Bases teoricas de las curva de declinación de Arps

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Kegang Ling, SPE, Jun He, University of North Dakota

This paper was prepared for presentation at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 11–14 November 2012.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been

reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its

officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to

reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract

The famous Arps empirical decline curves provide a powerful and practical tool for production forecast. Numerous historical

production data proved that Arps decline curves can be applied universally. With that many engineers use Arps decline curve

without knowing reservoir properties and operating conditions. The lack in reservoir properties and operating conditions

affects the quality of production forecast. Even with the knowledge of reservoir properties and operating conditions a reliable

production forecast still cannot be guaranteed if we do not understand the theory that connects reservoir properties and

operating conditions to production decline. The demand for a solid theoretical basis for production decline curve analysis

trigged this study.

In this investigation, we derived the governing equations of production decline for different reservoirs by combining static

geological and reservoir data with dynamic production data. With these equations the Arps decline curves are reproduced for

different reservoir fluids and drive mechanisms. These equations indicate that Arps decline curves not only are empirical but

also have theoretical bases. Engineers can use our governing equations to forecast production confidently.

Introduction

The famous Arps empirical decline curves has been applied for many decades and proved to be a reliable tool in production

forecast. The “empirical” was added to Arps decline curves analysis because at the time people forecasted the production just

basing on the decline trend and without knowing the reservoir engineering principle behind. With that many engineers use

Arps decline curve without knowing reservoir properties and operating conditions. The lack in reservoir properties and

operating conditions affects the quality of production forecast. Even with the knowledge of reservoir properties and operating

conditions a reliable production forecast still cannot be guaranteed if we do not understand the theory that connects reservoir

properties and operating conditions to production decline.

Experience told us that the production decline is related to the different reservoir fluids and drive mechanisms. In this

investigation, we derived the governing equations of production decline for different reservoirs by combining static

geological and reservoir data with dynamic production data. With these equations the Arps decline curves are reproduced for

different reservoir fluids and drive mechanisms.

The prerequisite of Arps empirical decline curves is the establishment of decline trend after certain period of production.

It limits the application of Arps method in different production stage. With the theoretical derivation of production decline

curve engineers can forecast the production without or with limited historical production data. Therefore it has the advantage

over Arps empirical method for fields at early production stage or middle stage with no decline trend. Of course theoretical

equations have their disadvantage in the event that reservoir drive mechanisms are uncertain, which are always occur before

the production or at early production stage. Under such circumstance the limited production and the pressure data should be

used to tune or calibrate the theoretical model. Thus a good history matching is a solid base for accurate production forecast

using theoretical derived equations derived in this study.

2 SPE 161767

Literature Review

Many studies had been focused on the production decline analysis. Arps (1945) proposed 4 types of declines: exponential,

hyperbolic, harmonic, and ratio decline basing on decline trend observed in the field. Arps (1956) estimated the primary oil

reserves by combining decline curves with reservoir drive mechanism. Fetkovich (1971 and 1980) constructed type curves

combining the transient rate and the pseudo-steady-state decline curves and derived single-phase flow from material balance

and Darcy law. Lefkovits et al. (1958) derived the exponential decline form for gravity drainage reservoirs by neglecting

capillary pressure. Da Prat et al. (1981) derived single-phase oil flow for two-porosity reservoir in closed boundary systems.

Doublet et al. (1994) developed the theoretical basis for combining transient and boundary dominated production behavior

for the pressure transient solution to the diffusivity equation. Ling et al. (2012) proposed an economical model to optimize

horizontal well producing a box-shape oil reservoir with close-boundary. His study showed exponential decline for oil flow at

constant bottomhole pressure.

Other investigator conducted research on production decline. Ehilg-Economides and Ramey (1981), Chen and Poston

(1989), Duong (1989), Palacio and Blasingame (1993), Rodriguez and Cinco-Ley (1993), Callard (1995), Agarwal et al.

(1999) had published paper on decline curve analysis.

Derivation of Governing Equations for Production versus Time for Different Reservoirs

This study is to derive the governing equations for production delines in different reservoirs with different drive mechanisms.

Following assumptions are required to derive the governing equation for closed-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

production versus producing time:

1) The reservoir pressure is above bubble point pressure during the field life

2) The reservoir is close-boundary.

3) The reservoir is homogeneous or can be treated as a homogeneous reservoir with equivalent rock properties.

4) The reservoir is occupied by oil and irreducible water.

5) No water and gas injection into the reservoir

6) Water is immovable during production

7) Rock permeability and fluid properties do not change as the pressure changes

The original oil in place can be calculated with volumetric method, which is expressed as

N Vbulk (1 S w ) / Boi .............................................................................................................................................. (1)

where

Boi = initial oil formation volume factor

N = original oil in place

Sw = water saturation

Vbulk = bulk volume

Ф = porosity

As the reservoir is put on production, the pressure will decline, so does the oil production rate. The flow from reservoir to

well is transient before the pressure propagates to the close-boundary. After that it becomes pseudo-steady-state and the

reservoir pressure drop uniformly as production goes on. The oil production rate in transient flow under constant bottomhole

condition is calculated through (Earlougher, 1977)

k o h p i p wf

qo .. .............................................................................................. (2)

162.6 Bo o log t log 3.23 0.87 S

k o

c r 2

o t w

ct = total compressibility, psi-1

h = reservoir thickness, ft

ko = effective permeability to oil, md

pwf = flowing bottom hole pressure, psia

pi = initial reservoir pressure, psia

qo = oil production rate, stb/day

rw = wellbore radius, ft

S = skin factor.

t = flow time, hour

o = oil viscosity, cp

SPE 161767 3

The time for pressure to reach the close-boundary can be estimated by (Earlougher, 1977)

c r 2

t pss 1200 o t e .. ............................................................................................................................................... (3)

ko

where

tpss = time for pressure to reach the boundary, hour

re = radius of reservoir

The flow changes to pseudo-steady-state after the pressure reaches the boundary. Oil rate at pseudo-steady-state condition

can be calculated by (Dake, 1978)

qo

ko h p pwf .. ............................................................................................................................. (4)

0.472re

141.2 Bo o ln S

rw

where

p = average reservoir pressure, psia

Withdrawing oil from reservoir leads to the drops of reservoir pressure and production rate for a close-boundary oil reservoir.

