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Gas Condensate Reservoir Performance

F.B. THOMAS

Hycal Energy Research Laboratories Ltd.

G. ANDERSEN
Chevron/Texaco

D.B. BENNION

Hycal Energy Research Laboratories Ltd.

Gas condensate reservoirs exhibit complex coupling between


phase behaviour, interfacial tension, velocity and pore size distribution. Appropriate characterization of the in situ fluids and
relevant flow testing can provide valuable insight into gas condensate reservoir forecasting. The following insights were obtained during the course of this testing:
1. The importance of path dependence was shown to be significant when creating equilibrium phases below saturation
pressure for use in quantifying phase interference. Differences, due to compositional path, in API gravity of liquids
in solution were quantified to be as much as 10 degrees,
with molecular weight differences over 110 daltons.
2. End-point saturations, such as trapped gas and residual condensate saturation, are sensitive to the level of interfacial
tension (IFT). Critical condensate saturation was less sensitive to IFT (pressure).
3. The two-phase injection approach and the protocol whereby
explicit measurement of relative permeability is performed
provide a very thorough gas-condensate reservoir data set,
which are amenable for use in simulation and reservoir production forecasting.

Background
This paper discusses performance of gas condensate reservoirs.
These reservoirs have a reservoir temperature located between the
critical point and the cricondentherm on the reservoir fluids pressure-temperature diagram. This is the only unique and accurate
means of identifying gas condensate reservoirs; any other definition [condensate-gas ratio, C7+ molecular weight (MW) or C7+
API gravity] is specious and ersatz.
In these reservoirs, as the pressure drops, vapour and liquid
phases result. Capillary pressure causes phase interference which
usually reduces gas productivity. A cross-section of interesting
topics that show the complexities of gas-condensate reservoir production have been reported in the literature(1-7). All of the relevant
parameters, if well understood, will lead to more accurate evaluation of the amount of hydrocarbon in place, the rate at which the
resource can be produced and the optimization strategies as the
reservoir matures.

the very specific nature of this paper in quantifying phase behaviour-fluid flow coupling in the laboratory, it was considered important to provide a short commentary on sampling of gas condensate
fluids that form the foundation on which experimental gas condensate testing is built. Extensive treatment of this theme was beyond
the scope of the current paper.

Retrograde Condensate Sampling


The bottomhole flowing pressure (PBHF) must be lower than reservoir pressure to induce flow. If the PBHF is less than dew point
pressure then liquids drop out in the porous media around the production well. The gas is much more mobile than the condensate
and, therefore, the gas-condensate ratios (GCR) exhibited at surface are commonly higher than that of the reservoir fluid.
A further complication of this problem is that the composition of
the surface liquid also changes. When the PBHF is above dew point,
the MW of the surface liquid is the highest. Figure 1 shows the
change in composition incident to decreasing bottomhole pressure.
The heaviest components are the first to leave the vapour phase;
this may occur at pressures just below the dew point pressure. The
consequence of the compositional change is that the lower the MW
of the surface liquid used in the recombination, the lower the apparent dew point pressure. Relative to the reservoir pressure, this
trend can indicate an increasing degree of under-saturation. However, this is commonly offset by the high GCR mentioned above.
For these reasons, multi-rate sampling helps to identify trends in
surface-separator fluid properties as a function of changes in PBHF
and, therefore, approaches representative reservoir fluid properties
by appropriate recombination techniques.
The ideal time to sample is before the PBHF has fallen below
the dew point. In this case, slow flow bottomhole sampling (BHS)
will capture a representative fluid. The experience of the authors
0.02
0.018

Mole Fraction

Abstract

0.016
0.014
0.012
0.01
0.008

2 Months

4 Months 7 Months

0.006
0.004
0.002
0

Introduction
In this paper, retrograde condensate characterization and properties measurement, explicit relative permeability and two-phase dynamic steady-state measurements are discussed. Notwithstanding

C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 C17 C18 C19 C20 C21 C22 C23

Component
FIGURE 1: Heavy-end compositional changes.

Peer Reviewed Paper (Review and Publication Process can be found on our Website)
18

Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology

Table 1: Sample validation compositional analysis of recombined fluid.

