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MATHEMATICAL BASIS
1. INTRODUCTION
• Flow from a reservoir to a well bore depends upon potential gradients, fluid and reservoir
properties and reservoir geometry. The potential gradients are related directly to pressure
gradients and careful measurement of initial pressures and subsequent pressures may enable
reservoir properties to be inferred. This is a primary objective of pressure analysis.
• Development decisions in any area where investment is heavily front end loaded will depend
heavily on the analysis of exploration and appraisal well tests. Subsequent reservoir
management, monitoring and control depend equally heavily on the matching of observed
pressures to analytical or simulation models. Indeed pressure is almost the only significant
direct measurement that can be made on a reservoir. Logging methods may help to evaluate
fluid movement behind casing, to determine velocity profiles, fluid gradients and fluid
interfaces, but it is the interpretation of pressure measurement and the application of
pressure data in material balance studies that is central to reservoir engineering.
• The pressure data available may be daily, weekly or monthly records of well head pressures,
which can be useful, but are rarely sufficiently accurate or unambiguous to be of great value.
More valuable are the intermittently obtained records of bottom hole flowing or buildup
pressures, these giving the most reliable, but still ambiguous, data.
Ref. IPE, HeriotWatt University
To reduce the pressure in the model, the
fluid needs to be expelled, but because of
the permeability of the rock it takes time
for the fluid in the tubes nearest the
outlet to move and therefore it takes time
for the pressure to change. This produces
a variation in the pressure along the
model. Overall, 3 flow conditions may
prevail i.e:
• transient flow condition
• semisteady state condition
• Steadystate condition
2. CHARACTERISATION AND MODELLING OF FLOW PATTERNS
The actual flow patterns in producing reservoirs are usually complex due mainly to
the following factors:
(i) The shapes of oil bearing formations and aquifers are quite irregular
(ii) Most oilbearing and water bearing formations are highly heterogeneous with
respect to permeability, porosity and connate water saturation. The saturations
of the hydrocarbon phases can vary throughout the reservoir leading to
different relative permeabilities and therefore flow patterns
(iii) The wellbore usually deviates resulting in an irregular well pattern through the
pay zone
(iv) The production rates usually differ from well to well. In general, a high rate well
drains a larger radius than a lower rate well
(v) Many wells do not fully penetrate the pay zone or are not fully perforated
There are essentially two possibilities available to cope with complexities of actual
flow properties.
(i) The drainage area of the well, reservoir or aquifer is modelled fairly closely by
subdividing the formation into small blocks. This results in a complex series of
equations describing the fluid flow which are solved by numerical or semi
numerical methods.
(i) The drained area is modelled by a single block to preserve the global features
and inhomogeneities in the rock and fluid properties are averaged out or
substituted by a simple relationship or pattern of features (such as a fracture
set, for example). The simplifications allow the equations of flow to be solved
analytically.
The analytical solutions will be examined in this chapter.
2.1 Idealised Flow Patterns
There are a number of idealised flow patterns representing fluid flow in a
reservoir: linear, radial, hemispherical, spherical.
The most important cases are the linear and radial models:
• Linear flow – which can be approximated in the reservoir by flow
between parallel faults, and in some well patterns
• Radial flow – which is approximated in the reservoir in the well flow (fluid
flow around the wellbore), and in reservoir where the reservoir is
surrounded by an active aquifer (water encroachment from an aquifer
into a reservoir)
In the this chapter, dealing mainly with oil, the compressibility of the flowing fluid
may depend on the pressure. It will always be assumed that the product of
compressibility and pressure, cP, is smaller than one, i.e. cP<<1. If it is not (as in
the case of a gas) then the pressure dependence of compressibility must be taken
into account.
2.2 General Case
U
x
= ÷
k
x
µ

\

.

oP
ox

\

.

U
y
= ÷
k
y
µ

\

.

oP
oy

\

.

U
z
= ÷
k
z
µ

\

.

oP
oz
+µg

\

.

Consider the coordinate system
shown. The X and Y coordinates form a
horizontal plane with the Z coordinate
perpendicular to this plane. The flow
velocity, U, is a vector with components
U
x
, U
y
, U
z
.
The components of the flow velocity
vector, U are:
where:
k = permeability (m
2
) in the direction of X, Y, Z
P = pressure (Pa)
μ = viscosity (Pa.s)
ρ = density (kg/m
3
)
g = acceleration due to gravity (m/s
2
)
U = flow velocity (m/s) = m
3
/s/m
2
SI Units:
k = permeability (m
2
) in the direction of X, Y, Z
P = pressure (Pa)
μ = viscosity (Pa.s)
ρ = density (kg/m
3
)
g = acceleration due to gravity (m/s
2
)
U = flow velocity (m/s) = m
3
/s/m
2
q = flow rate (m
3
/s)
t = second
B
o
= formation volume factor (rm
3
/stm
3
)
Field Units:
k = permeability (mD) in the direction of X, Y, Z
P = pressure (psi)
μ = viscosity (cp)
ρ = density (Ib/ft
3
)
g = acceleration due to gravity (ft/s
2
)
U = flow velocity (m/s) = ft
3
/s/ft
2
q = flow rate (bbl/day)
t = hours
B
o
= formation volume factor (bbl/STB)
Units
2.2.1 LINEAR HORIZONTAL MODEL
U
x
= ÷
k
x
µ

\

.

oP
ox

\

.