To quantify the reservoir pressure as a function of producing time we apply the material balance principle to correlate the oil

rate with cumulative production and time. General material balance gives

Bg

N p Bt R p Rsoi Bg W p Bw N Bt Bti mNBti

Bgi

1

.. .................................................................................... (5)

1 mNBti c f cw S wc

pi p We Gi Bg Wi Bw

1 S wc

where

GBgi

m

NBoi

Bti Boi

Bt Bo Rsoi Rso Bg

where

N = original oil in place

Np = cumulative oil production

Boi = initial oil formation volume factor

Bo = current oil formation volume factor

G = original free gas in place

Gp = cumulative gas production

Gi = gas injection

Rsoi = initial solution gas oil ratio

Rso = current solution gas oil ratio

Rp = produced gas oil ratio

Bgi = initial gas formation volume factor

Bg = current gas formation volume factor

m = ratio of gas cap volume to oil volume

Wi = water injection

We = water influx

Bw = water formation volume factor

Cw = water compressibility

Cf = rock compressibility

Swc = connate water saturation

Bt = two-phase formation volume factor

p = current reservoir pressure

pi = initial reservoir pressure

z = gas deviation factor

Aforementioned assumptions for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir indicate that no water and gas injection, no

water encroachment, no gas cap existing, reservoir pressure above saturation pressure and single oil phase production,

Equation (5) collapses to

4 SPE 161767

N p Bo N Bo Boi

NBoi c f cw S wc p p .. ........................................................................................................ (6)

i

1 S wc

At reservoir pressure higher than bubble-point pressure, the oil formation volume factor, Bo, at current reservoir pressure of p

can be expressed as a function original reservoir pressure, original oil formation volume factor, oil compressibility, and

current reservoir pressure, which is

B

co pi p ln o

Boi

or

Bo Boi EXPco pi p .. ......................................................................................................................................... (7)

Substituting Equation (7) into (6) we have

NBoi c f cw S wc

pi p .. ......................................................... (8)

1 S wc

Cancelling the same terms and rearranging yields

N EXPco pi p 1

N c f cw S wc

pi p

1 S wc

Np .. ................................................................................................ (9)

EXPco pi p

According to the definition, cumulative oil production, Np, can be calculated by

t

N p qo dt .. ........................................................................................................................................................... (10)

0

where

dt = incremental time step

Since the average reservoir pressure, p , in Equation (4) equals the current reservoir pressure, p, in Equation (9),

substituting Equations (4) and (9) into (10) gives

N EXPco pi p 1

N c f c w S wc

pi p

1 S wc

EXPco pi p

t

k o h p p wf .. .................................................................................................. (11)

0.472re

dt

0

141.2 Bo o ln S

rw

Equation (11) is the governing equation for production forecast for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir. Because of

the nonlinear relationship between the reservoir pressure and producing time the solution of Equation (11) requires

numerical method. Small time steps are applied so that the relationship between pressure and producing time can be

constructed.

To derive the governing equation for closed-boundary gas reservoir production versus producing time the following

assumptions are required:

1) The reservoir is close-boundary.

2) No liquid drop out of the gas in the reservoir condition.

3) Single-phase flow during the life of the reservoir.

4) The reservoir is homogeneous or can be treated as a homogeneous reservoir with equivalent rock properties.

5) The reservoir is occupied by gas and irreducible water.

6) No water and gas injection into the reservoir

7) Water is immovable during production

8) Rock permeability does not change as the pressure changes

The original gas in place can be calculated with volumetric method, which is expressed as

G Vbulk (1 S w ) / Bgi .. ........................................................................................................................................... (12)

where

Bgi = initial gas formation volume factor

G = original gas in place

Sw = water saturation

SPE 161767 5

Similar to close-boundary oil reservoir, as gas is withdrawn from the subsurface reservoir pressure declines, which results in

the reduction in gas production rate. Through the concept of pseudopressure gas production rate in transient flow under

constant bottomhole condition can be expressed as (Lee, 1982)

qg

k g h pi pwf .. ........................................................................................... (13)

kg

1424T log t log 3.23 0.87 S Dq g

ct rw 2

g

where

pi

pi 2

p

dp .. ................................................................................................................................................ (14)

pB

g z

and

p wf

p wf 2

p

g z

dp ................................................................................................................................................ (15)

pB

D = non-Darcy coefficient,

Bg = gas formation volume factor, cu-ft/scf

kg = effective permeability to gas, md

pB = base pressure, psia

pi = initial reservoir pressure, psia

qg = gas production rate, stb/day

T = reservoir temperature, oR

z = gas z-factor, dimensionless

g = gas viscosity, cp

The non-Darcy coefficient can be calculated from Economides’ empirical correlation (1994), which is

6 10 5 g k s1h

D ................................................................................................................................................. (16)

g rw h perf

2

where

ks = near-wellbore permeability,

hperf = perforated interval,

g = gas specific gravity.

For openhole completion and no formation damage or stimulation, Equation (16) is reformed to

6 10 5 g k s1

D .. ................................................................................................................................................ (17)

g rw h

The time for pressure to reach the close-boundary can be estimated by

g c t re2

t pss 1200 ................................................................................................................................................ (18)

kg

The flow changes to pseudo-steady-state after the pressure reaches the boundary. Gas rate at pseudo-steady-state condition

can be calculated by

qg

k g h p p wf

.. ....................................................................................................................... (19)

0.472re

1424T ln S Dq g

rw

where

p

p 2

p

dp .. ................................................................................................................................................. (20)

pB

g z

Again, akin to oil reservoir, withdrawing gas from reservoir leads to the drops of reservoir pressure and production rate for a

close-boundary gas reservoir. The general material balance equation is used to correlate the gas rate with cumulative

production and producing time. Applying the assumptions of close-boundary gas reservoir Equation (5) collapses to

Bgi GBgi c f cw S wc

G p G 1

pi p .. ........................................................................................................... (21)

B

g Bg 1 S wc

According to the definition, cumulative gas production, Gp, can be calculated by

6 SPE 161767

t

G p q g dt .. ........................................................................................................................................................... (22)

0

Substituting Equations (17) and (21) into (22) yields

G 1

Bgi GBgi c f cw S wc

t

pi p

k g h p pwf

dt .. .............................................................. (23)

Bg Bg 1 S wc 0.472re

0

1424T ln

S Dqg

rw

where

zTp sc

Bg

z scTsc p

psc = standard condition pressure

Tsc = standard condition temperature

zsc = gas deviation factor at standard condition

Equation (23) is the governing equation for production forecast for close-boundary gas reservoir. Again, a numerical method

is required to solve the equation to establish the relationship between pressure and producing time or gas rate and producing

time.

Following assumptions are required to derive the governing equation for constant-pressure outer boundary oil reservoir

production versus producing time:

1) The initial reservoir pressure is above bubble point pressure.

2) The reservoir is supported by constant-pressure outer boundary.

3) The reservoir is homogeneous or can be treated as a homogeneous reservoir with equivalent rock properties.

4) The reservoir is initially occupied by oil and irreducible water.

5) No water and gas injection into the reservoir

6) Water encroaches evenly from outer boundary and residual oil saturation is distributed uniformly in waterflooded

zone.