-320.4
-109.3
-76.6
-259.1
-128.0
-44.0
10.9
30.9
82.0
97.0
97 - 156
156 - 208.9
208.9 - 258.1
258.1 - 303.1
303.1 - 345
345 - 385
385 - 419
419 - 455
455 - 486
486 - 519.1
519.1 - 550
550 - 557
557 - 603
603 - 626
626 - 651.9
651.9 - 675
675 - 696.9
696.9 - 716
716 - 736
736 - 755.1
755.1 - 774
774.1 - 792
792.1 - 809.1
809.1 - 826
Above 826

120.0
162.0
178.0
214.0

Component
Name

Chemical
Symbol

Mole
Fraction

Mass
Fraction

Nitrogen
Carbon Dioxide
Hydrogen Sulphide
Methane
Ethane
Propane
i-Butane
n-Butane
i-Pentane
n-Pentane
Hexanes
Heptanes
Octanes
Nonanes
Decanes
Undecanes
Dodecanes
Tridecanes
Tetradecanes
Pentadecanes
Hexadecanes
Heptadecanes
Octadecanes
Nonadecanes
Eicosanes
Heneicosanes
Docosanes
Tricosanes
Tetracosanes
Pentacosanes
Hexacosanes
Heptacosanes
Octacosanes
Nonacosanes
Tricontanes Plus

N2
CO2
H2S
C1
C2
C3
i-C4
n-C4
i-C5
n-C5
C6
C7
C8
C9
C10
C11
C12
C13
C14
C15
C16
C17
C18
C19
C20
C21
C22
C23
C24
C25
C26
C27
C28
C29
C30+

0.0024
0.0201
0.0000
0.8243
0.0509
0.0346
0.0067
0.0106
0.0036
0.0025
0.0016
0.0022
0.0058
0.0036
0.0027
0.0024
0.0019
0.0022
0.0023
0.0015
0.0013
0.0011
0.0010
0.0006
0.0006
0.0005
0.0004
0.0004
0.0004
0.0004
0.0003
0.0003
0.0004
0.0004
0.0020

0.0026
0.0334
0.0000
0.4997
0.0578
0.0576
0.0146
0.0234
0.0098
0.0069
0.0053
0.0084
0.0248
0.0175
0.0146
0.0132
0.0116
0.0148
0.0162
0.0116
0.0109
0.0097
0.0093
0.0064
0.0061
0.0050
0.0050
0.0044
0.0044
0.0047
0.0043
0.0045
0.0053
0.0060
0.0428

C5H10
C6H12
C6H12
C7H14

0.0003
0.0012
0.0015
0.0022

0.0007
0.0039
0.0048
0.0082

Calculated Properties

Total Sample
Molecular Weight

26.48

C6+ Fraction
Molecular Weight
Mole Fraction
Density (g/cc)

176.28
0.0442
0.8303

C7+ Fraction
Molecular Weight
Mole Fraction
Density (g/cc)

172.08
0.0423
0.8338

C12+ Fraction
Molecular Weight
Mole Fraction
Density (g/cc)

270.68
0.0179
0.8746

C30+ Fraction
Molecular Weight
Mole Fraction
Density (g/cc)

554.15
0.0020
0.9807

Recombination Parameters
Gas-Oil Ratio (cc/cc)
Dead Oil Density (g/cc)
Dead Oil MW (g/mol)

2324.56
0.8265
167.84

NAPHTHENES
Cyclopentane
Methylcyclopentane
Cyclohexane
Methylcyclohexane

0.70
0.60

0.40

0.0015
0.0001
0.0006
0.0002
0.0004
1.0000

0.0045
0.0003
0.0024
0.0009
0.0017
1.0000

Note: Physical properties are calculated based on GPA 2145-00 physical constants.

is that this scenario (PBHF > PDEW) is unusual, however. Typically,


sufficient production to induce two-phase near-wellbore flow is
encountered before sampling is considered; the earlier the sampling occurs, and the lower the drawdown during the sampling,
the better.
When some bottomhole samplers are opened, particularly in
low-permeability rock, two-phase separation can be induced, depending on the degree of under-saturation. Bottomhole sampling
is not a panacea for problematic fluid characterization. The one
reason for which the authors always recommend BHS along with
multi-rate surface sampling however, is due to the fact that there
may be solid-liquid separation (waxes). Inclusion of these components in the characterization can impact the dew point pressure
significantly. The authors often see differences in the plus fraction
comparing bottomhole samples and surface liquids due to solid
separation on the trip up the wellbore. A recent example showed
a flashed liquid-phase MW at the separator of 206 and the flashed
liquid MW from a BHS at 216 (a 4.6% difference).
July 2009, Volume 48, No. 7

0.80

0.50

AROMATICS

176.0
Benzene
C6H6
231.1
Toluene
C7H8
277 - 282
Ethylbenzene & p,m-Xylene C8H10
291.9
o-Xylene
C8H10
336.0
1, 2, 4-Trimethylbenzene
C9H12
Total

