logs from the well which penetrated the entire interval. The gross pay isopach map for an oil reservoir is more descriptive of the hydrocarbon reservoir geometry than the gross thickness isopach.



Isopach maps show the distribution and thickness of reservoir properties of interest. The contour lines connect points of equal vertical interval. Examples of common isopach maps are: Gross oil thickness isopach map: contours gross pay - the depth of the top of the oil column minus the top of the bottom of the oil column. Net oil thickness isopach map: contours net pay - gross pay minus nonreservoir intervals such as shales. Net oil isopach maps are commonly used to calculate volumes of hydrocarbons in-place. 50

Figure 3.3: Net sand isopach map for a hydrocarbon reservoir

Other useful maps include: Net-to-gross ratio maps: fraction of the total hydrocarbon interval which contributes to recovery. Iso-porosity map: contours average porosity over net-pay portions of the desired formation. Iso-water saturation map: contours average water saturation over net-pay portions of the desired formation.


Figure 3.4: Isoporosity map for a hydrocarbon reservoir

Figure 3.5: Iso-water saturation map for a hydrocarbon reservoir




The original oil-in-place (OOIP) contained in a reservoir expressed in Stock Tank Barrels (STB) is designated by the symbol N and is given by the equation (eld units): 7758Vb (1 S wi ) N= B oi where,

Vb S wi B oi

= = = =

reservoir bulk volume (acre-feet) average porosity (fraction) average initial water saturation (fraction) average initial oil formation volume factor (RB/STB)

or, in any set of self consistent units: N= Vb (1 S wi ) B oi

In this and the following reservoir engineering courses it is assumed that you are familiar with units and unit conversions i.e., starting with the above equation for any set of self consistent units, you should be able to calculate the constant 7758 in the preceeding equation. If you wish to review the topic of units go to the section Units - unit conversions on page 108 of Dake, Fundamentals of reservoir engineering. The original gas-in-place (OGIP) contained in a reservoir, expressed in Standard Cubic Feet (SCF), is designated by the symbol G and is given by the equation (in eld units), 7758Vb (1 S wi ) G= B gi where,

B gi

= average initial gas formation volume factor (RB/SCF)

or, in any set of self consistent units: G= Vb (1 S wi ) B gi 53

Figure 3.6: Schematic of the microstructure of a sandstone showing sand grains and interconnected pore space which allows uid ow


Reservoir Volume

The following information is required to calculate net reservoir volume: 1. 2. Bulk reservoir Volume. Reservoir Stratication (and net-to-gross ratio).

The calculation procedure involves the following steps: 1. Prepare a map of gross reservoir thickness. The map is based on log data and requires the construction of structure maps for; (i) (ii) the top of the reservoir. the bottom of the reservoir.

The gross thickness is the dierence in depth between the top and the bottom of the reservoir zone. 2. Construct a gross sand isopach map by removing intervals containing only gas or water. These intervals will generally lie above the gas-oil contact (GOC) and below the oil-water contact (OWC). 54


Construct a net sand isopach map by eliminating all non-reservoir rock intervals (shale, siltstone, coal seam etc.). This procedure will normally involve estimates of minimum porosity and permeability cut-os. The actual intervals to be excluded are picked from porosity logs which have been calibrated using core data.

The calculation is usually performed numerically using digitized maps.


Average Porosity

Average reservoir porosity is determined by mapping individual well porosity values. These are determined from core data and from sonic and radioactivity logs calibrated with core data.


Average Initial Water Saturation

The methods used to determine reservoir water saturation include: 1. Logging induction and focused resistivity logs. These logs measure formation resistivity which may be related to water saturation. This requires a knowledge of the wettability state of the reservoir and special core test data. 2. Coring with oil-based muds. Provided that invasion of drilling uids has not changed reservoir wettability, coring with oil-based mud can result in core which gives a good indication of the irreducible water saturation. This corresponds to the water saturation in the reservoir above the transition zone. In the transition zone the core will indicate low water saturation because the oil from the oil-based mud will have displaced some of the mobile water from the core during the coring operation. 3. Restored state tests. These tests attempt to restore the wettability of core in the laboratory to that in the actual reservoir. The restored state core is then used in the laboratory to duplicate the displacement processes by which the reservoir water saturation was initially established.


The data gathering program should include water saturation data determined by all of the above methods. Although cutting core with oil-based mud is expensive, at least one well should be cored in this manner to provide data for calibration of log resistivity. Laboratory measurements on restored state core also provide capillary pressure data which can be used to calculate water saturations in the transition zone. This data is also used to calibrate logs. The overall objective is to collect sucient data to develop meaningful correlations between log measured resistivity and water saturations in restored state laboratory tests.


Average Oil Formation Volume Factor

The average oil formation volume factor is required to convert the reservoir oil or gas lled hydrocarbon volume to the equivalent volumes at surface or stock tank conditions. Oil and gas formation volume factors are determined in laboratory PVT tests conducted with representative samples of reservoir oil and gas. Estimates of oil formation volume factors may be obtained from empirical correlations if the following are known: (i) Initial gas-oil ratio (solution GOR). (ii) Reservoir temperature and pressure. These are usually estimated from DST tests conducted on exploration wells.


Determining Initial Oil-In-Place

In order to illustrate the calculation of initial oil-in-place and introduce Mathcad - the spreadsheet program which we will be using throughout the course, we consider the very simple case of a homogeneous reservoir with unity net-to-gross ratio where the bottom of the reservoir is the horizontal surface formed by the water-oil contact (WOC). For these conditions a top-of-structure map and average porosity and water saturation are all that is needed to calculate the initial or original oil-in-place.


Figure 3.7: Schematic of interstitual, irreducible or connate water in a waterwet porous medium


Figure 3.8: Reservoir pressure survey map used to determine average reservoir pressure

Example 3.1 - Calculation of OOIP from a reservoir structure map [] Calculate the initial volume of oil-in-place for the Apache Pool reservoir (top-ofstructure map attached). The average porosity, average connate water saturation and average oil formation volume factor have been determined and these values are given below. Data: S wi B oi = 0.27 = 0.38 = 1.2715 (RB/STB)

We use this exercise to introduce you to Mathcad. It is assumed that you have installed Mathcad on your PC and that you have worked through the basics in the on-line tutorial. In order to see the solution to this exercise you will need to change some of the inputs to the spreadsheets. The areas of the spreadsheet where these changes may need to be made are highlighted in yellow. [Answer: 340 MMSTB]

Solution outline 1. The rst step is to determine the area inside each depth contour. The contour areas must be determined from the map. This is usually done 58

Figure 3.9: Structure map for the Apache eld


using specialized computer software and digitized maps. For this example I have digitized each of the contours by hand and used Simpsons rule to numerically calculate the area. The use of Simpsons rule for numerical integration is shown in the attached gures. Study the three gures to be sure that you understand what is being done. To determine the area of a depth contour I rst printed an enlarged copy of the Apache structure map and overlayed this with a 1 cm by 1 cm grid. I then divided each contour into an upper and lower curve as shown in the attached gure and read-o the (x, y) points dening each curve. These points are entered into a le for each contour eg., [C2000.prn] in the folder [Contours]. If you open one of these les you will see the how the points are entered for the lower and upper contours. Note that the end-points for the lower and upper contours are the same. [] , also located in the [Contours] folder, reads the contour les and calculates the areas, and plots the contour. This is done in the manner outlined in the course notes and you should have no trouble following the ow of the calculation. When Mathcad reads a le like [C2000.prn] all it sees is a matrix of (x, y) numbers - it ignors blanks or anything which it does nor recognise as a numerical input. This makes it easy to annotate or pretty-up the input le so that it is understandable to the casual reader. You can use as many data points as you like to dene a contour - the more points you use, the smoother the contour and the more accurate the area calculation. The only limitation is that the total number of points dening the lower and upper contours must be the same. This makes it a little easier to program the calculations. When you open [] you will see that I have left it doing one contour over and over. You will need to change the other input contour le names to see the areas and plots for each of the contours. The areas within each contour, A0 , A1 , A2 , etc. are multiplied by the map scale-factor squared to convert the map areas to actual eld values.


2. The bulk volume between two successive contours is given by the pyramidal formula: q h Ai + Ai+1 + Ai Ai+1 Vi = 3 where, Vi Ai Ai+1 h = = = = bulk volume between contours i and i + 1. the area enclosed by the lower contour. the area enclosed by the upper contour. the vertical height between the contours, or the contour interval.

3. The initial volume of oil-in-place in volume element Vi ,in any consistent set of units (as used by Mathcad), is given by, Ni = Vi i (1 S wc,i ) B oi,i

4. The initial oil-in-place is the sum of the values for each volume element. N=


See the attached gures which show how Simpsons rule is used to calculate contour areas from digitized map data.


1. Contour is divided into upper and lower curves

Upper curve

Lower curve

Figure 3.10: Computer calculation of contour areas

Simpson's rule to calculate the area under the upper and lower curves


yi+ 1


yi+ 1

AU x A=

AL x yi yi+ 1 x 2

Figure 3.11: Computer calculation of contour areas


Contour Area




Figure 3.12: Computer calculation of contour areas


Problem 3.1 - Calculation of OGIP from a reservoir structure map How much gas would the Apache Pool contain if the initial reservoir pressure was 1500 psia, the initial reservoir temperature was 200o F, and the gas compressibility factor was 0.877 ? All other data as for Exercise 3.1. [Answer: 223 BSCF]

Solution hint The gas formation volume factor is given by, B g = 0.00504 zT P [RB/SCF]

where T - the average reservoir temperature - is in o R (o R=o F +460) and P the average reservoir pressure - is in psia. Use this equation to calculate the gas formation factor. You can use the areas, volumes etc., calculated in the previous exercise to help you solve this problem by hand calculation or using your favourite spread-sheet. If you do this be sure to be careful with units. If you want to master Mathcad you can modify the les used in the previous example to do the calculation. If you choose to do this make sure that you have looked at the Units section of the on-line Mathcad tutorial before making the necessary changes.

Problem 3.2 - Calculation of OGIP from a reservoir structure map Estimate the initial volume of gas-in-place for the Marlin Field (top-of-structure map attached). The average reservoir and uid properties are given below. Data: S wi T P z = = = = = 0.21 0.19 210o F 2300 psia 0.89

[Answer: 6.48 TSCF]


Figure 3.13: Marlin eld top-of-structure map

Solution hint You are free to solve this problem any way you want including using any commercial or in-house software to which you may have access. If you have been following the Mathcad route - I recommend this strongly - this problem will bring you right up the learning curve. Print a full-size (or larger) copy of the Marlin structure map. Create a full copy of the folder for Example 3.1 and in order to modify the les to solbe the present problem. Follow the outline for Example 3.1 and construct the data les for contours (there are 9 of these). Pay special attention to the particular manner in which these les are constructed! Modify the [] by copy-and-paste to calculate the areas for all nine contours. Modify the nal graph which plots the contours to plot all nine contours. You will probably need to revise the graphs section of the on-line manual to do this. You will need to make the same changes to [] made for Problem 3.1 to convert it to a gas in-place calculation. Note that for the Marlin contours the contour depth intervals are not all the same size. The best way to handle this is to read-in individual values of h in the same way as we already read-in individual values of porosity, initial water saturation, areas etc. You can do this 65

by adding a column of numbers to the input data le and making the appropriate changes in the spreadsheet. These changes will involve reading-in the new values, introducing a new array for h, and modifying the equations to calculate with the array elements hi . Describing these changes is a lot more dicult than making them! If you succede in making the above changes you will have learnt all you need to know to reproduce any of the Mathcad spreadsheets in this and other courses.




Material balance methods are another way of determining the initial hydrocarbon content of a reservoir. Material balance calculations: 1. Require some production history (reservoir pressure and uid production rates with time). The more production history available, the greater the accuracy of the calculation. The method is most precise for reservoirs where water inux is not signicant. The method is most accurate for gas-cap-drive reservoirs if the pressure drop is at least 100 psi. The material balance method is the preferred method for determining the original gas-in-place (OGIP) for gas reservoirs with no signicant water inux. For reservoirs where water inux is signicant the analysis procedure is as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. OOIP is determined using the Volumetric Method. The Material Balance Equation is used to calculate the water inux. The computed water inux and measured reservoir pressures are used to characterize the size and strength of the aquifer. The Material Balance Equation is then used to predict future water inux and hence future reservoir performance.


For Material Balance calculations to produce realistic results it is necessary to: 1. Accurately determine initial reservoir pressure. This should be measured as part of the data gathering program for the discovery well. Initiate a program for periodic reservoir pressure measurement immediately after commencement of production. This program (on an annual basis) should be continued throughout the producing life of the eld. 67



Accurately measure and diligently report the production volumes for all the uids produced. Although produced oil volumes are accurately measured as a matter of routine, material balance calculations require equally accurate water and gas volumes. Accurately determine uid PVT data. This requires representative oil and gas samples at reservoir conditions. The best oil samples are obtained before the reservoir is produced because the pressure drop which accompanies production may result in the release of solution gas and this may preclude the possibility of obtaining a representative uid sample. Gas sampling does not have this problem.




Reserves for a particular eld are estimated from an analysis of the available engineering data. The implication of this is that the more reliable the data (production history data), the more accurate will be the estimate of reserves. The procedure for estimating reserves involves the following steps: 1. 2. Establish the primary production mechanism. Apply the analysis procedure appropriate to the drive mechanism to estimate reserves. This will usually involve the use of numerical reservoir simulators. Rock property data (porosity and permeability), uid property data, reservoir description and production performance data (pressure decline and uid production rates) are the basis for the analysis. Collecting all production data from early in the life of a eld is ,again, of critical importance.




The decline in eld and individual well production rates is estimated on the basis of: 1. Decline curve analysis. Decline curve extrapolation is satisfactory only for wells which are produced continuously at maximum or near maximum rates. For wells producing at limited draw-down (below their maximum rate) extrapolated decline rates are not meaningful. Decline curve analysis are studied in detail in course PTRL6007 - Reservoir Engineering II. 2. Productivity index method. The productivity index for a well is the well production rate per psi of pressure draw-down. This is determined from well ow tests. The productivity index is usually a function of ow rate and reservoir pressure (oil relative permeability, oil viscosity). Well ow tests must therefore be conducted at dierent rates and the productivity index must be adjusted for falling reservoir pressure. For wells not subject to severe water and/or gas coning this method provides reliable estimates of production decline rates. 3. Reservoir simulation. For wells subject to severe water and/or gas coning reservoir simulation oers the most reliable method for predicting well decline rates and overall reservoir performance. Reservoir engineering is studied in detail in course PTRL6004 - Reservoir Simulation.



This section deals with the hydrostatic or initial pressure distribution in a reservoir - the pressure which exists prior to signicant production from the reservoir. We will consider the following specic topics: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Introduction to hydrostatic pressures in reservoirs. Determination of gas-oil and water-oil contacts from pressure data. Determination of oil water and gas densities and gradients from pressure data. Calculation of pressure kicks on penetrating a hydrocarbon zone. Locating exploration wells searching for oil in a water- or gas-bearing formation.


Symbols and Units g D p Dowc Dgoc Dgwc gravity constant depth to subsurface pressure density depth of initial oil-water contact depth of initial gas-oil contact depth of initial gas-water contact = = = = m/s2 m N/m2 kg/m3 m m m

g 1 Pascal (Pa) 1 bar 1 Atmosphere Conversion factors lb/ft3 psi psi ft

9.81 m/s2 1 N/m2 105 N/m2 1.01325 bar or 14.695 psia

16.02 6.9 0.069 3.28

= = = =

kg/m3 kPa bar m

All of the above units may be embedded into working Mathcad les and can be used interchangeably or you can even mix units if you want. Normally we would not elect to mix units!


Water zone pressures

In normally pressured sedimentary basins water contained in the pore space of a reservoir (connate water) is in pressure communication with the atmosphere through the oceans or outcrops. Since the pore spaces which comprise the eective porosity of the reservoir are all interconnected, and the reservoir and associated aquifer are initially in static equilibrium, pressure varies only with depth. The dierence in hydrostatic pressure between any two depth points in a formation containing water is, p2 p1 = w g(D2 D1 ) 71

where, w is the average density of water over the interval (D2 D1 ) and g is the gravitational acceleration. w varies with depth (pressure) and salinity. Since water is only slightly compressible, it is customary to neglect the overbar symbol and simply write, p2 p1 = w g(D2 D1 ) where it is understood that w is the average pressure over the interval of interest. If we take p0 to be the pressure at the surface (atmospheric) where D1 = 0, the equation may be written as, pwD p0 = w gD or, pwD = p0 + w gD The term w g(D2 D1 ) is the hydrostatic pressure dierence which has units of pressure. If we divide this pressure dierence by (D2 D1 ), we obtain the water gradient, w , which is equal to w g and has units of pressure per unit depth. In general we dene a phase pressure gradient as i = i g where the subscript i may be o-oil, w-water or g-gas. Using the denition of the uid gradient, we can write that the pressure dierence between any two depths, pi , is pi = i D where D is the dierence in depth. For the water zone the pressure dierence is pw = w D The gradient for fresh water is 0.433 psi/ft.


Oil zone pressures

The initial pressure, poD , at depth D in the oil zone may be expressed in terms of the oil pressure at the initial OWC (a commonly used datum point for reservoir engineering calculations) as, poD poDOW C = o g(D DOW C ) 72

Figure 4.1: Hydrostatic pressure distribution in a reservoir

which may be rearranged to give, poD = poDOW C o g(DOW C D) or, poD = poDOW C o (DOW C D) where o is the average density of oil at reservoir conditions.


Gas cap pressures

The initial pressure, pgD , at depth D in the gas cap may be expressed in terms of the gas pressure at the initial GOC as, pgD pgDGOC = g g(D DGOC ) or, pgD = pgDGOC g g(DGOC D) or, pgD = pgDGOC g (DGOC D) where g is the average density of gas at reservoir conditions. 73



In the absence of capillary pressure, the WOC and GOC are sharp and the uid pressures at the contacts are equal. The resulting hydrostatic pressure distribution in the reservoir is shown in the attached gure. Note that the contacts correspond to the intersections of the uid gradient lines. This can be used estimate the positions of the contacts from measured pressuredepth data.


