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SPE 164924

Reservoir Permeability from Wireline Formation Testers


Stefano Cantini, Schlumberger, Davide Baldini, Enzo Beretta, Daniele Loi, Stefano Mazzoni, ENI E&P

Copyright 2013, Society of Petroleum Engineers


This paper was prepared for presentation at the EAGE Annual Conference & Exhibition incorporating SPE Europec held in London, United Kingdom, 1013 June 2013.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract
Permeability is an essential parameter in order to properly define well and reservoir performance. Permeability is also
relevant in overall reservoir management and development, including reservoir simulation, gravity drainage, flood
performance, assessment of gas or water coning.
Attempts to derive reservoir permeability with wireline formation testers started in the 70s, calculating drawdown mobility
from pretests taken with a single probe. However, despite drawdown mobility provides valuable information about reservoir
behavior, it is not comparable to reservoir permeability traditionally measured with Drill Stem Tests (DST). This is due to its
limited depth of investigation, the upscaling difficulties and the fact that probe type tools do not develop a complete radial
flow regime. In the 90s the introduction of the latest generation of wireline formation testers, equipped with straddle packer
modules able to develop radial flow with radius of investigation in the order of tens of meters, enabled measurement of
permeability at reservoir scale. These tests, called miniDST or IPTT (Interval Pressure Transient Testing), represent in some
cases a valid alternative to conventional DST tests, especially for the environmental, safety and the economic aspects.
MiniDST/IPTT method is here described, from the design phase, very important in order to obtain a reliable test, to final
interpretation, with a critical review of the method applicability, its limitations and comparison versus traditional DST.
Latest developments in terms of hardware and interpretation techniques are included.
Case histories are also provided in order to demonstrate the IPTT application, its integration with the other permeability
sources and the reservoir model, including comparison between simulated reservoir deliverability and measured well test
rates.

Overview of Permeability Measurement Methods


Logging, core measurements, and well testing methods are available to measure permeability in new wells. Logging methods
include:
- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), providing a continuous pore size and porosity profile from which
permeability is derived. The most used equation is from Coates-Timur (Coates et al., 1973):



(1)

where is porosity. NMR permeability can be calibrated by core study, providing a, b, c values (if core study is
not available, 2 is used for a and 4 for b, while c depends on type of rock).
Empirical correlations of permeability vs porosity derived from nuclear and sonic logs or from Stoneley acoustic
wave. These are often weak correlations not reflecting real permeability distribution, especially in heterogeneous
formations.
Permeability at different scales measured by wireline formation testing, as described in detail in the following
chapters.

Often, permeabilities from logging, cores and well test methods are correlated without considering relevant factors, like scale
of the medium under investigation (refer to Fig. 1) and state of the rock. Without considering these factors, the
permeabilities determined from different sources can vary significantly, as well as the estimates of reservoir performance.
Core analysis has uncertainties related to the ability to reproduce reservoir conditions (stress in particular) and to the need of
using native hydrocarbons for the flow tests. Log measurements, except IPTT tests, have very limited radius of investigation,
thus influenced by the upscaling factor and by the filtrate in the invaded zone, but also have the benefit of being continuous

SPE 164924

measurements. Full scale DSTs with extended flow and shut in periods provide a representative but average permeability,
valid only if single phase flow is maintained. Only taking in consideration all these factors appropriate comparisons and
correlations among the various methods can be carried out.
On the operating aspect, relevant factors to consider for the methods of choice are: environment, safety, time (referred to
acquisition and delivery of results) and cost. A full scale DST needs to flow hydrocarbons at surface, unless closed chambers
or injection tests are carried out, with environmental and safety concerns. Time also matters; logs have advantage on this
since acquisition and results delivery are tipically in the order of days, while full scale DST is in the order of weeks and cores
results are often available after few months. Cost is often related to time, especially in appraisal and exploration environment.

