You are on page 1of 7


Vogels main objective was to simulate two-phase flow through a reservoir into a wellbore. By analyzing a number of different solution-gas-drive reservoirs, he established an empirical relationship which could apply to all such reservoirs. The computer program that he prepared solved the equations of flow for somewhat idealized reservoirs. For example, he assumed that the reservoir was circular, completely bounded, and with a fully penetrating well at its center; that the formation was uniform, isotropic, and had a constant water saturation; that gravity and compressibility could be neglected and that semi-steady-state flow occurred. Vogel simulated reservoirs covering a wide range of conditions. These conditions included differing reservoir relative permeability characteristics as well as the various effects of well spacings, fracturing geometry, and skin restrictions. Analysis was limited to flow conditions below the bubble point. Vogel found that as depletion occurs in a solution-gas-drive reservoir, the productivity of a typical well decreases. This occurs primarily because (1.) the reservoir pressure is reduced, and (2.) because increasing gas saturation causes greater resistance to oil flow. The result is a progressive downward shift of the IPR ( Figure 1 ).

Figure 1

The values on the lines reflect the percentage of reserves produced. Vogel, then, took the important step of plotting each curve as "dimensionless" IPRs or "type curves." He obtained these curves by plotting the bottomhole flowing pressures divided by the average reservoir pressure on the vertical axis and the production rate divided by the maximum flow rate, C, on the horizontal axis. When this was done for each curve, they were replotted as shown in Figure 2 .

Figure 2

It is immediately apparent with this transformation that the curves now are remarkably similar throughout most of the producing life of the reservoir. After analyzing twenty-one different reservoirs with various crude oil properties, relative permeabilities, and wellbore characteristics, Vogel found that IPRs generally exhibited a similar shape, as long as the bottomhole flowing pressure was below the bubble point. Extending this observation one step further, he developed a standard reference curve which can be used for all solution-gas-drive reservoirs. This standard curve is shown in Figure 3 .

Figure 3

Specific plot points for this curve are given in the table below. The use of this curve does not imply that all reservoirs are identical, but that it may be used as a reference standard for all reservoirs within a tolerable error. This reference curve is described exactly by the following equation:

Note that q is the producing rate corresponding to a given bottomhole flowing pressure, pwf; q is the wells potential at 100 percent drawdown, and R is the average reservoir pressure or the bubble-point pressure, whichever is lower. X-q/q

1.00 0.95

0.000 0.088

0.90 0.85 0.80 0.75 0.70 0.65 0.60 0.55 0.50 0.45 0.40 0.35 0.30 0.25 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 Example: Assume: q = 1172 BOPD pwf = 716 psi

0.172 0.252 0.328 0.400 0.468 0.532 0.592 0.648 0.700 0.748 0.792 0.832 0.868 0.900 0.928 0.958 0.972 0.988 1.000

= 1420 psi = pb

Construct the IPR curve for this well at the average reservoir pressure. Assume that Vogels dimensionless standard curve describes this wells behavior.

First, we calculate the dimensionless pressure.

With this value and Vogels dimensionless standard curve (or Equation 1.2), we find the dimensionless rate (see Figure 4 ).

Figure 4

= 0.696. This gives a value of:


= 1684 BOPD.

The type curve can now be made into this wells IPR curve simply by adding the values for average reservoir pressure and C; at the appropriate end points. The scale of the graph is now established and any desired point can now be read ( Figure 5 ).

Figure 5

Remember that Vogels results are only for the curved portion of the IPR curve which exists below the bubble point. Above the bubble point the IPR curve is a straight line. We can obtain its shape by drawing the tangent to the curve at the bubble-point pressure and extending it to the original average reservoir pressure, pi. Such as extrapolation is shown in Figure 6 .

Figure 6

In order to determine the shape of the IPR curve at a future average reservoir pressure, we need to know a single bottomhole flowing pressure and its corresponding flow rate at that average reservoir pressure. Using our dimensionless curve and a known data point we would repeat what we have just done. This would yield a second curve. The difficulty is that we do not have well test data at some future, unknown average reservoir pressure.