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Gascapdrivereservoirs

Insomeinstances,oilreservoirsarediscoveredwithasegregatedgaszoneoverlyinganoilcolumn.Theoverlyinggaszoneisreferredtoasaprimarygascap.Inadditiontofree
gas,gascapsusuallycontainconnatewater(/Glossary%3AConnate_water)andresidualoil.Theunderlyingoilcolumnissometimesreferredtoasanoilleg.Inotherinstances,
asreservoirpressuredeclineswithproduction,gasevolvesinthereservoir(seeSolutiongasdrivereservoirs(/Solution_gas_drive_reservoirs))andmigratestothetopofthe
structuretoaddtoanexistingprimarygascaportoformagascap.Ifproperlyharnessed,gascapscanenhanceoilrecoveryconsiderably.Thedegreewithwhichtheyimprove
recoverydependsmainlyontheirsizeandontheverticalpermeabilityand/orformationdip.Producingwellsusuallyarecompletedonlyintheoillegtominimizegas
production.

Contents
1Properties
2Performance
2.1Nonsegregationdrivegascaps
2.2Segregationdrivegascaps
2.2.1Gasreinjection
3Materialbalanceanalysis
4Nomenclature
5Subscripts
6References
7NoteworthypapersinOnePetro
8Externallinks
9Seealso

Properties
Broadly,gascapsareclassifiedassegregatingornonsegregating.Table1summarizesthedistinguishingcharacteristicsofeach.

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0921_Image_0001.png)
Table1

Segregatinggascapsaregascapsthatgrowandformanenlargedgascapzone.Fig.1showsaschematicofasegregationdrivereservoir.Twodifferentsegregationmechanisms
arepossible:
1. Expansionofandfrontaldisplacementbypreexistinggascapgas
2. Upwardmigrationofoilcolumngasassolutiongasisliberatedandafreegasphaseforms
Thesecondmechanisminvolvesthesimultaneousdownwardmovementofoiltobalancetheupwardflowofgas.Thisdiametricflowpatternisreferredtoascounterflow.[1]
Pirson[2]referstothefirstmechanismaspassivesegregationandthelattermechanismasactivesegregation.Hall[1]referstothefirstmechanismassegregationdrivewithout
counterflowandthesecondmechanismassegregationdrivewithcounterflow.Bothmechanismsaretimedependent,andtheirdisplacementefficiencydependsonthegas/oil
densitydifference,theproducingrate,andtheverticalpermeability.
Bothsegregationmechanismsyieldaprogressivelydescendinggasoilcontact(/Glossary%3AGasoil_contact)(GOC).Thesegregationdrivemechanismscanbeaugmentedby
crestalgasinjection.
Ifneitherofthesesegregationmechanismsispresent,thegascapiscalledanonsegregatinggascap.Nonsegregatinggascapsdonotformanenlargedgascapzone,andtheir
GOCappearsstationary.Thegascapgasexpandsbutthedisplacementefficiencyissopoorthattheexpandinggasappearstomerelydiffuseintotheoilcolumn.Fig.2
illustratesthedistributionofwater,oil,andgasinanonsegregationdrivegascapreservoir.

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0902_Image_0001.png)

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0922_Image_0001.png)

Fig.1Distributionofwater,oil,andgasand
positionofgas/oilcontact(GOC)ina
segregatinggascapreservoir:(a)before
productionand(b)duringdepletion.

Fig.2Distributionofwater,oil,andgasina
nonsegregatinggascapreservoir:(a)at
discoveryand(b)duringdepletion.

