Temperature Transients Affect Reservoir-Pressure Estimation during Well Tests: Case Study and Model
- Pierre-David Maizeret (Schlumberger) | Maria Sidorova (Schlumberger) | Tatiana Lipovetsky (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- February 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 31 - 38
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Non-isothermal effects, Drillstem tests, Pressure gauges, Realtime monitoring, Wireless telemetry
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 379 since 2007
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This paper discusses how the pressure measured by the downhole gauges during a drillstem test (DST) is affected not only by hydrostatic, friction, or kinetic-energy pressure losses, but also by changes in temperature. In oil wells, the bottomhole temperature is decreasing when the pressure is building up after a flow period. The change in temperature is inducing a change in the wellborefluid density, itself affecting the bottomhole pressure. Most numerical-simulators modeling flow in pipes do not take into account this effect, because it is not significant for low- to moderate-productivity wells. In high-productivity wells, however, the temperature change can affect dramatically the bottomhole pressure measured above the reservoir, and the pressure can even decrease at the end of a static period. A mathematical model is presented to compute the pressure drop caused by the nonisothermal effects, and it can be used to correct the measurements. Field examples are discussed to illustrate this effect, and recommendations are made on how new technology can improve pressure measurements during well tests.
To measure the effects on the pressure measurements caused by the position of the gauges in the DST string, two gauge carriers were run in some well tests in deepwater wells offshore Brazil, one at the level of the tester valve and one below the packer, as deep as possible in the test string. The gauges could transmit data with a wireless telemetry system that allowed the operator to monitor in real time the pressure changes and the difference between the two sets of gauges.
In high-permeability wells, using the uncorrected pressure measured with a gauge 50 to 100m above the reservoir, as is typically the case, can result in a wrong productivity index (PI) and, at times, in uninterpretable results. Locating pressure gauges as close to the reservoir as possible is crucial in high-permeability reservoirs, to minimize the measurement errors, but also to avoid misinterpretations when an obstruction forms below the tester valve. With the new wireless telemetry systems, it is possible to monitor in real time gauges mounted below the packer, much closer to the perforations than the standard gauges placed at the level of the tester valve, thus avoiding making wrong decisions during the test.
A long pressure-transient test could be uninterpretable because the gauges are at the wrong depth. Ideally, the pressure gauges should be placed in front of the perforations, but it is not always possible. Therefore, nonisothermal effects on pressure measurements during a well test need to be clearly understood and taken into account when designing and interpreting well tests, particularly in high-productivity reservoirs.
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