Figure 4.2: Hydrostatic pressure distribution in a reservoir assuming negligible capillary pressure


Example 4.1 []






Five widely separated exploration wells were drilled in a large sedimentary basin. While penetrating the aquifer, the following pressure measurements were made in each of the wells: Well A B C Rotary table elevation (ft above MSL) 2133 1312 2707 Measured depth (ft) 9744 13993 8235 Gauge Pressure (psia) 4340 5656 2480 Determine if all the wells belong to the same pressure system. In answering this question you can use the Mathcad spreadsheet [] which reads the above data and calculates the required uid gradients. [Answer: Well-A is clearly in an overpressured separate hydraulic system] D 3937 17388 6005 E 197 9383 4090

Solution hints The relationship between true vertical depth sub-sea DT V D , measured depth DM D , and depth above mean sea level DM SL is given by DT V D = DM D DM SL The average water gradient (sea-level to depth of measurement), w , is given by w = p DT V D


Example 4.2 - Calculation of uid contacts and uid gradients from pressure data [] The following formation tester pressure measurements were made in an exploration well. Estimate: (i) the depths of the contacts (ii) the density and the nature of the uids present in the formation Depth Pressure (ft) (psia) 8120 2912 8202 2920 8284 2927 8366 2950 8448 2978 8530 3005 8612 3038 8694 3075 8776 3114

Solution hints Plot the data on a depth-pressure plot. Identify lines of constant slope, these show zones of dierent uid saturation. Determine the gradients of depth-pressure lines and from these calculate the uid densities. The densities identify the uids. [] is a general spreadsheet which I have found very useful in analysing a wide range of formation pressure-depth data. If you have access to commercial or in-house software which does similar things, feel free to use it. [Answer: DGOC = 8302 ft ss., DOW C = 8573 ft ss., g = 13.2 lb/cubic ft., o = 48.3 lb/cubic ft., w = 66.8 lb/cubic ft. ]


Figure 4.3: Hydrostatic pressure-depth data plot


Problem 4.1 - Optimal Location of an Exploration Well [] Exploration well EX-1 intersected a hydrocarbon bearing sand with a vertical thickness of 200 ft between 6560 and 6760 ft-subsea. A wireline formation tester recovered some gas and mud and recorded a pressure of 3850 psia at 6660 ft-ss. A second exploration well EX-2 encountered the same sand between 7780 ft-ss and 7980 ft-ss but found it to be only water-bearing. Mechanical problems with the downhole gauge prevented a pressure measurement from being taken. The two wells are 12,000 ft apart. On the basis of previous experience and sampling of reservoir uids we have determined that the regional water gradient is 0.524 psi/ft. The formation is normally pressured. The pressure gradient for the gas phase at reservoir conditions is calculated to be 0.084 psi/ft. The oil gradient, at reservoir conditions, is estimated to be 0.296 psi/ft. Questions (i) (ii) (iii) Is the above data consistent with the assumption that the formation could be oil-bearing between 6660 and 7880 ft-ss ? Where would you locate an additional exploration well which would denitely nd oil if any oil is indeed present? What is the maximum possible thickness of the oil zone?

[Answers: (i) yes, (ii) new well should intersect the sand at a depth of 7445 ft ss., (iii) 910 ft.]

Solution hints Each of the wells gives us a uid and a corresponding uid pressure. Where a mechanical problem prevented the measurement of a water phase pressure, we can estimate the pressure by assuming that the formation is normally pressured (i.e., water gradient times depth). The rst well gives us the depth of lowest known gas. The second well gives the depth of highest known water. If an oil zone exists, it must be between these depths. Knowing the gas and water gradients, and a uid pressure and corresponding depth in the gas and water zones, we can draw the gas and water gradient lines 79

Figure 4.4: Maximum thickness of an oil zone between gas and water contacts

on a pressure-depth plot. If there is no oil present (only gas and water), the depth of the GWC can be found from the intersection of the gas and water gradient lines. If a drop of oil is present it must gravitate to this depth splitting the GWC into a WOC and a GOC. The third well must intersect this depth to prove if any oil is present in the reservoir. The maximum possible thickness of the oil zone occurs when either the lowest known gas or the highest known water corresponds to an oil contact. How do we select which of the two is a possible contact? Simple, draw the oil gradient line through each of the points and select the one which produces a set of contacts (OWC and GOC) which are consistent with lowest known gas and highest known water. If you understand the principles involved and the steps required to solve the problem you should have little problem in entering the correct data into [] and manipulating the graph by setting appropriate contact and oil gradient lines to produce the correct answer. 80

Problem 4.2 - Calculation of a Pressure Kick when Penetrating a Hydrocarbon Zone [] Calculate the pressure kick to be expected when a well rst penetrates a reservoir at 5000 ft subsea if the reservoir is known to have an OWC at 5500 ft and an GOC at 5200 ft. The formation is known to be normally pressured with the following phase gradients; water gradient 0.45 psi/ft oil gradient 0.35 psi/ft gas gradient 0.08 psi/ft What would the pressure kick be if the entire hydrocarbon zone contained gas? [Answer: 104 psi]

Solution hints When drilling through the cap rock which forms the reservoir seal, the drill bit experiences a water hydrostatic pressure gradient because the seal is saturated with water and in a normally pressured system this water is in hydraulic communication with the aquifer. Just before the bit penetrates the reservoir the bit pressure is the of the water gradient and depth. On penetrating the hydrocarbon column the reservoir pressure is equal to the pressure at the contact minus the gravity head of hydrocarbon column from the contact to the top of the reservoir. Since a hydrocarbon column is lighter than a water column of equivalent height, the reservoir pressure at the top of the reservoir is higher than the pressure at the base of the seal. This dierence gives rise to a pressure kick. You do not really need a spreadsheet to solve this problem. If you know what you are doing you can solve the problem faster with a hand calculator! I have prepared the spreadsheet [] as an example of how a simple calculation can be layed out in Mathcad. Enter the correct numbers and you will get the solution.


Figure 4.5: Calculation of a pressure kick

Problem 4.3 - Interpretation of Repeat Formation Tester (RFT) data The RFT allows an unlimited number of spot pressure measurements to be made in a single trip in an open hole. This allows the engineer to determine pressuredepth proles across reservoir sections of interest. Comparing pressure-depth proles in dierent wells can provide valuable information on eld uid contacts and the degree of areal and vertical communication - sealing or non-sealing faults. Two wells were drilled in a remote region. Well-A was drilled down-dip of the structure and encountered only the aquifer. The operator had the foresight to measure water pressures over a 160 foot interval to determine the water pressure regime in this new area. The second Well-B, was drilled up-structure several kilometers from Well-A and discovered a 50 foot oil column with good porosity and permeability. Six RFT pressures were measured over this interval.


The pressures recorded for the two wells are summarized below. Note that in order to meaningfully compare the pressures in the wells it is necessary to convert measured depths to a common datum (depth sub-sea) and to express pressures in absolute units (psia). Well-A Depth ( 6075 6091 6108 6220 6232 Well-B Depth ( Pressure (psia) 5771 2602 5778 2604 5790 2608 5800 2610 5806 2612 5816 2615

Pressure (psia) 2662 2669 2677 2725 2731

What conclusions can you draw from this data with regard to the uids, the reservoir and the aquifer? [Answer: you tell me]

Solution hints Try using


Figure 4.6: Lithostatic gradient



The geothermal gradient, GT , varies considerably from location to location. On the average it is about 1o F/100 ft. We can use this to estimate subsurface formation (reservoir) temperatures, Tf , as, Tf = Ts + GT Df where Ts is the surface temperature and Df is the formation depth.


Figure 4.7: Geothermal gradient



Production from a reservoir is usually accompanied by a decline in reservoir pressure. When sucient production has taken place for the pressure to fall below the oil bubble point pressure, gas initially dissolved in the oil is released from solution. The volume of solution gas released and the associated changes in oil properties have a signicant inuence on the production characteristics of the reservoir. The attached gure shows a schematic of solution gas release in an oil reservoir. The uid properties of interest in the analysis of reservoirs include: Amount of gas in solution. Oil shrinkage. Density, compressibility and viscosity of all the uids present.

These properties are determined in special laboratory tests which require representative reservoir uid samples. The properties are called PVT (pressurevolume-temperature) properties of the reservoir uids. Before considering the specic PVT parameters of interest to reservoir engineering it is necessary to review some general but basic concepts in hydrocarbon phase behavior.


Figure 5.1: Oil reservoir above and below the bubble point



All substances can exist as gases, liquids or solids. Whether a particular substance exists as a gas, a liquid or a solid (or a mixture of liquid and gas or a mixture of all three) depends on: Pressure. Temperature. Composition


Pure Hydrocarbons

For a pure hydrocarbon such as ethane, propane, butane, methane etc., temperature and pressure fully dene the state of the hydrocarbon. The state of a pure substance can be represented on a P-T phase diagram. The P-T phase diagram can be constructed by experimentally observing the behavior of the pure substance in a windowed high pressure test cell as shown in the attached gure. Over the pressure and temperature range shown in the attached gure, the vapor pressure curve, which terminates in a critical point (C), divides the P-T space into liquid and gas regions. To the right of the critical point lies a single phase super critical region. A gas at a temperature above its critical temperature, may be compressed indenitely without passing through a phase transition. 87

Figure 5.2: Surface production system for a gas reservoir

Figure 5.3: Surface production system for an oil reservoir


To the left of the critical point the uid is; liquid for points above the vapor pressure curve. vapor for points below the vapor pressure curve. mixture of liquid and vapor for points on the vapor pressure curve.

The P-T phase diagram shows that: For a liquid state at high pressure, reducing the pressure at constant temperature can result in a phase change from liquid to vapor when the pressure falls to the vapor pressure. Point F represents a liquid state at high pressure. If the pressure is reduced to the uid vapour pressure (the intersection of the line AF and the vapour pressure curve) both liquid and vapour phases can coexist. When the pressure falls below the vapour pressure to point A, the uid is in a single vapour state. For a gas state at high temperature, increasing the pressure at constant temperature can result in a phase change from vapor to liquid when the pressure increases to the vapor pressure. For pure substances at temperatures above the critical temperature changing pressure (states E to D) at constant temperature does not result in a phase change. For a gas state at temperatures below the critical temperature, state A, increasing temperature at constant pressure (states A to B) does not result in a phase change.


Hydrocarbons Mixtures

The behavior of hydrocarbon mixtures is more complex than that of a pure uid. For purposes of illustration we consider a two component mixture. The behavior of more complex mixtures is similar. The attached gure shows the P -T phase diagram for a 50:50 mixture of propane and heptane. Also plotted are the pure component vapor pressure curves. The major dierences between the P -T phase diagrams for a single component and a two-component mixture are:


Figure 5.4: Pressure-temperature diagram for ethane


Figure 5.5: Pressure-temperature diagram for ethane-heptane mixtures

1. 2.

For the mixture there now exists a two-phase region or a range of pressures over which two phases can coexist at constant temperature. The two-phase region is bound by a bubble point line and a dew point line which meet at the mixture critical point. The bubble point pressure is the pressure at which the rst bubble of gas appears as the pressure of a liquid is reduced at constant temperature. The dew point pressure is the pressure at which the rst drop of liquid appears as the pressure of a gas is increased at constant temperature.

3. 4.

Within the two-phase region are lines of constant liquid (or gas) content. The critical point is the temperature and pressure at which the properties of the liquid and vapor phases are identical. We note that for mixtures, liquid and gas phases mixtures may exist at conditions above the critical point.


The size and shape of the two-phase region and the location of the critical point vary with mixture composition.

P T phase diagrams are used to classify reservoir types. 91

Figure 5.6: Pressure-temperature diagram for a multi-component mixture


Classication of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs

Oil Reservoir
The phase diagram for a typical oil reservoir having a temperature T is shown in the attached gure. The initial condition of the reservoir (temperature and pressure) is at point A. With production the reservoir pressure will fall at constant temperature T along the line AABC. The reservoir is said to be undersaturated because the initial reservoir pressure is higher than the bubble point pressure which is at point A. As the pressure continues to fall below the bubble point pressure along the line ABC, free gas appears in the reservoir as a result of solution gas release. As the pressure continues to fall in the two-phase region, the percentage liquid volume decreases.


Figure 5.7: Pressure-temperature diagram for a reservoir oil

For an oil reservoir T , the reservoir temperature, lies to the left of the critical point.

Retrograde Condensate Gas Reservoir

The phase diagram for a typical retrograde condensate gas reservoir having a temperature T is shown in the attached gure. When pressure falls this reservoir enters the two-phase region through a dew point producing a condensate phase in the reservoir. This behavior is termed retrograde. For a retrograde condensate gas reservoir T , the reservoir temperature, lies to the right of the critical point.


Figure 5.8: Pressure-temperature diagram for a gas condensate reservoir

Figure 5.9: Pressure-temperature diagram for a gas reservoir


Gas Reservoir
The phase diagram for a typical gas reservoir having a temperature T is shown in the attached gures. When pressure falls these reservoirs do not enter the two-phase region. The reservoirs may be further classied as wet gas if the separator condition falls in the two-phase region, and dry gas if the separator condition is single-phase. For a gas reservoir T lies to the right of the two-phase region.



The following denitions refer to the PVT properties used in reservoir engineering to characterize oil and gas reservoirs. Parameter Oil Formation Volume Factor Symbol Denition Bo The reservoir volume in barrels (RB) that is occupied by one stock tank barrel (STB) of oil and its dissolved gas. The reservoir volume in barrels (RB) that is occupied by one standard cubic foot (SCF) of gas. The volume of gas in SCF dissolved in one STB of oil at a specic reservoir pressure. The fractional reduction in oil volume that results from a pressure increase of one psi. The fractional reduction in water volume that results from a pressure increase of one psi. The pressure at which the rst bubble of gas evolves from solution.

Gas Formation Volume Factor


Solution Gas-Oil Ratio Oil Compressibility



Water Compressibility


Bubble Point Pressure



Figure 5.10: Production of an oil reservoir above and below the bubble point The above properties are used to relate surface volumes (mass) to reservoir volumes. Calculation of underground withdrawal rates from surface measurements Oil and gas production rates, Qo (STB/D)and Qg (SCF/D), are measured at the surface at a time when the reservoir pressure is P . This pressure is below the bubble point pressure Pb . What are the corresponding underground withdrawal rates in (RB/D)?

The producing gas-oil ratio is R = Qg /Qo (SCF/ST B) This means that for every STB of oil which is produced at this pressure, we produce R SCF of gas at the surface. Since every STB of oil produced to the surface produces Rs SCF of solution gas, the volume of free gas produced from the reservoir is (R RS ) (SCF/STB) 96

Figure 5.11: Use of PVT properties to relate surface measured production rates to reservoir withdrawal volumes Each STB of oil produced to the surface requires the withdrawal of Bo RB of oil and is accompanied by (R Rs )Bg RB of free gas. If we produce Qo STB of oil, the total underground withdrawal is Qo (Bo + (R Rs )Bg )

Example 5.1 - Relating surface rates to subsurface withdrawals [] The oil production rate is 2500 STB/D and the gas production rate is 2.125 MMSCF/D. If the reservoir pressure at this time is 2400 psia, what are the underground withdrawal rates? If the density of stock-tank oil is 52.8 lb/ft3 and the gas gravity is 0.67 (density of air at standard conditions is 0.0763 lb/ft3 ) calculate the oil density and gas density at reservoir conditions when the reservoir pressure is 2400 psia. The PVT data at 2400 psia are; Bo =1.1822 RB/STB Rs =352 SCF/STB 97 Bg =0.00119 RB/SCF

[Answer: qo = 2956 RB/day, qg = 1482 RB/day, o =47.4 lb/cubic ft., g =7.65 lb/cubic ft.]

Solution hint To calculate reservoir uid densities use 1 STB oil and 1 SCF gas as a basis. This gives Bo and Bg as the reservoir volumes of oil and gas, respectively. Use the PVT properties and the surface densities to calculate the corresponding uid masses at reservoir conditions. Enter the correct numbers into the spreadsheet [] and see the solution. Study the spreadsheet carefully in order to fully understand the calculation of densities at reservoir conditions.


Pressure Dependence of PVT Properties

Typical relationships between PVT properties and pressure are shown schematically in the attached gure.

Solution GOR
The volume of dissolved gas decreases from Rsi , the initial solution GOR at the bubble point (Pb ), to zero at atmospheric pressure. At pressures above Pb the gas in solution remains constant at Rsi .

Oil Formation Volume Factor

Bo is generally greater than 1.0 at 0 psig because reservoir temperature is greater than the standard reference temperature of 60o F (oil expands with increasing temperature at constant pressure). Bo increases with pressure to Pb as a result of the increasing solubility of gas (the mass of the oil phase increases).


Figure 5.12: Dependence of oil PVT properties on reservoir pressure


For pressures greater than Pb , Bo decreases due to compression as pressure increases.

Gas Formation Volume Factor

Bg decreases with increasing pressure as a result of the compressibility of the gas. At reservoir conditions the volumetric behavior of gases is governed by the real gas law. P V = znRT where, P V z n R T = = = = = = pressure, psia volume, ft3 gas deviation factor, dimensionless number of moles, lb mole gas constant, 10.73 psia ft3 /o R lb mole temperature, o R (o R =o F + 460)

Taking one mole of gas at standard conditions (14.65 psia and 60 o F) and compressing it to reservoir conditions (PR psia and TR o R) gives, 14.65V1 = z1 nR(60 + 460) PR VR = zR nR(TR ) Dividing the above equations we obtain, VR 14.65 zR TR = V1 520 z1 PR Since Bg has the units RB/SCF (1 bbl = 5.615 ft3 ) and z1 = 1.0, Bg = 14.65 VR zR TR = 5.615 5.615 520 1 PR zR T R PR

Bg = 5.02 103

The compressibility factor, zR , for natural gas may be estimated from the attached gure where the compressibility factor is plotted as a function of pseudo-reduced temperature (Tpr ) and pseudo-reduced pressure (Ppr ). Tpr = T Tpc


Ppr =

P Ppc

where Tpc and Ppc are the gas pseudo-critical temperature and pseudo-critical pressure respectively. The pseudo-critical properties of a gas are a function of gas gravity and may be estimated from the attached gure.

Gas gravity
Gas gravity is the ratio of the density of a gas to the density of air at standard conditions. At standard conditions gases obey the ideal gas law and gas density may be expressed as; P V = nRT The number of moles n, may be expressed in terms of the mass of gas m, and the molecular weight of the gas M , m n= M Combining the equations gives, PV = or, g = Similarly, the density of air is, air = The gas gravity, g is thus simply, g = g Mg = air 29 m P Mair = V RT m P Mg = V RT m RT M

The molecular weight of the gas is determined from a laboratory analysis of a gas sample.