Figure 1 Relative scales of permeability sources

The History of Wireline Formation Testing


When introduced in 1955 the first wireline formation tester tool was able to take one fluid sample and one formation
pressure. The repeat formation tester, introduced in 1975, was able to acquire two fluid samples and unlimited formation
fluid pressures. This feature became quickly a very effective method to understand reservoir fluid types through pressure
gradients, defining fluid contacts if possible, and connectivity between wells based on same pressure regime. Apart the
feature of formation fluid pressure measurement, the wireline formation testing configuration did not substantially change
until the end of the 80s, with tools having a probe assembly and one or two sample chambers. Main limitations were the
possibility of testing only primary porosity formations with medium to good mobilities, and the high contamination of
samples , since no clean up was possible prior to open sample chambers.
Techniques to derive reservoir permeability with probe type tools were developed, analyzing the drawdown and subsequent
buildup during the formation fluid pressure measurement. However, despite drawdown mobility provides valuable
information about reservoir behavior, it is not comparable to reservoir permeability traditionally measured with DST mainly

SPE 164924

due to its limited depth of investigation and the upscaling difficulties.


At the beginning of the 90s, a modular formation tester tool type was introduced, representing a relevant breakthrough for
this type of technology. The modular configuration extended the range of application with respect to the previous single
probe tools: a straddle packer module, able to isolate 1 m interval, allowed testing of fractured or low porosity formations,
while pump modules can be used to perform full cleanup prior to sampling. The clean up process is controlled in real time
through fluid analysis modules, able to determine fluid type and composition in real time. A new generaton quartz gauge with
quick stabilization was also integrated into the tool. The modular concept proved to be ideal for wireline formation testing:
each module is designed to perform specific functions, thus the string can be configured depending on the acquisition
objectives (Schlumberger, 2006).
From the 90s wireline formation testing modules were enhanced in order to improve hardware (mechanical reliability as well
as capability of operating under extreme pressure and temperature conditions) and measurements. Today it is possible to
characterize reservoir fluids in real time, with complete definition of hydrocarbon properties through downhole fluid analysis
(Mullins, 2008), providing hydrocarbon typing and composition, GOR, density and viscosity at desired depths. Formation
water properties (salinity, density, ph) can also be measured in real time. Downhole samples are normally collected and their
analysis results are later on integrated with downhole fluid analysis data.
The possibility of performing a detailed fluid characterization in real time made the wireline formation testing an efficient
method to assess reservoirs. In addition, the introduction of modular configuration with straddle packer modules enabled
measurement of permeability at reservoir scale, since able to develop radial flow with radius of investigation in the order of
tens of meters. These tests, called miniDST or IPTT (Interval Pressure Transient Testing), represent in some cases a valid
alternative to conventional DST tests, especially for the environmental and the economic aspects (Helshahawi et al., 2008,
Whittle et al., 2003).

Repeat Formation Tester -1975

Formation Tester -1955

Modular Formation Tester -1990

Figure 2- Evolution of wireline formation testers

SPE 164924

Permeability from Probe Type Tools


The pretest of a single probe tool starts with withdrawal of a small amount of fluid, typically 5 to 20 cc, from the formation
into the pretest chamber of the tool. This initial phase, called drawdown, causes a reduction in pressure that mainly depends
from the permeability of tested zone, the viscosity of the fluid in the formation surrounding the probe, the rate of fluid
withdrawal. Then, if the tested point has enough permeability, the pressure builds up to the formation fluid pressure value
(Fig. 3). Despite the drawn fluid is filtrate from the invaded zone, the buildup is representative of the pressure of mobile
phase into the reservoir, as the buildup radius of investigation is enough to bypass the invaded zone.
A quality control is performed on the pressures, excluding dry, tight and supercharged points; if possible, pressure gradients
and eventual fluid contacts are then determined using representative points.
Further information regarding permeability can be extracted from the representative points, with analysis of drawdown and
buildup. The pretest analysis to derive permeability was first introduced in 1962 (Moran) and later developed with the
introduction of the Repeat Formation Tester in the 70s (Stewart et al. 1979, Schlumberger, 1981):
The pressure drawdown analysis uses a spherical flow equation:


where

'

