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- Chapter 3 - Perforating Methods
- Golan Michael - Well Performance 2nd Ed
- IPR-Fetkovich
- 1 1 Introduction EM
- 1-Fluid Flow and the Production System
- Lecture 3 -Generation Migration Trap
- Water Drive Help
- EXAMINATIONS OF THE PERFORMANCE OF A GAS LIFT FOR OIL WELL PRODUCTION
- Reservoir Simulation
- Physico u2013Chemical Alterations of Naturally Fractured Carbonate
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- G a s D e t e c t i o n i n D e e p l y I n v a d e d
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- Sandstone vs Carbonate Petroleum Reservoirs a Global Perspective on Porosity Depth and Porosity Permeability Relationships AAPGBulletin Ehrenberg Nadeau 2005
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https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254353271

Relationships for Wells Producing

From Two-Layer Solution-Gas Drive

Reservoirs Without...

DOI: 10.1080/10916466.2010.499401

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Relationships for Wells Producing From

Two-Layer Solution-Gas Drive Reservoirs

Without Cross-Flow

a a a a

F. H. Qasem , I. S. Nashawi , A. Malallah & M. I. Mir

a

Department of Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering and

Petroleum, Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait

To cite this article: F. H. Qasem, I. S. Nashawi, A. Malallah & M. I. Mir (2012): Modeling Inflow

Performance Relationships for Wells Producing From Two-Layer Solution-Gas Drive Reservoirs Without

Cross-Flow, Petroleum Science and Technology, 30:11, 1122-1139

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Petroleum Science and Technology, 30:11221139, 2012

Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

ISSN: 1091-6466 print/1532-2459 online

DOI: 10.1080/10916466.2010.499401

Wells Producing From Two-Layer Solution-Gas

Drive Reservoirs Without Cross-Flow

M. I. MIR1

Downloaded by [Kuwait University], [Ibrahim Nashawi] at 03:13 25 April 2012

1

Department of Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering and Petroleum,

Kuwait University, Safat, Kuwait

Abstract Continuous monitoring and accurate anticipation of the present and future

performance of the flowing wells and reservoirs constitute the cornerstone elements

in the design of optimum field development strategy. It is crucial for the petroleum

engineer to possess the appropriate tools that assist in efficiently predicting well

behavior, designing artificial lift equipment, forecasting production, and optimizing

the entire production system. Inflow performance relationship (IPR) is one of the vital

tools required to monitor well performance. Existing inflow performance relationship

models are idealistic and mainly designed for homogeneous reservoirs. However, most

reservoirs around the world are heterogeneous and composed of layers of different

permeabilities. Hence, there is an urgent need for new realistic IPR models that

describe the actual reservoir inflow performance behavior more efficiently than the

available models. The authors investigate the effects of reservoir heterogeneity on

IPR curves for wells producing from two-layer solution-gas drive reservoirs without

cross-flow. Furthermore, the results provide the petroleum engineer with two simple

yet accurate IPR models for heterogeneous reservoirs. The first model represents the

IPR of the well under present flowing conditions, while the second model is used to

forecast future well deliverability.

ability contrast, no cross-flow, pressure depletion effect, solution-gas drive reservoir,

two-layer reservoir

Introduction

The ultimate goal of the production engineer is to optimize fluid production taking into

consideration reservoir and surface facility constrains. The achievement of this vital goal

requires good understanding of fluid flow in the porous media as well as in the piping

network. In 1954, Gilbert presented a Nodal System Analysis approach to optimize fluid

production from the reservoir. In this approach, the entire production system is divided

into two sections at a convenient location called a node. Most frequently, the node

is located at the bottom of the well. The reservoir is considered as the inflow section,

whereas the piping network is considered as the outflow section. The relationship between

Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University, P. O. Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwait. E-mail:

is.nashawi@ku.edu.kw

1122

Inflow Performance Relationships 1123

the sandface pressure and the flow rate within the inflow section is known as inflow

performance relationship (IPR).

The various concepts available to model fluid flow in the reservoir are classified into

either theoretical or empirical approaches. Fluid flow in porous media is usually modeled

mathematically by applying the laws of conservation of mass, momentum, and energy.