Figure 5.13: Pseudo-critical properties for natural gas and gas condensates




Single Gas Component

For a single gas component, the reduced temperature, Tr , and reduced pressure, Pr , are dened as follows: T Tr = Tc P Pr = Pc where, T Tc P Pc = = = = temperature of interest, o R critical temperature of the gas, o R pressure of interest, psia critical pressure of the gas, psia

Tc and Pc are constants for a single gas component and may be obtained from standard tables of the properties of pure gas components. Once Tr and Pr are known, the compressibility factor, z, may be read from compressibility charts and Bg in units of RB/SCF is calculated from: Bg = 5.02 103 where T is in o R and P is in psia. zT P


CRITICAL PROPERTIES OF GASES Component Molecular Weight 16.04 30.07 44.09 58.12 72.15 86.17 100.2 114.2 18.02 44.01 28.02 34.08 28.90 Tc R Pc psia 673 712 617 551 485 435 397 362

Methane Ethane Propane n-Butane n-Pentane n-Hexane n-Heptane n-Octane Water Carbon dioxide Nitrogen Hydrogen sulphide Air

344 550 666 766 847 914 972 1025

1365 3206 548 1073 227 492 673 1306 239 547



Multi-Component Gas Mixtures

A multi-component gas mixture may be treated as a single pseudo-component gas by dening appropriate pseudo critical temperature, Tpc , and pseudo critical pressure, Ppc : Tpc = Ppc = where, yi Tpc Ppc
n X 1 n X 1

yi Tci yi Pci

= mole fraction of component i in the mixture = pseudo critical temperature of the gas, o R = pseudo critical pressure of the gas, psia

The pseudo reduced temperature, Tpr , and pseudo reduced pressure, Ppr , are dened as follows: T Tpr = Tpc P Ppr = Ppc Once Tpr and Ppr are known, the compressibility factor, z, may be read from compressibility charts and Bg calculated from: Bg = 5.02 103 where T is in o R and P is in psia. Gas gravity known If the gas gravity is known, the chart may be used to estimate the gas pseudo critical properties. Note: the gas gravity may be calculated from gas composition. Gas molecular weight, Mg Mg =
n X 1

zT P

yi Mi

where Mi is the molecular weight of component i. g = Mg 29


Example Calculation Bg
Calculate the gas formation volume and gas density at reservoir conditions of 225o F and 2500 psia. The gas composition is: Component Mole Fraction Methane Ethane Propane 0.80 0.15 0.05

Solution Component Mole Fraction Tc (o R) Tc (o F ) Pc (psia) Methane Ethane Propane TOTAL


yTc 274.8 82.5 33.3 390.6

yPc 539 106 31 676

0.80 0.15 0.05 1.00

-117 90 206

343 550 666

673 708 617

R =o F + 460 1. Tpc = 391o R Ppc = 676psia 2. Tpr = T 460 + 225 = = 1.75 Tpc 391 P 2500 = = 3.70 Ppc 676

Ppr =

3. From the generalized compressibility chart, read z = 0.87 4. Bg = 5.02103 zT (0.87)(225 + 460) = 5.02103 = 1.2103 RB/SCF P 2500 106

Example Calculation - Mg , g and g

Calculate the gas molecular weight, gas gravity and the gas density at reservoir conditions of 225o F and 2500 psia. The gas composition is: Component Mole Fraction Methane Ethane Propane 0.80 0.15 0.05

Solution Component Mole Fraction Mi Methane Ethane Propane TOTAL 1. Mg = 2. g = 3. g = P Mg 2500 19.54 = = 7.64 lb/f t3 zRT 0.87 10.73 (460 + 225) Mg 19.54 = = 0.675 29 29
3 X 1

yi Mi (o F ) 12.83 4.51 2.20 19.54

0.80 0.15 0.05 1.00

16 30 44

yi Mi = 19.54


Calculation of Gas Properties

Calculate g , Bg and g at reservoir conditions of 150o F and 1500 psia. The gas composition is: Component Mole Fraction Methane Ethane Propane n-Butane 0.70 0.12 0.10 0.08

Solution Component Mole Fraction Tc (o R) Tc (o F ) Pc (psia) Methane Ethane Propane n-Butane TOTAL



0.70 0.12 0.10 0.08 1.00

-117 90 206 306

343 550 666 766

673 708 617 551

240.1 471.1 66.0 85.0 66.6 61.7 61.3 44.1 434.0 661.8

R =o F + 460 1. Tpc = 434o R Ppc = 662psia 2. Tpr = T 460 + 150 = = 1.406 Tpc 434 P 1500 = = 2.266 Ppc 662

Ppr =

3. From the generalized compressibility chart, read z = 0.75 108

4. Bg = 5.02103 zT (0.75)(150 + 460) = 5.02103 = 1.53103 RB/SCF P 1500 yi Mi (o F ) 11.2 3.6 4.4 4.6 23.8

Component Mole Fraction Mi Methane Ethane Propane n-Butane TOTAL 5. Mg = 6. g = 7. g =

3 X 1

0.70 0.12 0.10 0.08 1.00

16 30 44 58

yi Mi = 23.8

Mg 23.8 = = 0.82 29 29

P Mg 1500 23.8 = = 7.29 lb/f t3 zRT 0.75 10.73 (460 + 150)


Figure 5.14: Schematic of a laboratory PVT test cell



Laboratory tests to measure PVT parameters are carried using samples of reservoir oil at a constant reservoir temperature. The laboratory tests are conducted in high pressure windowed cells. These cells allow accurate visual measurement of oil and gas volumes in the cell at dierent pressures. The pressure in the cell is lowered by increasing the cell volume. This is achieved by removing accurately measured volumes of mercury from the cell using a calibrated high precision piston pump. The attached gure shows the essential features of the PVT test apparatus. Three specic tests are performed to characterize an oil and its associated gas: 1. 2. 3. Flash expansion test . Dierential liberation test. Separator ash expansion test.


Figure 5.15: Windowed PVT test cell


Figure 5.16: PVT laboratory at UNSW



Flash Expansion Test

A reservoir oil sample is introduced into the cell and mercury is injected to raise the cell pressure above the initial reservoir pressure, pi . The cell pressure is lowered in small steps by removing a small volume of mercury at each step. The total hydrocarbon volume, vt , in the cell is measured at each step. All cell volumes are reported relative to the volume in the cell at the bubble point pressure, pb . The following table shows a set of typical laboratory data for this test. Pressure (psia) 5000 4500 4000 3500 3330 3290 3000 2700 2400 2100 Relative Total Volume vt = v/vb (RB/RBb ) 0.9810 0.9850 0.9925 0.9975 1.0000 1.0025 1.027 1.0603 1.1060 1.1680

pi pb

This data is used to determine the bubble point pressure, pb , by noting that the total compressibility of the cell increases dramatically when gas is released from solution.


Dierential Liberation Test

This test is designed to approximate the conditions in a reservoir where gas is released from solution as the pressure falls and the released gas moves away from the oil as a result of gravity segregation. experiment starts with the cell at the bubble point pressure. The pressure in the cell is reduced in small steps by removing mercury from the cell. 113

Figure 5.17: Schematic representation of ash and dierential liberation tests


At each step the cell oil volume, vo , and gas volume, vg , are measured. The gas in the cell is then slowly displaced from the cell with mercury at constant pressure. The displaced gas volume is measured at standard conditions and the volume, Vg , is noted. The above procedure is repeated for small steps down to atmospheric pressure. Typical data produced from a dierential liberation test is shown in the table below: Pressure (psia) 4000 3500 3330 3000 2700 2400 2100 1800 1500 1200 900 600 300 14.7 14.7 Relative Gas Vol. Relative Gas Vol. Relative Oil Vol. at p and T , vg at sc, Vg at p and T , vo 0.9925 0.9975 1.0000 0.9769 0.9609 0.9449 0.9298 0.9152 0.9022 0.8884 0.8744 0.8603 0.8459 0.8296 0.7794

pb 0.0460 0.0417 0.0466 0.0535 0.0597 0.0687 0.0923 0.1220 0.1818 0.3728 200o F 60o F 8.5221 6.9731 6.9457 6.9457 6.5859 6.2333 6.5895 6.4114 6.2369 6.2297

In addition to the above data, the laboratory also reports the Cumulative Relative Gas Volumes collected at atmospheric pressure and reservoir temperature and at STC: Cumulative Relative Gas Volume at 14.7 psia and 200o F=74.9557 Cumulative Relative Gas Volume at 14.7 psia and 60o F=74.9557


Figure 5.18: Laboratory test separator


Separator Flash Expansion Test

This test is designed to approximate the surface production system. The PVT cell is brought to the bubble point pressure and connected to the separator system which may be a single separator or a series of staged separators with staged pressures and temperatures to simulate the actual production system. The cell contents are then ashed through the separator system to standard conditions. The resulting volumes of produced oil and gas are measured. The data from such tests is used to determine the oil shrinkage factor, cbf , and the initial solution GOR, Rsif . Separator Stock Tank Shrinkage GOR Pressure Pressure Factor Rsif (psia) (psia) cbf (STB/RBb )) (SCF/STB) 200 150 100 50 14.7 14.7 14.7 14.7 0.7983 0.7993 0.7932 0.7834 512 510 515 526



Procedure for calculating PVT parameters from laboratory data

The above data can be used to compute the PVT properties for the tested oil and gas. The procedure involves the following steps: 1. 2. Plot the ash expansion data, p vs vt , to determine the bubble point pressure. Use the dierential ash data to compute Bg . Eqns.(4.44.6) may be manipulated to yield, 1 vg Bg = 5.615 Vg Use the dierential ash data to compute the cumulative relative gas volume, F , liberated from the cell at every pressure step; Fp = 4.
pb X p



Use the dierential ash data and the oil shrinkage factor, cbf , to compute Bo , " # vo RB RB/RBb Bo = = STB cbf STB/RBb Use the dierential ash data, the oil shrinkage factor, cbf and the cumulative gas liberated, F , to compute Rs ,


Cumulative Gas Liberated at pressure p

= Total Gas in - Gas in solution solution at pressure p

STB SCF SCF 1 RBb F 5.615 = (Rsif Rs ) RBb STB cbf STB STB

The following example illustrates the application of the above procedure.


Example 5.2 - Calculation of PVT properties from laboratory PVT data [] Using the Flash expansion, dierential liberation and separator ash expansion data discussed in the previous sections, determine the following as a function pressure at reservoir temperature: 1. Bubble point pressure 2. Oil compressibility above the bubble point 3. Oil formation volume factor 4. Solution gas-oil ratio 5. Gas formation volume factor 6. Gas compressibility Determine the above properties for the optimum surface operating condition. [Answer: Open]




Fluid samples for PVT analysis are collected early in the life of a reservoir. The reservoir is usually sampled in one of two ways; 1. sub-surface sampling 2. surface sampling. Irrespective of the sampling method used, the problems of obtaining a truly representative sample of reservoir oil are the same. If the reservoir is undersaturated (reservoir pressure is above the bubble point pressure) and the well production rate is suciently low for the pressure in the vicinity of the wellbore to be everywhere above the bubble point pressure, the oil owing into the wellbore is reservoir oil and the sample is representative. If the reservoir is saturated (initial reservoir pressure is equal to the bubble point pressure), the pressure in the vicinity of the wellbore will be below the bubble point pressure and gas will come out of solution as the oil ows to the wellbore. Under these conditions the oil sample may not be representative. If the sample is to be representative, the oil owing into the wellbore must have the same solution GOR as the reservoir oil away from the well. When gas is rst released in a reservoir, the gas remains immobile until the gas saturation increases to a value called the critical gas saturation. During the period that the gas saturation is below the critical value, oil owing into the wellbore will be decient in gas. On the other hand, when sucient gas has been released for gas to become mobile, the very high mobility (low viscosity) of the gas will result in a disproportion ally high volume of gas entering the wellbore.



Gas condensate exist as a single gaseous phase at initial reservoir conditions. When reservoir pressure falls below the dew-point, a liquid phase is produced in the reservoir. Gas condensate tests are designed to measure this volume of liquid as a function of pressure - liquid dropout curve. The liquid volume is usually very small compared to the total volume of the system and in order to measure it accurately it is necessary to use special condensate PVT cells. These cells are designed to allow light to pass through the liquid and 119

Figure 5.19: Constant mass expansion test for a gas condensate

are tted with front and back windows for this purpose. Some condensate cells are made out of a solid block of sapphire to allow un obstructed viewing of the liquid phase. The most common type of test used to characterize a gas condensate is the constant mass depletion test. Since the liquid volume produced in the reservoir is small, it is immobile and remains in contact with the gas from which it was produced. The constant volume depletion test simulates this behavior. In the case of very rich condensates where the volume of liquid produced is relatively large, the liquid phase in the reservoir may become mobile. The liquid will move to the bottom of the reservoir under the action of gravity and a constant volume depletion test is more appropriate. Typical liquid dropout curves for constant mass and constant volume depletion tests are shown in the attached gure. The richer the gas condensate, the more liquid is produced and the greater the dierence between the liquid dropout curves.


Figure 5.20: Constant volume expansion test for a gas condensate



Gas hydrates are solid, semi-stable compounds which sometimes plug natural gas owlines, processing and measuring equipment, and pipelines. Hydrates consist of geometric lattices of water molecules containing cavities lled with gas - a solid foam. Gas hydrates form when hydrocarbon gases come into contact with water at temperatures below 35o C. A typical phase diagram for a hydrate forming gas-water system is shown in the attached gure. The temperature for hydrate formation is reduced by the addition of inhibitors such as methanol, ethanol, ethylene glycol diethylene glycol and triethylene glycol. The attached sheet provides a guide to temperature reduction which may be expected from the use of the dierent additives. More accurate predictions require the use of special equations of state designed specically for this purpose.


Figure 5.21: Liquid drop-out curves for a gas condensate

Gas Hydrates
Solid, semi-stable compounds which sometimes plug natural gas flowlines, processing equipment and pipelines Geometric lattices of water molecules containing cavities filled with gas Formed when hydrocarbon gases are in contact with water at temperatures below 35C Temperature for hydrate formation is reduced by the addition of inhibitors such as Methanol, Ethanol, Ethylene Glycol, Diethylene Glycol and Triethylene Glycol

Figure 5.22: A simple summary of gas hydrates


Figure 5.23: Gas hydrate co-existence curves. H-hydrate, G-gas, L1-water, L2liquid hydrocarbon, I-ice

Figure 5.24: Comparison between measured and calculated hydrate curves for a gas with MEOH inhibitor


Figure 5.25: Eect of dierent inhibitors on hydrate formation



Surface tension between two uids is an important parameter in reservoir analysis because it determines the manner in which uids move through reservoir rock. Surface tension may exist between water and oil phases, water and gas phases and between gas and oil phases. Surface tension may be measured at reservoir conditions using the pendant drop method. A typical test setup is shown in the attached gure. The surface tension is given by, = where, g De , Ds H = = = = density dierence for the two uids gravitational acceleration drop diameters as shown in the attached gure tabulated function of Ds /De gDe H


Estimating Surface Tension

The surface tension between two uids is a function of pressure, temperature and composition of the phases. The surface tension of hydrocarbon mixtures may be 124

Figure 5.26: Pendant drop tensiometer


estimated using the parachor method. For a pure liquid in equilibrium with its vapor, L V 1/4 = Pch M where, Pch L , V M = = = = parachor phase densities, gm/cm3 surface tension, dynes/cm molecular weight

Parachors account for intermolecular forces and are predicted from the structures of molecules. A correlation for the parachor with molecular weight is given in the attached gure. For mixtures the surface tension is given by, 1/4 = where, Pchi xi , yi L , V ML , MV = = = = = parachor for component i in the mixture mole fraction of component i in the liquid and vapor phases phase densities, gm/cm3 mixture surface tension, dynes/cm phase molecular weights

Pchi xi

L V yi ML MV



Several useful correlations exist for estimating reservoir uid properties in the absence of laboratory data. Examples of these correlations are given in attached gures. Computer based correlations Many of the available graphical correlations of uid properties have been computerized which makes their use particularly easy. An example of such a program is given in the le


Figure 5.27: Surface tensions for hydrocarbons at atmospheric pressure

Example 5.3 - Estimation of reservoir uid properties [] The following estimates are made of reservoir and produced uid properties from a DST on an exploration well. What are the reservoir properties of the oil, water and gas? TR PR PS TS AP I GOR g C N aCl = = = = = = = = = 200 3330 115 60 30 510 0.75 100 6 F psia psi o F o API SCF/STB (air= 1) (water salinity in units of kg/m3 ) (water salinity in units of 10,000 ppm)

[Answer: open the spread-sheet, enter the appropriate input values and see]


Figure 5.28: Parachors for hydrocarbons


Figure 5.29: Standing correlation for reservoir oils

Figure 5.30: Viscosity of saturated crude oil


Figure 5.31: Viscosity of reservoir brine


Figure 5.32: Viscosity of hydrocarbon gases at atmospheric pressure

Figure 5.33: Ratio of viscosity at reservoir pressure to viscosity at atmospheric pressure for hydrocarbon gases


Problem 5.1 - Calculation of PVT properties from laboratory PVT data A laboratory PVT cell contained 280.0 cm3 of reservoir liquid at its bubble point of 2000 psia at 140o F. A volume of 18.8 cm3 of mercury was withdrawn from the cell and the pressure fell to 1600 psia. Mercury was then reinjected at constant temperature and pressure to displace the gas from the cell. This left 263.5 cm3 of liquid in the cell and resulted in the collection of 0.129 SCF of gas. The process was repeated, reducing the pressure to 14.7 psia and the temperature to 60o F. Then 0.388 SCF of gas were removed from the cell and 205.9 cm3 of liquid remained in the cell. Determine the following: 1. Bob and Rsi . 2. Bo , Bg , Rs and z at 1600 psia. [Answer: Bob = 1.3599 RB/STB, Rsi = 399.2 SCF/STB, Bo = 1.2797 RB/STB, Bg = 0.001721 RB/SCF, Rs = 299.6 SCF/STB,] solution hints If you can do this without using the spread-sheet you have a good understanding of PVT properties.



When a volume of oil is produced from a reservoir, the space originally occupied by the produced oil volume must now be occupied by something else. Unless uid is injected, the production of oil must result in a decline in reservoir pressure. The decline in reservoir pressure can cause; inux of uid from an adjoining aquifer or gas cap. expansion of uids in the reservoir. expansion of reservoir rock grains - reduction of pore volume. There is therefore a relationship between the rate of production and the rate of decline of reservoir pressure. Material balance equations express this dependence in mathematical form. The material balance equation is the basic reservoir engineering analysis tool used to examine past reservoir performance and to predict future performance.

The diagrams in this section are best viewed on the electronic version of the course notes. You may wish to make colour prints of these gures.





Figure 6.1: Schematic of a combination reservoir



Most material balance equations are written in terms of the original volume occupied by the oil. The volume originally occupied by produced oil may now be occupied by; 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. expansion of an adjoining gas cap (if one is present). volume of gas released by oil (if reservoir pressure falls below the bubble point). volume of oil remaining in the reservoir. volume occupied by expansion of rock grains - pore space compressibility. volume occupied by expansion of connate water. inux of water from an adjoining aquifer (if the aquifer is strong enough).

