Analysisand Interpretation of Water/OilRatio in Waterﬂoods
SPE, U. of Southern Californiaand
An important problem in water control is the identiﬁcation of thedominant reservoir or production mechanisms. Recently, Chan
Chan, K.S.: ‘‘Water Control Diagnostic Plots,’’ paper SPE 30775presented at the 1995 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Ex-hibition, Dallas, 22–25 October
postulated that a log-log plot of the water/oil ratio
produced vs. production time may beused to diagnose these factors. In this paper we provide analyticaland numerical results for a variety of waterﬂood conditions toexplore this possibility.We show analytically that the late-time slope of the log-log plotcan be related to the well pattern and the relative permeabilitycharacteristics, speciﬁcally the power-law exponent in the
relationship or the reservoir heterogeneity. Analytical re-sults are provided for the behavior immediately following waterbreakthrough. In certain simple cases
mobility ratio equal to 1,layered systems
, analytical type curves can be derived. In thegeneral case, we use numerical simulation to provide numericaltype curves.The results are summarized in terms of the various power-lawscalings in different time regimes and by a catalog of numericaltype curves. They conﬁrm the potential of WOR-time plots asdiagnostic tools for reservoir analysis and characterization.
An important problem in water control is the identiﬁcation of dominant reservoir or production factors
for example, channelingor water coning
from produced water/oil data. Water productioncan be the result of a natural waterdrive, edge or bottom water-drive or a waterﬂood. Despite its relevance, however, the problemhas received rather scant attention in the literature so far. Aspectsof waterﬂooding under various conditions have been extensivelydescribed in the literature
see, e.g., the SPE monographs of Craig
. Limited, however, are studies on the depen-dence of the water/oil ratio
on production time. Based onthe solution of the one-dimensional
Buckley–Leverett equa-tion and under a certain assumption on the functional relation of the relative permeability ratio, Ershaghi and Omoregie
see alsoErshaghi and Abdassah
proposed the so-called X plot to inter-pret and extrapolate water/oil production. In this approach, a com-bination of the fractional ﬂow function was found to vary linearlywith the cumulative oil production in an appropriate semilog plot.The X-plot method successfully matched various ﬁeld data.Lo
explored the applicability of the X plot further byconducting numerical simulations in two-dimensional
systems and by investigating various ef-fects. They concluded that a linear relationship between theln
and the cumulative oil production adequately ﬁt manyof their results. Like Ershaghi and Omoregie,
they interpretedtheir ﬁndings using the 1D Buckley–Leverett equation using thepreviously assumed dependence on the relative permeability ratio.In a more recent study, Chan
used numerical simulation toexamine the sensitivity of the curve of WOR produced vs. pro-duction time on various reservoir and production factors. He con- jectured that a log-log plot of this curve can be used to diagnosethe origin of the water production, and speciﬁcally to determinewhether it is due to channeling
or to coning. Anessential part of his conjecture is that a log-log plot of WOR vs.production time contains linear segments, the slopes of which aredifferent in the cases of channeling or coning, hence they can beused for diagnostic purposes. No expressions for these slopeswere postulated or derived, however. Chan’s conjecture is pre-sumed to have strong support from numerical simulations andﬁeld data.Motivated by Chan’s work we provide in this paper a funda-mental investigation by conducting analytical and numerical stud-ies of waterﬂooding under a variety of conditions. The key objec-tive is to analyze the behavior of the WOR vs. time curve invarious time domains
for example, following breakthrough or atlate times
and to develop a methodology for interpreting the be-havior observed. There are two important differences from theprevious works: We extend the 1D analysis by considering themore realistic power-law dependence of the relative permeabilityratio at high water saturations, and we also analyze the behaviorof multidimensional patterns. In certain cases, analytical expres-sions are derived under simplifying assumptions, which are sub-sequently supported by numerical studies. In this paper, the mainfocus is on waterﬂooding.In order of increasing complexity the analysis proceeds by in-vestigating the following:
single-layer or homogeneous
two-dimensional homogeneous displacement in various pat-terns;
two-dimensional heterogeneous displacement
.We show that the X-plot approach is a special case of the 1Ddisplacement at intermediate times. At later times, the log-log plotof the WOR vs. time is asymptotically a straight line, with a slopethat reﬂects relative permeability and fractional ﬂow effects in the1D case and the particular pattern geometries in the 2D and 3Dcases. Ultimately, and at sufﬁciently large times, all patterns re-ﬂect 1D displacement behavior. Various properties of log-logplots of the WOR vs. time are also established for heterogeneoussystems represented as a permeability streak and layers, respec-tively. In the latter case, effects of cross ﬂow and communicationbetween layers are also discussed. Finally we provide an interpre-tation methodology for the analysis of the WOR vs. time re-sponse. Numerical simulations conﬁrm these ﬁndings in the ap-propriate geometries.Before we proceed we note that the analysis below is in termsof the dimensionless time
fraction of pore volumes injected
, inorder to compare our results with Chan.
Extending the results toWOR vs. cumulative oil recovery plots as in Lo
is straight-forward and discussed in Appendix A. Reference to these plotswill be made where appropriate.
The dependence of the WOR on time
or oil produced
resultsfrom the interaction of two effects: the ﬂow rate partition in dif-ferent streamtubes, due to the ﬂow pattern, the viscosity ratio,layering and heterogeneity, and the displacement in a given
Now with Jason Natural Products.
Now with MSC Software Corp.
Now with Landmark Graphics Corp.Copyright © 1999 Society of Petroleum EngineersThis paper (SPE 59477) was revised for publication from paper SPE 38869, presented atthe 1997 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in San Antonio, Texas,5
8 October. Original manuscript received for review 18 December 1997. Revised manu-script received 3 December 1998. Manuscript peer approved 13 September 1999.
, December 1999 1086-055X/99/4