7) Rock permeability and fluid properties do not change as the pressure changes

The original oil in place in a radial reservoir can be calculated through

N re2 h (1 S w ) / Boi .. .......................................................................................................................................... (24)

For a constant-pressure outer boundary reservoir the flow experiences transient and steady-state flows during the production

life. The flow is transient before the pressure propagates to the outer boundary. After that it becomes steady-state and the

water encroaches from outer boundary evenly. Reservoir pressure keeps constant. The oil production rate in transient flow

under constant bottomhole condition is calculated through Equation (2). The time for the end of transient flow is calculated

by Equation (3). The flow changes to steady-state after the pressure reaches the boundary. Oil rate at steady-state condition

can be calculated by (Dake, 1978)

qo

k o h pe p wf .. ................................................................................................................................... (25)

re

141.2 Bo o ln S

rw

where

pe = outer boundary pressure, psia

In the condition of constant-pressure outer boundary, all withdrawn oil volume is replaced by water from outer boundary and

reservoir pressure remains at initial pressure. Therefore the encroaching water volume can be estimated through produced oil

volume, which is expressed as

N p B o We ............................................................................................................................................................. (26)

Assuming residual oil saturation in the waterflooded zone is Sor, material balance gives

re2 h (1 S w ) rwater

2

front h (1 S w ) We re rwater front hS or .. .......................................................................... (27)

2 2

where

rwater front = position of water front, or distance between well and water front

Sor = residual oil saturation

Substituting Equation (26) into (27) yield

re2 h (1 S w ) rwater

2

front h (1 S w ) N p Bo re rwater front hS or .. ..................................................................... (28)

2 2

Arranging Equation (28) we can calculate the position of water front after cumulative oil volume of Np is withdrawn, which

is

SPE 161767 7

N p Bo

rwater front re2 .. ....................................................................................................................... (29)

h 1 S w S or

The oil rate at water front moving to rwater front is calculated by

ko h pwater front pwf

.. ............................................................................................................ (30)

rwater front

141.2 Bo o ln S

rw

where

pwater front = pressure at water front,

q water front = oil rate when water front moves to rwater front,

Comparing Equation (25) with (30) we find that

k o h pe pwf

r

141.2 Bo o ln e S

qo w r

qo, water front

k o h pwater front pwf

rwater front

141.2 Bo o ln S

rw

or

pe pwf

re

ln S

qo rw

qo, water front

pwater front pwf ............................................................................................................................. (31)

rwater front

ln S

rw

Pressure at water front, pwater front, can be calculated by

q B rwater front

pwater front pwf o o o ln S .. ......................................................................................................... (32)

2ko h rw

It should be noted that qo in Equation (32) is the initial oil rate since the pressure profiles from wellbore to original outer

boundary do not change. Substituting Equation (32) into (31) we obtain

pe pwf

re

ln S

qo

rw

qo, water front qo Bo o rwater front

pwf ln S pwf

2k o h

rw

rwater front

ln S

rw

or

2k o h pe pwf

r

Bo o ln e S

qo

w r .. ............................................................................................................................. (33)

qo, water front qo

Recalling the oil rate at steady-state condition we have

qo

2k o h pe pwf

.. ........................................................................................................................................... (34)

re

Bo o ln S

rw

Substituting Equation (34) into (33) gives

qo

1 .. ..................................................................................................................................................... (35)

qo, water front

8 SPE 161767

The implication of Equation (35) is that the oil rate is constant for oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary during

the well life. This is proved by the common observation in field. In other words, observation of constant oil production rate

indicates strong water drive mechanism. Substituting Equations (10) and (30) into (29) we have

t

k o h pwater front pwf

rwater front

dt

141.2 o ln

0

S

rwater front re2 rw .. ................................................................................................... (36)

h1 S w S or

Equation (36) provides an equation to calculate the water front position at any producing time. The water front breakthrough

time can be calculated through

t

k o h pwater front pwf dt re2 h 1 S w S or .. ............................................................................................... (37)

r

141.2 o ln S

0 water front

rw

Following assumptions are required to derive the governing equation for constant-pressure outer boundary gas reservoir

production versus producing time:

1) The initial reservoir pressure is above dew point pressure.

2) The reservoir is supported by constant-pressure outer boundary.

3) The reservoir is homogeneous or can be treated as a homogeneous reservoir with equivalent rock properties.

4) The reservoir is initially occupied by gas and irreducible water.

5) No water and gas is injected into the reservoir.

6) Water encroaches evenly from radial direction and residual gas saturation is distributed uniformly in waterflooded

zone.

7) Rock permeability does not change as the pressure changes

The original gas in place for a radial reservoir can be calculated through

G re2 h (1 S w ) / Bgi .. .......................................................................................................................................... (38)

Again, for a constant-pressure outer boundary reservoir the flow experiences transient and steady-state flows during the

production life. The gas production rate in transient flow under constant bottomhole condition is calculated through

Equation (13). The time for the end of transient flow is calculated by Equation (18). The flow changes to steady-state after

the pressure reaches the boundary. Gas rate at steady-state condition can be calculated by

qg

k g h pe pwf .. ................................................................................................................................ (39)

re

1424T ln S Dq g

rw

In the condition of constant-pressure outer boundary, all withdrawn gas volume is replaced by water from outer boundary and

reservoir pressure remains at initial pressure. Therefore the encroaching water volume can be estimated through produced gas

volume, which is expressed as

G p Bg We .. ............................................................................................................................................................ (40)

Assuming residual gas saturation in the waterflooded zone is Sgr, material balance gives

re2 h (1 S w ) rwater

2

front h (1 S w ) We re rwater front hS gr .. .......................................................................... (41)

2 2

where

Sgr = residual gas saturation

Substituting Equation (40) into (41) yield

re2 h (1 S w ) rwater

2

front h (1 S w ) G p Bg re rwater front hS gr .. ..................................................................... (42)

2 2

Arranging Equation (42) we can calculate the position of water front after cumulative gas volume of Gp is withdrawn, which

is

G p Bg

rwater front re2

h 1 S w S gr

.. ....................................................................................................................... (43)

SPE 161767 9

q g , water front

k g h pwater front pwf

.............................................................................................. (44)

rwater front

1424T ln S Dq g , water front

rw

where

q water front = gas rate when water front moves to rwater front,

Comparing Equation (39) with (44) we find that

k g h pe pwf

r

1424T ln e S Dq g

qg rw

q g , water front

k g h pwater front pwf

rwater front

1424T ln S Dq g , water front

rw

or

pe pwf

re

ln S Dq g

qg rw

q g , water front

pwater front pwf

.. ................................................................................................... (45)

rwater front

ln S Dq g , water front

rw

Pressure at water front, pwater front, can be calculated by

1424q g T rwater front

pwater front pwf

k g h

ln S Dq g , water front .......................................................................... (46)

rw

It should be noted that qg in Equation (45) is the initial gas rate since the pressure profiles from wellbore to original outer

boundary do not change. Substituting Equation (46) into (45) we obtain

pe pwf

re

ln S Dq g

qg rw

1424q g T rwater front

q g , water front

pwf ln S Dq g , water front pwf

kg h rw

rwater front

ln S Dq g , water front

rw

or

kgh pe pwf

1424T re

ln S Dq g

qg rw .. ................................................................................................................ (47)

q g , water front qg

Recalling

qg

k g h pe pwf

r

1424T ln e S Dq g

rw

Equation (47) collapses to

qg

1 .. ..................................................................................................................................................... (48)

q g , water front

The implication of Equation (48) is that gas rate is constant for constant-pressure outer boundary condition during the well

life. It is proved by the common observation in field. In other words, observation of constant gas production rate indicates

strong water drive mechanism. Substituting Equations (22) and (44) into (43) we have

10 SPE 161767

t

k g h pwater front pwf

rwater front

Bg dt

1424T ln

0

S Dq g , water front

re2 rw

rwater front

h 1 S w S gr .. ........................................................................... (49)

Equation (49) provides an equation to calculate the water front position at any producing time. The water front breakthrough

time can be calculated through

t

k g h pe pwf

r

Bg dt re2 h 1 S w S gr .. .............................................................................................. (50)

0

1424T ln e S Dq g

rw

Following assumptions are required to derive the governing equation for partial water support at outer boundary for oil

reservoir production versus producing time:

1) The initial reservoir pressure is above bubble point pressure.