It should be understood that the attached diagram is for illustrative purposes and is not intended to imply that the materials in the reservoir are segregated in the manner shown. Under some conditions, however, gas released from solution will segregate to the top of the structure. Some of the released solution gas will always be evenly distributed throughout the reservoir, as are the expansions of rock and connate water. 134

Figure 6.2: Material balance on the pore space occupied by the original oil volume


Gas Cap Expansion

If a gas cap is present, and the reservoir pressure drops, the gas cap will expand to replace some of the volume initially occupied by the produced oil. Gas cap expansion = where, G Gpc Bg Bgi = = = =


(G Gpc )Bg
| {z

gas volume at lower pressure


initial gas volume

| {z }

original gas cap gas volume, [SCF] cumulative gas production from the gas cap, [SCF] gas formation volume factor at current pressure, [RB/SCF] gas formation volume factor at original reservoir pressure, [RB/SCF]

Note that if Gpc is large, the gas cap may actually shrink rather than expand.Gas cap shrinkage should never be allowed because it always results in a loss of oil recovery. The above equation may be written as, VGCE = (G Gpc )Bg GBgi 135

Figure 6.3: Gas cap expansion volume Example 6.1 - Calculation of gas cap expansion [] Calculate the change in the size of the gas cap after 20% of the gas cap gas has been produced while the reservoir pressure had dropped from 1225 psig to 1100 psig. The gas cap originally contained 21.3 109 SCF. Data: G = 21.3 109 Bgc at 1225 psig = 0.002125 Bgc at 1100 psig = 0.002370 [SCF] [RB/SCF] [RB/SCF]

Solution 1. At 1100 psig the gas cap containing 0.8 times the original gas cap volume i.e., G = 0.8Gi 2. VGCE = (G Gpc )Bg GBgi VGCE = 4.88 106 RB

VGCE = (0.8 21.3 109 0) 0.002370 21.3 109 0.002125 i.e., the gas cap has actually shrunk. This would allow about 5 MMRB oil to migrate into the gas cap, a zone originally free of oil. This would result in a loss of about 1MMRB of oil. We would not allow this to actually happen in the actual reservoir. 136

Example 6.2 - Calculation of gas cap expansion [] Calculate the change in gas cap size for the reservoir of Example-1 if the reservoir pressure had dropped from 1225 psig to 900 psig at the time that 20% of the gas was produced. Data: G = 21.3 109 Bgc at 1225 psig = 0.002125 Bgc at 900 psig = 0.002905 [SCF] [RB/SCF] [RB/SCF]

Solution 1. At 900 psig the gas cap cumulative production is i.e., Gp = 0.2Gi 2. VGCE = (G Gpc )Bg GBgi VGCE = (0.8 21.3 109 0) 0.002905 21.3 109 0.002125 VGCE = 4.24 106 RB i.e., the gas cap has expanded into the oil zone and no oil is lost to the gas zone.


Figure 6.4: Released solution gas volume


Released Gas Volume

If the reservoir pressure falls below the bubble point pressure gas will be released from solution. At any time during the production of a reservoir, the gas originally in solution can be placed into three categories; 1. 2. 3. gas remaining in solution gas released from solution and produced from the reservoir gas released from solution but remaining in the reservoir.

On this basis we write, Released gas volume = where, N Np Rsi Rs Bg = = = = =



N Rsi Bg
| {z

gas originally in solution

(N Np )Rs Bg
gas still in solution


Gps Bg

produced solution gas

| {z }

original oil volume, [STB] cumulative oil produced, [STB] original solution gas-oil ratio, [SCF/STB] solution gas-oil ratio at current pressure, [SCF/STB] gas formation volume factor at current pressure, [RB/SCF]

The above equation is usually written as, VRSG = {N Rsi (N Np )Rs Gps }Bg 138

Example 6.3 - Calculation of released solution gas volume [] Cumulative oil production for our example reservoir was 14.73 106 STB at the time when reservoir pressure was 900 psig. At the same time cumulative production of solution gas was 4.05 109 SCF. Calculate the reservoir volume occupied by released gas. Data: N Rsi at 1225 psig Rs at 900 psig Bg at 900 psig = = = = 90.46 106 230 169 0.002905 [STB] [SCF/STB] [SCF/STB] [RB/SCF]

Solution VRSG = {N Rsi (N Np )Rs Gps }Bg VRSG = {(90.46 230 (90.46 14.73) 169 4050) 106 } 0.002905 VRSG = 11.5 106 RB


Figure 6.5: Remaining oil volume


Remaining Oil Volume

The oil volume remaining in the reservoir is simply, Reservoir{z volume = (N Np )Bo oil | }

oil still in reservoir


where, N Np Bo = original oil volume, [STB] = cumulative oil produced, [STB] = oil formation volume factor at current pressure, [RB/STB]

The above equation is written as, VROV = (N Np )Bo


Example 6.4 - Calculation of remaining oil volume [] What is the remaining reservoir oil volume for the previous example at 900 psig. Data: Bo at 900 psig = 1.104 [RB/STB]

Solution VROV = (N Np )Bo VROV = (90.46 106 14.73 106 ) 1.104 VROV = 83.63 106 RB


Figure 6.6: Rock and connate water expansion volume


Rock and Connate Water Expansion

The expansion of rock and connate water are combined into one term and expressed as the formation compressibility cf . cf is dened as the fractional change in pore volume per psi change in reservoir pressure. The pore volume can be expressed in terms of the original oil volume, as is required for material balance calculations. original oil volume = N Boi = Vp Soi = Vp (1 Swi ) where, N Boi Vp Soi Swi or, Vp = = = = = = original oil volume, [STB] oil formation volume factor at initial pressure, [RB/STB] reservoir pore volume, [RB] initial oil saturation initial or connate water saturation

N Boi 1 Swi


The total amount of rock expansion is calculated by utilizing the denition of compressibility; 1 V c= V P from which we have V = cV P

Rock expansion = formation compressibility pore volume pressure change



Rock expansion = cf

where, cf p1 p


N Boi (pi p) 1 Swi

= formation compressibility, [vol/vol/psi] = initial reservoir pressure, [psig] = current reservoir pressure, [psig]

The total amount of connate water expansion is given by,


Water expansion = water compressibility water volume pressure change



The initial connate water volume is given by, original connate water volume = Swi Vp = Swi where, cw Swi = water compressibility, [vol/vol/psi] = initial water saturation

N Boi 1 Swi

The connate water expansion is,


Water expansion = cw Swi



N Boi (pi p) 1 Swi

Combining the above equations, we have for rock and water expansion, VRW E N Boi = (cf + cw Swi ) (pi p) 1 Swi

For reservoirs where a gas phase is present, the rock and water expansion term is so small that it may safely be neglected. The rock and connate water term is usually only important for oil reservoirs when the oil pressure remains above the bubble point. 143

Example 6.5 - Calculation of rock and connate water expansion volume] What is the rock and water expansion volume for the previous example when the pressure falls from 1225 psig to 900 psig. Data: Swi cf cw = 0.205 = 3.0106 = 3.0106 [psi1 ] [psi1 ]

Solution VRW E N Boi = (cf + cw Swi ) (pi p) 1 Swi

VRW E = (cf + cw Swi ) (Vp ) (pi p) VRW E = (3.0 + 3.0(0.205)) 106 127.84(106 ) (1225 900) VRW E = 0.15 106 RB

We see that rock and water expansion amounts to about 1% of the released gas volume. This is usually the case in practice and rock and connate water expansion can be neglected for calculations below the bubble point.


Figure 6.7: Water inux volume


Water Inux

Unlike the above items in the material balance equation, the volume of water inux cannot be calculated directly. This is because the calculation of water inux requires information characterizing the size and strength of the aquifer and this information is not generally known with any certainty during the early production life of a reservoir. However, since we can calculate all the other terms in the material balance equation, we can determine the net water inux into the reservoir total water entering the reservoir less water produced by dierence. Net water inux = | {z }

cumulative water inux

where, We Wp Bw

e |{z}

Wp Bw

cumulative produced water

| {z }

= cumulative water inux, [RB] = cumulative water produced, [STB] = water formation volume factor at current pressure, [RB/STB]

The above equation may be written as, VN W I = We Wp Bw



General Material Balance Equation

Having analyzed all the individual terms in the material balance equation, we can write, Original oil volume = Gas cap expansion + Released gas volume + Oil volume + Rock and water expansion + Net water inux


N Boi = (G Gpc )Bg GBgi + {N Rsi (N Np )Rs Gps }Bg + N Boi (N Np )Bo + (cf + Swi cw ) (pi p) + 1 Swi (6.1) We Wp Bw Note that the two gas production terms are additive and equal to the total gas production at the surface ie., (Gpc + Gps )Bg = Gp Bg The material balance equation may be re-written as, N Boi = G(Bg Bgi ) + {N Rsi (N Np )Rs }Bg Gp Bg + N Boi (N Np )Bo + (cf + Swi cw ) (pi p) + 1 Swi We Wp Bw


One of the most important uses of the material balance equation is to calculate water inux into a reservoir. This only requires that we know the volume of initial uids in-place, reservoir pressure and cumulative oil, gas and water production. Cumulative water inux is, We N Boi = N Boi (N Np )Bo (cf + Swi cw ) (pi p) 1 Swi GBg + GBgi + Gp Bg {N Rsi (N Np )Rs }Bg +Wp Bw



Example 6.6 - Calculation of water inux from material balance [] Using the results of the Examples 2,3,4 and 5, nd the water inux when the pressure falls from 1225 psig to 900 psig. Cumulative water production at this time is 620,000 STB. Data: Wp Bw = 0.62106 = 1.0 [STB] [RB/STB]

Solution The following items were calculated in the previous examples. Ex. 2 3 4 5 Item Calculated Gas Cap Exp. Released Gas Remaining Oil Rock & Water Exp. (G Gpc )Bg GBgi {N Rsi (N Np )Rs Gps }Bg (N Np )Bo NB (cf + Swi cw ) 1Soi (pi p) wi 106 RB 4.24 11.50 83.63 0.15

Re-arranging the material balance equation to calculate We ,


N Boi = N Boi (N Np )Bo (cf + Swi cw ) (pi p) 1 Swi GBg + GBgi + Gp Bg {N Rsi (N Np )Rs }Bg +Wp Bw


We = (101.64 83.63 4.24 11.50 0.15 + 0.62 1.0) 106 = 2.74 106 RB




Each of the terms of the material balance equation represents a drive mechanism which contributes to the total energy required to produce oil from the reservoir. If we divide the overall material balance equation by N Boi we obtain,

1 =

(G Gp )Bg GBgi {N Rsi (N Np )Rs Gps }Bg + + N{z oi B N{z oi B | } | }


We Wp Bw N{z oi } B |

1 (N Np )Bo + (cf + Swi cw ) (pi p) + N Boi 1 Swi





The above equation may be written as, 1 = Igc + Isg + Ipd + Iw where, Igc Isg Ipd Iw = = = = gas cap drive index solution gas drive index pressure depletion drive index water drive index

The above indices represent the eectiveness of each drive mechanism for a particular reservoir. A reservoir for which the dominant drive mechanism is, Iw , is called a water drive reservoir. A reservoir for which the dominant drive mechanism is, Igc , is called a gas cap drive reservoir. A reservoir for which the dominant drive mechanism is, Isg , is called a solution gas drive reservoir. 148

Figure 6.8: Reservoir drive index as a function of time

A reservoir for which the dominant drive mechanism is, Ipd , is called a depletion drive reservoir. A reservoir for which more than one drive mechanism is important, is called a combination drive reservoir.


Typical Performance Characteristics for the Dierent Drive Mechanisms

The dominant drive mechanism for a particular reservoir can often be deduced from the rate of pressure decline and the trend of the producing gas-oil ratio. The trends which are observed when one of the mechanisms dominates are summarized in the following gures. Ultimate recovery is strongly inuenced by the type of drive mechanism. 1. Pressure depletion drive (uid and rock expansion) results in a rapid straight line pressure response and may be expected to recover less than 5% of the original oil-in-place. Solution gas drive pressure drops slowly at rst. As the producing GOR increases, pressure falls rapidly. Ultimate recoveries are in the range 15-30 %. 149


Figure 6.9: Reservoir pressure as a function of cumulative oil production

Figure 6.10: Producing GOR as a function of cumulative oil production


Figure 6.11: Producing characteristics of gas cap drive reservoirs


Water drive pressure declines rapidly at rst, but the decline rate decreases as water inux from the aquifer increases. The producing GOR remains approximately constant and ultimate recoveries are 50% or more.


Figure 6.12: Producing characteristics of solution gas drive reservoirs

Figure 6.13: Producing characteristics of water drive reservoirs




Average Reservoir Pressure


The material balance equation describes the whole reservoir in terms of average reservoir pressure, initial volumes of oil, gas and water in-place and cumulative oil, water and gas production volumes. In order to use the material balance equation it is necessary to determine average reservoir pressure for the time (cumulative oil, water and gas production) when the material balance equation is to be applied. Direct measurement of average reservoir pressure would require that all the wells are shut-in and that the bottom-hole pressure is measured at a time after shut-in which is suciently long for all the pressure gradients in the reservoir to equalize. This may take months to years (depending on reservoir permeability) and result in considerable loss in revenue because of lost production. The direct measurement approach is therefore impractical. Pressure data obtained from a pressure buildup test can be used to estimate the average pressure in the volume or area drained by the tested well. These tests require short test times (hours to days) and allow reservoir pressure to be mapped over the eld. The mapped pressures may be averaged to give the average reservoir pressure as, P pj Vp j p= P (6.6) Vp j

where pj and Vp j are the drainage area pressure and pore volume drained by well j.


Knowns and Unknowns

When solving the material balance equation the parameters may be classied into the following groups of knowns and unknowns. knowns unknowns Np N Gp G Wp We Swc p (Bo , Bg , Rs ) cw cf Bw 153

The PVT properties (Bo , Bg , Rs ) may be considered to be known if the average reservoir pressure is known and representative uid samples have obtained and analysed. This reduces the number of unknowns to ve but we have only one equation. This is the central problem with the use of the material balance equation. Before considering specic examples of the application of the material balance equation, lets consider some of the parameters in the material balance equation. Knowns Np - this is usually known because oil is the primary production target which is sold to generate revenue. Gp , Wp - cumulative gas and water production be unknown for older oil and gas elds because they had little or no value at the time of production. When these are unknown it is not possible to perform material balance calculations for the reservoir. Swc - is usually considered to be accurately known from petrophysical evaluation. cw , Bw - these are known, or may be estimated, from laboratory tests on formation brine. Unknowns N, G - volumetric estimates of the original oil and gas-cap volumes in-place are always known from the eld appraisal stage. These are disregarded as soon as production-pressure data becomes available and an attempt is made to estimate in-place volumes from material balance calculations. This is because volumetric estimates include all the mapped hydrocarbon volume, whereas material balance calculation provides the eective volume or the volume which contributes to actual production. This will usually be smaller than the volumetric estimate due to compartmentilization of the reservoir by faults or low permeability zones. We - this is probably the greatest unknown in reservoir development - whether there has been any water inux or not. One of the most important uses of material balance calculations is to estimate water inux. p - although we usually consider reservoir pressure to be known, problems with the interpretation of pressure buildup test data may introduce serious errors and there may be considerable uncertainty in estimates of average reservoir pressure. cf - pore volume or formation compressibility is usually considered to be small and constant. In some cases it may be large and variable. When it is large, compaction may form a major part of the reservoir drive energy and usually leads


to considerable subsidence at the surface. This may be of little consequence on land in remote areas but may cause serious problems for operations oshore.

Problem 6.1 Calculating water inux from material balance for history matching aquifer performance The rst step in characterizing or history matching an aquifer is to calculate water inux from available production and pressure data. You will be performing this history match in the reservoir engineering course which follows from the present course. After the aquifer has been characterized, the resultant aquifer model is attached to a numerical reservoir simulation model which is used to predict future reservoir performance. The reservoir for this exercise is a small oshore oil eld which has been on-stream for only 700 days. The eld was shut-in for a 250 day period for upgrading of the gathering system and production facilities. There was a strong and clear aquifer response to the shut-in (use Mathcad to plot the eld pressure as a function of time to see the response). The eld production history is given in the table below. PRODUCTION HISTORY Time P Np Gp (day) (psia) (MMSTB) (BSCF) 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 4217 3915 3725 3570 3450 3390 3365 3600 3740 3850 3900 3920 3720 3650 3640 0.00000 0.34270 0.63405 1.06898 1.36788 1.64397 1.91465 1.91465 1.91465 1.91465 1.91465 1.91465 2.11402 2.24921 2.33133 0.00000 0.17821 0.32970 0.55587 0.71130 0.85487 0.99562 0.99562 0.99562 0.99562 0.99562 0.99562 1.09929 1.16959 1.21229 Wp (MMSTB) 0.00000 0.00000 0.00121 0.02636 0.07041 0.12218 0.17304 0.17304 0.17304 0.17304 0.17304 0.17304 0.20368 0.25094 0.31690


The initial oil in-place is estimated (volumetrically) to be 33.2 MMSTB. Reservoir system properties were estimated to be: cf = 5106 psi1 cw = 3106 psi1 Swc = 0.248 PVT data for the reservoir oil is given in the following table. PVT DATA P Bo Rs Bg Bw (psia) (RB/STB) (SCF/STB) (RB/SCF) (RB/STB) 3365 3465 3565 3665 3765 3865 3965 4065 4165 4265 1.2511 1.2497 1.2483 1.2469 1.2455 1.2441 1.2427 1.2413 1.2399 1.2385 510 510 510 510 510 510 510 510 510 510 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0

Reservoir temperature is 210o F and the gas gravity is 0.69. Determine the cumulative water inux for each of the 50 day time periods in the production history table. Solution hint You need to calculate a cumulative water inux volume for each 50 day period (a total of 14 calculations). Each calculation is identical to the calculations performed in Examples 6-1 to 6-6. You can simply use [] to do the calculation for each period. Alternatively, you could modify [] to readin the production data and do the 14 calculations in one pass or prepare your owm spreadsheet using whatever software you are most comfortable with. [Answer: We at 700 days is 2.778 MMRB]




When water inux from the aquifer is small or negligible (small ineective aquifer, weak to moderate aquifers during early stages of production when the aquifer response is small) there is negligible water production and the material balance equation reduces to, N Boi 0 = N Boi (N Np )Bo (cf + Swi cw ) (pi p) 1 Swi GBg + GBgi + Gp Bg {N Rsi (N Np )Rs }Bg


If the original gas cap volume may be estimated from a volumetric calculation, the formation compressibility is known, and reliable production-pressure data is available, the only unknown is the original oil in-place, N . This provides a very valuable check on the volumetrically determined value. As discussed previously, the material balance derived value of N may be more reliable than the volumetrically determined volume.

Prediction of future reservoir pressure After the original oil in-place has been established, the material balance equation may be used to predict future reservoir pressure if future cumulative production can be estimated. The main diculty with this procedure is estimating the volumes of gas and water which will accompany the specied oil production volume. If all the produced oil and water is reinjected, this diculty is eliminated.