Broadly,gascapsacttomitigatethepressuredecline,extendthelifeofthereservoir,andultimatelyimprovetheoilrecovery.Thedegreeofoilrecoveryimprovementdepends
onthefollowing:
Sizeofthegascap
Whetheritisasegregationdriveornonsegregationdrivegascap
Tounderstandthemechanicsofgascapreservoirs,numericalsimulationresultsofsegregatingandnonsegregatinggascapsarepresented.Eachexampleusesthefluidproperty
datainTable2.EachexamplealsousesthereservoirdatasummarizedinTable3,exceptthattheinitialpressureis1,640psiainsteadof2,000psiaandthegascapthicknessis
10ft.Thegas,oil,andwatersaturationsinthegascapare60,20,and20%,respectively.Thegascapinitiallycontains270,000STBofoiland816MMscfofgastheoilleg
initiallycontains210millionSTBofoiland1.718Bscfofgas.Thetotaloriginaloilinplace(OOIP)=2.37millionstocktankbarrels(STB),andoriginalgasinplae(OGIP)=
2.534Bscf,andm=0.33.Forreference,thesegregatingandnonsegregatinggascapcasesarecomparedwithanidenticalreservoirwithoutagascap(basecase).

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0904_Image_0001.png)

Table2

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0912_Image_0001.png)
Table3

Performance
Nonsegregationdrivegascaps
Fig.3plotspressureasafunctionofcumulativeoilrecoveryforanonsegregationdrivegascapreservoir.Forcomparison,thisfigureincludestheresultsofthenogascap
(base)case.Thisfigurealsoincludestheresultsofothercases,whicharediscussedlaterinthispage.AllrecoveriesarereportedasafractionoftheoriginaloillegOOIPto
makedirectcomparisonsvalid.Thenonsegregationdrivegascapcaseconsistentlyyieldshigheroilrecoveriesatagivenpressurethanthenogascapcase,whichillustratesthe
superiorrecoveryperformanceofgascaps.Viewedanotherway,thenonsegregationdrivegascapcaseconsistentlyyieldsahigherpressureatagivenoilrecoverythantheno
gascapcase,whichillustratesthesuperiorpressuremaintenanceabilityofgascaps.

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0923_Image_0001.png)
Fig.3Theeffectofgascapandgasreinjection
onoilrecoverasafunctionofpressureforawest
Texasblackoilreservoir.

Fig.4isacompositefigureandshowstheperformanceasafunctionoftime.Thisfigureincludesthe:
Gas/oilratio(GOR)
Gassaturation
Oilrate
Oilrecoveryhistories

TheGORhistoryshowsthatnonsegregatinggascapseventuallyyieldhigherproducingGORsthanthenogascapreservoir.ThehigherGORiscausedbyhighergassaturation
intheoilleg.Thehighergassaturationiscausedbythegascapgasmigratingfromthegascapintotheoillegasthepressuredeclines.

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0924_Image_0001.png)
Fig.4Performanceofagascapreservoir:(a)
instantaneousproducingGOR,(b)gassaturation,
(c)oilrate,and(d)oilrecoveryhistoriesfora
westTexasblackoilreservoir.

Fig.4alsoshowstheeffectofanonsegregatinggascapontheoilratehistory.Thenonsegregatinggascapconsistentlyyieldshigheroilratesthanwithoutthegascap.Ifan
economiclimitcorrespondingtoaminimumoilrateof20STB/Disarbitrarilyassumed,thenthenogascapcaseisterminatedafter13.8yearswhilethenonsegregationdrive
gascapcaseisterminatedafter15.2years.Thiscomparisonshowsthatthepresenceofagascapextendstheprimaryrecoverylifeofthereservoir.Thecurveendpointsdenote
thetimeoftermination.Thenogascapcaseisslightlydifferentfromtheblackoilcasediscussedearlierduetotheassumedloweroriginalpressure.
Fig.4includesthefractionaloilrecoveryhistoryFig.5showsthegasrecoveryhistory.Thecurveendpointsdenotethetimeoftheeconomiclimit.Table4summarizesthe
conditionsattheeconomiclimit.Thenogascapandnonsegregationdrivegascapcasesrecover23.7%and26.8%oftheoillegOOIP,respectively.Thus,thenonsegregating
gascaprecoversmoreoilthanwithoutthegascap.Thenonsegregatinggascapalsoisterminatedatahigherpressure,producingGOR,gassaturation,andgasratethanwithout
thegascap.Thenonsegregatinggascaprecovers74.9%oftheoillegOGIPwhilethenogascapcaserecovers52.3%oftheoillegOGIP.Thenonsegregatinggascaprecovers
moregasbecausesomeofthegascapgasinfiltratestheoillegandisproduced.Inconclusion,thepresenceofanonsegregatinggascap:
Yieldshigherultimateoilandgasrecoveries
Acceleratesrecovery
Extendstheprimaryrecoverylifeofareservoir

