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3.

PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

1. Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow


2. Outline
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.

Synopsis
The Conservation Equation
Use of Darcys Law in the Conservation Equation
The Case of Small and Constant Compressibility
The Linear Diffusivity Equation
Dimensionless Variables
Other Coordinate Systems and Notation
Discussion
Related reading
Craft et al., Sections 7.5-7.6, p. 231-234.
Dake: Sections 5.1-5.4, p. 131-139.
Earlougher: Sections 2.1-2.3, p. 4-6.
Horne, p. 35.
Matthews and Russel: Sections 2.1-2.3, p. 4-7.

19. 6.0 Synopsis


20.
21. The flow of a single, compressible fluid through porous, permeable rock can be described
using a partial differential equation known as the diffusivity equation. Modified forms of the
diffusivity equation can be used to describe gas flow. A similar equation can be derived for
multiphase flow as well, and that equation is the basis for reservoir simulation. Clearly, the
diffusivity equation is at the very heart of reservoir engineering and an intuitive
understanding of this equation is essential to all who would do reservoir engineering.
22.
23. Key Concepts
Mass conservation
Use of constitutive equations for velocity and density
The form of the linearized diffusivity equation
Assumptions in the linearized diffusivity equation
Dimensionless variables
Definitions of steady, pseudosteady, and transient flow
Radius of investigation
Diffusivity
24.

25. 6.1 The Conservation Equation


26.
27. Many physical systems ranging from solar collectors to river deltas to flow in reservoirs
can be analyzed using the principle of conservation. This principle is closely related to the
idea of a control volume in thermodynamics; it is based on the idea that the amount of stuff
(energy, mass, whatever) entering, leaving, created, and destroyed in a given volume must be
balanced.
28.
29. We will derive the conservation equation for a radial flow geometry, because this geometry is
especially useful for well testing and inflow analysis. We could do it for any geometry we
chose.
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3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

30.
31.

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Spring 2002
February 22

3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

32. Consider a cylindrical shell of radius r and thickness r (Figure 6.1).


1.

2.

Figure 6.1 Radial control volume. The area of the outer face is

2 r r h . The volume of the

r r r 2 h . If r is small, this is approximately equal to 2rrh . The pore


33. The mass balance for this shell is
(Flow in at r) - (Flow out at r r) Accumulation between r and r r
34.
35. Let us consider each of the terms in Eqn. (6.1) in turn:
36.
37. Flow in at r: Mass Inflow Area Superficia l Vel. Density Time 2rh u (r ) t .....(6.2a)
shell is exactly

38. Flow out at r+r:

2 r r hu (r r ) t ..............................................(6.2b)
2rrh 2rrh ............................................(6.2c)

t t
t
39. Accumulation:
40.
41. Combining Eqns. (6.1) and (6.2),
2rh u (r ) o t 2 r r hu(r r ) o t 2rrh t t 2rrh t .......(6.3a)
42.

43. Dividing by 2rht ,


ru( r ) o (r ) ( r r )u (r r ) o (r r ) r t t r t

r
t
44.
..................(6.3b)
45. If we take the limit as r and t go to zero, then we get,

ru r
r
t ......................................................(6.4)
46.
47.
48. Equation (6.4) is the conservation equation in radial coordinates. It states that the sum of the
partial differential derivatives in r and t is zero. This is also known as a divergence equation;
all conservation equations (for any quantity, in any coordinate system) can be expressed in a
form very similar to Equation 6.4.
49.

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3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

50. This equation must be manipulated further to be useful: it includes dependent variables , ,
and u, whereas we really want an equation in p only. We will use constitutive equations for
these quantities to get the desired equation.

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3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

51. 6.2 Use of Darcys Law in the Conservation Equation


52. We will begin by using the differential form of Darcys Law in the conservation equation. In
differential form, Darcys Law is
k p
u
r ............................................................(6.5)
53.
54. Substituting Eqn. (6.5a) into the conservation equation [Eqn. (6.4)],

k p
r
r
r r
t

1 k p

r
r r r
t
55.
..............................................(6.6)
56. This gets us closer to the desired form, but the density and porosity still must be handled.
57.

