Production performance forecasting and the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) evaluation are two of several uncertainties in the study of tight gas reservoirs. Using the Arps’ decline curve analysis to extrapolate the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR), based on the future production forecasting, is still a widely employed engineering tool in the oil and gas industry today. Tight gas reservoirs usually have a long transient/transitional flow period due to its low permeability. Simply by using the best fit "b" value to estimate the best EUR could generate an error as much as 100% from the true EUR. There has been a number of technical papers published dealing with this issue.

This paper will present a new improved methodology to determine a more accurate "b" value to be used in the Arps’ decline curve analysis for tight gas reservoirs. This new approach, using a newly developed relationship between Qcum, Qcum, t→∞, qt and t, is more rigorous and much easier to use in comparison with all other existing ones. This new improved methodology will not only make future production forecasting more accurate, but also estimate the original-gas-in-place (OGIP) controlled by the well much easier.

In Western Canadian Deep Basin, there are many extremely "tight" gas reservoirs that consist of multiple stacked shorefaces. Permeability in each shoreface varies very significantly, generally with the upper shoreface having a better permeability and the middle and lower ones having a permeability as poor as 0.01 mD. By using a reservoir simulator, a number of simulation runs have been performed by the author to answer the following questions:

  1. Could Fetkovich's b-values recommendation (mostly b<= 0.4 ~ 0.5 for single gas layer, b>=0.5 for multi-layer without crossflow) still be applied to the tight gas reservoirs?

  2. In a multi-stacked shoreface reservoir, does the lower perm zone contribute to the overall production? Moreover, how and when will it influence the production profile?

  3. When using the Arps’ decline curve analysis, what are the reasonable b-values to be used for the tight/stacked gas reservoirs?

Both synthetic production decline profiles generated from simulation runs and a field example are presented in this paper to illustrate this new proposed methodology and to answer the above three questions.

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