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0925_Image_0002.png)
(/File%3AVol5_Page_0925_Image_0001.png)
Fig.5Theeffectofgascapandgasreinjection
ongasrecoveryhistoryforawestTexasblack
oilreservoir.

Table4

Theeffectofagascaponoilrecoveryisrelateddirectlytoitssizerelativetothesizeoftheoilleg.Thesizeofthegascapisdescribedeffectivelyintermsofthedimensionless
variablem,whichisdefinedastheratiooftheinitialfreegasandfreeoilphasevolumes(seeEq.5).Ifallthefreegasislocatedinthegascap,allthefreeoilislocatedinthe
oilleg,andtheoillegandgascapporositiesandconnatewatersaturationsarethesame,thenmrepresentstheratioofthegascapandoillegporevolume(PV).Fig.6shows
theeffectofmonthefinalfractionaloilrecoveryforannonexpandinggascapreservoir.TheresultsinFig.6usethesamereservoirdataasintheprevioussimulationsexcept
differentgascapsizesareconsidered.Otherreservoirconditionsmayyieldslightlydifferentresults.Themostnoticeableimprovementinoilrecoverycomesasmincreases
from0to2.0.

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0926_Image_0001.png)
Fig.6Theeffectofdimenstionlessgascapsize
(m)onfinalprimaryoilrecoveryandpeak
producingGORforawestTexasblackoil
reservoir.Recoveriesreportedaspercentofoil
legOOIP.

ThegascapsizealsoaffectsthepeakGOR.Asthegascapincreases,thepeakGORincreases.Fig.6showsthepeakGORasafunctionofmforthewestTexasreservoir
properties.ThepeakGORincreaseswiththegascapsizebecausemoregascapgasmigratesintotheoilcolumnasthegascapincreases.Insummary,nonsegregationdrivegas
capreservoirstendtoyieldfinalfractionaloilrecoveriesintherangeof15to40%oftheOOIP.Segregationdrivegascapreservoirstendtoyieldevenhigherfinaloil
recoveries.