Problem 6.2 - Calculation of original oil in-place using material balance equation [] The discovery pressure of a reservoir containing a gas cap was 3330 psia. Geological evidence suggests that aquifer quality is poor and that water inux into the reservoir is likely to be negligible. The reservoir was produced until the reservoir fell to 2700 psia. Cumulative oil production at this time is 11.503 MMSTB and cumulative gas production is 14.206 BSCF. The volumetric estimates of the original oil-in-place, (N ), is 105 MMSTB and the initial gas cap volume is 81.14 BSCF. Does the material balance calculation conrm this estimate? Data: Swi cf cw = 0.21 = 3.0106 = 3.0106 [psi1 ] [psi1 ]

[Answer: 113 MMSTB]

Solution hints The material balance equation is explicit in N , so we could rearrange it and solve directly for N - you can do this if you like. An alternative way is to solve the material balance equation by trial and error ie., guess a value of N which makes both sides of the material balance equation equal. If you use [] you will see the I have simply rearranged [] to allow me to enter a value of N and see the sum of the drive indices with the drive index for water set to zero (closed reservoir condition). The value of N which makes the drive indices sum to one is the correct oil-in-place.




The material balance equation for a closed gas reservoir is so simple that it may be solved graphically. The graphical solution method is commonly referred to as the P/z-plot. The plot can be used to estimate the original gas in-place and to predict future reservoir pressure given a production forecast. The general material balance equation for a closed gas reservoir reduces to; GBgi = (G Gpc )Bg Since Bg is given by, Bg = 5.02 103 zT P

we can write for the above material balance equation (where reservoir temperature is assumed to remain constant), G 5.02 103 which may be rearranged to, G or, P G z or,

zi T Pi

= (G Gp ) 5.02 103

zT P

zi z = (G Gp ) Pi P

P = (G Gp ) z

P P = z z

1 P Gp G z i

The above equation results in a straight line relationship between (P/z) and Gp . The straight line on a (P/z)Gp plot passes through (P/z)i at Gp = 0 and through G at (P/z) = 0. The straight-line relationship is very useful in estimating the initial volume of gas-in-place (G) from limited production history.


Figure 6.14: p/z plot for a closed gas reservoir

Example 6.7 - Calculation of initial gas in-place for a closed gas reservoir [] Estimate the initial gas content, G, for a closed gas reservoir having the following production history. Pressure Cumulative Gas Gas Deviation (psig) Production (MMSCF) Factor (z) 3500 3350 3200 3050 2750 0 46.7 125.0 203.5 380.0 0.84 0.82 0.81 0.80 0.78



1. Calculate P/z for each pressure point and plot against cumulative production, Gp . Pressure Cumulative Gas Gas Deviation (psig) Production (MMSCF) Factor (z) 3500 3350 3200 3050 2750 0 46.7 125.0 203.5 380.0 0.84 0.82 0.81 0.80 0.78 P/z (psig) 4166.7 4085.3 3950.6 3812.5 3525.6

2. Draw the best-t straight line through the data and extrapolate to P/z = 0. The intercept at P/z = 0 is the initial gas in place, G. To see this plot open []. G = 2400 MMSCF.


Figure 6.15: Material balance for a gas reservoir


Water Drive Gas Reservoirs

When a gas reservoir is in contact with a signicant aquifer, water inux will occur as the reservoir pressure declines with production. The material balance for such a reservoir may be written as, GBgi = (G Gp )Bg + We Wp Bw This equation can be solved for water inux, We = GBgi (G Gp )Bg + Wp Bw If G can be evaluated volumetrically and if the eld production data is known (Gp and Wp ) at corresponding reservoir pressures, the material balance equation can be used to calculate the cumulative water inux at these times.


Figure 6.16: p/z plot for a gas reservoir experiencing water inux

Example 6.8 - Production history of a water drive gas reservoir [] The following pressure production data were recorded for a gas reservoir. Can we estimate G from this data? Pressure Cumulative Gas Gas Deviation (psig) Production (MMSCF) Factor (z) 3500 3350 3200 3050 2950 0 52 155 425 880 0.84 0.82 0.81 0.80 0.79

[Answer: yes, G= 2.67 TSCF]

Solution hint Even if the aquifer is active, it takes time for the aquifer to respond to the decrease in reservoir pressure. This means that early in the life of the reservoir will behaive like a closed system. The early data should therefore plot as a straight line on a 163

P/z-plot. Extrapolating this plot to zero pressure will therefore give a realistic estimate of the original gas-in-place. I have setup the spreadsheet [] to allow you to select the points through which to t the straight line.

Problem 6.3 - Calculation of water inux for a gas reservoir [] For the water drive gas reservoir of the previous example calculate the cumulative water inux corresponding to the times at which cumulative gas production is given. Cumulative water production is zero for the period and the reservoir temperature is TR = 275 o F. [Answer: 0, 0, 0.016, 0.192, 0.569 MMRB]

Solution hint Do this any way you like. I used [] from the previous example and added a calculation for Bg from z and the material balance equation for a water drive gas reservoir.



Reservoir engineering calculations require a knowledge of certain basic rock properties. These include: 1. 2. 3. 4. Porosity. Permeability. Rock compressibility. Saturation dependent properties. Relative permeability. Capillary pressure. Wettability. In this section we look at the basic properties - porosity, permeability and compressibility. The saturation dependent properties will be considered in the next chapter.


Denition The total fraction of the bulk volume which is void space

Parameter Symbol Porosity


well sorted sandstone 21.5%

poorly sorted sandstone 1%

Figure 7.1: Eect of grain size distribution on porosity

Porosity is important in determining the volume of oil and/or gas which will be contained in a reservoir for reservoirs of interest, is in the range 0.05 0.40. porosity is a strong function of grain size distribution but only a weak function of grain size itself. for sandstones sedimentological processes are important. For limestones porosity is determined by changes after deposition - dissolution and fracturing. Porosity for both sandstones and limestones can be greatly modied by postdepositional events or digenesis. Cementation, chemical action, and fracturing are events which can modify the original porosity of rocks. The original porosity of a formation is usually refereed to as primary porosity. Porosity modied by post-depositional processes is referred to as secondary porosity. The attached gures show the eect dispersed nes (particulate kaolinite, porelining chlorite and pore-bridging illite) aect primary porosity. Eective porosity and permeability may be greatly reduced by deposition of ne particulate minerals in the pore space. 166

Figure 7.2: Schematic of a clean well-sorted sandstone


Eective and Total Porosity

Porosity is divided into two categories; eective porosity interconnected pore space. disconnected porosity this porosity is inaccessible to ow and is of no interest because it is not accessible to ow of uids and therefore does not contribute to hydrocarbon production. Total porosity is the sum of eective and disconnected porosity. The total porosity, t , is given by, t = total pore volume bulk volume grain volume = bulk volume bulk volume

Eective porosity, , is given by, = eective or connected pore volume bulk volume 167

Discrete- particle kaolinite

Pore- lining chlorite

Pore- bridging illite

Figure 7.3: Common types of dispersed shales, clays and nes and their eect on porosity

Conventional laboratory experiments used to determine porosity are all based on introducing uids into the pore space. They therefore all measure eective porosity.


Laboratory Measurement of Porosity

The most common method employed to measure porosity is based on Boyles law. The equipment used is called a Boyles law porosimeter and is shown schematically in the attached gure. The apparatus and measurement procedure consists: 1. Two cells of accurately known volume, V1 and V2 , are connected and at atmospheric pressure, pa . The clean and dry core sample is placed in the second cell. Valve B is closes and cell 1 is pressured with gas G through valve A to an absolute pressure (p1 + pa ). This pressure is recorded and valve A is closed. This is referred to as Condition I. Valve B is opened and the two cells are allowed to equilibrate. The equilibrium absolute pressure, (p2 + pa ), is recorded. This is called Condition II.




Figure 7.4: SEM micrograph of pore-lling authigenic kaolinite (x1000)

A mole balance at Condition I and Condition II gives,

moles of gas in cells 1 and 2 = moles of gas in cells 1 and 2 at Condition I at Condition II Assume an isothermal expansion process, and pressures suciently low so that the ideal gas law applies. The grain volume of the sample is Vs . The ideal gas law is written as, pV n= RT where, p T V n R = = = = = absolute pressure absolute temperature volume moles of gas universal gas constant


Figure 7.5: SEM micrograph of chlorite (feldspar) lined pore (x1000)

Figure 7.6: SEM micrograph of delicate bers of illite bridging pores (x1000). These bers may break-o at high ow rates and block pores


Figure 7.7: SEM micrograph of pore lling kaolinite plates (x1000).

Using the ideal gas law we write, for the above word equation, (p1 + pa )V1 pa (V2 Vs ) (p2 + pa )V1 (p2 + pa )(V2 Vs ) + = + RT RT RT RT Solving for the grain volume, Vs , gives, Vs = V1 + V2 p1 V1 p2

Note that the pressures p1 and p2 are gauge pressures as read in the actual experiment. Porosity is calculated from the equation, = Vb Vs Vb

where the bulk volume of the sample, Vb , is either determined from measurements of the sample dimensions (core plugs) or by measuring the displaced liquid volume when the sample is immersed in a non-wetting liquid such as mercury. 171

Figure 7.8: Solution and fracture porosity in limestones

Figure 7.9: Boyles law porisometer


Figure 7.10: Schematic of Boyles law porisometer test procedure

Example 7.1 - Determination of the porosity of a core plug using helium porosimetry [] Given the diameter and length of a cylindrical core plug; D L = 2.5 cm = 4 cm

and the following measured porosimeter pressures and parameters; V1 V2 p1 p2 = = = = 25 cm3 50 cm3 100.03 psig 41.79 psig

Calculate the porosity of the plug. [Answer: 0.23]



kA P L P

A q q

Figure 7.11: Datcys law and permeability


Symbol Denition k A measure of the ease with which uid ows through a porous rock

Parameter Permeability

Permeability is important in determining the rate at which oil and gas will ow to the wellbore Permeability will usually vary over several orders of magnitude in the same reservoir. The variation in permeability (heterogeneity) has a great eect on oil recovery for both conventional and EOR processes. reservoir rocks typically have permeabilities in the range 1 10,000 md. permeability is a weak function of grain size distribution but a strong function of pore size (throat size).


Figure 7.12: Schematic of permeameter


Measurement of Permeability

The attached gure shows a schematic of the experimental apparatus used to measure the permeability of cylindrical core samples or plugs. The steady-state ow rate (q) of a uid which completely saturates the core is directly proportional to the x-sectional area (A) over which the ow occurs, the imposed pressure gradient over the core (p/L) and inversely proportional to the viscosity of the uid. p 1 qA L The constant of proportionality is called permeability and is an intrinsic property of the rock. kAp q= L This equation is known as Darcys law and is the basic equation for calculating uid ow rates in reservoir engineering. Darcys law denes permeability as, k= qL Ap


When the variables in the above equation are expressed in Darcy units, the computed permeability has the units of darcys. A rock sample has a permeability of one darcy when; p L A q k = = = = = = pressure dierence, 1 atmosphere ow length, 1 cm x-sectional area, 1 cm2 volumetric ow rate, 1 cm3 /sec viscosity, 1 cp permeability, 1 darcy

The darcy unit is too large for most reservoir rocks and it is common practice to express permeability in terms of millidarcys. 1darcy = 1000 millidarcy = 1000 md Field Units In oil eld units the linear form of Darcys Law for the ow of an incompressible uid is written as, kAp q = 0.001127 L where, p L A q k = = = = = = pressure dierence, psi ow length, ft x-sectional area, ft2 volumetric ow rate, res. bbl/day (RB/D) viscosity, cp permeability, md


Example 7.2 - Laboratory determination of the liquid permeability of a core plug [] The laboratory has conducted a steady-state liquid permeability test on a core plug from a reservoir of interest to you. Check the laboratory calculation which suggests that the permeability of the plug is 200 md. The laboratory measured data is given below: plug diameter plug length test oil viscosity outlet pressure inlet pressure ow rate = = = = = = 2.52 cm 2 cm 1.82 cp 1 atm 2 atm 0.275 cm3 /sec

[Answer: 201 md] Solution hint Use k= qL Ap

to calculate the permeability. Since a liquid is used to measure it, the permeability is called the liquid permeability.


Example 7.3 - Calculation of eld ow rates [] The core plug in the previous example was taken from a reservoir undergoing a horizontal line drive over a ow length of 10,000 feet. Production well spacing is 1000 feet and the sand thickness is 30 feet. The reservoir oil has a viscosity of 0.8 cp. What is the well rate when the pressure dierence between injectors and producers is 500 psi? [Answer: 425 RB/day]

Solution hint Use q = 0.001127 kAp L

to calculate the rate in RB/day if you are not using Mathcad which handles mixed systems of units automatically. The constant 0.001127 arises from unit conversions. Study [] to see how Mathcad handles the unit conversions.



Laboratory Measurement of Permeability

It is usually more convenient to measure permeability in the laboratory using a gas as the working uid. Liquids may adsorb onto the rock surface and potentially change wettability which could adversely aect later experiments. Gas does not have this problem. The experiment consists of owing a gas through the core plug. Since gas is compressible, the previous equations, which are valid only for incompressible uids, must be modied. The average gas pressure () in the core is given by, p p= (p1 + p2 ) 2

where, p1 and p2 are the inlet and outlet pressures, respectively. Assuming that the gas is ideal - a reasonable assumption if the pressures are low, the product qp (equivalent to V p for a static system) is constant. We can therefore express the volumetric ow rate at the average pressure (), in terms of q the measured volumetric ow rate at atmospheric conditions (qa ), qa pa = q (p1 + p2 )/2 qa pa q= (p1 + p2 )/2 where pa is atmospheric pressure. Darcys law may be written as, q= Substituting for q gives, qa pa kA(p1 p2 ) = (p1 + p2 )/2 L which on re-arrangement gives, kA(p1 2 p2 2 ) qa = 2pa L or 2qa pa L k= A(p1 2 p2 2 ) We use this equation to calculate the gas permeability of the test plug. When his done at a number of dierent average pressures we nd that the calculated permeability is not constant but that it decreases with increasing pressure. This may appear to be a problem, particularly if we expect the permeability to be constant! 179 kA(p1 p2 ) L


The Klinkenberg Eect

The apparent decrease in measured gas permeability which occurs with increasing average owing pressure is known as the Klinkenberg eect. At very low pressures, the mean free path of gas molecules is similar to the dimensions of the pore space. Under these conditions the solid pore walls do not signicantly retard gas ow close to the pore walls because molecules spend little time at the walls (free-slip condition). For liquids and gases at very high pressure, molecules are always present at the pore walls and the velocity of the uid at the pore walls is zero (no-slip condition). The measured permeability is therefore lower than that for gases at low pressure. To correct gas measured permeabilities for the Klinkenberg eect: 1. 2. 3. Measure several gas permeabilities (kgas ) at dierent mean owing pressures, p. Plot kgas vs 1/. p Extrapolate the linear plot to innite pressure i.e. to 1/ = 0. The extrapp olated permeability is equivalent to the liquid permeability.

The variation of gas permeability with pressure is given by the equation, kgas = kliquid where b is the Klinkenberg factor. kliquid and b are determined from the slope and intercept of the plot. kliquid = intercept b= slope kliquid

b 1+ p

The Klinkenberg correction may be quite signicant for gas ow in: low permeability rocks and quite high pressures. laboratory data because pressures are low.


Problem 7.1 - Laboratory determination of the liquid permeability of a core plug using gas [] A clean core plug was mounted in a gas permeameter to measure permeability. The core was discharged to atmospheric pressure. A series of tests was made with increasing inlet gas pressure. The test data is given below. Calculate the permeability of the plug. The laboratory data is plug diameter plug length atmospheric pressure gas viscosity inlet pressure ow rate as follows: = 1.953 cm = 3 cm = 0.979 atm = 0.0182 cp = 2 atm = 0.275 cm3 /sec

Run Inlet Pressure Outlet Pressure Discharge Rate p1 (atm) p2 (atm) qa (cm3 /sec) 1 1.146 0.979 0.348 1 1.481 0.979 1.168 3 1.815 0.979 2.169 4 3.486 0.979 9.737 [Answer: 27.5 md]

Solution hint 1. Calculate the mean owing pressure, p, for each test. p= 2. (p1 + p2 ) 2

Calculate kgas for each test using Darcys law. k= 2qa pa L A(p1 2 p2 2 )

3. 4.

Plot kgas vs 1/. p Extrapolate the linear plot to innite pressure i.e. to 1/ = 0. The intercept p at 1/ = 0 is the equivalent liquid permeability. p

Open [] , check the input data and read the answer. 181

kA P R4 P q = nq c = n = 8 L L

R4 P qc = 8 L

Figure 7.13: Simple capillary tube model for a porous medium


Capillary Tube Model



In this section we examine the relationship between porosity and permeability using simple models to represent the porous medium. The simplest possible model for a porous medium is to consider a bundle of equal sized capillary tubes. This model is illustrated in the attached diagram. Although simple, the bundle of capillaries is a good model for porous medium made up of packed particles such as a sandstones. The matrix consists of a solid block having dimensions L L L. The pore space is made up of a total of n uniform capillaries of radius R and length L. Laminar (creeping) ow in a single capillary, qc , is described by the Poiseuille equation R4 P qc = 8 L where is the viscosity of the uid and P is the imposed pressure gradient.


The total steady-state ow rate, q, is simply the sum of the ows in each capillary, q = nqc = n R4 P 8 L

According to Darcys law, the ow q is given by, q= kA P L

where A is the x-sectional area of the porous medium perpendicular to the direction of ow. Equating the two equations for, q, gives kA P R4 P =n L 8 L Eliminating the common parameters and rearranging to solve for permeability, k=n R4 8L2

The porosity of the simple porous medium is, = pore volume bulk volume

R2 L L3 R2 = 2 L We use this equation to express L in terms of and R. Rearranging gives, = L2 = n R2

Substituting for L2 in the equation for k gives, k= R2 8

It has been experimentally veried that permeability is well correlated to the square of particle diameter for porous media consisting of spherical particles. The unit of permeability is clearly length2 .


Dening the specic surface area per unit pore volume of the porous medium, V p , as pore surf ace area V p = pore volume n2RL V p = nR2 L 2 V p = R or 2 R= V p Substituting for R in the equation for k yields, k= 22 p V

Dening the specic surface area per unit grain volume of the porous medium, V g , as pore surf ace area V g = grain volume V g = V p pore volume grain volume 1 1

V g = V p or V p = V g Substituting into the equation for k, gives k=

1 3 2V g (1 )2

This is similar to the empirical Kozeny relation for unconsolidated porous media and forms the basis for power-law correlations or transforms between porosity and permeability for actual reservoir rocks. Actual relationships follow a power law because in real porous media V g depends on and k in a complex way. Porosity-permeability transforms are important because they can be used to convert log measured porosities to permeabilities. This is very important in reservoir characterization. 184

H q h W L
q= kA P kHW P = L L
k= 1 1 2h h = h 2 f 12 H 12 h3 W P q= 12 L

Figure 7.14: Simple model for a fractured porous medium


Fractured medium model

Consider a block of length L, height H and width W containing a fracture of height h as shown in the attached gure. The average velocity for laminar (viscous) ow in the fracture is given by, v= h2 P 12 L

The volumetric ow rate through the fracture (q = vAf = vhW ) is, q= From Darcys law we have q= kA P kHW P = L L h3 W P 12 L

Equating the two equations for q gives, k= h2 h3 = 12H 12 H h hW L h = HW L H 185

We can dene a fracture porosity as

f =

This gives k= 1 2 h f 12

Actual fractured media conrm that fracture permeability is a strong function of fracture height.