(2)

kd / is spherical drawdown mobility in mD/cp


q is total flow rate in cc/sec
P is the pressure drawdown in psi
C is a constant which takes into account probe type and the flowregime distortion caused by the wellbore

The equation 2 was recently fine tuned using the entire drawdown and buildup history to integrate the area under the last read
build up pressure and considering the effective drawdown volume only from the moment the flowline is decompressing
below formation pressure.
The range of application of equation (2) is typically between 0.1 and 100 mD/cp. Below 0.1 mD/cp pressures are normally
supercharged and thus correct delta pressure cannot be determined. Also, the equation is based on steady-state drawdown
conditions, difficult to achieve in low mobilities, unless pretest rate is set extremely slow. Above 100 mD/cp the pressure
drawdown is in general too small and too fast to be picked up correctly by the gauges, so mobilities above this value should
be intended qualitatively only.
The drawdown phase has a very limited radius of investigation, in the order of few inches, thus interesting only the fluid on
the invaded zone, normally mud filtrate with a residual part of original fluid. Several methods are available to determine
viscosity of the fluid into invaded zone (Hernandez et al., 2011) in order to derive permeability from equation (2). However,
the following factors should be considered when comparing or integrating the drawdown permeability with other permability
sources (cores, NMR logs):
- The mobility value incorporates skin caused by formation damage
- Soft formations may become compacted in the area surrounding the probe, leading to a pessimistic mobility
evaluation
- If filtrate is different from the virgin formation fluid (i.e. WBM filtrate into oil zone), the relative permeability
effects need to be taken in account
- Formation testers have different internal volumes, referring to the hydraulic circuit between pretest chamber, gauges
and probe: a smaller internal volume will be more effective in transmitting the pressure drawdown to the formation,
resulting in lower mobility with respect to a tool with larger internal volume
- The drawdown permeability is spherical, dominated by horizontal permeability
Buildup has in average bigger radius of investigation than drawdown, in the order of a meter, and it is carried out using
derivative analysis to determine kh (permeability thickness). Figure 3 shows the flowregime propagation into reservoir and its
effects on derivative; initial storage is related to compressibility effects into the tool volume between probe, gauges and
pretest chamber. Then, spherical and radial flowregimes can be observed. However, buildup analysis is seldom used for
permeability purposes, since the flowregime is influenced by heterogeneities surrounding the probe, making difficult to
determine the real contributing thickness h. Also, probe type tools do not develop a real radial flow, since pressure transient
lines propagate around the wellbore (Fig. 3 top left).
Kasap et al. (1996) introduced a technique based on the material balance for the tools flowline, applicable to both pressure
drawdown and buildup data simultaneously, plotting formation rate versus pressure. This method assumes that the
permeability of the formation, the viscosity of the formation fluid and the compressibility of the fluid in the tool stay constant
during a pressure test. If the data points fall on a straight line, mobility can be derived from the line slope.

SPE 164924

Storage
Spherical
Radial
Radial

Spherical

Figure 3-Theoretical flowregimes developed by a probe type tools (left) and typical pretest pressure vs time plot (top
right) and buildup derivative analysis (bottom right)

Despite permeability from probe type tools provides valuable information, uncertainties arise when upscaling it to the whole
reservoir, due to the limited depth of investigation, the sampling rate and the fact that probe type tools do not develop a
complete radial flow regime.