0.90

0.30
0.20
0.10
0.00
N2
CO2
H2S
C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6
C7
C8
C9
C10
C11
C12
C13
C14
C15
C16
C17
C18
C19
C20
C21
C22
C23
C24
C25
C26
C27
C28
C29
C30+

Boiling Point

(F)

ID.: 433-174

Properties Measurements and


Equilibrium Fluid Characterization
Once the fluids have been sampled and appropriately characterized, then fluid properties need to be measured. Standard viscosity and density measurements need to be done along with liquid
separation characteristics. Oft times more specialized parameters
also need to be measured, including interfacial tension (IFT) and
plus-fraction properties. Moreover, if phase interference tests are
to be performed, quantities of the fluids large enough to run core
floods are required; depending upon the nature of the fluids this
can present serious challenges.
This section reports some parameters that were measured on a
high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) reservoir where the surface liquid possessed an API gravity of 39.7 degrees. Reservoir
pressure was 82,909 kPa at 119C (12,025 psi at a temperature
of 246F). The composition of the fluid is shown in Table 1 and
Figure 2 presents the liquid drop-out characteristics of the fluid at
119C (246F).
19

300

MW

API Gravity

Linear (API Gravity)

Linear (MW)

250
V/Vtot

V/Vdp

Liquid MW

Retrograde Liquid
Accumulation (%)

16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0

10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 80,000 90,000

Pressure (kPa)

200

45
40
35
30
25

API Gravity
y = -0.0001477x + 39.6578907
20
R2 = 0.9932095
+ 164.171257
15
100 y = 0.001573x
R2 = 0.996099
10
50
5
0
0
0
10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000
150

MOLECULAR MASS

Pressure (kPa)

FIGURE 2: Constant composition expansion at 119C.

FIGURE 4: Lower phase MW and API gravity.

MW

300
250
200
150
100
50
0

259.7

82.2

61.4

MW low
228.08

74.0

199.13

Flashed
165.01

163.61

113.3

40.7

48.6
20

Syn 40.7

57.8
Sep Liq

Fluid Type (Equilibrium Pressure)


FIGURE 3: Summary of lower phases.

Two discrete levels of pressure were used in subsequent flow


quantification (61,363 and 19,995 kPa 8,900 and 2,900 psi) and,
consequently, enough of each phase had to be produced at these
pressures for measurement. With retrograde condensation of 2.2
volume% at 61,363 kPa, it was difficult to create sufficient liquid
volume for analysis. The high pressures required to reach dew
point (73,084 kPa) necessitated the use of smaller HPHT cylinders, and yet 2.2% drop-out yielded only about 13 cc of live liquid
at 61,363 kPa from the 700 cc HPHT recombination cylinder. Multiple recombinations had to be done to yield sufficient liquid at
61,363 kPa for analysis.
For HPHT fluids, it is usually not possible to synthesize the
equilibrium liquid phase directly. Figure 3 shows the MW data
of the liquid that is vapourized in the gas phase (after flashing to
STP) as a function of pressure at reservoir temperature, as well as
the overall MW of the lower phase.
The MW of the equilibrium liquid at the highest pressure can
be approximated by the trend line in Figure 4. The linear trend indicates that, at a pressure just below the dew point pressure (73
MPa), the liquid that would first leave the vapour phase would
have an MW of 279.1 an MW very close to that of C20.
The correlation of API gravity indicates that the API of the first
liquids to drop out of the vapour phase, just below dew point pressure, would be 28.9 degrees (density of 0.882 g/cc). Remember
that the API of the flashed separator liquid was about 40 degrees. It
is therefore impossible to create representative equilibrium lower
phase, at the higher pressures, simply by using the separator liquid
and synthetic gases for direct recombination. The amount of liquid
that would drop out of solution with this character would be less
than 0.10 volume%. To measure the properties and flow characteristics at high pressure would require a minimum of 30 ml of
equilibrium liquid. With 0.10% liquid drop-out and the HPHT dew
point condition, it could require as many as 43 sequential recombinations in a 700 cc HPHT cylinder and would necessitate as much
as 4,300 cc of separator liquid in the recombinations. The path followed to prepare the representative lower phase includes recombining 100 cc of separator liquid with the corresponding gas phase
volume, equilibrating at or above dew point pressure and reservoir temperature and then subsequent equilibration at a pressure
below dew point, followed by collection of the lower phase. The
separator liquid is vapourized and then the equilibration step below
dew point causes the heavier compounds to condense; the heaviest
components can not exist as a vapour at pressures just below the
dew point. This is the path that must be followed to create the representative liquid phase. If phase interference testing were to be
performed then the fluid volumes would have to be at least 10
20

Table 2: Properties of fluids measured.