Reservoir rocks (porous rocks) are subject to two stresses: 1. Internal stress reservoir or pore pressure, P , exerted by the uids in the pore space. This stress is isotropic i.e. the same in all directions. External stress exerted by the pressure of the overburden, . This stress increases with burial depth and is anisotropic i.e. it is dierent in dierent directions.


The resultant stress, P , causes a strain or deformation of the rock. The overall result is that grain, pore and bulk volumes decrease with increasing stress. The fractional change in grain volume per unit change in rock stress is called the rock or matrix compressibility, cr . cr = 1 dVr Vr d( P )

where, Vr is the grain or matrix volume. The fractional change in total or bulk volume per unit change in rock stress is called the bulk volume compressibility, cb . cb = 1 dVr Vb d( P )

Bulk volume compressibility may be important in determining levels of ground subsidence. The fractional change in pore volume per unit change in rock stress is called the pore volume or formation compressibility, cp . cp = 1 dVp Vp d( P ) 186

Figure 7.15: Relationships between porosity, permeability and rock microstructure


Figure 7.16: Measured porosity-permeability relationships for dierent rock types

Figure 7.17: Measured porosity-permeability relationships for dierent limestones


Figure 7.18: Measured permeability-specic area relationships for dierent sandstones The matrix, bulk and pore volume compressibilities are measured in special laboratory experiments which will be described in the next section. For reservoir engineering calculations the primary interest is in the change in pore volume as reservoir or pore volume pressure changes.


Pore Volume Compressibility

Experimental measurements for sandstones and shales, in which the external rock stress () is constant, show that cr << cb . This means that, dVb dVp and since Vp = Vb , we have that cp = with cp = cf = cb 1 dVp Vp dP

where cf is the formation compressibility and is commonly used interchangeably with pore volume compressibility. The above relationships are useful in interpreting laboratory measurements. 189

Figure 7.19: Hydrostatic load cell for measuring pore volume compressibility

For actual reservoir conditions only the vertical component of external stress is constant with the stress components in the horizontal plane characterized by boundary conditions that there is no bulk deformation in these directions. Geersma (1966) showed that for these conditions, 1 cf cp 2 this shows that the eective pore volume compressibility for reservoir rocks is only one-half of the value measured in laboratory tests.


Measurement of Formation Compressibility

The apparatus shown schematically in the attached gure is used to measure rock compressibility (pore volume compressibility). The apparatus allows both the internal or uid pressure in the core and the external or overburden pressure to be varied independently. A small bore capillary tube is used to measure the changes in pore volume by measuring the volume of uid expelled from the pore space.


Figure 7.20: Porosity and permeability as a function of stress

Two types of measurements may be made: 1. Rock compaction the external pressure on the sample sheath is increased with the internal pressure held at atmospheric. The volume of liquid squeezed out into the capillary tube is directly related to the change in bulk volume of the sample. Pore volume compressibility The external pressure is maintained constant. The internal pressure is reduced in steps and the liquid produced at each pressure is noted. The volume of liquid which would have been produced had the pore space volume remained constant is readily calculated from a knowledge of the liquid compressibility. The dierence between the measured and calculated liquid volumes is the change in pore space volume.


Typical results for various reservoir rock types are shown in attached gure.



Use of Rock Compressibilities

When oil, water and gas all occupy the pore space, (), in a unit bulk volume, the volume of liquid which is expelled from the rock per unit drop in pressure may be written as, ct = So co + Sw cw + Sg cg + cf where, ct cf co , cw , cg So , Sw , Sg = = = = total compressibility formation or pore space compressibility oil, water and gas phase compressibilities oil, water and gas phase saturations

The total compressibility is used to evaluate the diusivity factor for unsteadystate ow calculations. Estimates of total compressibility are important in well pressure test analysis. When there is no oil or free gas present (aquifer zone), So = Sg = 0 and Sw = 1, we have, ct = cw + cf Typical Values Typical values of the individual compressibilities at reservoir conditions are: cf cw co cg for, Sw So Sg = 0.2 = 0.7 = 0.1 ct = So co + Sw cw + Sg cg + cf ct = 64 106 psi1 = = = = 3 106 psi1 3 106 psi1 15 106 psi1 500 106 psi1 @ 2000 psia


Figure 7.21: Porosity variation with depth in a sedimentary basin

Figure 7.22: Anisotropic stress and directional permeability


Chapter 8 FLUID FLOW


All the equations used to describe the ow of uids in reservoirs are based on Darcys law. Darcy (1856), a French engineer, investigated the ow of water through sand lters for water purication. He observed the following relationship between supercial velocity and the properties of the sand bed and uid, q k p = A L where, q A k p L = = = = = = ow rate, cross-sectional area open to ow, permeability, uid viscosity, outlet pressure - inlet pressure, distance between inlet and outlet, cc/sec cm2 darcy cp atmospheres cm

The permeability, k, is an intrinsic property of the porous medium. In the above equation the porous medium is saturated with a single uid. The linear dependence of ow rate on the pressure gradient implies laminar or viscous ow in the pore-spaces of the porous medium. This is generally true for most reservoir conditions where actual ow velocities are low. A common exception is ow close to a wellbore where, as a result of the converging nature of the ow, velocities may be high enough for turbulent or non-linear ow.


Figure 8.1: Darcys law and linear ow

The above equation is general and may be written in dierential form as, q k dp = A dx where dp/dx is the pressure gradient in the direction of ow The negative sign in the above equations indicates that pressure decreases in the direction of ow. The sign convention is therefore that distance is measured positive in the direction of ow. This is the basic equation used to analyze single phase ow in reservoir engineering.


Pressure Potential

The above form of Darcys law applies to horizontal ow where there are no gravity eects. In reservoir analysis we are often interested in vertical or inclined ow where the ow occurs in the presence of a hydrostatic gradient. In such cases it is convenient to dene a pressure potential as, =


dp gdz

where z is the vertical coordinate measured positive downward and g is the gravitational acceleration. pr is an arbitrary reference pressure, usually taken as pr = 0. 195

Figure 8.2: Pressure potential and inclined linear ow

For a reservoir dipping upward in the direction of ow with dip angle , z = x sin and the pressure potential is, =


dp gdx sin

If the reservoir uid is considered to be incompressible the potential may be written as p = gx sin An alternate denition of uid potential is = = p gz With this denition, potential has the units of pressure. Darcys law may be written as, q k d = A dx or, q k = A

dp g sin dx 196

Figure 8.3: Linear vertical ow problem

Problem 8.1 - Fluid potential and Darcys law In order to test your understanding of Darcys law and uid potential solve the problem shown in Figure 8.3. If you are not using Mathcad be careful with units.


Horizontal Linear Flow of an Incompressible Fluid

The linear ow system is depicted in the attached gure. The medium has uniform permeability, k, and is saturated with an incompressible ( is constant) uid having constant viscosity, . Darcys law is written as, q= kA p L

This equation is commonly used to evaluate ow tests in reservoir core samples and calculate rates in line drives. 197

Figure 8.4: Linear ow in parallel

Horizontal ow in parallel Consider the case where the ow system consists of a n layers having dierent thicknesses, hi , and permeabilities, ki . For a common inlet face pressure, P1 , and outlet face pressure, P2 , the pressure drop across each layer is the same and the ow rate for each layer is, qi = The total ow rate is q= or q= ki (hi w) (P2 P1 ) L
n X i=1


n w(P2 P1 ) X ki hi L i=1

Darcys law for the total ow may also be written as, q= k(hw) (P2 P1 ) L

where k is the average system permeability and h is the total thickness. Equating the two expressions for q gives,
i=1 ki hi k = Pn i=1 hi


This equation is used to determine the average horizontal permeability of a layered system. 198

Figure 8.5: Linear ow in series

Example 8.1 - Average permeability for beds in parallel [] Determine the average permeability of four parallel beds having the following thicknesses and permeabilities. Layer Thickness Horizontal Permeability (ft) (md) 1 20 100 2 15 200 3 10 300 4 5 400 [Answer: 200 md]

Horizontal ow in series Consider the arrangement where the dierent permeabilities are arranged in series. For this arrangement the ow through each layer is the same, q = qi where, q= ki (hw) Pi Li 199

where Pi is the pressure drop across slab i. This may be rewritten as, Pi = q Li hw ki

and the total pressure drop is the sum of the pressure drops in each layer, (P1 P2 ) =
n X i=1

Pi =

n q X Li hw i=1 ki

Darcys law for the series arrangement may be written as, (P1 P2 ) = where, L =

q L hw k

Li , is the total length for ow.


Equating the above equations gives, Li k = Pn i=1 i=1 Li /ki This equation is used to calculate the eective vertical permeability for a layered reservoir system.

Example 8.2 - Average permeability for beds in series [] Determine the average permeability of four beds in series having the following lengths and permeabilities. Layer Length Permeability (ft) (md) 1 250 25 2 250 50 3 500 100 4 1000 200 [Answer: 80 md]


Figure 8.6: Radial ow model


Radial Flow of an Incompressible Fluid

The radial ow system is depicted in the attached gure. This is the basic model for ow into a well and is used in reservoir engineering to evaluate well performance. The following nomenclature employed, rw re h = wellbore radius = well drainage radius = formation thickness

Flow enters the system across the outer perimeter at radius re , and leaves at the wellbore of radius rw . The volumetric ow rate, q, is constant and the ow area, A, is 2rh. Substituting into Darcys law gives, q k dp = 2rh dr Note that for radial ow pressure decreases with decreasing r.


Separating variables and integrating gives: q



dr 2kh Z pe = dp r pw 2kh(pe pw )

q(ln rw ln re ) = Solving for q, q=

2kh (pe pw ) re ln rw

This equation is widely used in reservoir engineering to calculate production and injection rates for individual wells. The equation may be written in eld units as; q = 0.00708 where, q k h pe pw re rw = = = = = = = = well rate, RB/D permeability of well drainage area, md average reservoir thickness, feet uid viscosity, cp pressure at external radius, psi wellbore pressure , psi external drainage radius, feet wellbore radius, feet kh(pe pw ) re ln rw


Figure 8.7: Pressure distribution in steady-state radial ow

Example 8.3 - Steady-state radial ow [] Calculate the maximum possible pumping rate for an oil well in a reservoir where the pressure is being maintained at 2000 psia at the drainage radius. The following data apply: k h rw re [Answer: 1114 RB/day] Solution hint Study [] carefully - you will be using it a lot. It solves a great variety of radial ow problems and does many vertical well performance calculations. Since we have only studied steady-state ow to this point, take the answer for this equation and ignore the other equations and results. The theoretical minimum owing bottom hole pressure for a pumped well is one atmosphere. = = = = = 230 10 3.5 0.5, 2000, md feet cp feet feet


Figure 8.8: Radial ow in series

Radial ow in parallel This arrangement results in the same expression for eective or average permeability as that for linear ow.

Radial ow in series Using the same reasoning as for linear ow in series yields the result,
M X log(ri )/(ri1 ) 1 1 = log(re /rw ) i=1 ki k


Figure 8.9: Radial ow in parallel


Example 8.4 - Average permeability for radial beds in series [] Determine the average permeability of four radial layers in series having the following radial distances to bed boundaries and bed permeabilities. The wellbore radius is 0.5 ft and the well drainage radius is 2000 ft. Radial Layer Radius (ft) r1 250 r2 250 500 r3 r4 1000 [Answer: 30.4 md] Permeability (md) 25 50 100 200


Wellbore Damage

Wells are always drilled with overpressure (mud pressure greater than formation pressure) to prevent inow of reservoir uids which could lighten the mud column and lead to a blowout. As a result of overpressure some of the drilling mud ows into the formation and the particles suspended in the mud partially plug the pore spaces through which uid ows. This creates a lower permeability zone or a damaged zone close to the wellbore. Wellbore damage is depicted in the attached gure, where ra is the radius of the damaged zone. The damaged zone results in an additional pressure pskin at the wellbore. This pressure drop simply adds to that for the case of no damage. For steady-state radial ow, the pressure drop for an undamaged well is given by, q= or pe pw = 2kh (pe pw ) re ln rw q re ln 2kh rw 206

Figure 8.10: Radial ow model with an altered or damaged zone

If the additional pressure drop due to the damaged zone is pskin , then the total pressure drop for a damaged well may be written as, q re pe pw = ln + pskin 2kh rw If we write, q (s) 2kh Than, for a damaged well we have a modied radial ow equation, pskin = pe pw = or q= q re ln +s 2kh rw

2kh (pe pw ) re ln rw + s

where s is the skin-factor for the well. In general, the skin-factor may be positive (a damaged well), negative (a stimulated well) or zero (undamaged well). In practice, s is determined from the interpretation of transient pressure well tests (pressure build-ups and drawdown). In the above equations the rate, q, is the reservoir or sandface rate. In application of the radial ow equation to wells we usually specify the rate at surface 207

conditions. When this is done we write the radial ow equation as, q= 2kh (pe pw ) re B ln rw + s

where B is the formation volume factor which relates surface rates to reservoir rates. It is understood that when an equation contains B the rate, q, is in surface volumes. In the absence of B, the rate is understood to be in reservoir volumes.


Figure 8.11: Skin pressure drop


Example 8.5 - Steady-state radial ow with skin [] (i) Calculate the maximum possible pumping rate for an oil well in a reservoir where the pressure is being maintained at 2000 psia at the drainage radius. A well test has shown the well to be highly damaged with a skin factor of +7. The following data apply: k h rw re = = = = = 230 10 3.5 0.5, 2000, md feet cp feet feet

(ii) What would the well rate be if the wellbore is cleaned with an acid. A successful acid job may be expected to reduce the skin factor to approximately zero. (iii) What would the rate be for a stimulated well after a frac job which is expected to achieve a skin factor of -3. [Answer: (i) 604 RB/day, (ii) 1114 RB/day, (iii) 1745 RB/day]


Relationship between s and the size of the altered zone

The skin factor for a stimulated well ,where the skin factor is negative, has an upper limit on the magnitude of the actual value which the skin factor can take. This may be demonstrated by considering the steady-state radial ow equation, q= 2kh (pe pw ) B ln re + s

If s is equal to, or greater than, ln(re /rw ), the equation produces answers which are physically impossible. This problem is removed by the introduction of the thick skin model. 210

Figure 8.12: Realatinship between skin-factor and the size of the altered zone

If the altered zone extends from rw to ra and the altered permeability is ka , and if the bulk formation permeability (from ra to re ) is k, we can use the steady-state radial ow equation to calculate the pressure drops across the altered zone and the formation, qB ra ln pa pw = 2kh rw where ra is the radius of the altered zone and pa is the pressure at ra . Also, qB re pe pa = ln 2kh ra where re is the drainage radius and pe is the pressure at re . Adding the two equations gives the pressure across the formation (pe pw ) pe pw = qB 1 re 1 ra ln + ln 2h k ra ka rw

The thin skin model expresses the above pressure drop as, pe pw = qB re ln +s 2kh rw 211

where k is the permeability of the bulk formation and s is the skin factor. This may be re-written as, qB 1 1 re pe pw = ln + s 2h k rw k Equating the two expressions for (pe pw ) gives,

1 re 1 ra + ln ln k ra ka rw

1 re 1 + s ln k rw k

This may be simplied to give, k ra s= 1 ln ka rw If ka , k/ka 0 and the equation gives ra s = ln rw

which is the upper physical limit on the value of s for a stimulated well. The skin factor for a stimulated well depends both on the permeability of the altered zone, ka , and the size of the altered zone, ra .


Eective Wellbore Radius

Another common way of expressing the skin factor is in terms of an eective wellbore radius. Again, using the steady-state radial ow equation, we have for a well with skin, 2kh (pe pw ) q= B ln re + s

We can also write this as,

q= where
0 rw

is the eective wellbore radius.


2kh (pe pw ) B ln r0e


Equating both expressions for q gives, re ln 0 rw which can be written as = ln


re +s rw

r0 ln w rw

= s


This may be simplied to,

0 rw = rw es

The eective wellbore radius concept is often used to characterize fractured and horizontal wells. For example, the eective wellbore radius for a vertical well with an innite conductivity fracture is,
0 rw = xf

where xf is the fracture half-length. The eective wellbore radius for a long horizontal well in a thin reservoir approaches that of a fractured well with a fracture half-length equal to one-quarter the length of the horizontal well,
0 rw =

L 4

where L is the length of the horizontal well.


Flow Eciency

Once a numerical value for the skin factor has been determined it can be used to determine the well ow eciency F E. This is dened as the ratio of the pressure drop at the damaged wellbore to that for an undamaged well, FE = pi pwf ps qactual = pi pwf qundamaged

When ps = 0, the well has 100% eciency.


Problem 8.2 - Skin-factor [] A pressure test conducted on a production well indicated a skin-factor of s = +3. The last owing pressure was pwf =2650 psi. The following information and uid properties apply: k = 30 md h = 40 ft. rw = 0.5 ft. re = 2000 ft. = 0.4 cp B = 1.12 RB/STB. pi = 2800 psi Calculate, 1. The pressure drop due to skin-eect. [Answer: 42 psi] 2. The ow eciency for the well. [Answer: 0.72] 3. The eective wellbore radius. [Answer: 0.025 ft.] The well is a candidate for stimulation by fracturing. If fracturing results in a skin-factor of s = 3, what would the above parameters be for the stimulated well? [Answer: -94 psi, 1.63, 10 ft.] If the fracture is estimated to aect a zone extending 15 ft. into the formation estimate the permeability of the aected zone. [Answer: 255 md.]


Figure 8.13: Transient radial ow



The basic equation which describes single phase unsteady-state ow in a radial system is the radial diusivity equation. 1 r r

k p r r

= c

p t

where c is the total system compressibility, t is time and is the uid density. The independent variables are time (t) and spatial position (r). The dependent variable is pressure (p). Pressure is a function of both space and time i.e., p = p(r, t). The partial dierential equation is non-linear because the coecients (particularly the density, ) are functions of pressure.


Figure 8.14: Pressure distribution in transient radial ow


Radial Diusivity Equation

The radial system is similar to that described for steady-state ow. We make the following assumptions: - the reservoir is homogeneous and isotropic (k is constant). - the well is fully penetrating ie., it is completed over the entire vertical section so that the ow is strictly radial. Consider the ow through a volume element of thickness dr. mass rate in mass rate out = rate of accumulation of mass q |r+dr q |r = (2rhdr) t This may be expressed as, q |r+dr q |r = 2rhdr The above may be simplied,

t () t

q |r+dr q |r dr

= 2rh


Figure 8.15: Dierential material balance for the radial diusivity equation

(q) = 2rh r t this is called the continuity equation.

Darcys law for a radial system may be written as, q= 2khr p r

Substituting into the continuity equation gives, r or

2khr p r

= 2rh t

1 r r

k p r r

This is the general form of the radial diusivity equation.