Segregationdrivegascaps
Segregatinggascapsarecharacterizedbyprogressivelydescendinggas/oilcontacts(GOCs).ThemovementoftheGOCiscausedbyactiveorpassivegravitysegregation.
Activegravitysegregationisthesimultaneousmigrationofgasupwardanddrainageofoildownward.Passivesegregationisthenaturalexpansionofthegascapgas.Bothof
theseprocessesinvolvefrontaldisplacementofoilattheGOC.Frontaldisplacementhelpsdriveoiltotheproducingwells.Frontaldisplacementdoesnotdominatein
nonsegregationdrivegascapreservoirs.Theextenttowhichgravitysegregationoccursdependsontheverticalpermeabilityandtherateatwhichfluidsarewithdrawnfromthe
reservoir.Thegreatertheverticalpermeabilityandslowerthefluidwithdrawal,themorepronouncedtheeffectsofgravitysegregation.
Figs.3through5includesimulationresultsofasegregationdrivegascapreservoir.Thesesimulationsassumepropertiesidenticaltothoseofthenonsegregationdrivegascap
simulationsexceptgravitysegregationisincluded.Thesimulationsassumenofreegasproductionfromthegascap.
Fig.3showsthepressureasafunctionofcumulativeoilrecovery.Thisfigureshowsthatoilrecoveryinasegregationdrivegascapreservoiratagivenpressureisconsistently
greaterthanthatinanonsegregationdrivegascapornongascapreservoir,especiallyatlowpressureswhentheeffectsofgasexpansionbecomepronounced.Theoilrecovery
performanceisdiscussedbelow.
Fig.4showstheeffectofasegregatinggascapontheGORhistory.OnlyamarginalincreaseintheGORisnotedafter15years,theGORactuallydecreasesslightly.Thistype
ofGORbehaviorischaracteristicofsegregationdrivegascapreservoirs.[3][4][5]Thesegregatinggascapeffectivelydrivesandconcentratesoilintotheshrinkingoilleg.The
oillegshrinksastheGOCdescendsthus,thesegregatinggascapminimizesthegassaturationintheoilleg.TheGORreversalcoincideswithareversalinthegassaturation.
Fig.4includesthegassaturationhistory.Thegassaturationsteadilyincreasesuntilitpeaksatapproximately0.25PVthenitdecreases.TheGORandgassaturationreversals
occuratamoderatetolowpressurewhentheexpansionofthegascapgasbecomespronounced.ThechangeinthepositionoftheGOCyieldsameasureoftheoilleg
shrinkage.Attermination,theGOChasdescendedapproximately9.3ftintotheoriginal20ftoilcolumn.
Fig.4includestheoilratehistory.Theoilrateforthesegregatinggascapisconsistentlyhigherthanforthenonsegregatinggascaporwithoutthegascap.Theoilrate
eventuallyflattensouttobetween20and50STB/Dandstayswithinthisrangefor15to31years.Thismoderatebutsteadyoilrateexplainsthesuperiorperformanceandlong
lifeofsegregationdrivegascapreservoirs.Table4summarizesandcomparestheprimaryrecoverylifetimesofthevariouscases:
Segregatinggascaphasalifeof31.3years
Nonsegregatinggascaphasalifeof15.2years
Solutiongasdrive(basecase)hasalifeof13.8years
Fig.4includesthecumulativeoilrecoveryhistory.Thesegregatinggascapreservoirrecovers38.7%oftheoillegOOIPwhilethenonsegregatinggascapandsolutiongas
drivereservoirsrecover26.8and23.7%oftheOOIP,respectively.Suchahighrecoverylevelforasegregationdrivereservoirisnotuncommon.Itisnotuncommonforgravity
drainagereservoirstorealizerecoveriesashighas60to70%oftheOOIPhowever,theygenerallyrequirealongtimetodoso.ThecurveendpointsinFig.4denotethetimeof
theeconomiclimit.Thesegregatinggascapreservoirterminatesatapressureof508psia.
Fig.5showsthegasrecoveryhistory.Thesegregatinggascapreservoirrecovers91.1%oftheoillegOGIP.Thisrecoverylevelisconsiderablygreaterthanthenonsegregating
gascaporsolutiongasdrivereservoirs(74.9and52.3%,respectively).Onereasonsegregatinggascapreservoirstendtoyieldsuchhighgasrecoveriesisthattheyoftenrecover
someoftheoriginalgascapgas,whichmigratesintotheoilleg.Inaddition,theygenerallyrealizelowerterminationpressures.
Thefinalfractionaloilrecoveryinasegregatinggascapreservoirisastrongfunctionoftheverticalcommunicationwithinthereservoir.Verticalcommunicationdictatesthe
extentofsegregation.Ifverticalcommunicationisgood,thenmostofthegascapgaswillbeavailableforsegregation.Itwillalsobeavailabletohelpdriveoilthroughfrontal
displacementtotheproducingwells.Ifverticalcommunicationispoor,thenverylittle,ifany,ofthegascapgaswillsegregate.Insummary,segregationiscontrolled
principallybythreevariables:
Verticalreservoirpermeability
Producingrate
Wellspacing
Aswellspacingandverticalpermeabilityincreaseandastheproducingratedecreases,theeffectofgravitysegregationincreases.Fortheeffectsofgravitysegregationtobe
important,however,thewellspacingmayneedtobeprohibitivelylargeortheproducingratemayneedtobeprohibitivelylow.Insuchreservoirs,theverticalpermeabilityis
nothighenoughtopermitmuchgravitysegregation.
Thelikelyroleofgravitysegregationcanbemeasuredintermsofagravitynumber,Ng.Ngisdefinedastheratioofthetimeittakesafluidtomovefromthedrainageradiusto
thewellboretothetimeittakesafluidtomovefromthebottomofthereservoirtothetop.Inoilfieldunits,thegravitynumberis
(/File%3AVol5_page_0927_eq_001.png)....................(1)
where:
kv=verticalpermeability,md
=densitydifference,lbm/ft3
re=drainageradius,ft
q=producingrateatreservoirconditions,RB/D
o=oilviscosity,cp
GravitysegregationislikelypronouncedifNg>10gravitysegregationislikelyunimportantifNg<0.10.Forexample,ifkv=10md,=50lbm/ft3,re=930ft,q=500
RB/D,ando=1cp,thenNg=21.3andtheeffectsofgravitysegregationarelikelyimportant.Iftheverticalpermeabilityiskv=0.10mdinsteadof10.0md,thenNg=0.21
andtheeffectsofgravitysegregationarerelativelyunimportant.
Gasreinjection
Onemethodforimprovingoilrecoveryistoreinjectaportionoftheproducedgas.Thereinjectedgashelpsmaintainreservoirpressure.Oneobviousdrawbackofgas
reinjectionisthatgassalesrevenuesarereducedordelayed.Theoverallintentionofgasreinjectionistoincreasethenetprofitdespitelowergassales.Whenthereisnosales
outletforproducedgas,reinjectioncanimproveoilrecoveryuntilasalesoutletisestablished.Regulationsmayrequirereinjectionuntilsalesarepossible.Inertgasessuchas
nitrogenorcarbondioxidealsocouldbeusedtosupplementorreplacenaturalgasreinjection.
Figs.3through5presentsimulationresultsofagasreinjectionscenario.Inthisscenario,70%oftheproducedwellheadgasisreinjectedintothegascap,andthegascapis
nonsegregating.Thismeansthatonly30%oftheproducedwellheadgasisavailableforsales.Thenonreinjectedgasisreferredtoassalesgas.Thistermissometimesa
misnomerbecausenotallofthenonreinjectedgasisnecessarilysold.Inpractice,someofthesalesgasisusedroutinelyasfuelforpowerorutilityrequirements.

