Abstract

The Wheatstone gas field located in the Northern Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia achieved first gas in mid-2017. All seven foundation producers are equipped with permanent downhole gauges (PDHGs) for real-time pressure monitoring. Data from these gauges have been instrumental in understanding dynamic reservoir performance and reducing static uncertainties. The scope of this paper specifically covers the use of pressure and rate transient analyses (PTA and RTA) and the insights that have been gained during the first two years of production.

Significant offset distances exist between each PDHG and the reservoir. Corrections were developed to convert the gauge pressure to a reservoir datum, which primarily account for frictional and gas density changes with varying rates and temperatures within the wellbore. Other physical constraints and effects have been found to be more challenging to overcome, limiting the quality and interpretability of the pressure transients, particularly in the middle-time region. These include interference from non-reservoir pressure signals such as liquid fallback during shut-in, extremely low signal-to-noise ratios in the higher quality formations, and proximity to boundaries that render a short infinite-acting radial flow (IARF) period that could be masked by wellbore storage.

Attempts to circumvent these issues have included the use of drawdown transient analysis to complement build-ups. The step-rate test can eliminate liquid fallback entirely, which allows for better resolution of the IARF period. Rapid choke movements were also trialled to boost the reservoir response in some instances. Interpretations using the drawdown data were further verified in one producer through analysis of the buildup data acquired following a routine downhole safety valve closure, which benefitted from the trapping of condensed liquid above the closed valve. This provided the cleanest PTA data seen outside of drill stem testing during field appraisal. While successful in the example presented, no methods have yet been found to reliably increase IARF interpretability in those wells producing from the best quality sands.

Regarding RTA, the authors have found very few documented cases in the literature of applying this technique to conventional gas fields. To field-test its applicability in such an environment, evaluations of drainage volume by producer were performed and found satisfactory when compared with other estimates of gas in-place. It is hoped that a presentation and discussion of this finding will be additive to the reservoir engineering toolkit.

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