Liquid
Pressure


Viscosity
Psia
kPa
(mPas)





2,900
5,900
8,900
10,600
12,000
13,000

19,995
40,679
61,363
73,084
82,737
89,632

0.620
0.400
0.350
0.076

Gas
Viscosity
(mPas)
0.031
0.050
0.066
0.076
0.083
0.087

IFT
(mN/m)
3.40
0.95
0.25
0.00

times this volume or, in other words, 430 sequential recombinations of 700 cc and 43 l of separator liquid would be required.
As seen from Figure 3, the separator liquid possesses an MW
of 165 and, as shown, simply adding gas to the separator condensate in order to increase the bubblepoint of the condensate
phase to 40,679 kPa results in a MW of 164 instead of 228; essentially no significant selection has occurred in the components that
drop out. If one approaches the creation of the equilibrium lower
phase by trying to synthesize directly from the separator liquid
without complete vapourization and selective condensation, then
the lower phase will not be representative. The synthetic liquid at
40,679 kPa and 119C exhibited an IFT 25% lower than the actual
value, and the synthetic liquid had a GOR of 491 m3/m3 instead of
249 m3/m3.
Table 2 reports the properties that were measured for the phases
generated from the appropriate recombination and subsequent depletion path.

Gas Condensate Relative Permeability


Testing
Is retrograde condensation going to severely impact gas production? To answer this question, experimental testing was done using
two separate core stacks, each comprised of four core plugs of 3.81
cm in diameter. The properties of the stacks are shown in Table 3.
The stacks were prepared with the relevant water saturations
and then a baseline permeability to humidified methane was measured. The methane permeabilities for the two stacks at Swi were
122.1 and 28.4 mD, respectively, at a pore pressure of 62,053 kPag
at 119C (9,000 psi at 246F). Compared to the single-phase gas
permeabilities of 136.1 and 36.0 mD, this decrease in gas permeability in the presence of water would be expected since it is thought
that most of the water would be associated with the smaller pores
which contribute little to the overall permeability of the samples.
The core stack was then mounted in an oven at reservoir temperature with two pressure control valves (PCV): one on the injection
end and one on the production end. With the PCV in place, the
pressure of the injection fluid could be maintained above dew point
pressure and the pore pressure of the core could be maintained at
specific pressures in the two-phase region. Thus, single phase
fluid would enter the first valve, flash into two phases and then
liquid and gas flow into the stack. The liquid drop-out characteristics were previously measured, and a pore pressure corresponding
to 5.9% liquid drop-out of 20,684 kPag (3,000 psi) was chosen;
condensate saturation is dictated by the volume of dew point fluid
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology

Table 3: Routine permeability and porosity results.


Provided

Plug#

, %

K, mD

, %

203A
209A
210AH
212AH

18.4
17.9
18.5
18.5

151
101
120
166

18.9
18.6
19.4
19.2

Stack 1

After Cleaning

Provided

K, mD

Stack 2

6.31
6.33
6.50
6.44

25.58

Khavg
136.06

Target Swi Length


(%)
(cm)

Order*

After Cleaning

Plug#

, %

K, mD

, %

K, mD

216A
224B
225
225AH

17.3
17.0
17.1
16.3

32.2
25.0
31.0
25.3

18.0
17.6
17.8
17.7

39.9
34.4
40.7
32.7









* Huppler Ordering - 1 at injection and 4 at production end.

injected into the core. The pressure of 20,684 kPag (3,000 psi)
was thought to be conservative from a bottomhole flowing pressure over the first years of the field project. It was also thought
that phase interference effects would not be expected to be this serious for many years [reservoir pressure of 82,909 kPag (12,025
psi)]. Although there would be an initial distribution of condensate
along the stack, eventually the condensate would reach a critical
saturation above which it would start to flow. It was considered
that, due to the relatively homogeneous stack, the average critical
condensate saturation (CCS) measured would be representative of
the overall stack. Once the specific volume of dew point fluid was
injected, with its corresponding volume of condensate, equilibrium
gas was injected and the end-point permeability to equilibrium gas
was measured. Figure 5 shows the relative permeability relationship for the second stack. It shows a critical condensate saturation
of about 19% at which point the gas permeability had decreased to
17% of its original value. This Scc was considered high, but some
porous media has been reported with Scc values well in excess of
this(1).
Once the Scc had been attained, the stack was then flooded
with equilibrium condensate at 3,000 psi and the displacement
history-matched with a two-phase compressible relative permeability model. The trapped gas saturation was 12.6% of the pore
volume or 16.6% of the initial hydrocarbon in place. Following
the condensate saturation the equilibrium gas was then injected at
increasing rates up to a rate corresponding to field rates of 1274
E3M3 STP [45 MMscfD; wellbore of 21.6 cm (8.5 inches) and a
completion interval of 61 m (200 feet) 309 m3/ m2-day (1,013
scf/ft2-day)]. The residual condensate saturation to this high rate
was 43.3% of the trapped gas end-point condensate saturation. The
high-rate gas permeability was Forchheimer corrected to provide
a value of 24.8 mD or a regain permeability of 87.5% of the initial Kg value. Figure 6 shows the same relationship, but at 62,053