Fig.3showstheeffectofgasreinjectiononpressureasafunctionofoilrecovery.Oilrecoveryatagivenpressureisconsistentlyhigherforthegasreinjectioncasethanforthe
othercasesinFig.3,exceptatverylowpressuresatwhichthesegregatinggascapcaseyieldssuperiorperformance.Gasreinjectionleadstohigheroilrecoveriesbecausethe
compressedreinjectedgaseffectivelyaddsextraenergytothereservoir.
Fig.4showstheeffectofgasreinjectionontheGORhistory.GasreinjectionleadstoveryhighproducingGORs,significantlyhigherthantheothercases.TheGORishigher
becausethegassaturationishigher.Thegassaturationishigherbecausereinjectedgasandinitialgascapgasmigrateintotheoillegduringpressuredepletion.Thisoccurs
becausethegascapisnonsegregating.HighproducingGORsareacharacteristicfeatureofreservoirssubjecttogasreinjectionifthereislittleornoactivegravitydrainage.
HighproducingGORsmeanthatlargevolumesofproducedgaswillhavetobehandledandprocessedatthesurface.
Fig.4includestheeffectofgasreinjectionontheoilratehistory.Thisfigureshowsthattheoilrateishigherforthefirst81/2yearsforthegasreinjectioncasethanforanyof
theothercases.After81/2years,theoilrateforthesegregatinggascapcaseisslightlygreaterthantheoilrateforthegasreinjectioncase.Theseresultsdemonstratethatgas
reinjectionisaneffectivemeanstoarrestthenormaloilratedeclinedramatically.
Fig.4alsoshowstheeffectofgasreinjectiononthefractionaloilrecoveryhistoryandthatthegasreinjectioncaseissuperiortotheothercases.Thegasreinjectioncase
recovers36.7%oftheoriginaloillegOOIPatitseconomiclimitof181/2years.Onlythesegregatinggascapreservoirrecoversmoreoil(38.7%)however,thesegregating
gascapreservoirrequiresmoretimetorecovertheadditionaloil.
Fig.5showstheeffectofgasreinjectiononthefractionalgasrecoveryhistory.Thefractionalgasrecoveryisthecumulativeproducedwellheadgasnormalizedbytheoriginal
oillegOGIP.Thegasreinjectioncaserecovers177%oftheoillegOGIP(seeTable4).Morethan100%oftheoillegOGIPisproducedbecausesomeofthereinjectedgasis
produced.Because30%oftheproducedgasisnotreinjected,0.30177or53.1%oftheoillegOGIPisavailableforgassales.Thissalesgasrecoveryiscomparabletothe
casewithoutgasreinjection(52%OGIP).
Reservoirssubjecttogravitydrainageareespeciallyattractiveforgasreinjection.Crestalgasinjectionintothedevelopinggascapisthepreferredstrategybecausegravity
drainagehelpscontrolthemovementoftheinjectedgas.Excellentsweepanddisplacementefficienciesandhighoilrecoveriescanberealized.TheTensleeppoolintheElk
BasinfieldinWyomingisagoodexample.[6][7][8]Thispoolwasprojectedtorecoverapproximately64%oftheOOIP.Seetheimmisciblegasinjectioninoilreservoirs
(/Immiscible_gas_injection_in_oil_reservoirs)pageformoreinformationongravitydrainage.

