Pressure Build-Up Analysis, Variable-Rate Case
- A.S. Odeh (Socony Mobil Oil Co., Inc.) | F. Selig (Socony Mobil Oil Co., Inc.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1963
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 789 - 795
- 1963. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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A second-order approximation to the exact solution of the diffusivity equation corresponding to the pressure build-up of a well producing at a variable rate is derived. This approximation is applicable when the well's shut-in time is larger than the total time elapsed since the well was first produced. The resulting equations are compact in form and easy to use. Thus, the need for Horner's theoretically precise but rather laborious solution to the above problem is eliminated. In addition, these equations apply where the use of Horner's widely known approximate method is questionable. From a practical point of view, the reported method is best suited for analysis of drill-stem tests and short production tests conducted on new wells.
The utility of drill-stem and short production tests in reservoir studies has long been recognized by the reservoir engineer. If interpreted correctly they could lead to a wealth of information upon which may depend the success or failure of reservoirs' analyses.
Initial reservoir pressure and the average flow capacity are two quantities that are normally sought from a drillstem and/or a short production test analysis. Pressures are the most valuable and useful data in reservoir engineering. Directly or indirectly, they enter into all phases of reservoir engineering calculations. Therefore, their accurate determination is of utmost importance. The flow capacity kh of the reservoir is indicative of its commercial capability. In addition, it can indicate the presence of a damaged zone around the wellbore and, thus, the necessity for remedial measures.
Of the several methods used to analyze drill-stem and short production tests, Horner's' method is by and large the most common. It applies to an infinite reservoir and/ or a limited reservoir where the effect of production has not been felt by the boundary.
Horner's method makes use of the so-called "point- source" solution of the diffusivity equation. The point-source solution is approximated by a logarithmic function and the superposition theorem is utilized to give the familiar pressure build-up equation where theta is the shut-in time, q is in reservoir barrels per day and the rest of the symbols conform with AIME nomenclature. Eq. 1 was derived for a well which produced at a constant rate q from time zero to time t and was then shut in. In actuality, such a constant rate of production does not normally obtain. Therefore, a correction must be applied to Eq. 1 to account for the varying rates of production. Horner suggested two methods. The first, which results in a theoretically accurate solution, is rather lengthy and laborious and, thus, it is not suited for routine analysis. The second which has been termed a "good working approximation" is the one used by the majority of the reservoir engineers. In the second method, Eq. 1 is modified by simply introducing a corrected time t, and writing
where q is the last established production rate prior to shut-in, and t. is obtained by dividing the total cumulative production by the last established rate. Horner's original paper does not give any indication that this method of correction is based on any theoretical justification. In addition, there is a question as to what constitutes the last established rate. In case of a drill-stem test some engineers use the average rate obtained by dividing the total fluid produced by the total flow time, while others calculate the average rate by dividing the total fluid produced by the last flow-period time. Obviously, different results obtain for the different flow rates used. Because of this, a simple method to the varying-rate case was developed which is theoretically sound and which defines clearly the flow rate and its associated time to be used in the calculations. The final equation arrived at is (3)
where q* and t* are a modified rate and time, respectively, and can be easily calculated. In addition, it is shown theoretically that Horner's approximate method, if used for a variable-rate case, gives the correct pressure but would not be expected to give the correct flow capacity.
The general equation governing the flow of slightly compressible fluid in porous media may be written as
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