2) The reservoir is partially supported by water from outer boundary, or the water encroachment rate is less than oil

production rate.

3) The reservoir is homogeneous or can be treated as a homogeneous reservoir with equivalent rock properties.

4) The reservoir is initially occupied by oil and irreducible water.

5) No water and gas injection into the reservoir

6) Water encroaches evenly from outer boundary and residual oil saturation is distributed uniformly in waterflooded

zone.

7) Rock permeability and fluid properties do not change as the pressure changes

The original oil in place can be calculated through Equation (24) for a radial reservoir. The oil production rate in transient

flow under constant bottomhole condition is calculated through Equation (2). The time for the end of transient flow is

calculated by Equation (3). The flow changes to pseudo-steady-state after the pressure reaches the boundary. For a partial

water supported reservoir the pressure drops due to the withdrawn oil cannot be compensated by water completely. The

pressure drop is reversely proportional to the water support strength. Reservoir pressure drops to p after Np volume of oil is

produced and We volume of water encroaches to the reservoir. Oil rate is calculated by

ko h p pwf .. .................................................................................................... (51)

0.472rwater front

141.2 Bo o ln S

rw

Applying material balance we have

N p Bo N Bo Boi

NBoi c f cw S wc

pi p We .. .............................................................................................. (52)

1 S wc

At reservoir pressure higher than bubble-point pressure, substituting Equation (7) into (52) we have

NBoi c f cw S wc

pi p We ................................................. (53)

1 S wc

Cancelling the same terms and rearranging yields

N EXPco pi p 1

N c f cw S wc

pi p We

1 S wc Boi

Np .. .................................................................................... (54)

EXPco pi p

According to the definition, cumulative oil production, Np, can be calculated by Equation (10). To determine the oil rate at

producing time, t, we need to know the reservoir pressure and water front position at the corresponding producing time.

Reservoir pressure can be calculated from Equation (54) if water encroachment volume is known. In field application we do

not know water encroachment volume, but we can obtain reservoir pressure so that water encroachment volume can be

estimated. Now we need to estimate the water front position at reservoir pressure of p or producing time of t. the pore volume

after Np of oil is withdrawn is

V pore,1 re2h 1 pi p c f .................................................................................................................................... (55)

The pores are occupied by unrecovered oil, connate water and encroachment water in that can be expressed as

re2h 1 pi p c f N N p Boi EXPco pi p We re2hS wc re2hS wc pi p cw .. ......................................... (56)

SPE 161767 11

The unrecovered oil consists of oil in the unflooded zone and residual oil in the flooded zone. Applying the concept of water

front position we have

N N p Boi EXPco pi p rwater

2

fronth 1 pi p c f 1 S wc re rwater front h 1 pi p c f S or

2 2

or

rwater front

N N p Boi EXPco pi p re2 Sor .................................................................................. (57)

h1 pi p c f 1 S wc S or 1 S wc S or

Reservoir pressure can be calculated through Equation (54). Then water front position can be calculated by Equation (57).

Substituting Equations (51) and (54) into (10) we have

N EXPco pi p 1

N c f cw S wc

pi p We

1 S wc Boi

EXPco pi p

t

k o h p pwf .. .......................................................................................... (58)

0.472rwater front

dt

0

141.2 Bo o ln S

rw

Equation (58) is the governing equation for partial water support oil reservoir performance. With it relationship between oil

rate and producing time can be constructed.

Following assumptions are required to derive the governing equation for constant-pressure outer boundary gas reservoir

production versus producing time:

1) The initial reservoir pressure is above dew point pressure.

2) The reservoir is partially supported by water from outer boundary, or the water encroachment rate is less than gas

production rate.

3) The reservoir is homogeneous or can be treated as a homogeneous reservoir with equivalent rock properties.

4) The reservoir is initially occupied by gas and irreducible water.

5) No water and gas is injected into the reservoir.

6) Water encroaches evenly from radial direction and residual gas saturation is distributed uniformly in waterflooded

zone.

7) Rock permeability does not change as the pressure changes

The original gas in place can be calculated through Equation (38) for a radial reservoir. The gas production rate in transient

flow under constant bottomhole condition is calculated through Equation (13). The time for the end of transient flow is

calculated by Equation (18). The flow changes to pseudo-steady-state after the pressure reaches the boundary. For a partial

water supported reservoir the pressure drops due to the withdrawn gas cannot be compensated by water completely. The

pressure drop is reversely proportional to the water support strength. Reservoir pressure drops to p after Gp volume of gas is

produced and We volume of water encroaches to the reservoir. Gas rate is calculated by

q g , water front

k g h p pwf .. ................................................................................... (59)

0.472rwater front

1424T ln S Dq g , water front

rw

Applying material balance we have

G p G 1

Bgi GBgi c f cw S wc

pi p We .................................................................................................... (60)

Bg Bg 1 S wc Bg

According to the definition, cumulative gas production, Gp, can be calculated by Equation (22). To determine the gas rate at

producing time, t, we need to know the reservoir pressure and water front position at the corresponding producing time.

Reservoir pressure can be calculated from Equation (60) if water encroachment volume is known. In field application we do

not know water encroachment volume, but we can obtain reservoir pressure so that water encroachment volume can be

estimated. Now we need to estimate the water front position at reservoir pressure of p or producing time of t. the pore volume

after Gp of gas is withdrawn is

V pore,1 re2h 1 pi p c f .................................................................................................................................... (61)

The pores are occupied by unrecovered gas, connate water and encroachment water, which can be expressed as

re2h 1 pi p c f G G p Bg We re2hS wc re2hS wc pi p cw .. ................................................................. (62)

12 SPE 161767

The unrecovered gas consists of gas in the unflooded zone and residual gas in the flooded zone. Applying the concept of

water front position we have

G G p Bg rwater

2

fronth 1 pi p c f 1 S wc re rwater front h 1 pi p c f S gr

2 2

or

rwater front

G G p Bg

re2 S gr

h1 pi p c f 1 S wc S gr 1 S wc S gr

.. ................................................................................ (63)

Reservoir pressure can be calculated through Equation (60). Then water front position can be calculated by Equation (63).

Substituting Equations (59) and (60) into (22) we have

G 1

Bgi GBgi c f cw S wc

pi p We

B

g B g 1 S wc Bg

t

k g h p pwf .. .................................................................................................. (64)

0.472rwater front

dt

0

1424T ln S Dq g , water front

rw

Equation (64) is the governing equation for partial water support gas reservoir performance. With it relation ship between

gas rate and producing time can be constructed.

In terms of oil reservoir with gas cap, reservoir pressure lower than saturation pressure, or gas-oil-water three-phase flow in

reservoir, analytical solution to gas and oil production rates is impossible due to the difficulties in the expressions of solution

gas-oil ratio as a function of pressure and the relative permeability of gas and oil as functions of oil saturation. Under such

circumstance numerical method such as reservoir simulation is employed.

