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6 Deviation from linear Inflow performance

At sufficiently high flow rates, the inflow characteristics are not linear. The pressure loss will almost always be greater than predicted from a constant productivity index. Below, we quantify flow mechanisms that provide such a discrepancy.

6.1 Second order pressure loss

6.1.1 Forchheimer equation Darcys equation implies proportionality between flow velocity and pressure gradient. Similar relations are used for other engineering applications, such as: Ohm's law of electric resistance, Hooks elasticity law, Fourier's heat flow law. However such relations are often not applicable at high rate, or large load.. Forchheimer (1901) proposed a relationship that can be seen as Darcys equation with a 2.order adjustment dp o = v + v v dr k


: Second-order constant, "turbulence factor" (m-1)

From Forchheimer equation (6-1), we can predict the relationship between pressure loss and rate. By assuming radial and steadystate influx, we get the following solution
p ( re ) p ( r ) =

o Bo re B2 ln qo + o 2 o2 2kh r 4 h

1 1 qo qo r re


The first part of (6-2) corresponds to Darcys law. The second part is independent of viscosity and increases with the square of flow rate, corresponding to turbulent flow resistance in pipes. Truly turbulent flow does not occur in porous media under normal circumstances; the pore channels are too narrow and flow speed too low. But the flow changes velocity and direction through the pores. For complicated pore geometry we can expect

relatively large -factor. For relatively straight and smooth flow channels, we can expect little -factor.

Figure 6-1 illustrates 2.order pressure profile with low viscosity and high production. The figure shows significant pressure loss near the well. Further out the flow speed is so small that 2.order pressure loss is negligible.

Figure 6.1 Pressure profile according to Forchheimer equation. 6.1.2 Flow characteristics Figure 6.1 shows that the deviation from Darcys equation occurs close to the well. Flow will hear be very close to steady-state. there (near the wellbore). This will hold even if the conditions further out is pseudo-steady-state, or even transient. Thus, the well pressure can be expressed as
1 2 qo Fqo J

pw = p R


By matching the (6-2) and (6-3), we get the following relation for 2.order pressure loss parameter

2 o Bo 1 F = 2 2 4 h rw


Figure 6.2 illustrates 2.order inflow characteristics, estimated from (6-3), for the same parameters which formed the basis for Figure 6-1: [J=1.01 . 10-8 Sm3/s/Pa, F=1.14 . 109 Pa/(Sm3/s)2 ] .

Figure 6.2 second order inflow characteristics 6.1.3 Estimate of 2.order inflow performance from measured data. We can estimate 2.order inflow performance from measured well pressure and production rates. For graphical estimation it is practical to express (6-3) as
p R pw 1 = + Fqo qo J



Figure 6.3 shows pressures and production rates plotted according to (6-5). If a straight line can be drawn through the data points, the slope is equal to: F and the intersection with the y-axis corresponds to: 1 / J

Figure 6.3 Graphical estimate of 2.order flow parameters The points shown in Figure 6.3 are "simulated measurements" and the straight line is adapted visually. The intersection with the y-axis provides the estimate: 1 / J = 0.0115, productivity index: J = 87 Sm3/d/bar (Estimation of "F " is left to the reader) 6.1.3 Turbulence factor correlated to the rock parameters The -factor is often correlated to porosity and permeability. The correlation by Tek & al (1962), Katz & Coats (1968) is illustrated in Figure 6.4

( 5.5 / 0.3048 ) 10 9
k 1.25 0.75


k : permeability (mD)

: porosity ( - ) : turbulence factor


Figure 6.4 Correlation of --factor in natural rock In order to have consistency dimension wise, you must have permeability exponent "0.5". It is not the case in (6-6). Golan & Whitson /1991 / presented a dimension terms satisfactory correlation of -factor in the dry sand. This is given in (6-7) illustrated in Figure 6.5.

( 1.746 / 0.3048 ) 107

k 0.5 1.5


Figure 6.5. Turbulence Factor Correlation for unconsolidated sand

6 6.1.4 Second-order pressure losses in gravel packs By gravel packing, we understand that the granular material is placed between the rock and well to prevent flow of reservoir fines into the well. The flow rate through such gravel packs is often so high that it may give significantly pressure loss. Experience shows that -factor for gravel pack corresponds better to the permeability of the reservoir rock than the permeability of the gravel. This is explained by that the production will transport fines from the formation into the sand pack. Unneland (2001) provides an overview of different correlations and factor for gravel pack and comparison with data for North Sea fields.

6.2 Flow below saturation pressure.

When the pressure falls below the saturation, gas is released. This leads to a number of changes in fluid behavior and flow conditions: - The total flow volume gets larger - Viscosity of oil becomes larger because of less dissolved gas - gas and oil fill pores and will therefore have different permeabilities - Density difference may make gas will filter upwards Such changes affect the pressure loss.

6.2.1 Vogels inflow performance Vogel (1968) performed numerical simulations with pressures below saturation. By systematizing numerical results he found that the inflow performance could be expressed by the following non-dimensional relationship
qo q max pw pw = 1 0.2 p 0.8 p s s


qmax : Extrapolated production capacity at zero pressure well ps

: Reservoir pressure at saturation

Vogels characteristics curve (6-8) shows that the productivity index decreases with decreasing well pressure. The comparable dimensionless inflow performance for constant productivity index reads
qo p =1 w * ps q


From (6-9) follows that the comparable production capacity at zero well pressure: q* =JpR Marshall B. Standing observed that at saturation pressure (6-8) and (6-9) should provide the same productivity index. Thus, the

gradients of (6-8) and (6-9) should be equal at saturation pressure, as illustrated in Figure 6.6. This gives the following relationship
q* =1.8 qmax


Figure 6.6 Comparison of inflow performance relations Combining (6-9) and (6-10), the Vogel parameter may be related to productivity index estimated above the saturation pressure
J ps 1.8

q max =


Asheim, H.: "Potential flow principles extended to simultaneous

flow and gas and liquid in Porous Media" Recent advances and challenges in oil recovery, Moscow, May 1323, 2003 Brooks, RH, and Corey, AT: "Properties of Porous Media affecting Fluid Flow", J. of Irrigation and Drainage Division. Proc. Ascea, vol. 92, no. IR2, 1966, 61 Burdine, NT: "Relative Perm Ability Calculations from pore Size Distribution Data", Trans. AIME 198, 1953, 71 Fetkovich, MJ: "The Isochronal Testing of Oil Wells", 48 Annual Fall Meeting of SPE, Las Vegas, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 1973 Forchheim, Ph. "Wasserbevegung durch Boden" Z. Ver. Deutsh. Ing., Vol. 45, 1901, p.1781-1788 Geertsma, J.: "Estimating the coefficient of Inertial Resistance in Fluid Flow Through Porous Media" SPEJ, Oct. 1974, 415 Golan, M., and Whitson, C.H.: Well Performance Prentice Hall, N.J., 1986. Standing, MB: Notes on Relative Perm Ability Relationships Department of petroleum, NTH 1974. Tek, M.R., Coats, K.H. and Katz, DL: The Effect of Turbulence on Flow of Natural Gas Through the Porous Reservoir. Journal of P. Tech., July 1962, 799; Trans AIME, 225 Unneland, T.: Performance of high-rate gravel-packed oil wells Dr. thesis, NTNU, 2001 Vogel, JV: "Inflow Performance Relationships for Solution - Gas Drive wells", Petr. Trans. of AIME, Journal of P. Tech. Jan. 1968, 83