Você está na página 1de 35

SPE 161767

Theoretical Bases of Arps Empirical Decline Curves


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

Copyright 2012, Society of Petroleum Engineers

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.

1) Close-Boundary Undersaturated Oil Reservoir

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  mNBti 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 EXPco  pi  p  .. ......................................................................................................................................... (7)
Substituting Equation (7) into (6) we have

N p Boi EXPco  pi  p   N Boi EXPco  pi  p   Boi  



NBoi c f  cw S wc 
 pi  p  .. ......................................................... (8)
1  S wc
Cancelling the same terms and rearranging yields

N EXPco  pi  p   1 

N c f  cw S wc 
 pi  p 
1  S wc
Np  .. ................................................................................................ (9)
EXPco  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 EXPco  pi  p   1 

N c f  c w S wc 
 pi  p 
1  S wc

EXPco  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.

2) Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

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 s1h
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 s1
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.

3) Oil Reservoir with Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary

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 hS 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 hS 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

qo, water front 



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)
2ko 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 
 2k o h   
 rw  
 rwater front 
 ln  S 

 rw 
or

2k 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 

2k 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)
h1  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 

4) Gas Reservoir with Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary

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 hS 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 hS 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)

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


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 

5) Oil Reservoir with Partial Water Support at Outer Boundary

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

qo, water front 



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

N p Boi EXPco  pi  p   N Boi EXPco  pi  p   Boi  



NBoi c f  cw S wc 
 pi  p   We ................................................. (53)
1  S wc
Cancelling the same terms and rearranging yields

N EXPco  pi  p   1 

N c f  cw S wc 
 pi  p   We
1  S wc Boi
Np  .. .................................................................................... (54)
EXPco  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  re2h 1   pi  p c f .................................................................................................................................... (55)
The pores are occupied by unrecovered oil, connate water and encroachment water in that can be expressed as
   
re2h 1   pi  p c f  N  N p Boi EXPco  pi  p   We  re2hS wc  re2hS 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 EXPco  pi  p   rwater
2
    
fronth 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 EXPco  pi  p   re2 Sor .................................................................................. (57)
h1   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 EXPco  pi  p   1 

N c f  cw S wc 
 pi  p   We
1  S wc Boi

EXPco  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.

6) Gas Reservoir with Partial Water Support at Outer Boundary

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  re2h 1   pi  p c f .................................................................................................................................... (61)
The pores are occupied by unrecovered gas, connate water and encroachment water, which can be expressed as
   
re2h 1   pi  p c f  G  G p Bg  We  re2hS wc  re2hS 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
    
fronth 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
h1   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.

7) Reservoir with Gas-Oil Two-Phase Flow

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

Followings are the 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

1) Close-Boundary Undersaturated Oil Reservoir

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.

Table 1. Input data for oil rate calculation


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.

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

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

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

1000000

100000
-0.0142x
y = 62469e

10000
qo (Bbls/mon

1000 qo vs. time_Oil viscosity=5 cp

100 qo vs. time_Oil viscosity=1 cp


-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

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

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

1000 Expon. (qo vs. time_h=100 ft)

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

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

1000000
qo vs. time_Pi=3000 psia
100000 qo vs. time_Pi=4000 psia

Expon. (qo vs. time_Pi=3000


10000
psia)
qo (Bbls/mon

Expon. (qo vs. time_Pi=4000


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

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

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

Oil Rate vs. Time 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.

2) Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

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

Table 2. Input data for gas rate calculation


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.

Gas Rate vs. Time for Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

10000000.0
qg vs. time

qg_Hyperbolic Decline
qg_ Exponential Decline

1000000.0 Expon. (qg_ Exponential Decline)


qg (MCF/mon

Hyperbolic Decline Exponential Decline


100000.0

10000.0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450
Producing Time (month) .... .

Figure 8. Gas rate versus time for close-boundary gas reservoir

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

Gas Rate vs. Time for Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

10000000.0

qg vs. time_k=10 md qg vs. time_k=15 md

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

Gas Rate vs. Time for Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

10000000.0

qg vs. time_h=100 ft qg vs. time_h=50 ft

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

Gas Rate vs. Time for Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

10000000.0

qg vs. time_Pi=4000 psia qg vs. time_Pi=3000 psia

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

Gas Rate vs. Time for Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

10000000.0

qg vs. time_re=3000 ft qg vs. time_re=2500 ft

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

Gas Rate vs. Time for Close-Boundary Gas Reservoir

10000000.0

qg vs. time_S=2 qg vs. time_S=5

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.

3) Oil Reservoir with Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary

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)

2500 water front position vs. time_k=50 md

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)

2500 water front position vs. time_Pi=4000 psia

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

3500 water front position vs. time_re=3500 ft

Water Front Position (ft)


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)

2500 water front position vs. time_S=2

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.

4) Gas Reservoir with Constant-Pressure Outer Boundary

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

3500 Water front position vs. time

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.

5) Oil Reservoir with Partial Water Support at Outer Boundary

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

qo vs. time_Partial water support,


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

1000000 qo vs. time_Constant water encroachment


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

qo vs. time_h=100 ft qo vs. time_h=50 ft

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

qo vs. time_S=2 qo vs. time_S=5

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.

6) Gas Reservoir with Partial Water Support at Outer Boundary

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

qg vs. time_Water Encroachment Rate=50% 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

Upon finishing this study we made following conclusions.

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

Oil reservoir with close-boundary shows exponential decline.

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

Bg = current gas formation volume factor


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

Lee, W. J. 1982. Well Testing, Textboook Series, SPE Richardson, Texas

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