Calculation Procedure

1) Calculate the initial oil or gas rate with appropriate equation,

2) Select a small time step and assume constant reservoir pressure during the time step, calculate cumulative

hydrocarbon volume in this time step,

3) Calculate reservoir pressure after the cumulative hydrocarbon volume had been withdrawn using material balance

equation,

4) Calculate the new outer boundary position if the water front had advanced towards the well; outer boundary

position does not change for close-boundary,

5) With the new reservoir pressure from Step 3 and new outer boundary from Step 4 calculate the new oil or gas rate

with appropriate equation,

6) Select another small time step, assume constant reservoir pressure during this time step, calculate cumulative

hydrocarbon volume in this time step,

7) At this stage the total cumulative hydrocarbon volume is the sum of production in Steps 2 and 6,

8) Calculate updated reservoir pressure after the total cumulative hydrocarbon volume had been withdrawn using

material balance equation,

9) Calculate the updated outer boundary position if the water front had advanced towards the well; outer boundary

position does not change for close-boundary,

10) With the updated reservoir pressure from Step 8 and updated outer boundary from Step 9 calculate the new oil or

gas rate,

11) Repeat Steps 5 through 10 until the reservoir pressure reaches flowing bottomhole pressure,

12) Construct the relationship between hydrocarbon rate and producing time.

Examples

Six examples, one for each type of aforementioned reservoirs, are used to illustrate the relationship between production rate

and producing time.

SPE 161767 13

A vertical well centered in a radial oil reservoir is put on production at constant bottomhole pressure. The dimension of the

reservoir, wellbore geometry, rock and fluid properties are listed in Table 1.

Permeability, Ko 50 md

Pay zone thickness,h 100 ft

Oil viscosity,mo 1 cp

Original oil formation volume factor,B oi 1.2 rb/STB

Drainage radius, re 3000 ft

Wellbore radius, rw 0.328 ft

Initial reservoir pressure,pi 4000 psia

Skin factor,s 2

Bottomhole flowing pressure,p wf 400 psia

Porosity 0.2

Irreducible water saturation 0.2

Original oil in place 67,140,003 STB

Oil compressibility 0.000015 psi-1

Water compressibility 0.000005 psi-1

-1

Rock compressibility 0.000002 psi

-1

Total compressibility 0.000015 psi

The plots of oil rate versus time in Figure 1 indicate exponential declines in oil rates for constant bottomhole flowing

pressure, which agree with the exponential declines often observed in the field. These plots proof that Arps exponential

decline curves are not simply empirical but have theoretical basis.

1000000

qo vs. time

100000 Expon. (qo vs. time)

10000

qo (Bbls/mon

1000

-0.0699x

100 y = 313330e

10

1

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 1. Oil rate versus time for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

The sensitivities of rock and oil properties on the slope of decline curve were analyzed. Figure 2 shows the effect of

permeability on the slope of decline curve. Higher permeability has a higher initial oil rate and a higher decline rate. Figure 3

shows the effect of oil viscosity. Lower oil viscosity has a higher initial oil rate and a higher decline rate. Figure 4 shows the

effect of pay thickness. Larger pay thickness has a higher initial oil rate but the decline rate is same for different pay

thicknesses. Figure 5 shows the effect of initial reservoir pressure. It has similar impact as pay thickness. Figure 6 shows the

14 SPE 161767

effect of radius of outer-boundary. Shorter radius of outer-boundary has a higher initial oil rate and a higher decline rate.

Figure 6 shows the effect of skin factor. Smaller skin factor has a higher initial oil rate and a higher decline rate.

Oil Rate vs. Time for Close-Boundary Undersaturated Oil Reservoir

1000000

qo vs. time_k=80 md

100000 qo vs. time_k=50 md

Expon. (qo vs. time_k=80 md)

10000

Expon. (qo vs. time_k=50 md)

qo (Bbls/mon

1000

100 y = 313330e

-0.0699x

10

1 -0.1117x

y = 507164e

0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 2. The effect of permeability on oil rate for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

1000000

100000

-0.0142x

y = 62469e

10000

qo (Bbls/mon

-0.0699x

y = 313330e

Expon. (qo vs. time_Oil

10 viscosity=5 cp)

Expon. (qo vs. time_Oil

viscosity=1 cp)

1

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 3. The effect of oil viscosity on oil rate for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

SPE 161767 15

1000000

qo vs. time_h=50 ft

100000

qo vs. time_h=100 ft

10000 Expon. (qo vs. time_h=50 ft)

qo (Bbls/mon

100 -0.0699x

y = 313330e

10

-0.0699x

y = 156665e

1

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 4. The effect of pay thickness on oil rate for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

1000000

qo vs. time_Pi=3000 psia

100000 qo vs. time_Pi=4000 psia

10000

psia)

qo (Bbls/mon

1000 psia)

100 -0.0699x

y = 313330e

10

-0.0696x

y = 228231e

1

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 5. The effect of initial reservoir pressure on oil rate for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

16 SPE 161767

qo vs. time_re=3500 ft

1000000

qo vs. time_re=3000 ft

100000 Expon. (qo vs. time_re=3500 ft)

Expon. (qo vs. time_re=3000 ft)

10000

qo (Bbls/mon

-0.0506x

y = 307501e

1000

100

10 -0.0699x

y = 313330e

1

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 6. The effect of radius of outer boundary on oil rate for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

1000000

qo vs. time_S=5

qo vs. time_S=2

100000

Expon. (qo vs. time_S=5)

10000 Expon. (qo vs. time_S=2)

qo (Bbls/mon

1000 -0.0542x

y = 242200e

100

10 -0.0699x

y = 313330e

1

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 7. The effect of skin factor on oil rate for close-boundary undersaturated oil reservoir

Figures 2 through 7 can be used to identify and quantify the uncertainties of reservoir and fluid properties. They can be

applied as “type curves” in reservoir surveillance to estimate the changes in permeability, skin factor, and oil viscosity during

production.

A vertical well is placed in the center of a radial gas reservoir. The well is put on production at constant bottomhole pressure.

The dimension of the reservoir, wellbore geometry, rock and fluid properties are listed in Table 2.

SPE 161767 17

Permeability, Kg 10 md

Pay zone thickness,h 100 ft

Gas specific gravity, g 0.7

o

Reservoir temperature, T 600 R

Drainage radius, re 3000 ft

Wellbore radius, rw 0.328 ft

Initial reservoir pressure,pi 4000 psia

Skin factor,s 2

Bottomhole flowing pressure,p wf 400 psia

Porosity 0.2

Irreducible water saturation 0.2

Original gas in place 123,049,010 MCF

Water compressibility 0.000005 psi-1

-1

Rock compressibility 0.000002 psi

Total compressibility 0.000015 psi-1

Initial gas formation volume factor 0.003676497 cu-ft/scf

The plots of gas rate versus time in Figures 8 through 13 indicate early gas production follows hyperbolic decline while

late production follows exponential declines for close-boundary gas reservoir producing at constant bottomhole pressure,

which agree with the observations in field. Again the plots proof that Arps empirical decline curves do have theoretical bases.

10000000.0

qg vs. time

qg_Hyperbolic Decline

qg_ Exponential Decline

qg (MCF/mon

100000.0

10000.0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

Producing Time (month) .... .

The sensitivities of rock properties and reservoir geometry and in-situ condition on the slope of decline curve were

analyzed. Figure 9 shows the effect of permeability on the slope of decline curve. Higher permeability has a higher initial gas

rate and a higher decline rate. Figure 10 shows the effect of pay thickness. Long pay thickness has a higher initial oil rate but

the decline rate is same for different pay thicknesses. Figure 11 shows the effect of initial reservoir pressure. Higher initial

pressure has a higher initial gas rate. The difference in gas rate is higher in the early time than late time. Figure 12 shows the

effect of radius of outer-boundary. Shorter radius of outer-boundary has a higher initial gas rate and a higher decline rate.