25.0
25.0
25.0
25.0

1-Swi

Hysteresis Gas

Liquid Perm

35
30

Scr

25
20
15

Scc = 19.4%

10
5
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

Gas Saturation
FIGURE 5: Results of condensate interference testing; Stack #2 Temperature = 246F and Pressure = 20,684 kPa.
July 2009, Volume 48, No. 7

6.49
6.23
6.34
6.35

3
4
1
2
Khavg
36.63

kPag (9,000 psi). Very little change was observed from the perspective of gas permeability reduction. For the higher pressure
regime, however, with only 2.2% liquid drop out, insufficient separator liquid was available and so a synthetic liquid was prepared.
It had properties that were not representative (GOR too high, IFT
too low). This synthetic liquid resulted, when flooded into the core
stack, in a high mass transfer displacement and was not deemed as
representative of hydrocarbon liquid imbibition.
Similar testing was done for the higher permeability stack. The
results from this testing are summarized as follows:
1. The high and low permeability stacks exhibited Scc values
of 14 and 19% respectively. Critical condensate saturation
changed very little as a function of IFT change from 3.4 to
0.25 mN/m (20,684 and 62,053 kPag 3,000 and 9,000 psi).
This is not unexpected since the larger porous features are
thought to govern the first condensate mobilized and is not
expected to be a strong function of IFT. Residual condensate saturation is considered to be a strong function of IFT,
although the data measured herein were insufficient to judge
conclusively (lack of available low IFT condensate phase).
2. The gas phase permeability at critical condensate saturation
(Scc) decreased by 60 and 84% for the high and low permeability stacks, respectively.
3. Trapped gas saturations were 13.5% PV for the high permeability stack at 20,684 kPag (3,000 psi) and 12.6% PV for the
low permeability stack. This may appear to be counterintuitive, but if the condensate phase is more wetting than the gas,
then the smaller porous features might exhibit a degree of
spontaneous imbibition that could reduce trapped gas more
than a more permeable core. The higher pressure trapped
gas saturations were not measured since the synthetic liquid

Gas Permeability (mD)

Gas Permeability (mD)

Gas Permeability

2
1
4
3




25.41

Gas Permeability

40
40

Order*

169
15.0
116
15.0
118
15.0
157
15.0

Target Swi Length


(%)
(cm)

1-Swi

Liq. Perm

Hyst. Kg

35
30
25
20
15

Scc = 19.3%

10
5
0
0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

Gas Saturation
FIGURE 6: Results of condensate interference testing; Stack #2 Temperature = 246F and Pressure = 62,053 kPa.
21

2000 cc/hr at
10,400 psi

200
300 cc/hr at
10,400 psi

150
100

160 cc/hr at
10,400 psi

50
0
0

refill pump
1,000

2,000

3,000

4,000

5,000

6,000

Time (s)
FIGURE 7: Differential pressure history - injection at 10,400 psi
and BPR at 6,000 psi.

phase had excessive mass transfer and trapped gas values


were unrealistic (apparent value of 3% was determined).
4. The importance of using representative equilibrium fluids
became paramount since subtle changes in IFT could affect
the displacement efficiency significantly; analogue fluids
that possess the viscosity, density and IFT characteristics of
the true equilibrium phases are very difficult to create.

