Well interference in unconventional CBM reservoirs is often desired. It reduces reservoir pressure; significantly increasing gas production through desorption. However, identifying interference between wells and extracting quantitative reservoir information using production data analysis is a challenge. The primary objectives of this study are to identify production characteristics of interfering CBM wells, evaluate reservoir parameters, demonstrate the application of interference data using field examples to predict well performance and develop guidelines to optimize geospatial well-pattern.
A field wide interference study has been undertaken to track changes in gas rate, water rate, wellhead pressure and fluid level in each well. An ‘event-based’ filter is applied to the dataset to correlate production behaviour of a well with any unplanned ‘event’ in its offset well. Planned well tests are then conducted to ascertain these evidences of interference. Using production data analysis of interfering wells, a set of semi-analytical correlations have been developed based on the transient drainage radius model to determine production-governing permeability of coal formation, and also quantify the flow contribution of natural fractures and reservoir matrix.
Preliminary analysis of the study demonstrates several forms of interference. Well specific field examples have been presented for each case. Interference between producing wells having long production history show a trend reversal in gas flow rate due to additional dewatering support by its offset well. Similar behaviour is observed in the production characteristics of an old producer when a new well is drilled in a nearby location. However, effects of interference are more dominant when a well stimulation activity (fracturing or re-fracturing) is carried out in an offset well. During stimulation activity, offset wells show an abnormal decline in gas rate and wellhead pressure due to fracking fluid (water) load up in the reservoir. Conversely, a significant positive impact is seen in gas rate of both wells after the well is put back on production due to improved water production rate in the stimulated well. Permeability calculations show that natural and artificial fractures dominate production behaviour of CBM wells. The study also presents results of various simulated geo-spatial well patterns. Furthermore, it is shown that planned interference at an early time with an economically designed well spacing can maximize the production NPV of an asset for an operator.
The optimal well spacing to maintain and/or increase gas production with the right amount of resources is critical for maximised returns. This result of this study can be used as foundation to help operators optimize multi-well pad and future infill well development program based on the assessment of short-term and long-term recovery targets.