Abstract

The decline curve analysis (DCA) is one of the most important methods in production forecast. It has been widely used among all the dynamics methods to estimate recoverable hydrocarbon. Decline curve can be divided into three categories: exponential decline, hyperbolic decline, and harmonic decline. Superficially decline curve analysis is the simplest prediction method, but as we dig into the base for DCA we find that it is not as simple as we think before. The opinion that DCA just follows the production trend can lead to tremendous errors, or even ridiculous results.

A good DCA requires a solid background in reservoir engineering, production engineering, and even drilling engineering. In-depth knowledge is necessary on studied reservoir, surface production facility, and the drive mechanism. In this study, several tactics developed from experience are applied to get practical and effective DCA and some pitfalls are pointed out to avoid the error or inappropriate forecast in DCA. With these tactics and pitfalls in mind, DCA can be a very useful and powerful tool in predicting recoverable hydrocarbon. Applying the established tactics and acknowledged pitfalls presented by this paper would lead to an accurate production forecast and reasonable reserves evaluation.

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