....(1)
o Uµ
( )
ox
= ÷
oP
ot

\

.

; 0 s x s L
Flow equation:
Mass balance equation:
The complete statement of a physical problem describing fluid flow in a porous medium
requires:
①A law of conservation – the continuity equation (a statement of conservation of mass)
①A flow equation  Darcy’s law (or other flow law)
①An equation of state – defining the density of the flowing fluid in terms of pressure
①A definition of the boundary conditions of a particular problem – conditions of potential
and/or flow at particular values of space and/or time
The combination of these four factors, leads to differential equations describing real problems.
Flows into the end at position x=0, through the rock only in the X direction and out
at x=L. In the middle, an element from position x to position x+dx is examined. The
bulk volume of the element is the product of the area, A and the length, dx, i.e. the
bulk volume = A*dx. The pore volume of the element is therefore the product of the
bulk volume and the porosity, φ, i.e. the pore volume = A*dx*φ. If the flow was
steady state then the flowrates into and out of the volume (q
in
and q
out
) would be
identical and Darcy’s Law would apply. If the flow rates vary from the inlet of the
volume to the outlet, i.e. q
in
≠ q
out
then either the fluid is accumulating in the
element and q
in
> q
out
or the fluid is depleting from the element q
out
> q
in
(which is
possible in a pressurised system since the pressure of the fluid in the element may
reduce causing it to expand and produce a higher flow rate out of the element).
Therefore, there is a relationship between the change in mass, m, along the cuboid
and the change in density, ρ, over time as the mass accumulates or depletes from
any element.
Mass flow rate through the area, A = qρ ((m
3
/s)(kg/m
3
) = kg/s)
Mass flow rate through the area, A at position x = (qρ)
x
Mass flow rate through the area, A at position (x+dx) = (qρ)
x+dx
Mass flow rate into a volume element at x minus flow rate out of element at (x+dx)
= (qρ)
x
 (qρ)
x+dx
In terms of mass flowrate,
The mass flow rate out of the element is also equal to the rate of change of mass
flow in the element, i.e.
Therefore the change in mass flow rate
if the change in mass flowrate is positive it means the element is accumulating
mass; if the change is negative it is depleting mass.
This must equal the rate of change of mass in the element with a volume = A*dx*φ
The rate of change of mass is equal to
Hence
qµ
( )
x+dx
= qµ
( )
x
+
o qµ
( )
ox
*dx
= ÷
o qµ
( )
ox
*dx
=
oµ
ot
Adx
÷
o qµ
( )
ox
1
A
= 
oµ
ot
since the flow velocity, U = q/A, this becomes
Substituting the parameters of equation (1) in (2) gives
÷
o Uµ
( )
ox
= 
oµ
ot
or
o Uµ
( )
ox
= ÷
oµ
ot
....(2)
o
ox
kµ
µ
oP
ox

\

.

= 
oµ
ot
....(3)
Equation (3) shows the areal change of pressure is linked to the change in density
over time. Realistically, it is pressure and time that can be measured successfully in a
laboratory or a reservoir, therefore a more useful relationship would be between the
change in pressure areally with the change in pressure through time. The density
can be related to the pressure by the isothermal compressibility, c, defined as:
c = ÷
1
V
oV
oP

\

.

T
, and since µ =
m
V
thus, c = ÷
µ
m
o m/ µ
( )
oP
=
1
µ
oµ
oP
Since,
oµ
ot
=
oµ
oP
oP
ot
= cµ
oP
ot
....(4)
then
o
ox
kµ
µ
oP
ox

\

.

= cµ
oP
ot
• The above equation is the partial differential equation for the linear flow of any
single phase fluid in a porous medium which relates the spatial variation in
pressure to the temporal variation in pressure. If it were applied to a laboratory
core flood, it could describe the pressure variation throughout the core from the
initial start of the flood when the flowrate was increased from zero to a steady
rate (the transient period) as well as the steady state condition when the flow into
the core was balanced by the flow out of the core.
• Inspection of the equation shows that it is nonlinear because of the pressure
dependence of the density, compressibility and viscosity appearing in the
coefficients (kρ)/µ and φcρ.
• The pressure dependence of the coefficients must be removed before simple
solutions can be found, i.e. the equation must be linearised.
• A simple form of linearisation applicable to the flow of liquids such as
undersaturated oil is to assume their compressibility is small and constant. More
complex solutions are required for more compressible fluids and gasses.
2.2.1.1 Linearisation of Partial Differential Flow Equation
For Linear Flow
Assuming that the permeability and viscosity terms do not depend on location (i.e.
distance along the cuboid), then
o
ox
µ
oP
ox

\

.

=
µcµ
k

\

.

oP
ot
The left hand side can be expanded to:
oµ
ox
oP
ox
+µ
o
2
P
ox
2

\

.

....(5)
Using equation (4) and since
oµ
ox
=
oµ
oP
oP
ox
Equation (5) becomes:
cµ
oP
ox

\

.

2
+µ
o
2
P
ox
2

\

.