Figure 13 shows the effect of skin factor. Smaller skin factor has a higher initial gas rate and a higher decline rate.

18 SPE 161767

10000000.0

1000000.0

qg (MCF/mon

100000.0

10000.0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 9. The effect of permeability on gas rate for close-boundary gas reservoir

10000000.0

1000000.0

qg (MCF/mon

100000.0

10000.0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 10. The effect of pay thickness on gas rate for close-boundary gas reservoir

SPE 161767 19

10000000.0

1000000.0

qg (MCF/mon

100000.0

10000.0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 11. The effect of initial reservoir pressure on gas rate for close-boundary gas reservoir

10000000.0

1000000.0

qg (MCF/mon

100000.0

10000.0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 12. The effect of radius of outer boundary on gas rate for close-boundary gas reservoir

20 SPE 161767

10000000.0

1000000.0

qg (MCF/mon

100000.0

10000.0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 13. The effect of skin factor on gas rate for close-boundary gas reservoir

Figures 9 through 13 can be used to identify and quantify the uncertainties of reservoir and fluid properties. They can be

applied as “type curves” in reservoir surveillance to estimate the changes in permeability and skin factor during production.

A vertical well centered in a radial oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary is put on production at constant

bottomhole pressure. The reservoir, fluid, and well data are as Table 1. The residual oil saturation in the water flooded zone

is 0.2. The oil rate is constant throughout the well life as indicated by Equation (35). This phenomenon had been observed in

many fields supported with active aquifers. In this example the calculated oil rate is 291345 STB/month. The plot of water

front position versus producing time is shown in Figure 14. The breakthrough time is 172.85 months.

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Oil Reservoir

3500

3000

water front position vs. time

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Producing Time (month) .

Figure 14. Water front position versus time for oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

The sensitivities of rock and oil properties on the water front position were analyzed. Figure 15 shows the effect of

permeability on the water front position. Higher permeability has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 16 shows the

effect of oil viscosity. Lower oil viscosity has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 17 shows the effect of pay

thickness. Water breakthrough time is same for different pay thicknesses. Figure 18 shows the effect of initial reservoir

pressure. Higher reservoir pressure has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 19 shows the effect of radius of outer

SPE 161767 21

boundary. Shorter radius of outer-boundary has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 20 shows the effect of skin factor.

Smaller skin factor has an earlier water breakthrough time. The water breakthrough times for Figures 15 through 20 are the

producing times when water front position reaches 0 ft.

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Oil Reservoir

3500

water front position vs. time_k=80 md

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Producing Time (month) .

Figure 15. The effect of permeability on water front position for oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Oil Reservoir

3500

water front position vs. time_Oil viscosity=2 cp

3000

water front position vs. time_Oil viscosity=1 cp

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400

Producing Time (month) .

Figure 16. The effect of oil viscosity on water front position for oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

22 SPE 161767

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Oil Reservoir

3500

water front position vs. time_h=50 ft

3000

Water Front Position (ft) 2500 water front position vs. time_h=100 ft

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200

Producing Time (month) .

Figure 17. The effect of pay thickness on water front position for oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Oil Reservoir

3500

water front position vs. time_Pi=3000 psia

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Producing Time (month) .

Figure 18. The effect of initial reservoir pressure on water front position for oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer

boundary

SPE 161767 23

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Oil Reservoir

4000

3000 water front position vs. time_re=3000 ft

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Producing Time (month) .

Figure 19. The effect of radius of outer boundary on water front position for oil reservoir with constant-pressure

outer boundary

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Oil Reservoir

3500

water front position vs. time_S=5

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 50 100 150 200 250

Producing Time (month) .

Figure 20. The effect of skin factor on water front position for oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

Figures 15 through 20 can be used to identify and quantify the uncertainties of reservoir and fluid properties. They can

be applied as “type curves” in reservoir surveillance to evaluate the uncertainties in permeability, oil viscosity, pay thickness,

initial reservoir pressure, radius of outer boundary, and skin factor.

A vertical well centered in a radial gas reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary is put on production at constant

bottomhole pressure. The reservoir, fluid, and well data are as Table 2. The residual gas saturation in the water flooded zone

is 0.2. The gas rate is constant throughout the well life as indicated by Equation (48). This phenomenon had been observed

in many fields supported with active aquifers. In this example the calculated gas rate is 1648182 MCF/month. The plot of

water front position versus producing time is shown in Figure 21. The breakthrough time is 55.993 months.

24 SPE 161767

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Gas Reservoir

4000

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 21. Water front position versus time for gas reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

The sensitivities of rock and reservoir geometry on the water front position were analyzed. Figure 22 shows the effect

of permeability on the water front position. Higher permeability has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 23 shows the

effect of pay thickness. Water breakthrough time is same for different pay thicknesses. Figure 24 shows the effect of initial

reservoir pressure. Higher reservoir pressure has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 25 shows the effect of radius of

outer-boundary. Shorter radius of outer-boundary has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 26 shows the effect of skin

factor. Smaller skin factor has an earlier water breakthrough time. The water breakthrough times in Figures 21 through 26

are the producing times when water front position reaches 0 ft.

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Gas Reservoir

4000

Water front position vs. time_K=10 md

3500

Water front position vs. time_K=15 md

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 22. The effect of permeability on water front position for gas reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

SPE 161767 25

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Gas Reservoir

4000

Water front position vs. time_h=100 ft

3500

Water front position vs. time_h=50 ft

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 23. The effect of pay thickness on water front position for gas reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Gas Reservoir

4000

Water front position vs. time_Pi=4000 psia

3500

Water front position vs. time_Pi=3000 psia

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 24. The effect of initial reservoir pressure on water front position for gas reservoir with constant-pressure

outer boundary

26 SPE 161767

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Gas Reservoir

4000

Water front position vs. time_re=3000 ft

3500

Water front position vs. time_re=2500 ft

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 25. The effect of radius of outer boundary on water front position for gas reservoir with constant-pressure

outer boundary

Water Front Position vs. Time for Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary Gas Reservoir

4000

Water front position vs. time_S=2

3500

Water front position vs. time_S=5

3000

Water Front Position (ft)

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 26. The effect of skin factor on water front position for gas reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary

Figures 22 through 26 can be used to identify and quantify the uncertainties of reservoir and fluid properties. They can

be applied as “type curves” in reservoir surveillance to evaluate the uncertainties in permeability, oil viscosity, pay thickness,

initial reservoir pressure, radius of outer boundary, and skin factor.

A vertical well centered in a radial oil reservoir with partial water support outer boundary is put on production at constant

bottomhole pressure. The reservoir, fluid, and well data are as Table 1. The residual oil saturation in the water flooded zone

is 0.2. In this example we examined two water encroachment cases: One is constant water encroachment rate; another is that

water encroachment rate is proportional to oil production rate.