The resulting set of partial differential equations is either solved analytically for simple

cases or numerically for more complicated cases. If all the parameters involved in the

flow equations could be quantified, then analytical solutions could be used to model the

IPR. Unfortunately, most often sufficient information rarely exists to analytically solve the

differential equations; therefore, empirical correlations based on either field or numerical

simulation data are used to predict the IPR of the well.

Given the manner in which reservoirs are deposited and the complex diagenetic

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changes that occurred thereafter, it is profound to declare that most reservoirs around the

world are heterogeneous to some extent; nevertheless, the degree of heterogeneity varies

from one reservoir to another. Consequently, it is common to observe drastic permeability

variations within a single reservoir. Permeability alteration is usually more prominent with

depth than with lateral directions within the reservoir. Hence, practically every reservoir is

stratified to some extent (i.e., composed of layers of different permeabilities). A reservoir

in which fluid transfer from one layer to another only occurs through the wellbore is

known as commingled or stratified reservoir. Conversely, if the fluid transfers from one

layer to another away from the wellbore, the reservoir is called a cross-flow system.

Initially, oil well performance was based on the assumption that fluid flow in the

well is proportional to the difference between the reservoir pressure and the wellbore

sandface pressure. One of the first relationships based on this assumption is known as the

productivity index (PI). Evinger and Muskat (1942) stated that a straight-line relationship

between the pressure drawdown and flow rate should not be expected when multiphase

fluids are flowing in the reservoir. To emphasize their claim, they presented theoretical

calculation showing a curved relationship between the flow rate and pressure for two-

and three-phase fluid flow. Levine and Prats (1961) extended the knowledge of solution-

gas drive reservoirs and well behavior by assuming that the decline rate of stock tank

oil-in-place is constant and uniform throughout the reservoir. Later, Vogel (1968) used

computer simulation data for different crude oil properties to develop an IPR equation

for two-phase flow, oil and gas, in the reservoir. His equation incorporates the effects of

well spacing, fracturing, and skin restrictions. In 1973, Fetkovich used actual field data to

develop empirical IPR for two-phase flow. Both the Vogel and Fetkovich relations have

been applied extensively and successfully for analyzing oil well performance in solution-

gas drive reservoirs. The main deficiency involved in these correlations is that they assume

homogeneous and isotropic reservoirs and constant average reservoir pressure. Since then,

various generalizations of these two IPR equations have been reported in the literature.

Different forms of IPR equations that take into consideration damage or stimulation

in the vicinity of the wellbore of solution-gas drive reservoirs were also presented

(Standing, 1970; Dias-C and Golan, 1982; Camacho-V and Raghavan, 1987; Klins and

Majcher, 1992). Jones et al. (1976) and Camacho-V et al. (1993) investigated the effects

of non-Darcy flow created by high-flow rate production on IPR behavior. In many cases,

completion efficiency plays a dominant role in well performance; hence, Locke (1981),

McLeod (1983), and Sukarno and Tobing (1995) presented empirical IPR correlations

that incorporate the effects of well completion type and perforation design.

Efficient well performance optimization requires the accurate prediction of future

reservoir behavior. As oil is produced from the reservoir, the average reservoir pressure

1124 F. H. Qasem et al.

declines; consequently, fluid flow into the wellbore also declines. Thus, to accurately

capture future well performance, IPR equations should integrate the effects of reservoir

depletion. Standing (1971), Fetkovich (1973), Al-Saadoon (1980), Kelkar and Cox (1985),

Klins and Clark (1993), and Poe et al. (1995) presented techniques for estimating future

IPR. Furthermore, most mature solution-gas drive reservoirs produce water as a third

phase beside oil and gas, which dictates developing IPR formulation capable of predicting

three-phase fluid flow behavior (Chu and Evans, 1983; Wiggins et al., 1992; Wiggins,

1994).

All the mentioned methods thus far were developed for vertical wells producing

from single-layer reservoirs. Recently, it became a more common practice to drill a

long horizontal hole into the producing formation. The flow behavior in the vicinity of

horizontal sections is more complicated than that observed in vertical wells. A com-

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bination of linear, radial, and spherical flow regimes may exist and the flow behavior

may resemble that of an extensively fractured well. With the advent of new technology,

multilateral or multibranched wells are also being drilled. Fluid flow behavior into these

nonvertical wells has been also investigated and IPR equations have been presented by

several authors (Bendakhlia and Aziz, 1989; Cheng, 1990; Kabir, 1992; Chang, 1992;

Raghavan and Joshi, 1993; Huang et al., 1998; Retnanto and Economides, 1996; Kamkom

and Zhu, 2005; Yildiz, 2005; Guo et al., 2006). Qasem (1996) presented a detailed study

of IPR for naturally fractured reservoirs.