Two-Phase Steady-State Injection


Some authors(8) have suggested that the high rates experienced
near production wells clean up any condensate that might drop out
contrary to what has been measured here and elsewhere. To simulate more directly what might happen in the field, the experimental
protocol was modified so that multiple volumes of dew point fluid
could be injected until a dynamic steady-state was observed. Once
stable differential pressure was attained, the permeability of each
phase was calculated based on the volume fraction condensed, as
measured in the constant composition expansion. Figure 2 showed
the liquid drop-out as a function of pressure below the dew point
and Figure 7 shows an example of the differential pressure history
from fluid injection into the second core stack at different rates.
A number of rates were examined corresponding to a range
of capillary number from 6.99 10-7 to 4.44 10-5. Appendix A
shows the way the authors calculated the capillary number.
Tables 4 and 5 show the results of the two-phase injection and
include the calculated end-point permeabilities, the back pressure,

Effective Permeability (mD)

Delta P (psi)

250

7
6
5
4
3
y = 0.7541711Ln(x) +
12.0105453
R2 = 0.5342982

2
1
0
0.00E+00

1.00E-05

2.00E-05

3.00E-05

4.00E-05

5.00E-05

Capillary Number
FIGURE 8: Gas permeability vs. capillary number.

fluid type, differential pressure, and superficial and pore-scale capillary numbers. The superficial capillary numbers were corrected
for porosity and immobile water saturation to reflect pore-scale
velocities; this corresponds to the columns of pore-scale capillary numbers. The viscosities of the phases were reported earlier
in Table 2.
Contrasting the permeabilities for the gas to those measured as
part of the critical condensate experimentation provides corroboration of the different methods. Figure 5 shows the gas-phase
permeability to be approximately 5 mD at the critical condensate
saturation, whereas Table 2 reports gas-phase permeabilities of 1
to 3 mD. The value of 2.9 mD would be expected to occur at about
25% condensate saturation from Figure 5, which may be the equilibrium saturation at which the accumulation of condensate ceased.
This would be expected since the residual condensate saturation is
always higher than the critical condensate saturation and the residual condensate saturation will largely dictate the end-point gas
permeability. The two techniques agree very well with each other.
On the basis of flux calculations, the highest capillary number that
was possible to run in the laboratory corresponded to rates of 318
E3m3 (11.25 MMscfD) compared to 1,274 E3m3 (45 MMscfD)
which was contemplated as the expected production rate at which
the operator would produce the well. Figure 8 shows the plot of
permeability as a function of capillary number. This relationship
suggests that, although rate may be increased, the permeability to
gas is already approaching asymptotic and, therefore, the rate used
in the experimentation is thought to yield gas permeabilities that
would be representative.

Table 4: Calculations for two-phase injection at 20,684 kpa (3,000 psi) back pressure.


Rate (cc/hr)






















22

150
150
2,000
2,000
150
150
2,800
2,800
1,000
1,000
500
500
2,000
2,000
2,800
2,800
1,000
1,000
500
500
150
150


Kg (mD)


Kc (mD)

1.046709901

1.515201521
2.647926833

3.833099087
1.482839027

2.146535489
2.913648614

4.217753943
2.118341466

3.06647927
1.577488326

2.283548392
2.67178203

3.867631511
2.94987515

4.270194933
2.118341466

3.06647927
1.579168292

2.285980286
1.034538856

1.497582899


Fluid Type
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate


dP (psi)


Nca Gas Nca Liquid

85
6.996E-07
85
448
9.328E-06
448
60
6.996E-07
60
570
1.306E-05
570
280
4.664E-06
280
188
2.332E-06
188
444
9.328E-06
444
563
1.306E-05
563
280
4.664E-06
280
187.8
2.332E-06
187.8
86
6.996E-07
86

Pore Level
Nca Gas


4.910E-06
1.013E-06

6.546E-05
1.350E-05

4.910E-06
1.013E-06

9.165E-05
1.891E-05

3.273E-05
6.752E-06

1.637E-05
3.376E-06

6.546E-05
1.350E-05

9.165E-05
1.891E-05

3.273E-05
6.752E-06

1.637E-05
3.376E-06

4.910E-06
1.013E-06

Pore Level
Nca Liquid
7.107E-06
9.476E-05
7.107E-06
1.327E-04
4.738E-05
2.369E-05
9.476E-05
1.327E-04
4.738E-05
2.369E-05
7.107E-06

Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology

Table 5: Calculations for two-phase injection at 41368 kpa (6000 psi) back pressure.