For water encroachment rate is proportional to oil production rate case, the plot of oil rate versus time in Figure 27

indicates exponential decline, which is similar to close outer boundary reservoir. It should be noted that partial water support

reservoir has a lower decline rate than close outer boundary reservoir. The stronger the water support, the lower the decline

rate is.

SPE 161767 27

Oil Rate vs. Time for Partial Water Supported and Close Outer Boundary Reservoirs

1000000 We=50% of oil rate

qo vs. time_Partial water support,

We=25% of oil rate

qo vs. time_Close boundray, We=0

Bbls/month

Expon. (qo vs. time_Partial water

100000 support, We=50% of oil rate)

Expon. (qo vs. time_Partial water

support, We=25% of oil rate)

Expon. (qo vs. time_Close boundray,

qo (Bbls/mon

We=0 Bbls/month)

10000

1000

100

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 27. Oil rate versus time for partial water support and close outer boundary oil reservoirs

The sensitivities of rock and oil properties on the oil rate were analyzed. For water encroachment rate being 50% of oil

rate case, the effects of permeability, oil viscosity, pay thickness, initial reservoir pressure, radius of outer boundary, and skin

factor are the same as those on close boundary oil reservoir.

For constant water encroachment rate case, the plot of oil rate versus time in Figure 28 indicates one hyperbolic decline

at early stage and another hyperbolic decline in late stage, which agrees with the hyperbolic declines often observed in the

field. The stronger the water support, the lower the decline rate is. Again it proofs that Arps decline curves are not simply

empirical but have theoretical basis.

.

Oil Rate vs. Time for Oil Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate fromOuter Boundary

rate=10000 rb/month

qo vs. time_Constant water encroachment

rate=31193 rb/month

qo vs. time_Hyperbolic Decline_Early Stage

100000 qo vs. time_Hyperbolic Decline_Late Stage

qo (Bbls/mon

10000

First

Hyperbolic

Decline Second Hyperbolic Decline

1000

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 28. Oil rate versus time for oil reservoir with constant water encroachment rate from outer boundary

For constant water encroachment rate case the sensitivities of rock and reservoir geometry on the gas rate were analyzed.

Figure 29 shows the effect of permeability on oil rate. Higher permeability has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 30

shows the effect of oil viscosity. Lower oil viscosity has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 31 shows the effect of

pay thickness. Water breakthrough time is same for different pay thicknesses. Figure 32 shows the effect of initial reservoir

pressure. Higher reservoir pressure has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 33 shows the effect of radius of outer-

boundary. Shorter radius of outer-boundary has an earlier water breakthrough time. Figure 34 shows the effect of skin factor.

Smaller skin factor has an earlier water breakthrough time.

28 SPE 161767

Oil Rate vs. Time for Oil Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate fromOuter Boundary

1000000

qo vs. time_k=50 md

qo vs. time_k=100 md

100000

qo (Bbls/month

10000

1000

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 29. The effect of permeability on oil rate for oil reservoir with constant water encroachment rate from outer

boundary

Oil Rate vs. Time for Oil Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate fromOuter Boundary

1000000

qo vs. time_Oil viscosity=1 cp

qo vs. time_Oil viscosity=2 cp

100000

qo (Bbls/month

10000

1000

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 30. The effect of oil viscosity on oil rate for oil reservoir with constant water encroachment rate from outer

boundary

Oil Rate vs. Time for Oil Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate fromOuter Boundary

1000000

100000

qo (Bbls/month

10000

1000

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 31. The effect of pay thickness on oil rate for oil reservoir with constant water encroachment rate from outer

boundary

SPE 161767 29

Oil Rate vs. Time for Oil Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate fromOuter Boundary

1000000

qo vs. time_Pi=4000 psia

qo vs. time_Pi=3000 psia

100000

qo (Bbls/month

10000

1000

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 32. The effect of initial reservoir pressure on oil rate for oil reservoir with constant water encroachment rate

from outer boundary

Oil Rate vs. Time for Oil Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate fromOuter Boundary

1000000

qo vs. time_re=3000 ft

qo vs. time_re=3500 ft

100000

qo (Bbls/month

10000

1000

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 33. The effect of radius of outer boundary on oil rate for oil reservoir with constant water encroachment rate

from outer boundary

Oil Rate vs. Time for Oil Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate fromOuter Boundary

1000000

100000

qo (Bbls/month

10000

1000

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 34. The effect of skin factor on oil rate for oil reservoir with constant water encroachment rate from outer

boundary

30 SPE 161767

Figures 29 through 34 can be used to identify and quantify the uncertainties of reservoir and fluid properties. They can

be applied as “type curves” in reservoir surveillance to evaluate the uncertainties in permeability, oil viscosity, pay thickness,

initial reservoir pressure, radius of outer boundary, and skin factor.

A vertical well centered in a radial gas reservoir with partial water support outer boundary is put on production at constant

bottomhole pressure. The reservoir, fluid, and well data are as Table 2. The residual gas saturation in the water flooded zone

is 0.2. In this example we examined two water encroachment cases: One is constant water encroachment rate; another is that

water encroachment rate is proportional to gas production rate. Figure 35 indicates that we cannot differentiate constant

encroachment rate from changing encroachment water, but we can identify the weak water encroachment from moderate or

strong water encroachment. The weak water support has early hyperbolic decline and late exponential decline, which is

similar to close-boundary gas reservoir performance. The early hyperbolic decline transits to exponential decline as water

support becomes stronger. Gas productions akin to Figure 35 had been observed in the field repeatedly.

Gas Rate vs. Time for Gas Reservoir with Partial Water Support fromOuter Boundary

10000000.0

qg vs. time_Constant Water Encroachment Rate=1000000

cu-ft/month

qg vs. time_Constant Water Encroachment Rate=2000000

cu-ft/month

qg vs. time_Water Encroachment Rate=10% of Gas Rate

1000000.0

qg (MCF/mon

100000.0

10000.0

0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 35. Gas rate versus time for gas reservoir with partial water support from outer boundary

The sensitivities of rock and reservoir geometry on the gas rate were analyzed for constant water encroachment rate case.

Figure 36 shows the effect of permeability on the water front position. Higher permeability has a higher initial gas rate and a

higher decline rate. Figure 37 shows the effect of pay thickness. Higher permeability has a higher initial gas rate and longer

well life. Figure 38 shows the effect of initial reservoir pressure. Higher reservoir pressure has a higher initial gas rate and a

higher decline rate. Figure 39 shows the effect of radius of outer-boundary. Short radius of outer-boundary has a higher

initial gas rate, a higher decline rate, and a shorter well life. Figure 40 shows the effect of skin factor. Smaller skin factor has

a higher initial gas rate and a higher decline rate.