All the previously mentioned papers have concerned wells producing from a single

homogeneous formation. The accuracy of these idealistic IPR models for solution-gas

drive reservoirs is highly questionable when applied to heterogeneous reservoirs. Nind

(1989) discussed the effects of formation stratification on the shape of the IPR curves.

He presented hypothetical IPR curves for layered systems, but his conceptual work was

supported neither by analytical nor by numerical justifications. None of the available IPR

models for solution-gas drive reservoirs takes into consideration reservoir heterogeneity

due to layers. It is well known that real petroleum reservoirs are never homogeneous.

They may be fractured, layered, dual-porosity, dual-permeability, or of any complex

combination of these types. The objective of this study was to investigate the performance

of vertical wells producing from two-layer solution-gas drive reservoirs without cross-

flow. A new inflow performance relationship that accurately captures two-phase flow

behavior in the reservoir is presented. The effect of reservoir depletion on the IPR

behavior is also thoroughly examined at different depletion stages. Moreover, an empirical

correlation that is capable of predicting future IPR performance is also developed.

Phase behavior of solution-gas drive reservoir fluids can be efficiently simulated using ei-

ther black-oil or compositional numerical simulation models. Over the years, both models

have proved to provide competitive results over a wide range of reservoir characteristics

and fluid properties. The simulator used in this investigation is an advanced 3D radial

black-oil model with the well located in the center (Computer Modeling Group, 2004). A

fully implicit formulation approach is adapted in the simulation process. This approach

has been extensively assessed and confirmed to be unconditionally stable. The model

architecture consists of 100 grid blocks in the radial direction. Grid sensitivity analysis

was carefully conducted to achieve the optimum number of grids. The grid mesh size

near the wellbore is very fine; then, it increases exponentially with distance from the well.

The small grid refinement near the wellbore is important to obtain accurate description of

Inflow Performance Relationships 1125

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the fluid flow behavior at the sandface. The reservoir is cylindrical and composed of two

layers. Each layer is homogeneous and isotropic with a formation porosity of 25%. No

cross-flow between layers is allowed in the reservoir. Hydraulic fluid communication only

occurs in the wellbore. The assignment of absolute permeability to the two layers is case

specific; each simulation run has a different permeability value that varies from 0.1 md

to 1,000 md. The reservoir pressure of each simulated case starts from the bubble-point

pressure, which is equal to the initial reservoir pressure of 4,000 psi; then, it declines

as fluid is being produced from the reservoir. Figure 1 displays the relative permeability

curves for the simulated data. Few additional characteristics of the simulation model are

as follows:

1. The water present in the reservoir is immobile and has a saturation of 25%.

2. The reservoir temperature is 160 F and is constant throughout the reservoir.

3. The two layers are fully penetrated by a vertical well and are fully perforated.

4. No fluid flow occurs at the outer reservoir boundary.

Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the major pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) properties

of the crude oil as a function of pressure. Relevant fluid PVT and rock properties used

in this investigation are reported in Table 1.

Production rate data as a function of flowing bottomhole pressure are required to generate

IPR curves. The simulation program was allowed to run until the reservoir pressure

reaches 20% of the initial pressure. This condition is essential to produce a full-spectrum

IPR curve. Furthermore, to achieve good reservoir performance prediction, a minimum of

14 computer simulation runs were executed at various sandface pressures to generate the

data required for a single IPR curve. Small time-step intervals were used at the beginning

of each run to properly capture the early production stages.

1126 F. H. Qasem et al.

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Figure 2. Oil formation volume factor and oil and gas viscosities as a function of pressure.

Figure 3. Gas oil ratio and gas formation volume factor as a function of pressure.