Permeability from Straddle Packer Tools with miniDST/IPTT tests


In the 90s the introduction of the latest generation of wireline formation testers, equipped with dual packer device able to
straddle selectively one section of reservoir, typically one meter, enabled the possibility to measure permeability at reservoir
scale. As opposed to pretests where few tens of cc are produced, IPTT involve the production of 10 to 100 liters typically,
followed by a pressure buildup usually lasting 1-2 hours. These tests develop a radial flow at reservoir scale and have a radius
of investigation normally in the range of tens of meters, depending on production time, volume pumped, reservoir
permeability and test duration (Ayan 2001, Elsahawi, 2008). Also, it is possible to perform at the same time vertical
interference tests (VIT) adding monitoring probes above or below the straddle packer. Informations that can be retrieved by
IPPT tests include formation pressure, permeability, anysotropy, skin factor, vertical connectivity and reservoir deliverability.
Uncertainties associated with charaterization of reservoir fluids, once constrained to sample analysis possible only in few
zones and with results available few weeks after the acquisition, are now overcomed with DFA, Downhole Fluid Analysis
(Mullins, 2008). While reservoir fluid is pumped by the tool, fluid typing and composition is provided in real time by
spectrometers, as well as value of insitu density and viscosity (Fig. 8). This enables the possibility to interpret permeability
tests in real time, since fluid type, composition and viscosity are critical inputs to derive permeability.
Figure 4 shows a typical buildup analysis of IPPT test carried out with a straddle packer tool; theoretically a first radial flow
appears after storage, corresponding to the horizontal permeability thickness of the straddled interval. In practice this is
seldom observed, since masked by storage effects. Then if the reservoir boundaries are thicker than the straddled interval, a
negative half slope spherical flowregime develops, followed by a radial flow, corresponding to the permeability thickness of
the whole reservoir in between the impermeable boundaries.

SPE 164924

Spherical Flow regime is controlled by spherical permeability which can be approximated with equation 3 below:

Consequently, if spherical flowregime is observed, anysotropy permeability ratio kv/kh can be determined. Packer position in
the reservoir is particular important in case permeability anysotropy is one of the primary objectives; in such case it is
recommended to set the tool in the middle of the sand body. If the packer is set close to one of the impermeable boundaries,
two parallel negative half slope lines representing hemisperical and spherical flow regimes develop, and this should be
considered when computing kv/kh. If radial flow is then observed, the values of kv and kh can be determined.

First Radial

Radial
Spherical

Figure 4 - Theoretical flowregimes during IPPT test carried out with a straddle packer tool; the first radial flow
corresponds to the horizontal permeability thickness of the straddled interval. Then, if the reservoir boundaries are
thicker than the straddled interval, a negative half slope spherical flowregime develops, followed by a radial flow,
corresponding to the permeability thickeness of the whole reservoir in between the impermeable boundaries.

In case of a laminated reservoir or high permeability anysotropy, the flowregime may result constrained in between the
straddled interval, rather than propagating to the main impermeable boundaries. In such case a radial flow corresponding to
permeability thickness of straddled interval develops directly, see Fig. 5.

Radial

Figure 5 - Theoretical flowregimes during IPPT test carried out with a straddle packer tool in a laminated reservoir; In
such case a radial flow corresponding to permeability thickness of straddled interval develops directly, since
constrained by the laminations.

Due to modular configuration of the tool, it is possible to add above or below the straddle packer one or more monitoring
probes. Indications on vertical connectivity and determination of kv and kv/kh across tested interval are provided by the
pressure and time delay response at the observation probe (Goode et al., 1992). This method is called Vertical Interference

SPE 164924

Test (VIT) and provides an independent determination of kv that can be compared to the one obtained with straddle packer
IPTT test. In theory, if the single probe and dual packer are located in the same zone, both transient data should exhibit the
same radial flow stabilization.

Radial

Figure 6 - Theoretical flowregimes during IPPT/VIT test carried out with a straddle packer and probe tool.

