A new technique to determine excessive water and gas production mechanisms as seen in petroleum production wells has been developed and verified.

Based on systematic numerical simulation studies on reservoir water coning and channeling, it was discovered that log-log plots of WOR (Water/Oil Ratio) vs time or GOR (Gas/Oil Ratio) vs time show different characteristic trends for different mechanisms. The time derivatives of WOR and GOR were found to be capable of differentiating whether the well is experiencing water and gas coning, high-permeability layer breakthrough or near wellbore channeling.

This technique was applied on wells in several fields in Texas, California, the Gulf Coast and Alaska. Plots using the actual production history data determined the production problem mechanisms. Together with well tests and logs, the technique was used to select well treatment candidates and to optimize treatments to enhance the return of investment.

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