Usually c(δP/δx)
2
is neglected compared to δ
2
P/δx
2
since the pressure gradient is
small, and substituting gives:
o
2
P
ox
2
=
µc
k

\

.

oP
ot
...(6)
This is termed the linear diffusivity equation
• The assumption is made that the compressibility is small and constant, therefore
the coefficients (φµc)/k are constant and the equation is linearised.
• The k/(φµc) is termed the diffusivity constant.
• For liquid flow, the above assumptions are reasonable and have been applied
frequently, but can be applied only when the product of the compressibility and
pressure is much less than 1, i.e. cP << 1.0. Thus the requirement for small and
constant compressibility.
• The compressibility in this case is the saturation weighted compressibility, i.e. the
effect of the oil, water and formation compressibilities:
c = c
o
S
o
+ c
w
S
w
+ c
f
where:
c is the saturation weighted compressibility
c
o
is the compressibility of oil
c
w
is the compressibility of the connate water
c
f
is the compressibility of the formation (pore volume)
S
o
is the oil saturation
S
wc
is the connate water saturation
2.2.1.2 Conditions of Solution for Linear Diffusivity Equation
The solution of the equation requires initial conditions and the boundary
conditions.
(i) Initial Solution Condition
At time t = 0, the initial pressure, P i, must be specified for every value of x.
(ii) Boundary Conditions.
At the end faces x = 0 and x = L, the flow rate or pressure must be specified
for every value of time, t.
Solutions of the linear diffusivity equation are needed when dealing with linear
flow from aquifers. For solutions dealing with well problems a radial model is
required.
2.2.2 The Radial Flow Model
The geometry of this model in which the flow occurs in horizontal planes
perpendicular to the Z axis (i.e. in planes parallel to the XY plane) within a layer of
constant height, h. The flow is radial and is either towards the Z axis or away from
it.
At a distance r from xaxis, the flow velocity, U
is now radius dependent: U = q/2πrh
From Darcy’s Law (taking account of the flow
direction and the coordinate direction):
U =
k
µ
oP
or
The mass balance gives:
o qµ
( )
or
= 2trh
oµ
ot
Eliminating U and q through above equations
gives the nonlinear equation:
1
r
o
or
µr
k
µ
oP
or
= cµ
oP
ot
1
r
o
or
r
oP
or

\

.

=
µc
k
oP
ot
o
2
P
or
2
+
1
r
oP
or
=
µc
k
oP
ot
Making assumptions as for linear flow, linearises the equation to:
Finally becomes:
This is termed the radial
diffusivity equation
2.2.2.1 Range Of Application And Conditions Of Solution
The two main systems to which the radial diffusivity equation can be applied are
water influx and wellbore production although there are others.
(a) In the case of water encroachment from an aquifer into a reservoir, the inner
boundary corresponds to the mean radius of the reservoir, the outer boundary
to the mean radius of the aquifer.
(a) In the case of the pressure regime around a wellbore, the inner boundary
corresponds to the wellbore radius, r
w
, the outer boundary to the boundary of
the drainage area. In general the wellbore radius, r
w
is a mathematical concept,
however, the following are widely treated as valid:
Open hole, drilled close to gauge : r
w
= 1/2 drill bit diameter
Well cased, cemented and perforated : r
w
= 1/2 drill bit diameter
Slotted liner with gravel pack : r
w
= 1/2 outer diameter (OD) of the
liner Outofgauge hole : r
w
= average radius from caliper log
The solution of the equation requires the initial conditions and the boundary
conditions.
(i) Initial Solution Condition.
At time t=0, the initial pressure, Pi, must be specified for every point of the
range of diffusivity equation, i.e. in the reservoir or in the aquifer.
(ii) Boundary Conditions
The boundaries consist of the outer and inner boundaries. The number of
solutions depend on the number of boundary conditions, but in the main
there are a few sensible conditions representing the majority of reservoir
performance.
Outer Boundary
(a) If there is no flow across the outer boundary it is a closed system and the flow
velocity, U will equal zero. The pressure gradient, δP/δr will also be zero.
(a) If there is flow across the outer boundary, the reservoir pressure will be
maintained at a constant value equal to the initial reservoir pressure, Pi.
Inner Boundary
There are two main cases for the inner boundary which represent either maintaining
a constant pressure or a constant flow rate. These are representative of possible flow
regimes in the reservoir during either water flooding or production from a well.
(a) Constant Terminal Rate Case (C.T.R.)
This can be applied to a wellbore in which the production rate of the well is held
constant and the pressure varies through time. It can also be applied to water
encroachment in which the influx rate of water from the aquifer into the reservoir
across the initial oilwater contact is constant.
(a) (b) Constant Terminal Pressure Case (C.T.P.)
Applied to a wellbore, the flowrate is varied to maintain a constant bottom hole
pressure in the producing well. In the case of water influx, the pressure at the
initial oil water contact of the reservoir remains constant and the flow rate varies.
2.3 Characterisation of the Flow Regimes by their
Dependence on Time
To apply the diffusivity equation to real reservoirs requires careful consideration of
the boundary conditions.
It will be shown that for most practical purposes, the solutions to the diffusivity
equation can be grouped according to the flow regime that they represent:
(i) Steadystate  refers to the situation in which the pressure and the rate
distribution in the reservoir remain constant with time.
(ii) Unsteady state (transient)  the situation in which the pressure and/or the
flow rate vary with time.
(iii) Semisteadystate (pseudo steady state)  a special case of unsteady state
that resembles steadystate flow.
These differences in the flow regimes have ramifications in practical reservoir
engineering since working solutions to the diffusivity equation are usually limited to
a particular flow regime. For instance, in a pressure build up test in a well, the
determination of an accurate average reservoir pressure will depend strongly on the
flow regime the well is in and therefore which working solution is used.
3. BASIC SOLUTIONS OF THE CONSTANT TERMINAL RATE
CASE FOR RADIAL MODELS
One of the conditions for solution of the diffusivity equation is that the flow rate is
constant. This can be applied to the flow of oil towards a full length perforated well,
and to the flow of water to a producing reservoir from an aquifer. The flow can be
described approximately as the radial flow of a single phase from the outer radius
‘b’ of a right hollow cylinder towards its inner radius, ‘a’. It is assumed that the
cylinder consists of a homogeneous porous medium.
In the case of drainage by a well, ‘a’ is the radius of the well, r
w
and ‘b’ is the radius
of the external boundary, r
e
. The flow rate, q at radius, r = r
w
is the production rate
of the well. In the case of natural water influx into a reservoir, ‘a’ is the mean
reservoir radius, ‘b’ is the mean aquifer radius, and q is the volume flow rate of
water across the initial oilwater contact.
The radial constant terminal rate case is determined by the following system of
equations:
1
r
o
or
r
oP
or