The term /t may be expressed in terms of pressure by introducing an equationof-state for the uid. Dening the isothermal compressibility of the uid as c= 1 V V p

Since = m/V , and mass m is constant, c= This may be written as, cp = p dividing both sides of the equation by t, gives c p = t t 1 p

Substituting into the previous equation gives 1 r r

k p r r

= c

p t

This is the general form of the radial diusivity equation for the ow of a single phase in a porous medium. The equation is non-linear because density, , which is one of the coecients is a function of pressure p.



Liquids Having Small and Constant Compressibility

Reservoir oil and water are relatively incompressible and the assumption of constant and small compressibility is a good model for these uids. Since we have assumed that k, , and c are constant, the diusivity equation becomes 1 p r r r r

c p k t

Using the chain rule for dierentiation, we expand the LHS of the equation, 1 r

(r) p 2p + r 2 r r r

c p k t

1 () p (r) p 2p r + + r 2 r r r r r r 1 p p 2p r + + r 2 r r r r r

c p k t

c p k t

An alternate denition for compressibility, in terms of uid density, c= or, = cp Substituting in the dierential equation 1 p p p 2p rc + + r 2 r r r r r Finally, dividing throughout by , gives 1 p rc r r This is simplied to p c r
!2 !2 !

1 p

c p k t

p 2p c p + + r 2 = r r k t

1 p 2 p c p + 2 = r r r k t


p/r is small and since c << 1, the leading term on the LHS of the above equation may be neglected and the diusivity equation becomes c p 1 p 2 p + 2 = r r r k t which may be written as

1 p r r r r

c p k t

This is the nal form of the diusivity equation for a slightly compressible uid. The equation is linear and therefore amenable to analytical solution. It forms the basis for many important reservoir analysis techniques which include transient pressure well test analysis and aquifer modeling. The equation is also written as,

1 p r r r r

1 p t

where = k/c is the hydraulic diusivity. Total system compressibility In actual applications of the above equation to single phase oil ow where the formation contains connate water and the formation is itself compressible, the compressibility, c, is the total compressibility of the system. This is determined using the following equation c = co So + cw Sw + cf where co , cw and cf are the oil, water and pore volume or formation compressibilities, respectively. So and Sw are the oil and water saturations. Typical values may be co cw cf Sw p This results in c = 14.6 106 psi1 = = = = = 10 106 psi1 3 106 psi1 6 106 psi1 0.20 3000 psi



Pseudo-Steady-State Radial Flow

The simplest solution to the radial diusivity equation (other than the steadystate solution) is for pseudo-steady-state ow. Pseudo-steady-state ow is a special form of stabilized unsteady-state ow in which the shape of the pressure prole from the wellbore to the drainage radius is independent of time, but the average drainage area pressure declines with production. The pseudo-steady state solution is important because it describes the situation of a reservoir producing by natural pressure depletion where the production for the well originates from within the wells own drainage area. No ow occurs across the drainage radius. For a reservoir producing at a constant production rate, q, by natural pressure depletion, the average pressure, p, can be calculated from a simple material balance (total compressibility of the pore-uid system). cVp (pi p) = qt where pi is the initial pressure and, t is time, c is the compressibility and Vp is the pore volume. The boundary conditions are; (i) no ow across the external boundary, r p = 0 at r = re r

(ii) pseudo-steady-state ow condition, p = constant t The value for the constant is obtained from the material balance equation written above. Dierentiating this equation we obtain, cVp (d) = qdt p or d dp p q = = dt dt cVp

2 For the radial model, Vp = re h, thus

p q = 2 t cre h 221

The radial diusivity equation is 1 p r r r r substituting for p/t, gives 1 p r r r r which simplies to
! !

c p k t


c q 2 k cre h q 2 re kh

1 p r r r r This equation may be written as p r r


q rr 2 re kh

Integrating the above equation gives, p qr2 r = + C1 2 r 2re kh The constant of integration, C1 , is easily evaluated from the rst BC i.e., rp/r = 0 at r = re q C1 = 2kh Substituting for C1 , and simplifying gives p q = r 2kh Separating variables, q p = 2kh Integrating,
pr pw

1 r 2 r re

1 r 2 r r re

q Z r p = 2kh rw

1 r 2 r r re

[p]pr pw or

q r2 = ln r 2 2kh 2re


q r r2 r2 pr pw = ln 2 + w2 2kh rw 2re 2re 222

2 2 The term rw /re is clearly negligible and the equation is written as,

q r r2 pr pw = ln 2 2kh rw 2re

The above equation is a general expression for pressure as a function of radius. The particular case of practical interest is when r = re q re 1 pe pw = ln 2kh rw 2 or q= 2kh (pe pw ) B ln(re /rw )

1 2

With the inclusion of the skin-factor the equation is q= 2kh (pe pw ) B ln(re /rw ) 1 + s 2

This equation is useful for determining well production rates. It is interesting to compare this equation to the previously derived steady-state equation, 2kh (pe pw ) q= B ln(re /rw ) + s The term ln(re /rw ) has a value typically between 6 and 7. The rates predicted by the steady-state and the pseudo steady-state equations are usually very similar (within 10%).


Flow Equations in terms of Average Reservoir Pressure

A problem with using the above radial ow equations is that although pw and q can be measured directly, the pressure at the outer drainage radius, pe , cannot. Well tests provide a measure of the average drainage area pressure and it is therefore more convenient to express the pressure drawdown in terms of the average reservoir, p. The average reservoir pressure is given by
r p = R we r

R re

pdVp rw dVp


Now, dVp = 2rhdr, so

r p = R we r

R re

p2rhdr rw 2rhdr
R re


2 2 2 Since re rw re

Z re 2 p= 2 prdr 2 re rw rw

r p = R we r

prdr rw rdr

2 Z re p= 2 prdr re rw q r r2 ln 2 pr pw = 2kh rw 2re


For pseudo-steady-state ow,


q r r2 p = pw + ln 2 2kh rw 2re

! 2 Z re 2 Z re q r r2 p= 2 pw rdr + 2 ln 2 rdr re rw re rw 2kh rw 2re ! !

2 2 2 re rw p = 2 pw re 2 2 2 2 Again, rw << re , so

2 q Z re r r2 + 2 r ln 2 dr re 2kh rw rw 2re

2 q Z re r r2 p = pw + 2 r ln 2 dr re 2kh rw rw 2re The rst term in the integrand must be evaluated by parts;


r r r2 r ln dr = ln rw 2 rw




re rw

1 r2 dr r 2



r r r2 r ln dr = ln rw 2 rw



r2 4





Again, neglecting small terms,



r r2 re r2 r ln dr = e ln e rw 2 rw 4
" #re

Integration of the second term gives;

re rw

r3 r4 dr = 2 2 2re 8re


2 re 8

The equation for average pressure becomes, 2 q p = pw + 2 re 2kh Simplifying,

2 re r2 r2 re e e ln 2 rw 4 8

q re 1 1 p = pw + ln 2kh rw 2 4 q re 3 p pw = ln 2kh rw 4

Which is the required inow equation. In the presence of formation damage or stimulation (positive or negative skin) the equation becomes q re 3 p pw = ln +s 2kh rw 4 or q= 2kh ( pw ) p B ln(re /rw ) 3 + s 4

The equation is similar to the previously derived equations of pseudo-steady-state and steady-state ow and predicts similar well rates.


Dietz Shape Factors for Vertical Wells

The pseudo steady-state equation for a well centered in a circular drainage area, q= 2kh ( pw ) p B ln(re /rw ) 3 + s 4

may be generalized for wells located anywhere in an arbitrary drainage area q= 2kh ( pw ) p q B ln( 2.2458A/(CA r2 ) + s


where CA is the Dietz shape factor which depends on the geometry of the drainage area. Values for the shape factor are given in various handbooks and texts. If re is the eective drainage radius, the drainage area, A, may be expressed as A = re 2 the pseudo steady-state solution may be written as 2kh ( pw ) p h q i q= B ln(re /rw ) 0.75 + ln( 2.2458/CA ) + 0.75 + s

This equation may be written as 2kh ( pw ) p q= B ln(re /rw ) 0.75 + sCA + s where sCA is a shape related skin-factor and is given by, sCA = ln( 2.2458/CA ) + 0.75

Problem 8.3 - Pseudo-steady-state radial ow and drainage area shape factors [] Calculate the production rate of an oil well in a 160 acre drainage area when the average pressure is 1850 psia. The following data apply: k h rw pw s Bo = = = = = = = 180 16 2.2 0.5 1230 0 1.1 md feet cp feet psia RB/STB

What would the rate be using the steady-state solution? [Answer: 721 STB/day] What would the rate be if the well was located,? (i) - at the center of a square drainage area. [Answer: 652 STB/day] (ii) - at the center of a rectangular (5:1). drainage area [Answer: 562 STB/day] (iii) - at the apex of a triangular drainage area. [Answer: 480 STB/day] 226

Shape of drainage area


1 2



4.86 30.9 2.07 31.6

1 4




0.115 27.1 60o 3.39 21.9

1/3 1 2 1 2 1 4 1 5 1







0.098 12.9 In water drive reservoirs 19.1 4.57 In reservoirs of unknown production character 25

Figure 8.16: Dietz shape factors for vertical wells


Figure 8.17: Approximating complex geometries


Approximating Complex Geometries

In cases where the ow geometry is more complex than those considered by the Dietz shape factors, it is usually possible to approximate the system using simple idealizations. An example of this is shown in the attached gure for a well completed close to the intersection of two linear sealing faults. If the angle between the faults is and the ow is assumed to be steady-state, the well rate is given by, 2kh (pe pw ) q=f B ln re




The above equation is based on the fact that every streamline in a radial ow system can represent a no-ow boundary.



Productivity Index

The productivity index, J, of a well is dened as the production rate, q, in STB/D divided by the pressure drawdown, p, in psi. J= q p

The productivity index is a simple measure of the productivity of a production well. The productivity index for a well is not constant and may vary considerably over the life of the well. To see why this is so, consider the pseudo-steady-state radial ow equation, 2kh(P Pw ) q= re B(ln( rw ) 3 + s) 4 So, J= q 2kkro h = re (p) Bo (ln( rw ) 3 + s) 4

The above equation may be grouped into those parameters which remain constant with time and those which change with time, J=

2kh re (ln( rw ) 3 + s) 4

kro Bo

The terms kro /Bo vary with time because reservoir pressure ( which aect and Bo ) and saturation ( which aects kro ) change with time. Moreover, if the well is stimulated or if it gradually cleans-up with production, s will also change with time. Increasing Well PI The above equation shows the options available to increase well productivity are: - increase length of completion interval, h. - stimulate or fracture to reduce skin, S. - increase reservoir pressure to increase kro and reduce o


Figure 8.18: Partial penetration


Partial Penetration

The well models discussed above considered a well completed over the entire section of the reservoir. Many oil and gas wells are completed over only part of the producing sand interval. These wells are referred to as partially penetrating wells. When comparing a partially penetrating well to a fully penetrating well, the ow in the vicinity of a partially penetrating well must deviate from pure radial ow as streamlines converge towards the well. This results in an additional pressure drop close to the wellbore which can be treated as a pseudo-skin due to partial penetration.


A number of correlations have been published which account for the eect of partial penetration on well performance. All are based on potential ow solutions or numerical simulations for the two-dimensional cylindrical diusivity equation in two-dimensions. The correlation by Papatzacos (1988) is typical. For this correlation the pseudo-skin factor, sp , is given by (see attached gure for denition of variables), sp = where,

1 hD 1 ln hpD 2

1 hpD + ln hpD 2 + hpD


A1 B1

0.5 #

hpD = h hD = rw A= B=

hp h

kh kv

h h1 + 0.25hp h h1 + 0.75hp

Initially a partially penetrating well behaves as if it is producing from a formation of thickness hp . After some time a transition occurs to ow from the entire formation and the establishment of the pseudo-skin factor, sp . If the productivity index (J = q/p) for a fully penetrating well is, J= 2kh h 1 B ln re /rw 0.75

and that for a partially penetrating well is, Jpp = 2kh h 1 B ln re /rw 0.75 + sp

than the ratio J/Jpp is readily calculated. As a rule of thumb, this ratio is approximately hp /h.


Problem 8.4 - Partially penetrating well [] A eld is developed on a 40 acre spacing. The formation thickness is 100 ft. Calculate the productivity index for the well and the ratio of productivities for the well and for a fully penetrating well; (i) over the entire 100 ft of pay. (ii) over the top 75 ft of pay. (iii) over the top 50 ft of pay. (iv) over the top 25 ft of pay. (v) over the top 5 ft of pay. (vi) over the middle 50 ft of pay. Other reservoir properties are; 100 md kh = kv = 5 md rw = 0.5 ft. = 1 cp B = 1.25 RB/STB [Answer: (i) 7.8 STB/day-psi, 1.0 (ii) 6.2 STB/day-psi, 0.8, (iii) 4.4 STB/day-psi, 0.57, (iv) 2.5 STB/day-psi, 0.32, (v) 0.69 STB/day-psi, 0.09, (vi)4.4 STB/day-psi, 0.57]




In treating the ow of a slightly compressible uid we began by writing the continuity equation for a radial element, (q) = 2rh r t We then substituted Darcys law for the volumetric ow rate, q, q= to eliminate q. The result is, k p 1 r r r r

2khr p r

Assuming that permeability, k, is constant, we write, 1 r r p r r


k t

This is the basic material balance for a radial volume element of the reservoir and it applies to all ows. For the case of a slightly compressible uid with constant viscosity, we have previously written the radial diusivity equation as, 1 p r r r r

c p k t

Gases are highly compressible and we cannot expect that the above diusivity equation will apply for gases.

Equation of state for a compressible uid The pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) behavior of a gas is given by the real gas law, pv = znRT where z is the compressibility factor, v is the volume of the gas, T is the temperature (assumed to be constant), n is the number of moles of gas and R is the universal gas law constant. 233

m M where m is the mass of the gas and M is the gas molecular weight, the real gas law may be written as, m M p = = v RT z We may use this expression together with the denition of compressibility to write an expression for the compressibility of a real gas, n= c= which gives c= z (p/z) p p
) )


1 p

In performing the integration we note that z = z(p). z c= p z c= p Finally, c= 1 1 z p z p

( (

(pz 1 ) p

1 p z 2 z z p

i.e., the compressibility of a gas is a highly non-linear function of pressure. A further complication for gases is that viscosity is also a function of pressure ( = (p))

Diusivity equation for a compressible uid As previously, we begin our analysis for a gas by writing the continuity equation, 1 r r

p r r

k t

For a gas, = (p) and we cannot assume a constant viscosity. Since = M p RT z


we have

1 r r

M p 1 p r RT z r

p = k t

Now, from our denition of compressibility, = c p M p =c p RT z which gives 1 r r

M p 1 p r RT z r

! !

p M p c k t RT z

dividing both sides by the constants we nally obtain, 1 r r p p r z r = cp p kz t

This is a highly non-linear equation because the coecients on both sides of the equations are highly non-linear functions of pressure. In order to solve the equation it is necessary to rst linearize it.

Pseudo-pressure Introduce a new variable called the pseudo pressure, (p), dened as (p) = 2

p dp z

where a is an arbitrarily low reference pressure. This transformation gives p d = 2 dp z Re-writing the non-linear diusivity equation in therm of pseudo-pressure we have, ! 1 p dp cp dp r = r r z r d kz t d Now, p z = 2p


therefore, 1 r r

p z r z r 2p

cp z kz t 2p

Simplifying this expression gives 1 r r r r = c k t

This has eliminated the non-linearity on the LHS and made the equation look like the diusivity equation for a slightly compressible liquid except that the coecient on the RHS is still non-linear (c is a function of pressure).


Low pressure approximation p < 3, 000psi and p small

For low pressure and small pressure drop, z constant = z The denition of pseudo pressure, (p) = 2
p a

p p z

with the reference pressure to zero, is now written as, (p) = 2 Zp pp z 0 2 p2 z 2

(p) =

p2 z The pseudo pressure is easily evaluated on a spreadsheet or in a computer code. Since p is small (p approximately constant) we may use average properties for the coecient terms, c and , resulting in a linear diusivity equation in terms of the pseudo pressure. ! 1 c r = r r r k t (p) = If we are doing the analysis by hand and wish to eliminate the need to evaluate pseudo-pressures we may simply write the equation in terms of p2 . 1 = (p2 ) z 236


1 (p2 ) r r r r (p2 ) 1 (p2 ) r r r r

! !

c (p2 ) = k t (p2 ) = c (p2 ) k t

which gives

The result is identical to that which would be obtained by dening = p2 This is commonly referred to as the pressure squared method of analysis.


High pressure approximation p > 3, 000psi and p small

At high pressures and small pressure drops, p p constant = z z From the denition of pseudo pressure we have, (p) = 2 which can be written as or

p p z

p Zp p (p) = z a (p) = p p z

Again the pseudo-pressure is easily evaluated, and as for the case of low pressure we can show that the diusivity in terms of is linearized to 1 (p) r r r r

c (p) k t

which is identical to the case of a slightly compressible uid.



p is not small

When p is not small, c and vary considerably and we cannot use average values for these parameters over the ow conditions. In terms of the non-linear diusivity equation is 1 r r r r We may write this as 1 r r r r Dening a pseudo-time as, = or

c k t

k {t/c} dt c

dt c Pseudo-time is easily evaluated since pressure, as a function of time, is known. d = The diusivity equation may now be written as, 1 r r r r

A problem with the pseudo-time it does not have units of time and this is undesirable in actual practice where the engineer likes to relate time to distance via the depth of investigation concept. The situation is readily remedied by the introduction of a normalized pseudotime, n , dened as Z t dt n = (c)i 0 c (c)i is the viscosity-compressibility product evaluated at the initial test pressure. The product may be dened at any pressure, the pressure being arbitrary, but convention is to take the value at the initial test pressure. The diusivity equation in terms of pseudo-pressure and pseudo-time is, 1 r r r r

(c)i k n

Again, this equation has exact ally the same form as the diusivity equation for a slightly compressible uid. 238


Steady and Pseudo-Steady State Radial Gas Flow


The radial diusivity equation for gas is 1 r r r r

c k t

For steady-state ow, /t = 0, and we can write 1 r r r r or, r r r Integrating gives r = C1 r




This is the solution for steady-state radial ow of a gas. To evaluate the value of the constant of integration, C1 , we write Darcys law for radial ow, 2kh p q= r r where q is the rate at reservoir conditions. The rate at surface conditions is given by 2kh p r qsc = Bg r where Bg is the gas formation volume factor which is given by psc Bg = Tsc Substituting for Bg gives qsc =

zT p

2Tsc psc

kh p p r zT r

The equation is written in terms of pseudo-pressure as qsc =

2Tsc psc

kh p dp r zT r d

From the denition of pseudo-pressure dp z = d 2p 239

Substituting for dp/d gives qsc = or, r

Tsc psc

kh r T r

psc = r Tsc

qsc T kh

This is the required constant of integration C1 . Separating variables, r = r Integrating,

rw re

Tsc psc

kh qsc T kh Z w qsc T e

r = r

Tsc psc


re ln rw or,

Tsc psc

kh (e w ) qsc T

qsc =

Tsc psc

kh (e w ) T ln re

As before, for pseudo-steady state ow in terms of average pseudo-pressure and in the presence of skin, we can write qsc =

Tsc psc

kh (e w ) h i T ln re 0.75 + s

The above equation is valid for all conditions and may be used to estimate the stabilized rate for gas wells under Darcy ow conditions. It requires evaluation of pseudo-pressures. Pseudo-pressures are easily calculated by numerically integrating P , and z data for the gas. An example of such a calculation is given in Exercise-8.11.