58. 6.3 The Case of Small and Constant Compressibility


59.
60. We will assume that the density and porosity are exponential functions of pressure:
( p ) R exp c o ( p p R ...............................................(6.7a
61.
62.
63. where

( p ) R expc f ( p p R

..............................................(6.7b)

co

1
p ..........................................................(6.8a)

cf

1
p ..........................................................(6.8b)

64.
65. and

66.
67. Substituting Eqns. (6.7) into Eqn. (6.6),
k p
1

R exp c o ( p p R R exp c f ( p p R
r R exp c o ( p p R
r r
t
r
68.
......(6.9a)
69. Expanding the left-hand side of Eqn (6.9a),
k p


r R exp c o ( p p R
r
r
k p

R exp c o ( p p R R exp c o ( p p R r k p
r
r r
r r

R c o exp c o ( p p R

p k p
k p
r
R exp c o ( p p R r

r r
r r

k p 2 k p

c o r
r
r r
r
70.
71. Similarly, expanding the right-hand side of Eqn. (6.9a),

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............(6.9b)

3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

R exp c o ( p p R R exp c f ( p p R
t

R R c o c f exp c o ( p p R expc f ( p p R

p
t

p
t
72.
...........................(6.9c)
73. Recombining Eqns. (6.9b) and (6.9c),
2
k p
p
k p

(c 0 c f )
c
r
r

r r
r r
t
(c 0 c f )

74.

k p
c o

k p
c o

p
1 k p
r
(c 0 c f )
r r r
t

p
1 k p
r
c t
r r r
t

.........................(6.10)

c (c 0 c f )
75. where t
. For systems with connate water and/or immobile gas, the definition of
total compressibility can be extended to be
ct c f S o co S w c w S g c g
76.
............................................(6.11)
77. Notice that the only dependent variable is now pressure; however, the porosity is still a
function of pressure.
78.

79. 6.4 The Linearized Diffusivity Equation


80. Although Equation (6.10) is in pressure, it is nonlinear. It is very difficult to solve nonlinear
partial differential equations, and we therefore seek a simplified, linear form to work with.
81.
82. The nonlinearity comes from two different sources.
83.
2
k p
c o r

r
84. The gradient-squared term:
p
c t
t
85. The porosity term:
86. In many systems, the porosity varies slowly and it can be replaced by it value at the average
pressure. This is usually adequate.
87.
88. The gradient-squared term is often small because (1) the gradient is small and (2) the oil
compressibility was assumed to be small. If these assumptions are made (see discussion),
then the linearized diffusivity equation can be written as
p
1 k p
r
c t
r r r
t
89.
..............................................(6.12a)
90. If k/ is constant,
1 p c t p
r
r

r
k t ..............................................(6.12b)
r

92. This equation is very important! It will form the basis of our study of inflow and pressure
transient analysis (or well testing).
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3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

93. 6.5 Dimensionless Variables


94. We used the concept of a dimensionless variable when we discussed the skin factor. We will
extend that discussion now to better understand the linearized diffusivity equation. It seems
sensible to make radius dimensionless on the wellbore radius,
r
rD
rw
r rD rw
drD
1

r
dr

r
r
D
w rD ................................................(6.13)
95.
96. With this substitution, the diffusivity equation is
p
1 1
k 1 p
rw rD
c t
rw rD rw rD
rw rD
t

p
1
k p
rD
c t rw2
rD rD
rD
t
97.
....................................(6.14)
98. This definition needs no unit conversions; it works in consistent and field units. If we assume
k and are constant,
p c t rw2 p
1
rD

rD rD
rD
k
t
99.
...........................................(6.15)
100.
As for our case with skin, we will define the dimensionless pressure as
2kh
pD
( p i p)
qB
101.
............................................
(6.16a)
102.
in consistent units or

pD

0.00708 kh
( p i p)
qB

103.
....................................
(6.16b)
104.
in field units. Now the differential equation is
p c t rw2 p D
1
rD D
r r
rD
k
t
105.
........................ D D
(6.17)
106.
(We can choose the definition of dimensionless pressure pretty freely because p appears
in all terms in the equation; the reasons for this choice should be clear from the form of
Darcys Law and we will discuss it more later in the course). Because all other terms are
dimensionless, the definition of dimensionless time can be deduced from Eqn. (6.17):
kt
tD
c t rw2
107.
.......................................................
(6.18a)
108.
in consistent units or

tD
109.
(6.18b)