Rate (cc/hr)
Kg (mD)
Kc (mD)
Fluid Type
dP (psi)


Nca Gas


Nca Liquid

Pore Level
Nca Gas

2.542E-06

1.464E-06
4.767E-06

2.744E-06
3.178E-05

1.830E-05
4.449E-05

2.561E-05
2.542E-06

1.464E-06
4.767E-06

2.744E-06
3.178E-05

1.830E-05
4.449E-05

2.561E-05

1.784E-05

3.345E-05

2.230E-04

3.122E-04

1.784E-05

3.345E-05

2.230E-04

3.122E-04

14.8
14.8
58.2
58.2
220.5
220.5
300
300
38
38
56.4
56.4
217.5
217.5
292.65
292.65

Condensate - 6000 PSI

The values that derive from this plot place the permeabilities
in the range of gas-phase permeabilities that were observed just
above critical condensate saturation in the critical condensate
testing. This seems intuitively consistent and corroborates both experimental procedures.
Ultimately, flow in porous media should yield to quantification
by use of an expression, such as Equation (1). However, the function K(r) is not known and appears to be relatively specific to each
fluid and rock system. Some simulators use explicit relative permeability curves such as those in Figures 5 and 6, whereas others
use permeability as a function of capillary number (Figures 8
to 10).
dQ =

P
L

R Max

() ()

K r f r 2 rdr
............................................................... (1)

The relatively close agreement between the two techniques used


in this work is pleasing from a forecasting perspective. The explicit
relative permeability measurements allow for a more complete set
of data to be measured, including trapped gas, residual condensate and critical condensate saturations, providing that fluids can
be created which represent those experienced in situ. However, the
two-phase continuous flow approach provides empirical evidence
of what permeability reduction may be experienced. The two data
sets, when taken together, are conclusive as to what productivity
challenges will be experienced during pressure depletion.
July 2009, Volume 48, No. 7

GAS - 3000 PSI

LIQUID - 3000 PSI

GAS - 6000 PSI

LIQUID - 6000 PSI


05
E-

05

00
5.

05

E-

E-

50
4.

05

00

4.

05

E50

3.

05

E-

E-

00
3.

05

50
2.

05

E-

E-

00
2.

05

00
0.

Discussion

1.797E-04

Nca

FIGURE 9: Condensate permeability vs. capillary number.

Figure 9 shows the condensate permeability as a function of


capillary number. The values again appear to be approaching asymptotic behaviour at the rates reached in the laboratory. Figure 10
shows all of the data on the same figure with an R2 value of 0.54.

1.284E-04

2.500E-05 3.000E-05

Capillary Number

E+

1.000E-05 1.500E-05 2.000E-05

00

0.000E+00 5.000E-06

1.926E-05

50

0.5

1.027E-05

1.

06

1.5

1.797E-04

E-

1.284E-04

00

3
2.5

1.926E-05

1.

3.5

1.027E-05

E-

00

Condensate - 3000 PSI

Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate
Gas
Condensate

Permeability (mD)

Liquid Permeability

4.5

6.076439975

3.498076011
2.897271638

1.667897067
5.098146918

2.934893706
5.245993179

3.020005623
2.366613464

1.362408552
2.989737754

1.721127825
5.168466186

2.975374998
5.377748005

3.095854047

5.

160
160
300
300
2,000
2,000
2,800
2,800
160
160
300
300
2,000
2,000
2,800
2,800

Pore Level
Nca Liquid

FIGURE 10: Permeability vs. capillary number.

Summary
The results of this work can be summarized as follows:
1. For explicit measurement of relative permeability in retrograde condensate reservoirs, the compositional path of the
flowing fluid in the reservoir must be followed in the preparation of fluids for the experiments.
2. Retrograde condensate resulted in a very rapid decrease in
gas permeability 60 and 84% reduction in Krg by the attainment of critical condensate saturation.
3. End-point saturations, such as trapped gas and residual condensate saturation, are sensitive to the level of interfacial tension (therefore, pressure). Critical condensate saturation was
much less sensitive to levels of IFT (pressure).
4. Two-phase testing as a function of capillary number indicated
an effective gas permeability very close to that measured by
the explicit relative permeability measurements at saturations
just higher than the critical condensate saturation.
5. The condensate and gas permeabilities measured during the
gas-phase hysteresis injection did not agree with those measured during the two-phase injection.
6. The two-phase injection approach and the protocol whereby
explicit measurements of relative permeability are performed
provide a very thorough gas-condensate reservoir data set
which are amenable for use in simulation and reservoir production forecasting.