\

.

=
µc
k
oP
ot
for a s r s b
and q =
2trkh
µ
oP
or
for r = a
with the initial condition that the pressure at all points is constant
and the boundary conditions that at the wellbore the flowrate is constant after
the production starts
and at the outer boundary, the pressure is either a constant (and equal to the
initial pressure) in the case of pressure maintenance
or there is a sealing boundary with no flow across it in which case the pressure
gradient at the boundary is zero
a s r s b, t = 0; P = P
i
= constant
r = a, t > 0; q = constant
r = b, t > 0; P = P
i
= constant
r = b, t > 0;
oP
or
= 0
• The solution of the above equations are too complex for most practical
applications and asymptotic solutions which are fair approximations of the
general solution are used, i.e. simple solutions which approximate certain flow
regimes can be used.
• The steady state solution is the simplest and is the same as Darcy’s Law.
• The nonsteady state solutions involve a time element and are conveniently
expressed in dimensionless form.
3.1 The Steady State Solution
If a well is produced at a constant flow rate, q, and if the pressure at the external
radius, r
e
is maintained constant, flow will finally stabilise to steady state
conditions. i.e. flowrate, q = constant and the pressure gradient, δP/δt =0 for all
values of radius, r and time, t
therefore, δP/δr = dP/dr, and the flow equation becomes:
integrating between the limits r
w
and r gives:
Integrating between the limits r
w
and r
e
gives:
q
dr
r
=
2tkh
µ

\

.

dP
P÷ P
w
=
qµ
2tkh

\

.

ln
r
r
w

\

.

P
e
÷ P
w
=
qµ
2tkh

\

.

ln
r
e
r
w

\

.

which is identical to the relationship described for a radial system by Darcy’s Law.
In this case, the pressure at the external radius of the reservoir is required and the
only way to measure it in the reservoir would be to drill a well at the external
radius.
This is uneconomic, therefore a mean reservoir pressure, P , is used. It is found
from routine bottom hole pressure measurements and well tests conducted on the
wells in a reservoir, it includes the effect of the area of influence of each well. In
simple terms, the volume drained by each well is used to weight the bottom hole
pressure measurements made in the well; all of the weighted pressures of all of
the wells in the reservoir are then averaged. Figure below shows a well in a
reservoir and its area of influence. Volumetrically, this volume is drained by the
well and the mean reservoir pressure, P , is related to the pressure, P of elements
of volume, dV being drained. The total volume is V.
where dV = 2πrhφdr
P =
1
V
PdV
rw
re
}
The volume of the well’s drainage zone,
and considering
V = t r
e
2
÷ r
w
2
( )
h
r
w
<< r
e
, V= tr
e
2
h
P =
2
r
e
2
Pr dr
rw
re
}
P = P
w
+
qµ
2tkh

\

.

ln
r
r
w

\

.

P =
2
r
e
2
P
w
+
qµ
2tkh

\

.

ln
r
r
w

\

.


\

.

rdr
rw
re
}
P÷ P
w
=
2
r
e
2
qµ
2tkh

\

.

ln
r
r
w

\

.

rdr
rw
re
}
P÷ P
w
=
2
r
e
2
qµ
2tkh

\

.

1
2
r
2
ln
r
r
w

\

.