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0.0002637 k t
ct rw2

3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

110.
in field units, t is given in hours if it were in days, the conversion factor is 24 times
larger.
111.
112.
Our final, dimensionless form of the equation is
p p
1
rD D D
r r
rD
t D
113.
..................................... D D
(6.19)
114.
This form of the equation is simpler than earlier forms, because there are only variables
and no parameters in it. The most important thing about dimensionless variables is the way
they scale the solution. Regardless of the values of parameters such as k, , , ct, q, and so
on.the dimensionless pressure at the same (r D,tD) is the same for all infinite-acting radial
flow problems.
115.
116.
More generally, if the appropriate scaling is used in bounded or non-radial problems, one
can define dimensionless pressures that have this same property (for example, for a fractured
well or a well in the center of a square). We need not compute solutions for all different
combinations of parameters the dimensionless solution is the scaled solution that can be
used for all of these cases.
117.

118.

6.6 Other Coordinate Systems and Notation

119.

In linear coordinates, the diffusivity equation is

2 p c t p

2
k t
................................................... x

120.
(6.20)
121.
For any coordinate system, one can write the diffusivity equation in terms of the
divergence, which some of you may be familiar with
c t p
2 p
k t
122.
...................................................
(6.21)
123.

124.

Discussion

125.
Assumptions
126.
The steps and assumptions used to derive the linearized diffusivity equation are
summarized in Table 6.1, below:
Table 6.1 Derivation of the Linearized Diffusivity Equation
Eqn. Step
Assumptions
6.4 Conservation Equation
h is constant; radial geometry
6.6 Constitutive Equation for velocity
Darcy's Law holds
Porosity and fluid density are exponential
Constitutive Equation for density; nonlinear
6.11
functions of pressure; the pore and fluid
diffusivity equation
compressibility are constant
6.12a Diffusivity Eqn with variable k,

The product fluid compressibility times the


square of the gradient of pressure is small

6.12b Linearized diffusivity equation

k, and are constant

127.
The assumptions are very important to be familiar with. Study this table! In particular,
consider the following:

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3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

The compressibility of gas may not be small or constant. Thus, this form of the diffusivity
equation may not be accurate. We will consider an alternative form, in real gas potential (or
pseudopressure) later in the course.
The assumption that the product of the compressibility times the square of the gradient term
is small may not be valid (1) for gas or (2) near the well, where the gradients are high. These
problems can also be addressed using real gas potential.
Unconsolidated rocks may have very high pore compressibilities, cf. This can make the
p
equation nonlinear, because both and t depend on pressure. This problem is not solved
using pseudopressure, but may be reduced (but NOT eliminated) using pseudotime.
The mobility k/ may not be constant, especially for gas or highly compressible rocks. This
can introduce an additional nonlinearity. Pseudopressure corrects for the viscosity variation,
and can be generalized to correct for permeability varying with pressure.
128.
129.
The Steady-State Equation in Dimensionless Form
130.
We previously wrote Darcys Law as
2k h
q
( p ( r ) p ( rw ))
r
B ln( )
rw
131.
..............................
132.
We can rearrange this to get
r
2k h
ln( )
( p i p(r )) ( p i p(rw ))
qB
133.
.......... rw
134.

and introduce the definitions of rD (Eqn. 6.13) and pD (Eqn. 6.16) to get
..................................... ln( rD ) p D (rD ) p D (1)

135.
136.
If we use a special definition of pD that is sensible for steady-state systems (where pw is
constant),
2k h
pD
( p pw )
q

B
137.
...........................................
138.