The following analysis procedure is implemented to generate the data required to develop

the empirical IPR models:

1. Simulated oil production rates, qo , were simultaneously recorded as a function of

average reservoir depletion pressure, Pr , for a fixed flowing bottomhole pressure,

Inflow Performance Relationships 1127

Table 1

Fluid PVT and rock properties used

in the simulator

Initial reservoir pressure, Pi , psi D 4,000

Reference pressure, psi D 14.7

Gas gravity, g (dimensionless) D 0.7

Initial oil saturation, Soi , % D 0.75

Residual oil saturation, Sor , % D 0.25

Critical gas saturation, Sgc , % D 0.02

Connate water saturation, Swc , % D 0.25

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Formation porosity, , % D 0.25

Wellbore radius, rw , ft D 0.5

Reservoir drainage radius, re , ft D 750

Pay zone thickness, h, ft D 50

Reservoir temperature, T , F D 160

Pwf . For each simulation run, the average reservoir pressure is allowed to undergo

primary depletion starting from the bubble-point pressure Pb to the flowing bottomhole

pressure.

2. For each of the subsequent simulation runs, Pwf is given a new value. A complete

run is executed, and qo is recorded as a function of Pr . At least fourteen Pwf values

were used to plot a single IPR curve.

3. The IPR curves are generated by plotting Pwf =Pr versus qo =qo;max :qo;max represents

the maximum rate corresponding to Pwf D 0. Each IPR curve applies to a specific

average pressure. Dimensionless average reservoir pressure, PD , is used to designate

each curve. PD is defined as the ratio of the average reservoir pressure to the bubble-

point pressure:

Pr

PD D (1)

Pb

4. To capture the minute IPR behavior variation, IPR curves were generated for 31

different dimensionless average reservoir pressure values. PD starts from a value of

0.975 then declines by a decrement of 0.025 to reach 0.2, at which Pr D 20% of

Pb . Each simulated data set required to plot a single IPR curve was determined at

constant layers permeability contrast.

5. Rigorous nonlinear regression analysis is performed on the data used to plot the IPR

curves to obtain the empirical equation for each specific case.

6. Once the regression model is successfully obtained, the previous steps are repeated

for different reservoir conditions and layers permeability contrast.

A comprehensive simulation work was conducted to investigate the effects of reservoir

depletion and variation in the permeability of the two-layer system on the behavior of the

1128 F. H. Qasem et al.

Table 2

Permeability clustering of the two-layer system

Simulator run k1 k2

Cluster 1

1 1 0.1

2 10 0.1

3 100 0.1

4 1,000 0.1

Cluster 2

5 0.1 1

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6 10 1

7 100 1

8 1,000 1

Cluster 3

9 0.1 10

10 1 10

11 100 10

12 1,000 10

Cluster 4

13 0.1 100

14 1 100

15 10 100

16 1,000 100

Cluster 5

17 0.1 1,000

18 1 1,000

19 10 1,000

20 100 1,000

IPR curves. Twenty different permeability combinations were assigned to the two layers,

as shown in Table 2. The permeability variation of the two layers was classified into five

clusters. In each cluster, the permeability of the top layer was allowed to vary from 0.1

md to 1,000 md while the permeability of the bottom layer was held constant at 0.1 md,

1 md, 10 md, 100 md, and 1,000 md for clusters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Layers

of equal permeability are not included in the table because for such cases the reservoir

behaves as a homogeneous system.

Considering the homogeneity of the individual layers and the fact that there is no fluid

cross-flow between the layers, the twenty-layers combinations presented in Table 2 can

be reduced to ten combinations. For example, simulator runs no. 16 and 20 in clusters

4 and 5, respectively, produce the same simulation outputs. To emphasize this point, the

data obtained from the two runs are plotted in Figure 4, which demonstrates that the IPR

curves of the two cases superimpose producing a single graph. This fact is true for similar

Inflow Performance Relationships 1129

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Figure 4. IPR curves of two reservoirs with reversed layers (PD D 0:875).

cases. Thus, it can be concluded that as long as there is no fluid cross-flow between the

two layers, the order of the layers does not have any impact on gross-fluid production

from the reservoir, hence on the shape of the IPR curve.

It was demonstrated in the previous section that different reservoirs having two layers

of equal permeability but in reverse order have identical IPR curves. This is a very

important and convenient conclusion when comparing IPRs of statistically similar reser-

voirs. This conclusion is crucial because the IPR of one system is applicable to the other

system, which ultimately reduces the effort and time required to characterize reservoirs.

However, some may raise the following legitimate questions: Is there a simple way

that enables the practicing production engineer to distinguish between IPRs of different

two-layer reservoirs? Should the various layers be categorized based on permeability

difference between layers or based on permeability ratio? Which one of the two clas-

sifications has more pronounced effects on IPR and which one is more accurate and

simpler to adopt?