¸
(
¸
(
rw
re
÷
1
r
r
2
2

\

.

dr
rw
re
}
P÷ P
w
=
2
r
e
2
qµ
2tkh

\

.

r
e
2
2
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
r
w
2
2
ln
r
w
r
w
¸
(
¸
(
÷
r
e
4
÷
r
w
4
¸
(
¸
(
¸
(
¸
(
Assuming (r
w
)
2
/4
is negligible
P÷ P
w
=
2
r
e
2
qµ
2tkh

\

.

r
e
2
2
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
r
e
2
4
¸
(
¸
(
P÷ P
w
=
qµ
2tkh
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
1
2
¸
(
¸
(
3.2 NonSteady State Flow Regimes
and Dimensionless Variables
Dimensionless forms of the diffusivity equation have found wide application in the
description of flow through porous media. They “normalise” the equation for use
with many different reservoirs and allow general solutions to be found which can be
applied to specific data to determine the specific solution for a particular reservoir.
In such a way, general plots of, for example, the difference in pressure from the
reservoir to the wellbore through time can be constructed which can then be used
to determine the actual pressure difference for a specific reservoir. It should be
noted that solutions for a radial flow reservoir can only be sensible if the
dimensionless variables and diffusivity equation have been developed for a radial
flow reservoir. If the dimensionless variables are defined as:
dimensionless time, r
D
:
dimensionless time, t
D
:
dimensionless pressure, P
D
:
(at a dimensionless radius
and at a dimensionless time)
r
D
=
r
r
w
t
D
=
kt
µcr
w
2
P
D
r
D
, t
D
( )
=
2tkh
qµ

\

.

P
i
÷ P
r.t
( )
where:
r = radius in question
r
w
= wellbore radius
k = permeability
t = time in question
φ = porosity, µ = viscosity
c = compressibility
h = thickness of the reservoir
P
i
= initial reservoir pressure
P
r,t
= pressure at the specified radius and time
then the radial diffusivity equation becomes:
There are other definitions of dimensionless variables, such as a dimensionless
external radius, which may be used in particular instances.
1
r
D
o
or
D
r
D
oP
D
or
D

\

.

=
oP
D
o
D
3.3 Unsteady State Solution
The constant terminal rate (CTR) solution can be obtained in several forms, using
different assumptions and methods of mathematical analysis. The various
solutions overlap, and all of them have particular uses and limitations.
• Figures show the response of a reservoir
at a wellbore when a flow rate, q, is
applied.
• P
wf
falls from the initially constant value, P
i
through time and the constant terminal
rate (CTR) solution of the diffusivity
equation describes this change as a
function of time.
• The pressure decline can be divided into
three sections:
A transient state
A latetransient state
A semisteady state
Transient state: Initially, the pressure response at the wellbore during this period
is not affected by the drainage boundary of the well and vice versa (or the infinite
reservoir case), since during the transient flow period, the reservoir appears to be
infinite in extent with no limits to the fluid available to expand and drive the
system.
Latetransient: The transient period is followed by the latetransient when the
boundaries start to affect the pressure response. The nature of the boundaries
affects the type of solution used to describe the pressure change since a well may
drain an irregularly shaped area where the boundaries are not symmetrical or
equidistant from the well.
Semisteady state or pseudo steady: The next phase in the pressure decline is
termed semisteady state or pseudo steady state where the shape of the pressure
profile in the reservoir is not changing through time and the wellbore pressure is
declining at a constant rate. If the pressure profile developed in the reservoir
around the well had remained constant, true steady state conditions would have
occurred and the steady state solutions would have applied.
3.3.1 Van Everdingen and Hurst Solution
• The constant terminal rate solution for all values of the flowing time was
presented by van Everdingen and Hurst in 1949.
• They solved the radial diffusivity equation using the Laplace transform for both
the constant terminal rate and constant terminal pressure cases. The full
equation contains, as one of its components, an infinite summation of Bessel
functions which are required to describe the complex wellbore pressure
response during the late transient period.
• Simple solutions can be obtained for the transient and semisteady state flow.
The solution describes pressure drop as a function of time and radius for fixed
values of external radius, r
e
, and wellbore radius, r
w
, rock and fluid properties.
• It is expressed in terms of dimensionless variables and parameters as:
P
D
= f t
D
, r
D
, r
eD
( )
where:
t
D
= dimensionless time
r
D
= dimensionless radius
r
eD
= r
e
/r
w
= dimensionless external radius
• If the reservoir is fixed in size, i.e. r
eD
is a particular value, then the dimensionless
pressure drop, P
D
, is a function of the dimensionless time, t
D
and dimensionless
radius, r
D
. The pressure in a particular reservoir case can then be calculated at
any time and/or radius.
• One of the most significant cases is at the wellbore since the pressure can be
measured routinely during production operations and compared to the
theoretical solutions. The determination of a reservoir pressure at a location
remote from a well may be required for reasons of technical interest, but unless
a well is drilled at that location, the actual value cannot be measured.
• At the wellbore radius, r = r
w
(or r
D
=1.0):
P
D
= f t
D
, r
eD
( )
i.e. P
D
t
D
( )
=
2t
D
r
ed
2
+lnr
eD
÷
3
4
+2
c
÷o
m
2
t
D
J
1
2
o
m
r
eD
( )
o
m
2
J
1
2
o
m
r
eD
( )
÷ J
1
2
o
m
( )
( )
m=1
·
¿
where: α
m
are the roots of
J
1
and Y
1
are Bessel functions of the first and second kind
J
1
o
m
r
eD
( )
Y o
m
( )
÷J
1
o
m
( )
Y
1
o
m
r
eD
( )
= 0
• This series has been evaluated for several values of dimensionless external radius,
r
eD
, over a wide range of values of dimensionless time, t
D
. A summary of the use of
the tables for CTR problems is as in next Table. It reports the dimensionless pressure
at some dimensionless time for various configurations of reservoir. It is the solution
to above equation.
• Above table are applicable to a well flowing at a constant rate or to a reservoir
and aquifer with a constant flowrate across the oil water contact.
• Most problems involving flow at a well involve relationships 2(iii) and 3(iii).
• The pressure can be calculated anywhere in the reservoir if the flow rate is
known.
• If the pressure in the reservoir at a location where the flow rate is unknown is
required then an alternative solution is needed (the Line Source solution)
Table 2
Table 3
Table 3
3.3.2 The Line Source Solution
• This solution assumes that the radius of the wellbore is vanishingly small relative
to the mean radius of the reservoir.
• It allows the calculation of the pressure at any point in an unbounded reservoir
using the flowrate at the well.
• The benefits are clear in that no flow rates other than those measured in the
producing well are required and from which the pressure at any location can be
calculated.
• The disadvantage is that the solution works for infinite acting reservoirs only
and if barriers are met, then the solution fails to represent the true flow regime.
• The technique of superposition can be used to combine the effect of more than
one well in an infinite acting reservoir and this technique can represent the
effect of a barrier. The barrier is equivalent to the pressure disturbance
produced by a second, imaginary well producing at the same rate and having
the same production history as the real well with both these wells in an infinite
acting reservoir.
• This solution has found a lot of use in well test analysis.
In constant terminal rate problems, the flowrate at the well was given by
and for a line source, the following boundary condition must hold:
Using the Boltzman Transformation and substitute into
Gives: with boundary conditions:
If , then
Separating the variables and integrating gives:
q =
2trkh
µ
oP
or

