The Skin Effect and Its Influence on the Productive Capacity of a Well
- A.F. Van Everdingen (Shell Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 1953
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 171 - 176
- 1953. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 3.2.4 Acidising, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.2.2 Perforating, 2 Well Completion
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The pressure drop in a well per unit rate of flow is controlled by the resistance of the formation, the viscosity of the fluid, and the additional resistance concentrated around the well bore resulting from the drilling and completion technique employed and, perhaps, from the production practices used. The pressure drop caused by this additional resistance is defined in this paper as the skin effect, denoted by the symbol S. This skin effect considerably detracts from a well's capacity to produce. Methods are given to determine quantitatively (a) the value of S, (b) the final build-up pressure, and (c) the product of average permeability times the thickness of the producing formation.
Equations which relate the pressure in a well producing from a homogeneous formation with pressures existing at various distances around the well are generally used within the industry. The relation is quite simple when the fluid flowing is assumed to be incompressible. It becomes somewhat more complicated when the flowing fluid is considered compressible so that the duration of the flow can be considered. In each case the major portion of the pressure drop occurs close to the well bore. However analyses of pressure build-up curves indicate that the pressure drop in the vicinity of the well bore is greater than that computed from these equations using the known, physical characteristics of the formation and the fluids. In order to explain these excessive drops it is necessary to assume that permeability of the formation at and near the well bore is substantially reduced as a result of drilling, completion and, perhaps, production practice. This possibility has been recognized in the literature.
A method to compute the pressure drop due to a reduction of the permeability of the formation near the well bore, which is designated as the skin effect, S, is given in the following paragraphs. To start, equations normally used to describe flow in the vicinity of a well are given without considering this effect. These equations then are modified to include the effect of a skin on the pressure behavior. Finally a method is given to estimate the effect of the skin on the pressure and production behavior of a well.
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