To answer these questions, we omitted the identical cases from Table 2 and classified

the remaining cases based on absolute permeability difference k and permeability ratio

Rk of the two layers as shown in Table 3. k and Rk are respectively defined as

k D jk1 k2 j (2)

k1

Rk D (3)

k2

Figure 5 presents the IPR curves for k values ranging from 0.9 md to 999.9 md.

The figure displays three bands of IPR curves. The band plotted in open symbols and

1130 F. H. Qasem et al.

Table 3

Layer classification based on absolute permeability difference

and permeability ratio

k1 k2 k D jk1 k2 j Rk D k1 = k2

1 1 0.1 0.9 10

2 10 0.1 9.9 100

3 100 0.1 99.9 1,000

4 1,000 0.1 999.9 10,000

6 10 1 9 10

7 100 1 99 100

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11 100 10 90 10

12 1,000 10 990 100

16 1,000 100 900 10

9 md, 90 md, and 900 md. Even though there is a 1,000-fold difference in magnitude

between the last case where k D 900 md and the first case where k D 0:9 md,

the IPR curves of these two cases superimpose. This fact is true for all the IPRs of this

group. The same observation is also true for the other IPR bands; the IPRs plotted in

black symbols superimpose and the ones plotted in open symbols and dashed lines also

superimpose. As a result of these observations, it can be realized that there is no clear

relationship between the various IPR curves and k. Thus, it can be inferred that is not

a proper tool to categorize the effects of permeability contrast on IPR.

Inflow Performance Relationships 1131

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The same simulated cases shown in Figures 5 are replotted in Figure 6 to illustrate

the effects of permeability ratio Rk on IPR curves. It is obvious from the figure that

the IPR curves of reservoirs having equal Rk values superimpose. To explicitly confirm

this observation, IPR curves of systems having Rk D 10 and those having Rk D 100

are plotted together in Figure 7. The figure demonstrates that reservoirs having layers

of equal permeability ratios have almost similar IPR curves although the differences in

Figure 7. IPR curves for systems of various layer permeability contrast (PD D 0:875).

1132 F. H. Qasem et al.

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Figure 8. IPR curves for systems of various layer permeability ratios (PD D 0:875).

permeability values .k/ of the various systems are high. This observation indicates that

Rk plays a more dominant role in reservoir performance characterization than k and it

can be adopted as a general guideline for layers clustering purpose.

Another important conclusion can be withdrawn by inspecting Figure 8 in which

IPR curves of different Rk ratios are plotted together. The figure demonstrates that the

IPR shape changes significantly as Rk gradually increases from 1 to 100. For Rk 100,

the IPR curves almost superimpose. This implies that the pressure drawdown required for

the tight layer to contribute to fluid production increases as its permeability decreases;

hence, the higher permeability layer dominates the fluid flow. Consequently, for Rk

values beyond 100, the permeability contrast of the two layers has insignificant effect

on the shape of the IPR curve. As a result, for all practical purposes and within good

engineering application accuracy, it can be safely stated that the IPR curve for systems

having Rk D 100 can be used for reservoirs of higher permeability contrast (i.e., Rk

100). It is imperative to mention that reservoirs having layer ratios .Rk / of 0.1, 0.01,

0.001, and 0.0001 have identical IPR curves as reservoirs with Rk of 10, 100, 1,000,

and 10,000, respectively, due to identical contributions of symmetrical layers (Figure 4).

Thus, the IPR curve of reservoirs having Rk D 100 can be also used for reservoirs having

Rk 0:01.

The IPR curves of the two-layer solution-gas drive reservoirs without cross-flow exhibit

an S-shape behavior, which distinguishes them from their counterparts of homogenous

reservoirs. This behavior is evidently apparent in Figure 8, which displays a general IPR

graph for a wide reservoir spectrum. Three major regions can be identified on all the

plotted IPR curves depending on the value of Pwf =Pr . At high Pwf =Pr values, the IPR

exhibits a region of steep slope, then the slope tends to flatten at intermediate Pwf =Pr

values, and finally the slope increases again at low Pwf =Pr values. The S-shape behavior

Inflow Performance Relationships 1133

of the composite IPR curves is owed to the changes in the relative production contribution

of the two-layer system; consequently, to changes in Pwf =Pr values.