Materialbalanceanalysis
Thepurposeofamaterialbalanceanalysisincludesconfirmingtheproducingmechanismandestimatingthefollowing:
Originaloilinplace(OOIP)
Originalgasinplace(OGIP)
Sizeofthegascap
Theapplicablematerialbalanceequationforinitiallysaturatedoilreservoirsis[9][10][11]
(/File%3AVol5_page_0928_eq_001.png)....................(2)
Thisequationisapplicabletoallinitiallysaturatedreservoirsregardlessofthedistributionoftheinitialfreegas.Forexample,thisequationisapplicabletoreservoirswhether
theinitialfreegasissegregatedintoagascaporuniformlydispersedthroughoutthereservoir.Eq.2alsoappliestowaterdriveshowever,ifthefollowingmethodsareapplied
towaterdrives(/Waterdrive_reservoirs),thewaterinfluxhistorymustbereliablyknown.Ifthewaterinflux(/Water_influx_models)historyisunknown,thenthemethodsin
materialbalanceinwaterdrivereservoirs(/Material_balance_in_water_drive_reservoirs)mustbeapplied.
ThequantitiesGfgiandNfoiarerelatedtoN(OOIP)andG(OGIP)bythefollowingequations:

(/File%3AVol5_page_0929_eq_001.png)....................(3)

and

(/File%3AVol5_page_0929_eq_002.png)....................(4)

wheremistheratioofthefreegasphaseandfreeoilphasevolumesandisdefinedby:
(/File%3AVol5_page_0929_eq_003.png)....................(5)
Thedimensionlessvariablemissometimescalledthedimensionlessgascapvolume.
BecauseGfgiandNfoiareindependent,theymustbedeterminedsimultaneously.Atleasttwosetsoftheindependentvariables(F,We,Egwf,Eowf)mustbeknownattwoor
morepressures(otherthantheinitialpressure)todeterminetheset(Gfgi,Nfoi).Ifthreeormoresets(F,We,Egwf,Eowf)areknown,thenmultiplesets(Gfgi,Nfoi)canbe
determined.Theoptimalsetisdeterminedbyoneoftwoleastsquaressolutiontechniques:iterativeordirectmethods.
Intheiterativemethod,Eq.2isexpressedas
(/File%3AVol5_page_0929_eq_004.png)....................(6)
whereEtisthetotalexpansivityexpressedperunitvolumeofstocktankoilandisdefinedby
(/File%3AVol5_page_0929_eq_005.png)....................(7)
ThesolutionproceduretoestimatetheOOIPandOGIPinvolvesthefollowingsteps:
1. ComputeF,Egwf,andEowfforeachdatapoint(i.e.,averagereservoirpressuremeasurement).
2. Guessm.
3. ComputeEt(m)withEq.7.
4. EstimateNfoiwithaleastsquaresanalysisusingEq.8.

