Published in Petroleum Transactions, AIME, Volume 216, 1959, pages 18–22.
In natural gas storage operations, seasonal pressure fluctuations in the gas reservoir cause the water from the surrounding aquifer to flow into and out of the gas sand. The theory of unsteady-state liquid flow through porous media developed by Van Everdingen and Hurst has been applied to predict the water movement into and out of the gas bubble for several postulated pressure cycles. Those cycles with as many pound-days above the original aquifer pressure as pound-days below, may cause the gas reservoir to slowly grow or shrink rather than hold to a constant volume. Applications to an actual field case study give the predicted gas reservoir monthly pressures and volumes as compared with the observed monthly pressures and volumes.
A large number of natural gas storage reservoirs are bounded by or adjacent to large water-saturated formations called aquifers. The presence of these aquifers is usually evidenced by the production of water from wells delineating the gas-bearing sands. Some gas storage reservoirs in use today have been purposely developed on aquifers.
Cyclic pressure variations in a gas storage reservoir cause water influx and efflux from the surrounding aquifer. This, in turn, results in a varying gas reservoir volume. The prediction of the effect of this aquifer fluid movement on the size and size variation of the gas reservoir can provide information valuable in the study of several reservoir engineering problems. The economics of gas storage operations are directly influenced by the influx of aquifer fluid into the reservoir since a shrinking storage reservoir requires increasing pressures for the storage of the same quantity of gas. Material balance and reserve or recovery calculations also obviously require knowledge of reservoir volume. Various other reservoir engineering calculations such as interpretation of well interference data, evaluation of physical characteristics of porous media, water coning, gas injection and pressure maintenance studies are typical problems where variations of volume due to edge or bottom-water encroachment becomes important.