IPTT Test Design


A proper pre-job design is a must to achieve representative IPTT results. Main points to consider (Bertolini et al, 2009) are:
-The contributing thickness h must be clearly identified from logs. To this purpose, multilayer reservoirs of metric thickness
well defined between impermeable boundaries are the optimal environment. In case of laminated reservoirs, h is the straddle
packer interval since flow regime is constrained by the laminations. Uncertainties in h determination arise with thick
reservoirs without well defined boundaries.
-It must be possibile to create enough drawdown in the tested interval, considering that average tools pump rate is ranging
between 0.3 to 1.5 liters/min. Reservoirs with very high permeability in order of a Darcy or more should be excluded due to
difficulties in creating enough delta pressure to be detected by the pressure gauges.
-The buildup should be long enough to reach radial flow. To this purpose, real time job monitoring is a must, in order to
optimize buildup length. It is recommended to acquire at least two good quality buildups.
-The hole should be in good conditions to achieve seal with the packers, and if there are operational constraints in station
time due to sticking, drill pipe conveyance is recommended.
-There is a safety concern regarding hydrocarbons released into mud column during pumping. 800 liters of gas is normally
considered the maximum safe limit of gas volume that can be realeased in a WBM environment (OBM is more friendly since
absorbing part of the gas pumped in the wellbore). However, the best approach is to use softwares able to simulate maximum
amount of hydrocarbons that can be discharged safely into the mud based on expected well and reservoir conditions. Drill
pipe conveyance offers the possibility to circulate mud during the wireline formation testing acquisition, if needed.
-Tool pumps should be calibrated in order to have accurate downhole rate measurement, since rate is a key input for
permeability determination.

SPE 164924

IPTT developments
The upper permeability limit of IPTT application is typically in the order of a Darcy or above, due to impossility with current
pumps of creating enough delta pressure to be detected by the gauges. The lower permeability limit is usually above
microdarcies due to the need of having very slow pumps able to create a steady state drawdown and a tool specifically
designed with larger flowarea than current straddle packer, and with very low storage volume.
A new pump able to achieve a rate of 6 l/min recently extended IPTT application to higher permeability reservoirs.
A new device to connect to the reservoir was recently introduced (Figure 7), consisting in four large radial inlets mounted on
a packer. The advantage of this configuration is the elimination of sump volume in between packers while maintaining a
large flow area, with benefits on clean up time and on flowregime identification due to very limited storage. The device is
also less sensitive to borehole conditions with respect to a standard straddle packer tool.

Clean up profile

Figure 7 New wireline formation tester device with


comparison with standard straddle packer tool (right).

four large radial inlets over the

packer

section (left),

A case history with the new device is reported in Fig. 8, where the flowregime identification from pressure buildup analysis
is very neat despite the low permeability and the short pressure buildup at the end of clean up sequence. The figure
summarizes the modern approach of wireline formation testing, providing not only pressure and reservoir permeability but
also full characterization of hydrocarbon properties in real time over the tested interval through Downhole Fluid Analysis.
The new wireline formation testing technology allowed in this case the discovery of relevant hydrocarbon bearing zones that
would not be normally assessed due to the low permeability.
Recent developments on deconvolution methods are also of relevant interest to enhance the IPTT interpretation (Pimonov et
al, 2009, Wu J. et al, 2009). Deconvolution methods remove wellbore storage effects for earlier detection of radial flow,
transform a noisy production interval into ideal drawdown to be eventually used for interpretation and enhance radius of
investigation allowing identification of eventual boundaries.

SPE 164924

DENSITY

GOR

COMPOSITION

PRESSURE

Spherical Flow
Kv/Kh=0.44
Radial Flow
Kh=1.12mDm

Figure 8 - Data acquired with the new radial device tool summarize the modern ap
pproach of wireline formation
h Downhole Fluid Analysis, kv
testing, providing reservoir pressure, hydrocarbon characterization in real time through
ar identification of spherical and radial flow despite
e the low permeability and the
and kh. Low tool storage enables clea
short pressure buildup time.

Reservoir Deliverability Forecast


Early assessment of the reservoir potenntial to flow hydrocarbons is of primary relevance, especially
e
if the forecast can be
made available before casing the well.. Productivity of each layer of interest can be foreccasted using a Nodal Analysis
software producing Inflow Performancee Relationship (IPR) plot. Input data are the kh from IPTT over the zone of interest,
the reservoir pressure and the hydrocaarbon properties derived from Downhole Fluid Annalysis, all derived by logging
measurements. The IPR plot defines if the tested zone is a candidate for further developmen
nt and if eventual stimulation is
needed to increase performance. This ap
pproach provided a forecast close to the observed prroduction results in many cases
(Ramaswami et al., 2012, Aguilera et all., 2012, Kumar et al., 2008) , including the case histo
ory provided below. Of course
the results have to be properly weightedd since the simulation is carried out with some assumpptions like the skin of the final
completion. Further integration and recconciliation with all other available data, especially after
a
observation of production
rates should be carried out in order to finne tune the methodology.