SPE 161767 31

Gas Rate vs. Time for Gas Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate,We=2000000 cu-ft/month

10000000.0

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and k=10 md

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and k=15 md

qg (MCF/mont

1000000.0

100000.0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 36. The effect of permeability on gas rate for gas reservoir with constant water encroachment rate

Gas Rate vs. Time for Gas Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate,We=2000000 cu-ft/month

10000000.0

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and h=100 ft

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and h=50 ft

qg (MCF/mont

1000000.0

100000.0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 37. The effect of pay thickness on gas rate for gas reservoir with constant water encroachment rate

Gas Rate vs. Time for Gas Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate,We=2000000 cu-ft/month

10000000.0

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and Pi=4000 psia

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and Pi=3000 psia

qg (MCF/mont

1000000.0

100000.0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 38. The effect of initial reservoir pressure on gas rate for gas reservoir with constant water encroachment rate

32 SPE 161767

Gas Rate vs. Time for Gas Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate,We=2000000 cu-ft/month

10000000.0

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and re=3000 ft

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and re=2500 ft

qg (MCF/mont

1000000.0

100000.0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 39. The effect of radius of outer boundary on gas rate for gas reservoir with constant water encroachment rate

Gas Rate vs. Time for Gas Reservoir with Constant Water Encroachment Rate,We=2000000 cu-ft/month

10000000.0

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and S=2

qg vs. time_We=2000000 cu-ft/month and S=5

qg (MCF/mont

1000000.0

100000.0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140

Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 40. The effect of skin factor on gas rate for gas reservoir with constant water encroachment rate

Figures 36 through 40 can be used to identify and quantify the uncertainties of reservoir properties. They can be applied

as “type curves” in reservoir surveillance to evaluate the changes in permeability and skin factor during the well life.

Conclusions

This study shows that Arp’s empirically decline curves are not simply empirical but have theoretical bases.

Gas reservoir with close-boundary illustrates hyperbolic decline at early stage and exponential decline at late stage.

Oil reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary indicates constant production rate.

Gas reservoir with constant-pressure outer boundary shows constant production rate.

For oil reservoir with partial water support at outer boundary, if water encroachment rate is proportional to the oil rate, the

decline is exponential; if water encroaches with a constant rate, the decline is hyperbolic.

For gas reservoir with partial water support at outer boundary, if water support is weak, the decline is hyperbolic; if water

support is strong, the decline is exponential. From weak to strong water support, the decline transits from hyperbolic to

exponential.

SPE 161767 33

The sensitivity analyses proposed in this study provide a way to identify and quantify of reservoir and fluid uncertainties

using production data.

Acknowledgment

The authors are grateful to The Petroleum Engineering Department in University of North Dakota. This research is supported

in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under award number DE-FC26-08NT0005643.

Nomenclature

Bgi = initial gas formation volume factor

Bo = current oil formation volume factor

Boi = initial oil formation volume factor

Bt = two-phase formation volume factor

Bw = water formation volume factor

cf = rock compressibility

ct = total compressibility

cw = water compressibility

D = non-Darcy coefficient,

dt = incremental time step

G = original free gas in place

Gp = cumulative gas production

Gi = gas injection

h = reservoir thickness

hperf = perforated interval

kg = effective permeability to gas

ko = effective permeability to oil

ks = near-wellbore permeability

m = ratio of gas cap volume to oil volume

N = original oil in place

Np = cumulative oil production

p = current reservoir pressure

pB = base pressure

pi = initial reservoir pressure

psc = standard condition pressure

pwater front = pressure at water front

pwf = flowing bottom hole pressure

p = average reservoir pressure

qg = gas production rate

q water front = gas rate when water front moves to rwater front,

qo = oil production rate

q water front = oil rate when water front moves to rwater front,

Rp = produced gas oil ratio

Rso = current solution gas oil ratio

Rsoi = initial solution gas oil ratio

re = radius of reservoir

rw = wellbore radius

rwater front = position of water front, or distance between well and water front

S = skin factor

Sgr = residual gas saturation

Sor = residual oil saturation

Sw = water saturation

Swc = connate water saturation

T = reservoir temperature

Tsc = standard condition temperature

t = flow time

tpss = time for pressure to reach the boundary

Vbulk = bulk volume

34 SPE 161767

We = water influx

Wi = water injection

z = gas deviation factor

zsc = gas deviation factor at standard condition

g = gas specific gravity.

Ф = porosity

g = gas viscosity

o = oil viscosity

References

Agarwal, R.G., Gardner, D.C., Kleinsteiber, S.W., and Fussell, D.D. 1999. Analyzing Well Production Data Using

Combined-Type- Curve and Decline-Curve Analysis Concepts, SPEREE, October, 1999, p. 478-486.

Arps, J.J. 1945. Analysis of Decline Curves, Trans. AIME 160, p. 228-247

Arps, J.J. 1956. Estimation of Primary Oil Reserves, Trans., AIME, 207, p. 182-191

Callard, J.G. 1995. Reservoir Performance History Matching Using Rate/Cumulative Type-Curves, paper SPE 30793

presented at the 1995 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, October 22–25, 1995

Chen, H.Y. and Poston, S.W. 1989. Application of a Pseudotime Function to Permit Better Decline-Curve Analysis, SPE

Formation Evaluation, September 1989, p. 421-428.

Dake, L.P. 1978. Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering, ELSEVIER SCIENCE B.V. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Da Prat, G., Cinco-Ley, H., and Ramey, H.J. Jr. 1981. Decline Curve Analysis Using Type Curves for Two-Porosity Systems,

SPEJ, June 1981, p. 354-362

Doublet, L. E., Pande, P.K., McCollum, T. J., and Blasingame, T. A. 1994. Decline Curve Analysis Using Type Curves-

Analysis of Oil Well Production Data Using Material Balance Time: Application to Field Cases, paper SPE 28688 presented

at the 1994 Petroleum Conference and Exhibition of Mexico held in Veracruz, Mexico, 10-13 October, 1994

Duong, A.N. 1989. A New Approach for Decline-Curve Analysis, paper SPE 18859 presented at the 1989 SPE Production

Operations Symposium, Oklahoma city, Oklahoma, March 13-14, 1989

Earlougher, R.C. 1977. Advances in Well Test Analysis. Monograph Volume 5, Henry L. Doherty Series. Richardson, TX:

Society of Petroleum Engineers

Economides, M. J., Hill, A. D., and Ehlig-Economides, C. 1994. Petroleum Production Systems, Prentice-Hall, Englewood

Cliffs, NJ

Ehilg-Economides, C.A. and Ramey, H.J., Jr. 1981. Transient Rate Decline Analysis for Wells Produced at Constant Pressure,

SPEJ, February 1981, p. 98-104.

Fetkovich, M.J. 1971. A Simplified Approach to Water Influx Calculations-Finite Aquifer Systems, JPT, July 1971, p. 814-

823

Fetkovich, M.J. 1980. Decline Curve Analysis Using Type Curves, JPT, June 1980, p. 1065-1077

Lefkovits, H.C. and Matthews, C. S. 1958. Application of Decline Curves to Gravity-Drainage Reservoirs in the Stripper

Stage, Trans., AIME, 213, p. 275-280

Ling, K., Han, G., Shen, Z., Zhang, H. 2012. Optimization of Horizontal Well Design to Maximize Recoverable

Hydrocarbon, SPE 151531, SPE International Production and Operations Conference and Exhibition held in Doha Qatar, 14–

16 May, 2012

Palacio, J.C. and Blasingame, T.A. 1993. Decline Curve Analysis Using Type Curves: Analysis of Gas Well Production Data,

SPE 161767 35

paper SPE 25909 presented at the 1993 SPE Rocky Mountain Regional/Low Permeability Reservoirs Symposium, Denver,

CO, April 12-14, 1993

Rodriguez, F. and Cinco-Ley, H. 1993. A New Model for Production Decline, paper SPE 25480 presented at the Production

Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, OK, March 21-23, 1993

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