At high flowing bottomhole pressure (high Pwf =Pr values), there is a small pressure

drawdown around the wellbore; thus, the high-permeability layer contributes to most

gross-fluid production whereas the low permeability layer has low contribution to fluid

production. This results in a steep slope in the IPR curve.

As the pressure drawdown increases around the wellbore, the low-permeability layer

starts to effectively contribute to fluid production causing the slope of the composite IPR

to flatten.

At very high pressure drawdown, the release of gas near the well results in a decrease

in the oil mobility in both layers. This requires a high-pressure drop (i.e., low values of

Pwf =Pr ) for certain qo =qo;max, resulting in a steep slope in the IPR curve.

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Reservoir fluid PVT properties are function of reservoir pressure (Figures 2 and 3).

The fluid mobilities change as oil is produced and the reservoir pressure is depleted. The

pressure decline affects the well performance and overall fluid production. These changes

are reflected on the shape of the IPR. The effect of pressure depletion on the IPR of

two-layer systems differs from one reservoir to another depending on the permeability

contrast of the layers. Figures 9, 10, 11, and 12 display the IPR curves at various depletion

pressures for the two-layer reservoir with Rk D 100.

It is clear from the figures that the shape of the IPR curves becomes more com-

plex with pressure depletion and the S-shape behavior becomes more prominent. As

the reservoir pressure decreases, the oil mobility decreases; consequently, to achieve a

desirable fluid production rate, higher pressure drop is required. In other words, for a

certain qo =qo;max lower value of Pwf =Pr is needed, causing steeper slope.

1134 F. H. Qasem et al.

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It is evident from the preceding section that the IPR curve of two-layer system exhibits

different behavior than the well-known IPR of homogeneous reservoir. The next step of

this investigation is to present a new empirical IPR correlation for two-layer solution gas-

drive reservoirs. Extensive nonlinear regression analysis performed on various simulated

Inflow Performance Relationships 1135

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cases has resulted in a rational function of qo =qo;max versus Pwf =Pr that fits all the

simulated data with high degree of accuracy. The new equation is as follows:

Pwf 2 Pwf 3

Pwf

1Ca Cb Cc

qo Pr Pr Pr

D 2 (4)

qo;max Pwf 3

Pwf Pwf

1Cd Ce Cf

Pr Pr Pr

The regression coefficients a through f vary with the permeability contrast Rk and

the average reservoir pressure Pr . Table 4 presents the regression coefficient values as a

function of Rk for a certain depletion stage .PD D 0:875/. It is clear that for Rk D 1,

the resulting equation becomes similar to Vogels (1968) equation. It has been previously

demonstrated that layers having permeability ratios Rk and 1=Rk have identical IPR

curves (Figure 4); thus, they also have the same IPR equation coefficients.

Table 4

Regression coefficients of the new IPR equation (Eq. [4])

k1 =k2 k1 =k2 a b c d e f

1 1 0.20147 0.798530 0 0 0 0

10 0.1 0.53633 2.013580 1.546581 0.26014 1.1464697 0.458331

100 0.01 3.15819 3.293419 1.14528 2.66794 2.3694723 0.678768

1,000 0.001 3.24921 3.479984 1.24075 2.76463 2.5458486 0.768287

10,000 0.0001 3.23840 3.463797 1.23343 2.75727 2.5247505 0.751384

1136 F. H. Qasem et al.

Prediction of future IPR curve is very crucial for planning and designing surface facilities.

Many equations have been presented in the literature to determine the future performance

of wells producing from homogeneous solution gas-drive reservoirs (Levine and Prats,

1961; Standing, 1971; Fetkovich, 1973; Camacho-V and Raghavan, 1989). None of

the published studies proposed an equation for two-layer solution gas-drive reservoirs.

Presenting such an important equation constitutes another objective of this study.