10

SPE 164924

In case IPTT tests were not carried out in all zones of interest, it is still possible to forecast the productivity of these zones
integrating and upscaling NMR permeability with kh derived from IPTT tests, obtaining a continuous calibrated permeability
profile. The method consists in the following steps:
-Identify facies and hydraulic units from log data (NMR, nuclear, resistivity and image logs).
-Derive NMR cumulative permeability thickness khNMR of each hydraulic unit, considering the unit made up of vertical
sequence of n layers of thickness h (normally considering h =10 cm).
-Determine scale factor for NMR permeability comparing khNMR to kh from IPTT in the same hydraulic unit:

-Apply scale factor to NMR permeability log; different scale factors may be applied based on rock type and facies.
-kh for each unit can be now derived integrating calibrated NMR permeability log over interval of interest
-Input kh, fluid properties and pressure into Nodal Analysis software to produce IPR plots for the hydraulic units
The application of this methodology is described with a case history from Adriatic Sea, Italy (Loi et al, 2011) in thin
laminated sandstone multilayers, gas bearing. Due to high permeability anysotropy, the kh determined by IPTT tests is
considered referred to the straddled interval between the packers, being the flow constrained by the horizontal laminations.
The simulation considers the production forecast of 18 m perforated interval. Two IPTT tests were carried out in this interval,
each providing a kh over 1 m interval, used to determine the scale factor for the NMR permeability log. The khNMR calibrated
with scale factor from IPTT tests over the 18 m interval to be perforated resulted 1.5 mDm, with average reservoir pressure of
2944 psi. Forecasted IPR curve is shown in Fig. 10; measured gas rate during DST cleanup was 5600 Sm3/day with flowing
bottom hole pressure of 600 psi, a rate slightly lower than simulated (7950 Sm3/day). The same interval was then fracpacked
producing 40000 Sm3/day. While discrepancies between forecasted and observed rates may be due to assumption of
completion skin , to very short DST clean up not providing the full reservoir deliverability, to the need of fine tuning the
method, overall it was possible to forecast the productivity of the several levels to be perforated in this well and thus
determine completion strategy. Zones with low forecasted rates were directly fracpacked prior to clean up in order to improve
performance, while zones with higher expected productivity, especially if near to water zones, were completed without
fracturing, with High Rate Water Pack technique.
In conclusion, the productivity forecast integrated with Downhole Fluid Analysis data, useful to discriminate gas and water
zones, allowed a more efficient well testing and completion strategy, thus reducing the total cost of the well. This approach is
now used for the new wells drilled in the same environment, and further comparison of forecasted vs observed rates will be
used to fine tune the model.

Figure 9 Composite log display (left) with Gamma Ray, Induction, NMR and image logs (left ), IPTT tests
interpretation (right). IPTT tests were used to upscale the NMR permeability over 18 m interval to be perforated
(highlighted in red), in order to forecast gas production.

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11

Gas Deliverability Estimate

Clean up observation

Figure 10 IPR (Inflow Performance Relationship) Plot forecast from integration of NMR and IPTT tests shown in
Figure 9. Measured gas rate during cleanup of the interval was 5600 m3/day with flowing bottom hole pressure of 600
psi (red circle), a rate lower than simulated also due to very short DST clean up. The same interval was then
fracpacked producing 40 KSm3/day.