\

.

r=r
w
lim
r÷0
r
oP
or
=
qµ
2tkh
for time, t > 0
y =
µcr
2
4kt
1
r
o
or
r
oP
or

\

.

=
µc
k
oP
ot
y
d
2
p
dy
2
+
dp
dy
1+ y
( )
= 0
p ÷p
i
as y ÷ ·
lim
y÷0
2y
op
oy
=
qµ
2tkh
p'=
dp
dy
y
dp'
dy
+ 1+ y
( )
p'= 0
lnp'= ÷lny÷ y+C
i.e. p'=
dp
dy
=
C
1
y
e
÷y
where C and C
1
are constants of integration. Since
then C
1
= qµ/(4πkh) and equation becomes
which is integrated to give: or
which can be rewritten as:
Applying the boundary condition that p → p
i
as y → then C
2
= p
i
and the line
source solution is obtained:
lim
y÷0
2y
op
oy
=
qµ
2tkh
= lim
y÷0
2C
1
e
÷y
p'=
dp
dy
=
C
1
y
e
÷y
dp
dy
=
qµ
4tkh
e
÷y
y
p =
qµ
4tkh
e
÷y
y
·
y
}
dy+C
2
p =
qµ
4tkh
e
÷y
y
y
·
}
dy+C
2
p =
qµ
4tkh
Ei ÷y
( )
+C
2
·
p
i
÷ p
r,t
( )
=
qµ
4tkh
Ei ÷
µcr
2
4kt

\

.

¸
(
¸
(
The term Ei(y) is the exponential integral of y (the Ei function) which is
expressed as:
Ei ÷y
( )
= ÷
e
÷y
y
y
·
}
dy
It can be calculated from the series:
where ¸ = 0.5772157 (Euler’s Constant). On inspection of the similarities in the Ei
function and the ln function, it can be seen that when y < 0.01, Ei(y)=¸+ lny and
the power terms can be neglected. Therefore,
Ei(y) = ln(1.781y) = ln( y)
Ei ÷y
( )
= ¸ +lny÷
y
n
n!n
¸
(
¸
(
¸
¸ = 1.781 = e
y
= e
0.5772157
( )
Solutions to the exponential integral can be coded into a spreadsheet and used with
the line source solution. Practically, the exponential integral can be replaced by a
simpler logarithm function as long as it is representative of the pressure decline. The
limitation that y < 0.01 corresponds to time, t, from the start of production:
The equation can be applied anywhere in the reservoir, but is of significance at the
wellbore (i.e. for well test analysis) where typical values of wellbore radius, rw, and
reservoir fluid and rock parameters usually means that y < 0.01 very shortly after
production starts. Therefore the line source solution can be approximated by
t >
25µcr
2
k
p = p
i
+
qµ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
2
4kt

\

.

or, since ln(y) = ln(y
1
)
and if the pressure in the wellbore is of interest,
• The values of exponential integral have been calculated and presented in the
next Tables.
• The table presents negative values, i.e. Ei(y).
• For values of y<0.01, the ln approximation can be used.
• For values >10.9, the decline in pressure calculated is negligible.
p = p
i
÷
qµ
4tkh
ln
4kt
¸µcr
2

\

.

p
w
= p
i
÷
qµ
4tkh
ln
4kt
¸µcr
w
2

\

.