Non-Darcy ow

In high rate gas wells ow velocities close to the wellbore may suciently high for turbulent or non-Darcy ow to occur. This introduces an additional pressure 240

drop which depends on the gas rate. The non-Darcy ow pressure drop may be included by dening an eective skin factor, s0 , as s0 = s + D|qsc | where D is the non-Darcy ow constant and s is the Darcy ow skin factor. The absolute value of rate indicates that there is a positive non-Darcy ow loss for both production and injection operations. D and s are determined from multirate well pressure test data. Pseudo-steady state ow in terms of average pseudo-pressure and in the presence of skin and non-Darcy ow eects, can now be written as qsc = or, qsc =

Tsc psc

kh (e w ) h i T ln re 0.75 + s0

Tsc psc

kh (e w ) h i T ln re 0.75 + s + D|qsc |


Pressure-squared approximation

For pressures below about 3000 psia the product z is approximately constant and pseudo-pressure, dened as Z p p =2 dp 0 z may be written as 2 Zp p2 = pdp = z 0 z where and z are evaluated at average owing conditions. Substituting for in the rate equation gives qsc =

Tsc psc

kh (pe 2 pw 2 ) h i z T ln re 0.75 + s + D|qsc | rw


High Pressure approximation

For pressures above about 3000 psia the product p/z is approximately constant and pseudo-pressure, dened as Z p p =2 dp 0 z 241

may be written as

2 p 2 Z p p dp = = p z 0 z

where , z and p are evaluated at average owing conditions. Substituting for in the rate equation gives qsc =

2Tsc psc

(pe pw ) kh p h i re z T ln 0.75 + s + D|qsc |


The average gas formation factor may be written as Bg =

Tsc psc

zT p

The gas rate equation becomes qsc = 2kh (pe pw ) h i g ln re 0.75 + s + D|q | B sc

With the non-Darcy ow term set to zero (D = 0), this equation is identical to the equation previously derived for the ow of a slightly compressible uid.


Problem 8.5 - Calculation of gas well rate [] Estimate the production rate of a gas well when the average reservoir pressure is 2723 psia and the owing wellbore pressure is maintained at 2655 psia. The following reservoir and uid properties are known: k= h= rw = re = = z= T = s= D= 5 md 35 ft. 0.5 ft. 2640 ft. 0.018 cp 0.87 200o F -0.3 0.015 (MMSCF/day)1

What is the eect of non-Darcy (turbulent) ow on well performance? [Answer: 344 MSCF/day]


Problem 8.6 - Gas well rate using pseudo-pressures [] Estimate the production rate of a gas well when the average reservoir pressure is 2723 psia and the owing wellbore pressure is maintained at 2655 psia. Reservoir temperature is 200o F and the gas gravity is 0.7. Use pseudo-pressure and the pressure-squared method to calculate the gas rate. The following reservoir and uid properties are known: k= h= rw = re = T = s= D= 5 md 35 ft. 0.5 ft. 2640 ft. 200o F -0.3 0.015 (MMSCF/day)1 GAS PROPERTIES p (psia) 150 300 450 600 750 900 1050 1200 1350 1500 1650 1800 1950 2100 2250 2400 2550 2700 2850 3000 3150 (cp) 0.01238 0.01254 0.01274 0.01303 0.01329 0.01360 0.01387 0.01428 0.01451 0.01485 0.01520 0.01554 0.01589 0.01630 0.01676 0.01721 0.01767 0.01813 0.01862 0.01911 0.01961 z

0.9856 0.9717 0.9582 0.9453 0.9332 0.9218 0.9112 0.9016 0.8931 0.8857 0.8795 0.8745 0.8708 0.8684 0.8671 0.8671 0.8683 0.8705 0.8738 0.8780 0.8830

[Answer: 346 MSCF/day, 342 MSCF/day] 244

Figure 8.19: Pseudo-pressure as a function of pressure


Gas Well Back Pressure Equation

This is an empirical equation which relates ow rate and pressure for gas wells. The equation is written as, qsc = C(2 p2 )n pR w where pR is the average reservoir pressure, pw is the owing wellbore pressure, n is an exponent which has a value between 0.5 (non-Darcy or turbulent ow) and 1 (Darcy or laminar ow) and C is the well performance coecient. The equation is frequently used to determine well deliverability.

Flow after ow tests The constants C and n are determined from ow after ow or conventional backpressure tests. The well is owed at a constant rate (qsc ) until the owing wellbore pressure (pw ) has stabilized. The rate is then changed (increased) and the process repeated. After a number of rate changes (usually four), the well is shutin until the shutin wellbore has stabilized. This is the average reservoir pressure (R ). p


Figure 8.20: Gas well deliverability plot

Figure 8.21: Four point ow-after-ow well deliverability test


Figure 8.22: Interpretation of four point ow-after-ow well deliverability test

A plot of log(2 p2 ) against log qsc gives a straight line of slope equal to 1/n pR w and intercept (1/n) log C. The test and interpretation procedure is illustrated in the attached gures.

Example 8.6 - Flow after ow conventional back-pressure test [] The following ow rate and wellbore pressure data was obtained from a four point ow-after-ow test on a gas well: Flow period qsc (MMSCF/day) pw (psia) 1 2190 3387 2 2570 3268 3 3160 3092 4 3400 3015 shutin 0 3884


Determine the exponent n and the performance coecient C. Calculate the Absolute Open Flow (AOF) for the well (the AOF is a commonly used gure-ofmerit for a gas well and corresponds to the well rate at a owing well pressure of one atmosphere). [Answer: n = 0.874, C = 4.035 106 MMSCF/day psia2n , AOF=7.6 MMSCF/day]

Problem 8.7 - Well deliverability using back pressure equation [] A four point ow-after-ow test produced the following back pressure equation constants, n = 0.69 C = 0.01508 MSCF/day-psia2n The average reservoir pressure is 408 psia. (i) Determine the absolute open ow rate (AOF) for the well. (ii) What would the well ow rate be if the owing wellbore pressure was maintained at 300 psia. (iii) Make a well deliverability plot for the well. [Answer: (i) 60.4 MMSCF/day, (ii) 35.4 MMSCF/day]


Figure 8.23: Horizontal well in a compartmentalized reservoir



Horizontal wells are now routinely used in primary, secondary and tertiary recovery operations. The major advantages over conventional vertical wells are in overcoming: Reservoir heterogeneity - Horizontal wells contact a larger area of the reservoir than vertical wells. In reservoirs which display complex and dicult to predict heterogeneity (carbonates, channel point bar sands, braided stream systems and fractured reservoirs), horizontal wells can connect regions of high permeability rock which are separated by regions of low permeability. Reservoir ow problems - The greater length of horizontal wells may result in smaller pressure gradients (increased productivity) when compared to vertical wells owing at the same rate. This can be important in allowing production of heavier crudes at economical rates and reducing or completely elimination the detrimental eects of water and gas coning. 249

Figure 8.24: Comparison between eective reservoir contact areas for horizontal and vertical wells - In sands where water coning is a problem horizontal wells can be placed near the top of the sand increasing the vertical distance between the perforations and the water-oil contact and therefore increasing recovery when compared with a vertical well in the same sand. Recovery is also increased because the cone for a similar situation exists in a sand subject to gas coning with the horizontal well being placed at the base of the sand. - In low permeability reservoirs it is possible to place multiple transverse fractures along the length of the well and greatly increase productivity over that possible with a vertical well.

Completion options
The attached gure shows a number of dierent techniques used to complete horizontal wells. Open hole - Inexpensive but limited to competent formations. Dicult to control rate along length of well and dicult to stimulate. Rarely used except for formations such as Austin Chalk. Slotted liner - Three types commonly used; perforated, slotted, and prepacked liners. Liners are used to prevent hole collapse and to control sand production.


Figure 8.25: Horizontal wells with multiple transverse fractures play a vital role in the production of tight gas reservoirs

Liners with partial isolation allow the horizontal section to be divided into several isolated sections. This allows production control along the well length and selective stimulation or multiple fracking. Cemented and perforated liners provide the best completions provided that care is taken to ensure a good cement job.


Drainage Area

Wells are drilled on a pattern to provide adequate drainage of the reservoir. The area drained by a single well in the pattern is the drainage area for the well. A vertical well drains a cylindrical volume and a horizontal well drains an ellipsoid (three-dimensional ellipse). A horizontal well will usually drain a larger area than a vertical well. Areally isotropic reservoir - kx = ky A horizontal well can be viewed as a number of vertical wells drilled on a line and completed in a limited pay thickness. Under similar operating conditions, 251

Figure 8.26: Completion techeniques for horizontal wells


Figure 8.27: Comparison of horizontal and vertical well costs for Prudhoe Bay in Alaska the drainage area of a horizontal well may be estimated from that for a vertical well as shown in the attached gure. If the drainage area for a vertical well is Av , the drainage radius is rev =

Av /

The drainage area for a vertical well may also be approximated as a square of dimensions 2xe by 2ye where xe = ye Av = 4xe or xe = ye = Av 4 A horizontal well can be viewed as a number of vertical wells drilled on a line and completed in a limited pay thickness. Under similar operating conditions, the drainage area of a horizontal well may be estimated from that for a vertical well as shown in the attached gure. Ah = 2ye L + Av where L is the length of the horizontal section. The eective drainage radius of a horizontal well is q reh = Ah /

As a rule of thumb, a 1000 ft horizontal well will drain twice the area of a vertical well and a 2000 ft horizontal well will drain three times the area of a vertical well. 253

Figure 8.28: Drainage areas for horizontal and vertical wells


Figure 8.29: Drainage areas for horizontal wells


Areally anisotropic reservoir - kx < ky Consider an anisotropic (kx < ky ) homogeneous (kx , ky constant). Assuming steady-state ow in two dimensions, we can write the following conservation equation ! ! p p kx + ky =0 x x y y or, since kx and ky are constant kx 2p 2p + ky 2 = 0 x2 y

For an isotropic reservoir, kx = ky = kh , where kh is the horizontal permeability, we can write " # 2p 2p kh + =0 x2 y 2 For an anisotropic reservoir we multiply and divide the conservation equation q throughout by kx ky
q v s u u kx 2 p ky 2 p kx ky t + =0 2 2

ky x

kx y


kx ky


2 p ky 2 p + =0 x2 kx y 2

This equation may be written as


kx ky


2p 2p + =0 x2 Y 2

where y=Y

ky kx

Comparing this equation with that for the isotropic system, kh


2p 2p + =0 x2 y 2

shows that in an anisotropic reservoir a vertical q drains a rectangle which has well a length along the high permeability direction ky /kx the length along the low permeability direction with an eective permeability

kx ky .


Figure 8.30: Drainage areas for horizontal wells in fractured or anisotropic reservoirs


Figure 8.31: Drainage areas for vertical and horizontal wells in anisotropic reservoirs If ky > kx , ye =

ky xe kx

and the drainage area for a vertical well is Ah = 4ye xe and the eective horizontal permeability is, kh =

kx ky

The above analysis shows that it is dicult to drain a reservoir in the low permeability direction using vertical wells. If a horizontal well is drilled in the direction of low permeability, the drainage area for the well is Ah = 2ye L + Av The number of horizontal wells required for adequate reservoir drainage is considerably smaller than that for a conventional vertical well development.


Example 8.7 - Drainage area for horizontal wells in an isotropic reservoir [] A 600 acre lease is to be developed with 10 vertical wells. An alternative is to drill 500 ft, 1000 ft, or 2000 ft long horizontal wells. Estimate the number of horizontal wells required to drain the lease eectively assuming that the reservoir is isotropic. [Answer: 8 500ft wells, 7 1000ft wells, 5 2000ft wells]

Problem 8.8 - Drainage for a horizontal well in an anisotropic reservoir [] A vertical well is known to drain approximately 40 acres in a naturally fractured reservoir. The permeability along the direction of the fractures is ky =4.5 md. The permeability in the direction perpendicular to the fractures is only kx =0.5md. What are the drainage areas for a 2000 ft horizontal well drilled along the direction of the fractures and one drilled in a direction perpendicular to the fractures. [Answer: 75 acres, 145 acres.]


Figure 8.32: Complexity of ow regimes for horizontal wells. a-early time radial ow, b-early time linear ow, c-late time radial ow, d-late time linear ow 260

Figure 8.33: Approximating three-dimensional steady-state ow in horizontal wells with two two-dimensional solutions


Productivity of Horizontal Wells

The steady-state rate for a vertical is given by qv = 2kh h p B ln(rev /rw )

The productivity index, Jv , is dened as the rate, qv , divided by the pressure dierence, p, 2kh h/(B) Jv = ln(rev /rw )

Homogeneous isotropic reservoirs - kv = kh Numerous equations have been developed for steady-state ow of horizontal wells. The dierences between the various equations result from the dierences in solution techniques employed and the details of the assumptions made in developing the solution. The dierences are generally small. Joshi (JPT June 1988)divided the three-dimensional steady-state ow problem into separate two-dimensional vertical and horizontal problems and summed the solutions. The solution obtained was shown to be in excellent agreement with laboratory simulations using electrical networks. For a horizontal well completed in the middle of sand of thickness, h, with constant pressure boundary conditions at the drainage area boundary, Jh = qh = p



2kh h/(B)

a2 (L/2)2 L/2

h L


h 2rw


Figure 8.34: Productivity ratio Jh /Jv for horizontal wells in isotropic reservoirs

where a is half the major axis of the drainage area ellipse dened as, L a = 0.5 + 2

2reh 0.25 + L


reh = for L > h and (L/2) < 0.9reh .


The above equation shows that as reservoir thickness, h, increases, the eectiveness of the horizontal well, Jh , decreases. Horizontal wells are most eective in thin reservoirs. Another equation for horizontal wells was developed by Borisov(Nedra, Moscow 1964 - translated into English in 1984) Jh = 2kh h/(B) ln (4reh /L) + (h/L) ln (h/2rw )

This equation gives results very similar to those using the Joshi equation. In the limit L >> h, the second term in the denominator of the equation is negligible and the result can be rewritten as Jh = 2kh h/(B) ln (reh /[L/4]) 262

Comparing this equation with the corresponding equation for a vertical well shows that in the limit L >> h, a horizontal well is equivalent to a vertical well with 0 an eective wellbore radius rw = L/4 (a highly stimulated vertical well). We will later show that the above equation is identical to that for a vertical well with an innite-conductivity vertical fracture of length L.

Isotropic reservoirs - kv 6= kh When the horizontal permeability is dierent from the vertical permeability, in a manner similar to that previously shown, the ow eld is equivalent to that for an average permeability of kh kv with the z-axis modied, Z=z

kh kv

The inuence of anisotropy is therefore to change the eective reservoir thickness, H, s kh H=h kv When kv < kh , the eect is to increase the eective thickness of the reservoir. This reduces the eectiveness of a horizontal well relative to a vertical well. To obtain the productivity of a horizontal well in an isotropic reservoir we simply substitute the eective thickness of the reservoir for h in the equation for an isotropic reservoir. The result is, Jh = ln where =


2kh h/(B)

a2 (L/2)2 L/2

h L


h 2rw

kh kv


Figure 8.35: Productivity ratio Jh /Jv for horizontal wells in anisotropic reservoirs

Horizontal well eccentricity

The above equations are for the case where the horizontal well is centered with respect to the sand in which the well is completed. A schematic of an o-centered horizontal well is shown in the attached gure. We dene well eccentricity, , as = h/2 zw h/2

= 0 for a centered well. = 1 for a well at the base or top of the sand. Joshi gives the following equation for this case, Jh = ln


2kh h/(B)

a2 (L/2)2 L/2

h L


h [1 2rw

+ 2 ]

which is valid for L > h, < h/2 and L < 1.8reh . For long horizontal wells, (L >> h), eccentricity has little eect and the well can be located anywhere in the vertical plane without signicant loss in productivity. This is strictly true only for bound reservoirs where the top and bottom boundaries are closed ie., there is no bottom water or top gas.


Figure 8.36: Horizontal well accentricity

Figure 8.37: Eect of eccentricity on the productivity of a horizontal well


Problem 8.9 - Horizontal well productivities I [] A 1000 ft. horizontal well is drilled through the centre of a 50 ft sand on a 160 acre spacing. Other data reservoir and uid parameters are; kh =50 md =0.4 cp rw =0.33 ft B =1.35 RB/STB (i) Compare the horizontal well productivities for kv /kh of 0.01, 0.1, 0.5 and 1. (ii) For kv /kh =0.1 compare the horizontal well productivities if the well is located at distances of 1 ft, 10 ft and 20 ft from the base of the sand. [Answer: Joshi equation (i) 7.2, 13.3, 16.1, 16.9 STB/day-psi (ii) 12.7, 13.0, 13.2 STB/day-psi ]

Problem 8.10 - Horizontal well productivities II [] A 1000 ft. horizontal well is drilled in a reservoir on a 160 acre spacing. The horizontal permeability averages 200 md and the vertical permeability averages 20 md. Other reservoir and uid parameters are; =0.2 cp rw =0.33 ft B =1.35 RB/STB What is the improvement in productivity which may be expected over that for a vertical well if the sand thickness is,? (i) 200 ft. (ii) 20 ft. [Joshi equation (i) 1.5, (ii) 4.1]


Eect of Formation Damage on Horizontal Well Productivity As in the case of vertical wells, formation damage can have a severe eect on horizontal well productivity. Consider the case of a horizontal well completed at the center of a homogeneous anisotropic sand. Renard and Dupuy (SPE19414, 1990) developed the following equation for the productivity index, Jh =

2kh h/(B)
2a L


h L


h (1+)rw

where a is half the major axis of the drainage area ellipse as previously dened. The above equation and the previously discussed equation developed by Joshi produce similar estimates for horizontal well productivity. For a damaged well, Renard and Dupuy wrote, Jh,d = cosh1

2a L

2kh h/(B) +

h L


h (1+)rw

+ sh

where sh is the horizontal well skin factor which must be determined from well tests. The ratio of productivities for a damaged and undamaged horizontal well is therefore, h cosh1 2a + h ln (1+)rw Jhd L L = h h 1 2a Jh cosh + L ln (1+)rw + sh L or Jhd B = Jh B + sh where B = cosh

2a h h + ln L L (1 + )rw


Figure 8.38: Comparison between formation damage for horizonral and vertical wells