Conclusions
Modern wireline formation testers provide a detailed reservoir characterization through formation fluid pressure, downhole
fluid analysis, sampling and permeability measurements. Through proper design and execution of IPTT tests it is possible to
determine permeability at reservoir scale, directly comparable to DST tests. IPTT tests are an attractive method for safety and
environmental aspects since no hydrocarbon flaring is required, also providing results in short timeframe (days) and
considerable reduction of costs. For these reasons wireline formation tests are gaining more and more popularity as possible
alternatives to well testing in exploration and appraisal activities, especially for evaluation of multilayer reservoirs with high
degree of heterogeneity or low permeability zones that may be difficult to test in conventional manner. Characterization of
faults and boundaries should not be a primary objective in IPTT programs, as these features must be relatively close to the
wellbore to be detected.
Recent hardware innovations enhanced the range of applicability of IPTT tests; high rate pumps allowed testing of higher
permeability reservoirs, while a new packer with radial inlets eliminates the large storage volume of standard straddle packer
tools, with faster clean up times and flowregime identification.
IPTT data acquired during logging can be used to forecast reservoir deliverability with IPR plots in a timely manner, with the
possibility of optimizing well test and completion strategy. IPTT tests can also provide a scale factor for NMR data, to
determine a continous permeability profile to be used for further reservoir deliverability forecasts, as shown by the case
history described in this paper.
The different permeability sources are complementary and if relevant factors like the scale of the medium under investigation
and state of the rock during the measurement are taken in consideration, their reconciliation and integration with all available
data is a necessary step to build an accurate well productivity model. Each permeability measurement method has pros and
cons that should be evaluated in relation to the type of reservoir, the operating constraints and the objectives to be achieved,
in order to define the best acquisition strategy. To this purpose, a comparison between IPTT and standard DST tests is
reported on Tables 1 and 2.

12

Initial Formation Pressure Pi


Radial Permeability Kh
Vertical Permeability Kv
High Permeability Reservoirs
Reservoir boundaries
Skin Factor
Flow Capacity
Drainage Area Extension
PVT Samples (Oil /Gas)
Water Samples
H2S/C02/ph
H2S/C0 2/ph determination
Investigation
Rock Mechanics/Sand Control
Detailed Fluid Characterization
Fluid Contacts

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Wireline Formation Testing IPTT


Profile
Better evaluation in multilayers
yes with VIT
Limited by low pump rate
Only if very close
Open Hole skin
Limited by low pump rate
No
High quality sampling, real time
downhole control
High quality sampling, real time
downhole control
Yes , through DFA and/or sampling
Limited to ten's of meters
Stress Test
Fluid Composition and GOR through
DFA, In-situ Density , In-situ Viscosity
Pressure and Fluid Scanning

DST
Average Value of flowing interval
Average Value of flowing interval
Only if spherical flow regime is
observed
Yes
Yes
Total skin
No limitations
Yes
Two phases sample if Pb close to
formation pressure
Only if water zone is completed
H2s scavenging, no representative Ph
Extended and interference tests
Yes
No
No

Table 1: Comparison IPTT vs DST: Data Acquisition

Cost (US$)(US$) -North Sea


Discharge to environment
Safety
Time

Wireline Formation Testing IPTT


0.5-1 million entire acquisition
None
No particular issues, except if
discharging big volumes of gas in mud
1-2 days

DST
10-30 million/test
Yes (hydrocarbon flaring)
Issues related to hydrocarbon flowing
through complex setup
1-2 weeks

Table 2: Comparison IPTT vs DST: Operating Constraints

Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank ENI E&P management for the permission of publishing the data.
Special thanks to Sameer Joshi who monitored and interpreted one of the case histories mentioned on the paper.

Nomenclature
C = Probe Type Coefficient
DFA = Downhole Fluid Analysis
DST = Drill Stem Test
H = thickness, m
IPR= Inflow Performance Relationship
IPTT = Interval Pressure Transient Testing
k = Permeability, mD
kh = Permeability thickness, mDm
kh = Horizontal Permeability, mD
kv = Vertical Permeability
NMR = Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
OBM = Oil Based Mud

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13

P = Pressure, psi
Q = Flowrate
R = Radial Distance
S = Skin
D = Day
Sm3/D = Standard Cubic Meters per Day
WBM = Water Based Mud
= Viscosity, cp
= Porosity, V/V
P = Delta pressure, psi
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