(/File%3AVol5_page_0929_eq_006.png)....................(8)

wherejdenotesthedatapointindexandnisthetotalnumberofdatapoints.
5. ComputetheresidualRforeachdatapointwith
(/File%3AVol5_page_0929_eq_007.png)....................(9)
6. Computesumofthesquaresofresidual,Rss,as
(/File%3AVol5_page_0930_eq_001.png)....................(10)
7. ReturntoStep2andrepeatuntilRssisminimized.
8. ComputeG,N,andGfgifromEqs.3through5.
Minimizationalgorithmsspeedsolution.Thisprocedureisideallysuitedforspreadsheetcalculation,especiallyspreadsheetprogramsthatcontainminimizationalgorithms.
TheuseofEq.8inStep4todetermineNfoiisequivalenttotheslopeofa(FWe)vs.Et(m)plot.ThisgraphicalsolutionmethodcanbesubstitutedforEq.8inStep4if
desired.Overall,Steps2through7areequivalenttothegraphicalprocedureofvaryingmuntilthestraightestpossible(FWe)vs.Et(m)plotisrealized.[12]Fig.7showsthe
qualitativeeffectofmontheshapeofthe(FWe)vs.Etplot.
Ifmistoosmall,theplotcurvesupwardslightly
Ifmistoolarge,theplotcurvesdownwardslightly

(/File%3AVol5_Page_0930_Image_0001.png)
Fig.7Theeffectofmonaplotof(FWe)vs.
Et.

Oncemisdetermined,thefinal(FWe)vs.Etplotisusedtoconfirmtheproducingmechanism.Thelinearityoftheplotisameasureofmaterialbalance
(/Material_balance_in_oil_reservoirs)andtheapplicabilityofthepresumedproducingmechanism.Iftheplotexhibitsconsiderablecurvature,theneither:
Thepresumedmechanismisincorrect
or
Additionalproducingmechanismsareactive
Ifcurvatureexists,theshapeofthecurvatureprovidesinsightintothetrueproducingmechanism.Forinstance,iftheplotcurvesupward,thisindicatesthatnetwithdrawal
exceedsnetexpansionandthatwaterinflux,forexample,hasbeenignoredorispossiblyunderestimated.
Asanalternativetotheiterativemethod,Walsh[11][13]presentedadirectmethod.Thismethodisbasedonleastsquaresmultivariateregression.Theleastsquaresequationsare
simplebutlengthy.Thetechniqueisideallysuitedforspreadsheetcalculation.Walshsmethodisespeciallyattractivebecauseitavoidsiterationandthecomplicationsof
attainingandjudgingconvergence.
HavlenaandOdeh[12]proposedanothersolutionmethodinwhich(FWe)/Eowfisplottedvs.(Egwf/Eowf)theslopeoftheplotisequaltoGfgiandtheyinterceptisequalto
Nfoi.Thismethodispopularandattractivebecauseityieldsadirectsolution.Intheory,thismethodisperfectlyacceptable.Inpractice,however,ithasshowntobeunreliable
becauseitsuffersfromhypersensitivitytopressureuncertainty.[13][14]ThemethodhasbeenshowntoyieldhighlyerroneousGfgiandNfoiestimatesinthepresenceofonly
smallamountsofuncertainty.Forinstance,Walsh[13]showsthatonlya5psipressureuncertaintyyieldedanerrorofmorethan150%inNfoiandanerrorofmorethan250%in
Gfgi.Thehypersensitivityiscausedbythefactthatthedivisor(Eowf)approacheszeroasthepressureapproachestheinitialpressure.SmallerrorsinEowf,inturn,producelarge
errorsinthequotients:(FWe)/Eowf(Egwf/Eowf)
Tehrani[15]callsthisproblema"lossinresolvingpower."Becauseofthishypersensitivity,thismethodshouldbeusedcautiously.
Walsh[13]testedthedirectanditerativemethodsfortheirtolerancetouncertainty.Heobservedsensitivity,butthedegreeofsensitivitywaslessthanthemethodofplotting(F
We)/Eowfvs.(Egwf/Eowf).Heconcludedthatmaterialbalancemethodsforgascapreservoirsshouldbeusedcautiously.