Ratios of maximum rate at any future reservoir pressure Pr to the maximum rate at

bubble-point pressure Pb .qo;max;Pr =qo;max;Pb / are plotted against pressure ratios Pr =Pb in

Figure 13 for various Rk values. It can be observed from the plot that for Rk 100, the

IPR curves are practically the same. Nonlinear regression analysis performed on the data

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plotted in Figure 13 has shown that the equation for predicting future well performance

can be written as

m

qo;max;Pr Pr

D (5)

qo;max;Pb Pb

13

m D 6:013747301 3:5989x10 Rk3 2:603444941Rk 0:5 (6)

Determining well deliverability and forecasting future well performance for two-layer

solution-gas drive reservoirs require knowledge of the permeability of the two layers,

fluid bubble-point pressure Pb , average reservoir pressure Pr , flowing bottomhole pres-

sure Pwf , and a stabilized oil production rate qo corresponding to Pwf . Having this

information, the following steps are used to calculate and plot the present IPR curve:

Inflow Performance Relationships 1137

Step 1. Calculate the permeability ratio Rk of the two layers using Eq. (3).

Step 2. Select the appropriate coefficients for Eq. (4) from Table 4.

Step 3. Calculate qo;max from Eq. (4) and generate a complete IPR curve by assuming

different values of Pwf and calculating qo for constant Pr .

To predict future well performance proceed as follows:

Step 4. Use the value of Rk calculated in Step 1 to calculate the exponent m using Eq.

(6).

Step 5. Calculate qo;max;Pr from Eq. (5) for the desired future average reservoir pressure

Pr .

Step 6. Generate the future IPR curve using Eq. (4) for future Pr .

Downloaded by [Kuwait University], [Ibrahim Nashawi] at 03:13 25 April 2012

Conclusions

The objective of this investigation is to present an empirical IPR equation for two-layer

solution gas-drive reservoirs without cross-flow. The proposed equation can accurately

capture fluid flow behavior in reservoirs of various permeability layers. A detailed

investigation of the behavior of the IPR curves as a function of layer permeability ratios

and depletion pressure is also presented.

Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions are pertinent:

1. An empirical IPR correlation for two-layer solution gas-drive reservoirs without cross-

flow is presented. The equation is accurate for a wide spectrum of permeability

contrast.

2. The proposed equation provides the petroleum engineers with a simple and accurate

tool for predicting the deliverability of two-layer systems. Just as Vogels (1968) IPR

curve, the proposed equation only requires one estimate of oil rate as a function of

flowing bottomhole pressure.

3. The proposed equation effectively captures the S-shape behavior of the IPR curve.

This peculiar behavior is more evident with reservoir depletion.

4. The IPR curve of two-layer system without cross-flow can be divided into three

regions. Two regions of steep slopes, one at high Pwf =Pr ratio and the other at low

Pwf =Pr ratio. The middle portion of the IPR curve has a relatively lower slope than

the other two regions. The slope variation depends on the relative contribution of the

two layers.

5. Two-layer reservoirs can be classified based on the permeability ratio of the two

layers. Reservoirs having equal permeability ratios, Rk , have identical IPR curves.

Also, reservoirs having permeability ratios, Rk , and permeability ratios, 1=Rk , have

identical IPR curves.

6. For permeability ratios greater than or equal to 100 .Rk 100/ and greater than or

equal to 0.01 .Rk 0:01/, the dimensionless IPR curves almost superimpose, yielding

a single curve.

7. An empirical equation has been proposed for predicting future well performance. Thus

far, no one has proposed methods for predicting present and future well performance

for two-layer solution-gas drive reservoirs without cross-flow.

Acknowledgment

The authors express their appreciation to Kuwait University Research Administration for

financially supporting this work through a university research grant (EP01/03).

1138 F. H. Qasem et al.

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Nomenclature

af coefficients of the empirical IPR equation, Eq. (4)

Bg gas formation volume factor, ft3 /SCF

Bo oil formation volume factor, bbl/STB

k permeability, md

krg gas relative permeability, dimensionless

kr o oil relative permeability, dimensionless

m exponent of Eq. (5) given by Eq. (6)

Pb bubble-point pressure, psi

PD ratio of the average reservoir pressure to the bubble-point pressure, dimen-

sionless

Pr average reservoir pressure, psi

Pwf wellbore flowing pressure, psi

qo oil flow rate, STB/D

qo;max maximum oil flow rate at Pwf D 0, STB/D

qo;max;Pb maximum oil flow rate at bubble-point pressure Pb , STB/D

qo;max;Pr maximum oil flow rate at average reservoir pressure Pr , STB/D

Rk permeability ratio, dimensionless

Rs solution gas/oil ratio (GOR), ft3 /SCF

k absolute permeability difference, md

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