The results are presented of a study of the application of analytical methods to the solution of two phase flow into single wells. Approximate analytical expressions for the pressure distribution in two-phase flow are found for a number of conditions. The results obtained from the analytical solutions are found to be in good agreement with results obtained by finite difference techniques using a high speed digital computer. Mathematical solutions for four sets of boundary conditions are presented. All of these solutions are composed of a short-term transient plus a steady or quasi-steady state. The rates of decay of the short-lived transients are analyzed. It is found that the durations of the short-term transients may be characterized by a parameter defined as the time constant which can be determined from simple relations. It is shown also that if the outer radius is much greater than the radius of the well, the short term transients decay at rates which are proportional to the square of the exterior radius, and the rates of decay are only slightly dependent upon the radius ratio. Numerical solutions based on finite difference techniques are presented for a number of conditions. The numerical solutions are in good agreement with the predictions based on the theoretical analysis for small and moderate drawdowns. Examples involving large drawdowns indicate that the nonlinearities in the equations of flow do not appreciably alter the longevity of the short-term transients. In all cases the time required for the short-term transients to disappear is predicted satisfactorily.


The mechanism by which oil and gas flow into a single well is of vital interest to the petroleum industry. The fundamental equations of two-phase flow which describe this mechanism are nonlinear partial differential equations. Numerical solutions of these equations describing pressure transients have been obtained with the aid of electronic computers. Although solutions obtained in this manner take into account a large number of effects, the reduction of this information to useful generalities is difficult. One method of obtaining generalities is the use of linearized approximations of the nonlinear equations. Since it is possible to obtain explicit solutions of the linearized equation, general properties of the role of pressure in the flow mechanism may be ascertained. Results obtained from this approach are limited to some extent by the linearizing assumptions. The severity of these limitations may be evaluated by comparing solutions of the linear equation with numerical solutions of the more exact nonlinear equations of two-phase flow. In the past considerable amount of work has been devoted to studying pressure build-up using the single-phase flow theory. Unfortunately, most pressure build-up tests involve multiphase flow. A small amount of work has been done studying pressure build-up where the flow is two-phase. The encouraging results of these studies suggest that useful results may be found from additional studies of not only pressure build-up, but also the rapid transients associated with placing a well on production. This paper presents the basic theory of the pressure transients associated with placing a well on production and with closing it in. The paper is concerned chiefly with two-phase compressible flow; however, the results also apply to single-phase flow, The results are based on analytical solutions of the flow equations, and they are verified by numerical solutions using finite difference techniques. Much of the previous work on compressible flow into wells has been confined to single-phase flow. Some work has been done on compressible two-phase steady state flow, and solutions of the equations of flow have been found by finite difference techniques using high-speed computers. Muskat presents some rather general solutions to the equations of single-phase compressible flow into wells. Much work has been done on pressure build-up in wells (see, for example, Refs. 2–6). Almost all of the work on pressure build-up concerns single-phase flow with the exception of Ref. 5 and part of Ref. 2. Some work has been done on pressure fall-off in injection wells. Muskat presents the solution of the equations for radial steady state two-phase compressible flow.


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