3.3.2.1 Range of Application and Limitations to Use
The Ei function has limitations on its application: it cannot represent the initial flow
into a wellbore since the assumption that the wellbore is a line is obviously not the
case and some time has to elapse for the relative size of the wellbore to have a
negligible effect on the flow and expansion of the fluid in the majority of the
reservoir. The reservoir must also be infinite acting. Analysis of real reservoir
performance has shown that the Ei function is valid for:
(i) flowing time,
where r
w
is the wellbore radius. The value of 100 has been derived form the
analysis of the responses of real reservoirs; it can be varied according to the
nature of a specific well and reservoir. The time involved here is not the same
as the dimensionless time, t
D
calculated for other models of fluid flow in a
reservoir (e.g. the input parameters for the van Everdingen and Hurst solutions
require the dimensionless time at the radius where the dimensionless pressure
drop is required  this may be the wellbore and r
w
would be used or it may be
some other radius).
t >
100µcr
w
2
k
(ii) Time to reach infinite acting,
where r
e
is the external radius. The reservoir boundaries begin to effect the
pressure distribution in the reservoir after this time, the infinite acting period
ends and the line source solution does not represent the fluid flow.
t <
µcr
e
2
4k
3.3.3 The Skin Factor
The analysis of fluid flow encountered thus far has assumed that a constant
permeability exists within the reservoir from the wellbore to the external boundary.
In reality, the rock around the wellbore can have higher or lower permeability than
the rest of the reservoir. This results from:
formation damage which may occur during drilling and completion (where
the wellbore fluids alter the wettability of the near wellbore formation as
fluid leaks off into it, or solids suspended in the drilling fluids are deposited
in the pore spaces and become trapped thereby physically hindering the
flow of fluid and reducing the permeability) or during production (where
sand or precipitates from the hydrocarbon fluids or from formation brines
can alter wettability and plug pore spaces).
Wellbores intersecting fractures may exhibit en hanced permeabilities as
the fractures offer much greater conductive paths to the fluids around the
wellbore, thus enhancing the permeability. This situation may also be
required as part of the reservoir management: hydraulic fractures or
acidising workovers are performed on wells to bypass zones of reduced
permeability which have developed during production.
The Ei equation fails to model the pressure drop in these wells with skin effects
properly since it uses the assumption of uniform permeability throughout the
drainage area of the well up to the wellbore.
Figure shows the effect of a
reduction in permeability around
a wellbore. The skin zone does
not affect the pressures in the
rest of the formation remote
from the wellbore, i.e. it is a local
effect on the pressure drop at
the wellbore.
If the skin zone is considered equivalent to an altered zone of uniform permeability,
k
s
, with an outer radius, r
s
, the additional drop across this zone (∆P
s
) can be
modelled by the steadystate radial flow equation.
It is assumed that after the pressure perturbation caused by the start of production
has moved off into the rest of the formation, the skin zone can be thought of as
being in a steady state flow regime. The pressure drop associated with the presence
of a skin is therefore the difference in the bottomhole flowing pressures at the well
when skin is present and when skin is not present, i.e.
AP
skin
= P
wf (no skin)
÷ P
wf (skin)
AP
s
=
qµ
2tk
s
h
ln
r
s
r
w

\

.

÷
qµ
2tkh
ln
r
s
r
w

\

.

=
qµ
2tkh
k
k
s
÷1

\

.

ln
r
s
r
w

\

.

The equation simply states that the pressure drop in the altered zone is inversely
proportional to the permeability, k
s
rather than to the permeability, k of the rest of
the reservoir and that a correction to the pressure drop in this region must be made.
When this is included in the line source solution it gives the total pressure drop at
the wellbore:
P
i
÷ P
wf
= ÷
qµ
4tkh
Ei ÷y
( )
+AP
s
= ÷
qµ
4tkh
Ei ÷y
( )
÷2
k
k
s
÷1

\

.

ln
r
s
r
w
¸
(
¸
(
If at the wellbore the logarithm approximation can be substituted for the Ei
function, then:
A skin factor, s, can then be defined as:
and the drawdown defined as:
P
i
÷ P
wf
= ÷
qµ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
w
2
4kt

\

.

÷ 2
k
k
s
÷1

\

.

ln
r
s
r
w
¸
(
¸
(
s =
k
k
s
÷1

\

.

ln
r
s
r
w
P
i
÷ P
wf
= ÷
qµ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
w
2
4kt

\

.