Then the dimensionless steady-state equation is simply

139.
.................................................. p D (rD ) ln( rD )
(6.22)
140.
The dimensionless form is simpler for steady state systems, as well. As we will see later,
we can get this equation by solving the linearized diffusivity equation.
141.
142.
Diffusivity
k
143.
The group c t appears in the diffusivity equation in all coordinate systems. It is known
as the diffusivity and is usually represented with the symbol or eta:

144.
(6.23a)
145.
or, in field units,

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k
c t

3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

0.0002637

k ft 2
c t hr

146.
...................................
(6.23b)
147.
The diffusivity is important because it controls the speed with which pressure information
travels through the reservoir. In general, higher values of mean more rapid transmission of
information; you can see this because the diffusivity is multiplied by t (and divided by the
square of the wellbore radius) to get the dimensionless time. Thus, at same dimensional time
a reservoir with higher diffusivity will have a greater dimensionless time things happen
faster. Increasing permeability has the same effect as decreasing any of the other three
parameter (, , ct). Consider why
Higher mobility, k/ causes more rapid pressure transmission
Higher porosity and compressibility cause slower transmission (ct is also known as the
storativity).

149.
Some Basic Cases
150.
Several reservoir systems of interest can be classified based on the value of the righthand side of Eqn. 6.19:
p D
0
t D

: Steady state, the pressure is not changing with time

p D
constant
t D
: Pseudosteady state, usually occurs when rate is changing slowly and

compressibility is nearly constant.


p D
f ( rD , t D )
t D
: Transient flow.

152.
Radius of Investigation
153.
154.
In transient flow, the radius of investigation is a useful concept (Horne, p. 35). As we will
see later, that the solution of the partial differential equation predicts that there is an
infinitesimally small pressure change everywhere, instantly. However, from a physical and
practical point of view, the pressure changes propagate more slowly. One definition of the
radius of investigation is that, at any time, it is the closest boundary that would have had a
detectable effect at the well. For an infinite-acting well, this gives
kt
rinv 0.03
ct
155.
................................................
(6.24a)
156.
With our previous definition of tD, Eqn. (6.18b),
rinv 0.03
157.
(6.24b)

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0.03 t

ct rw2 t D
k
ct 0.0002637 k

rDinv 1.8 t D

3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

158.
Sometimes an alternative definition of dimensionless time is used, based on area rather
than wellbore radius
0.0002637 k t
t DA
ct A
159.
..............................................
(6.25a)
160.
For a well in the center of a circle,

t DA
161.
(6.25b)
162.

............

0.0002637 kt
kt
8.938 10 5
2
ctre
ct re2

As we will see later, boundaries affect this system when t DA 0.1 so

0.1 8.938 10 5
163.
(6.25c)
164.
Solving for rinv,

....................................

rinv

kt
ct rinv2

8.938 10 5 k t
0.10
ct rinv2

0.02897

kt
ct

165.
................................
(6.26)
166.
Eqn. (6.26) is about the same as Eqn. (6.24a), which was obtained by a much more
complicated analysis using derivatives of Greens functions.
167.
168.
A couple of things are worth noting:
We see (Eqn 6.24b) that diffusivity controls the radius of investigation.
Radius of investigation increases with the square-root of time; this behavior is characteristic
of solutions to the diffusivity equation.
The time to investigate near-well regions is typically too small to be well-represented in data
(see below), whereas in low-permeability reservoirs it may take a long time to detect
boundaries (see below).
169.
170.
Example 1: Radius investigated in one minute in a good-quality reservoir.
171.
Assuming k = 100 md, = 0.25, ct = 1010-6/psi, = 0.8 cp, and t = 1/60 hr, rinv is
100 (1 / 60)
rinv 0.03
27 ft
(0.25)(0.8)(10 10 6 )
. Thus, even after 1 minute, the part of the reservoir
being investigated is far beyond the skin region. Wellbore weirdness (storage and temperature
transients on the pressure gauges) will usually obscure these data.
172.
173.
Example 2: Radius investigated in 1 week in a low-permeability, low-pressure gas
reservoir.
174.
Assuming k = 0.010 md, = 0.05, ct = 20010-6/psi, = 0.05 cp, and t = 168 hr, rinv is
0.010 (168 )
rinv 0.03
55 ft
(0.05)(0.05)(200 10 6 )
. So after one week, only 55 feet have been
investigated. Because such tight gas reservoirs are usually completed on large, it is difficult to
detect boundaries 100s or 1000s of feet away.

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3. PETE 4052
4. Lecture 6

Well Testing
Equations for Single-Phase Porous Media Flow

Spring 2002
February 22

175.
176.
The difference in these two time scales is solely due to the differences in diffusivity, .
Example 1 is high-diffusivity, example 2 is low-diffusivity.

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