Nomenclature
Bg

= gasFVF,RB/scf

= totalfluidwithdrawal,L3,RB

= totaloriginalgasinplace,L3,scf
Gfgi = initialfreegasinplace,L3,scf
Egwf = compositegas/water/rockFVF,RB/scf
Eowf = compositeoil/water/rockFVF,RB/STB
Et

= totalexpansivity,RB/STB

kv

= verticalpermeability,L2,md

= totaloriginaloilinplace,L3,STB
Nfoi = initialfreeoilinplace,L3,STB
N

Ng

= dimensionlessgravitynumber

= producingrateatreservoirconditions(RB/D)orsurfaceconditions(STB/D),vL3/t

re

= reservoirdrainageradius

Rj

= residualforpointj,L3,RB

Rs

= dissolvedGOR,scf/STB
Rss = sumofsquaresoftheresidual,L6,RB2
Rv = volatilizedoil/gasratio,STB/MMscf
Vfgi = initialvolumeoffreegas,L3,RB
Vfoi = initialvolumeoffreeoil,L3,RB
We = cumulativewaterinflux,L3,RB

= densitydifference,m/L3,lbm/ft3andg/cm3

= oilviscosity,m/Lt,cp

Subscripts
i = initialcondition
j = index

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Reservoirs,Vol.4a.Richardson,Texas:ReprintSeries,SPE.
8. Stewart,F.M.,Garthwaite,D.L.,andKrebill,F.K.1955.PressureMaintenancebyInertGasInjectionintheHighReliefElkBasinField.Trans.,AIME204:49.
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11. 11.011.1Walsh,M.P.andLake,L.W.2003.AGeneralizedApproachtoPrimaryHydrocarbonRecovery.Amsterdam:Elsevier.
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13. 13.013.113.213.3Walsh,M.P.1999.EffectofPressureUncertaintyonMaterialBalancePlots.PresentedattheSPEAnnualTechnicalConferenceandExhibition,
Houston,Texas,36October1999.SPE56691MS.http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/56691MS(http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/56691MS)
14. Wang,B.andHwan,R.R.1997.InfluenceofReservoirDriveMechanismonUncertaintiesofMaterialBalanceCalculations.PresentedattheSPEAnnualTechnical
ConferenceandExhibition,SanAntonio,Texas,58October1997.SPE38918MS.http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/38918MS(http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/38918MS)
15. Tehrani,D.H.1985.AnAnalysisofaVolumetricBalanceEquationforCalculationofOilinPlaceandWaterInflux.JPetTechnol37(9):16641670.SPE12894PA.
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Seealso
Primarydrivemechanisms(/Primary_drive_mechanisms)
Solutiongasdrivereservoirs(/Solution_gas_drive_reservoirs)
Waterdrivereservoirs(/Waterdrive_reservoirs)
Oilfluidcharacteristics(/Oil_fluid_characteristics)
PEH:OilReservoirPrimaryDriveMechanisms(/PEH%3AOil_Reservoir_Primary_Drive_Mechanisms)

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