Nomenclature
GCR
GOR
PBHF
Scc

=
=
=
=

gas condensate ratio (m3 gas/ m3 liquid)


Gas Oil Ratio (m3 gas/ m3 liquid)
bottomhole flowing pressure
critical condensate saturation
23

REFERENCES
1. Chen, H.L., Wilson, S.D. and Monger-McClure, T.G., Determination of Relative Permeability and Recovery for North Sea
Gas-Condensate Reservoirs; SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 393-402, August 1999.
2. Melean, Y., Bureau, N. and Broseta, D., Interfacial Effects
in Gas-Condensate Recovery and Gas-Injection Processes; SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 244-254, August
2003.
3. Mott, R., Engineering Calculations of Gas-Condensate-Well Productivity; SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 5,
pp. 298-306, October 2003.
4. Kokal, S., Al-Dokhi, M. and Sayegh, S., Phase Behavior of
a Gas-Condensate/Water System; SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 6, pp. 412-420, December 2003.
5. Jessen, K. and Orr, JR., F.M., Gas Cycling and the Development
of Miscibility in Condensate Reservoirs; SPE Reservoir Evaluation
& Engineering, Vol. 7, No. 5, pp. 334-341, October 2004.
6. Fevang, O. and Whitson, C.H., Modeling Gas-Condensate Well
Deliverability; SPE Reservoir Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 221230, November 1996.
7. Saevareid, A., Whitson, C.H. and Fevang, O., An Engineering Approach to Measuring and Modeling Gas Condensate
Relative Permeabilities; paper SCA 9930 presented at the International Symposium for the Society of Core Analysts, Golden, CO, 1-4
August 1999..
8. Carlson, M.R. and Myer, J.W.G., Reduced Productivity Impairment for Fracture Stimulated Gas Condensate Wells; Journal of
Canadian Petroleum Technology, Special Edition, Vol. 38, No. 13,
Paper 97-10-19, pp. 1-9, 1999.

Appendix A
Calculation of Capillary Number
N CA =

velocity vis cos ity


Interfacial Tension

where units are v = cm/s, = mPa s = 0.001


mN/m = 0.001

kg
s2

kg
and =
m s

Using the data from Table 4, Item 1, the following capillary


number is calculated:
N CA = 150

cc
hr

1 hr
1
1m
36, 005 11.401 cm2 100 cm
mN
kg
3.401
0.001
m
s2

(2.253) (0.9322)

0.031 0.001

kg
ms

N
mN
m

= 6.9963 10-7

Authors Biographies
Brent Thomas is Director of Phase Behaviour and EOR Research for Hycal Energy Research Laboratories Ltd., and a
Project Engineer working in the area of numerical analysis, phase interference in porous media and gas injection. He received
his Ph.D. from Washington University in
chemical engineering. Brent has over 25
years of domestic and international experience in the area of numerical simulation,
gas injection, phase behaviour, solids precipitation and chemical and thermal applications. He has authored/
co-authored numerous technical papers and received the 1992
Best Technical Paper of the Year award from the Petroleum Society (Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Solids Precipitation
from Reservoir Fluids). He was selected as a Distinguished Author
for the Petroleum Society in 1995. Brent was chosen to be a Distinguished Lecturer for the SPE in the area of gas condensate reservoirs in 2003/2004.

G. Andersen biography and photo not available.
Brant Bennion received his B.Sc. and
Ph.D. degrees in chemical and petroleum
engineering from the University of Calgary.
He has served in the Petroleum Society in a
number of capacities over the last two decades, including having been a Director of
the Petroleum Society on both the Calgary
Section and National Boards, and holding
various positions such as Continuing Education Director, Student Affairs Director, Secretary, CIPC Technical Program Chairman,
CIPC General Co-Chairman and Chairman, Chairman-Elect and
2002 Chairman of the Society. He is the former Chairman of the
Editorial Review Board of the JCPT and currently serves as a
member of the Board of Directors of the Petroleum Society Educational Trust Fund. He has served as a Distinguished Lecturer for
the Petroleum Society in 2003 and also as a Distinguished Lecturer for the SPE in 2001-2002. Brant has presented/co-authored/
published over 200 technical papers on a variety of topics related
to formation damage, flow in porous media, phase behaviour, over
and underbalanced drilling and enhanced oil recovery over the last
two decades. He received Best JCPT Published Technical Paper
of the Year awards from the Petroleum Society in 1993, 1995 and
2001 and also several Best Presented Paper awards from the CIPC.
Brant has lectured at the University of Calgary, as well as taught
courses on a worldwide basis in the petroleum industry in over 40
different countries.

ProvenanceProvenanceOriginal Petroleum Society manuscripts,


Gas Condensate Reservoir Performance: Part I Fluid Characterization (2006-100) and Gas-Condensate Reservoir Performance: Part
IIFlow Characterization (2006-101), first presented at the 7th Canadian International Petroleum Conference (the 57th Annual Technical
Meeting of the Petroleum Society), June 13-15, 2006, in Calgary, Alberta.
Abstracts submitted for review December 1, 2005; editorial comments sent
to the author(s) December 17, 2008; revised manuscript received April
21, 2009; paper approved for pre-press April 21, 2009; final approval
June 9, 2009.

24

Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology