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Gas Well Deliverability

What is deliverability
• Deliverability refers to the testing of a gas well to measure its production
capabilities under specific conditions of reservoir and bottomhole flowing
pressures (BHFP).
• The change of flow capacity with average pressure change must be
• The stabilized flow capacity or deliverability of a gas well is required for
planning the operation of the gas field.
• Deliverability tests are conducted on new wells and periodically old wells.
• Under the relatively short time tests, the reservoir or well behavior is
often transient, on the other hand the desired characteristics for long
term predictions (one to two years should essentially be non transient
(PSS or SS).
• Deliverability tests have been conventionally called back pressure test,
because wells are tested by flowing against particular back pressures
greater than atmospheric pressure.
Purposes of Deliverability Test
• A common productivity indicator obtained from these tests is the absolute
open flow potential (AOF).
• The important application of deliverability testing is to generate a
reservoir inflow performance relationship (IPR) or gas backpressure curve.
• The study on deliverability test consists of-
– Production forecasting
– Determining the number of wells and the location for the
development of the field.
– Sizing tubing, gathering lines, trunk lines.
– Designing compression requirements
– Determining the necessity for the stimulation
– Correctly evaluating damage
– Establishing the base performance curves for future comparison
Physical meaning of AOF
• It is the maximum rate at which a well could flow against a theoretical
atmospheric backpressure at the sand face.

• Although in practice the well can not produce at this rate, regulatory
agencies often use the AOF to establish field proration schedules or to set
maximum allowable production rates for individual wells.
Physical meaning of IPR

• It curves the relationship between surface production rate and BHFP for a
specific value of reservoir pressure (i.e. either the original pressure or the
current average value).

• It can be used to evaluate gas well current deliverability potential under a

variety of surface conditions such as production against a fixed

• It can also be used to forecast future production at any stage in the

reservoir's life.
Practical Applications and Useful Engineering Practices
Theory of Deliverability Test Analysis

a. The reservoir is considered homogeneous in all rock properties and

isotropic with respect to permeability.
b. The producing well is completed across the entire formation thickness to
ensure radial flow
c. The formation is completely saturated with a single fluid.
d. Isothermal conditions.
e. One-dimensional.
f. Pressure independent rock and fluid properties
g. Small pressure gradients
h. Radial flow
i. Applicability of Darcy's law
j. Negligible gravity effect
Basic Step
Flow equations for flow in porous materials are based on-
• Conservation of mass
• Conservation of momentum
• Conservation of energy
• Constitutive equations for the fluids and
• Constitutive equations for the porous material.
Diffusivity Equation For Gas Flow

In the following discussion the diffusivity equation for gas flow would be
derived in terms of-
1. Pseudo-pressure and time.
2. Pseudo-pressure and pseudo-time.
3. Pressure and time.
4. Pressure squared and time.
Consider the flow through a volume element of thickness dr situated at a distance r from the centre of
the radial cell.

Applying the principle of mass conservation-

volume of the small element of thickness dr= 2πrhφdr

Which simplifies to

Darcy's law for the radial flow of single phase oil

Putting the value of q in equation (i) gives-

Which gives
1 ∂ k ∂P  ∂ρ
 ⋅ ρ ⋅ r  =φ ⋅ ii
r ∂r  µ ∂r  ∂t
From the real gas law

Assuming constant k and negligible gravity effects

1 ∂ k ∂P  ∂ ( ρφ ) After combining the equation of continuity,

 ⋅ ρ ⋅ r  =
r ∂r  µ ∂r  ∂t equation of motion and EOS

(1) Combined equation

Now expanding the differential on the right side

Now expanding the differential on the right side

Pore volume compressibility, cf

Gas compressibility cg

Total compressibility ct

Combining equation 1 and 2 and converting in field unit

•This is the generalized diffusivity equation for radial flow of a real gas through a
homogeneous, isotropic porous medium.

•It is nonlinear partial differential equation because of the pressure dependence

of the gas properties.
Typical plot of the gas
Pressure function p/µgz

Below 2000 psia p/µgz

curve is linear and
intercepts at the origin,
This is equivalent to the
observation that 1/µgz is
constant at low pressure

Between 2000 and 3000

Psia the p/µgz shows distinct

Above 3000 psia p/µgz

is linearly constant.

The pressure function exhibits three distinct regions of behavior.

Linearization of nonlinear partial
differential diffusion equation
Diffusivity equation in terms of Pseudo-pressure and pseudo-time
i. µgct can be evaluated at average pressure.

Diffusivity equation in terms of pressure and time

i. p/µgz is constant with respect to pressure
ii. µgct can be evaluated at average pressure.

Diffusivity equation in terms of pressure squared and time

i. µgz is constant with respect to pressure
ii. µgcg can be evaluated at average pressure and
treated as constant.
Analytical Solutions of Gas Flow Equations

Constant Production Rate, Radial Cylindrical Flow, Infinite-Acting Reservoir
Radial-Cylindrical Flow, Finite Reservoir, Constant Production Rate, with
No Flow at Outer Boundary (Pseudo-Steady-State)

Radial-Cylindrical Flow, Finite Circular Reservoir, Constant Production Rate with
Constant Pressure at Outer Boundary (Steady-State Conditions)
The early time or transient solution for diffusivity
equation in terms of Pseudo-pressure and pseudo-time
The early time or transient solution for constant rate production from a well in a
reservoir with closed outer boundaries is-

Where, Ps is the stabilized shut in BHP measured before the deliverability test.
In new reservoirs with little or no pressure depletion this shut in pressure equals
the initial Pressure (Ps=Pi)), while in developed reservoirs, Ps< Pi
The coefficient of q (at for transient flow and a for pseudo-steady state flow)
include the Darcy flow and skin effects and are measured in psia2-cp/MMscf-D
when q is in MMscf/D.

The coefficient of q2 represents the inertial and turbulent flow effects and is
measured in psia2-cp/(MMscf-D)2 when q is in MMscf/D. Commonly called
non-Darcy effect.
The non-Darcy flow coefficient D is defined in terms of a turbulence factor β
which has been correlated with rock properties, permeability and porosity.
The late time or pseudo-steady state solution for diffusivity
equation in terms of Pseudo-pressure and pseudo-time

Where p= current drainage area pressure. Gas wells can not reach true pseudo-
steady state, because µg(p)ct(p) changes as p decreases.
The early time or transient solution for diffusivity
equation in terms of pressure squared and time
Empirical Deliverability Equation
In terms of pressure squared which is only applicable at low pressures
Stabilization Time
Analysis of Gas Well Deliverability Test
Types of Deliverability Test

• Flow after flow test ( Four point test).

• Isochronal test.
• Modified isochronal test.
Flow After Flow Test
Flow after flow test some times called gas back pressure test or four point test.
It is conducted by producing wells at a series of four different stabilized flow rates and
measuring the stabilized BHFP at the sand face.
 It is conducted with a sequence of increasing flow rates.
If the stabilized flow rates are attained the rate sequence does not affect the test.
The shut in and flowing periods be continued until the stabilization is a major
limitation of the flow after flow test especially in low permeability formations that take
long time to reach stabilized flowing conditions.
How Flow After Flow Test Conducted
• The well is flowed at a selected rate until the pressure stabilizes.
• The rate is then changed and the process is repeated.
• After a suitable number of rate changes the well is shut in.
• The back pressure curve is developed from the stabilized flowing pressure values.
• Average reservoir pressure in the drained volume determined from the final
build up pressure or the stabilized average pressure before the test started.

The flow rates need not be constant during the flow periods.
The flow rates start from a shut in condition.
The flowing condition may be in increasing or decreasing mode.
No or very small shut in periods occur between each of the flow.
Flow times are usually arbitrary or can be set by a regulatory body.
Pressure and flow rate history of flow after flow test

Conventional test, flow rate and pressure diagram

Performance curve
Analysis Procedure

Empirical deliverability equation

Analysis Procedure

The theoretical equation for PSS derived from the gas diffusivity equation

Dividing both sides by flow rate

Comparison of results from the
Isochronal Test
• The isochronal test method does not attempt to yield a stabilized back pressure
curve directly.

• The stabilized curve is computed from pressures obtained while transient

conditions prevail.

• An isochronal test involves flowing the well at several rates, interspersed with
periods in which the well is shut in.

• Shut in times should be long enough for pressure in the drained volume to return
to average pressure condition, PR.

• Flowing bottom hole pressures are measured at several elapsed times after the
well is opened.

• The elapsed time must be same in each flow period.

PSS solution to the real gas equation in terms of pseudo-pressure

Effective drainage radius

Substituting effective drainage radius

Stabilized flow coefficient

Analysis Procedure

Empirical deliverability equation

Analysis Procedure

The theoretical equation for PSS derived from the gas diffusivity equation

Dividing both sides by flow rate

Modified Isochronal Test
1. This method requires less work and time to obtain useable result than any of the
two methods.

2. Constant rate is not required.

3. The most low permeability wells where the modified isochronal test would be
practically applied require stimulation to be commercial.
Deliverability Plot
In low permeability reservoir , the rate of gas
production during relatively short periods decreases
with time at a fixed flowing well head pressure.
High permeability gas wells that stabilize rapidly, C
does not change significantly with time.

In low permeability reservoir where more time required

to stabilize, the rate of gas production during relatively
short periods decreases with time at a fixed flowing
well head pressure and so C decreases with time.
If the shift is large , further testing would
be required to predict well performance
more accurately.
n>1 indicates removing liquid from the well
during testing or by cleaning the formation
around the well such as removing drilling
fluid or stimulation fluids.

Laminar flow
Turbulent flow

n<0.5 indicates accumulation

of liquid in the well bore.