÷ 2s
¸
(
¸
(
• The last equation shows that a positive value of skin factor will indicate that the
permeability around the well has been reduced (by some form of formation
damage). The absolute value reflects the contrast between the skin zone
permeability and the unaltered zone permeability and the depth to which the
damage extends into the formation. Part of the essential information from a
well test is the degree of formation damage (skin factor) around a well caused
by the drilling and completion activities.
• Alternatively, a well may have a negative skin factor, i.e. the permeability of the
skin zone may be higher than that of the unaltered zone, caused by the creation
of highly conductive fractures or channels in the rock.
• The extent of the damage zone cannot be predicted accurately and there may
be variations vertically in the extent of the damage zone therefore this simple
model may not characterise the near wellbore permeability exactly. An altered
zone near a particular well affects only the pressure near that well, i.e. the
pressure in the unaltered formation away from the well is not affected by the
existence of the altered zone around the well.
3.4 SemiSteadyState Solution
• Once the initial pressure perturbation produced by bringing a well onto
production has moved through the reservoir and met the boundaries, the
infiniteacting nature of the fluid changes to become finite acting.
• This is termed pseudo steady state or semi steady state because the pressure
drop with time is the same at all points around the flowing well, i.e.
constant
and where there is no flow across the outer boundary at r = r
e
of the drainage
zone, i.e.
• In a similar manner to the steady state flow regime, the pressure difference
between the wellbore and, say, the external radius, or the pressure difference
between the wellbore pressure and the initial pressure, or the pressure
difference between the wellbore pressure and the average reservoir pressure
can be calculated depending on the physical measurements which have been
taken. Usually, an average pressure is known in a reservoir and this is used to
determine the pressure drop.
oP
ot
=
dP
dt
=
oP
or
= 0 at r = r
e
Figure shows the pressure profile in
a reservoir under semi steady state
flow condition.
Under semi steady state conditions, the pressure profile can be averaged over the
volume of the reservoir. This gives the average reservoir pressure at a particular time
in the stage of depletion of the reservoir. If there are several wells in a reservoir,
each well drains a portion of the total volume. For stabilised conditions, the volume
drained by each well is stable and in effect the whole reservoir can be subdivided
into several portions or cells. The average pressure in each cell can also be
calculated from the stabilised pressure profile. The calculation of the average
pressure is determined from the material balance of the initial pressure and volume
of fluid and its isothermal compressibility. The expansion of the fluid in each cell
manifests itself as a volume, or flow rate, at the well, i.e.
where V = pore volume of the radial cell; q = constant production rate; t = total
flowing time, c = isothermal compressibility.
cV P
i
÷ P
( )
= qt
q =
dV
dt
dV
dP
=
qdt
dP
= q
dt
dP
since c = ÷
1
V
dV
dP

\

.

T
¬ q = ÷cV
dP
dt
¬
dP
dt
= ÷
q
cV
which, for the drainage of a radial cell, can be expressed as
dP
dt
= ÷
q
ctr
e
2
h
Substitution above equation in the radial diffusivity equation, gives
which is
1
r
o
or
r
oP
or

\

.

= ÷
µc
k
q
ctr
e
2
h
Integration gives
r
dP
dr
= ÷
qµr
2
2tr
e
2
kh
+C
1
1
r
o
or
r
oP
or

\

.

= ÷
qµ
tr
e
2
hk
at the outer boundary the pressure gradient is zero, i.e. therefore
and substitution into equation above gives
When integrated, this gives
or
dP
dr
=
qµ
2tkh
1
r
÷
r
r
e
2

\

.

r
dP
dr
= 0
C
1
=
qµ
2tkh
P
 
P
wf
P
r
=
qµ
2tkh
lnr ÷
r
2
2r
e
2

\

.

P
r
÷ P
wf
=
qµ
2tkh
lnr ÷
r
2
2r
e
2
¸
(
¸
(
÷ lnr
w
÷
r
w
2
2r
e
2
¸
(
¸
(

\

.

=
qµ
2tkh
ln
r
r
w
÷
r
2
2r
e
2

\

.

The term is considered negligible, and in the case where the pressure at the
external radius, r
e
is considered (including the skin factor, s, around the well),
r
w
2
2r
e
2
P
e
÷ P
wf
=
qµ
2tkh
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
1
2
+s

\

.

If the average pressure is used, then the volume weighted average pressure of the
drainage cell is calculated as previously in the steady state flow regime, i.e.
where r
w
and r
e
are the wellbore and external radii as before, and P is the pressure
in each radial element, dr at a distance r from the centre of the wellbore. In this
case,
and integrating gives
(i) (ii)
P =
2
r
e
2
Pr dr
rw
re
}
P÷ P
wf
=
2
r
e
2
qµ
2tkh
r
rw
re
}
ln
r
r
w
÷
r
2
2r
e
2

\

.

dr
r
rw
re
}
ln
r
r
w

\

.

dr =
r
2
2
ln
r
r
w
¸
(
¸
(
rw
re
÷
1
r
r
2
2
rw
re
}
dr
=
r
2
2
ln
r
r
w
¸
(
¸
(
rw
re
÷
r
2
4
¸
(
¸
(
rw
re
=
r
e
2
2
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
r
e
2
4
r
2
2r
e
2
dr =
r
4
8r
e
2
¸
(
¸
(
rw
re
}
rw
re
=
r
e
2
8
and substitution into equation with inclusion of the skin factor gives
P÷ P
wf
=
qµ
2tkh
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
3
4
+s

\

.

The pressure differences (P
r
 P
wf
), (P
e
 P
wf
), (PP
wf
) do not change with time,
whereas P
r
, P
e
, P
w
and P do change.
3.4.1 Using The Initial Reservoir Pressure, Pi
If the pressure drop from initial pressure conditions is required then equation
may be written as:
where q is the volume flow rate, c is the isothermal compressibility, V is the original
volume t
o
is a reference time after which flow starts, t is the flowing time, P
o
is the
pressure at the reference time and P is the pressure at time t after the flow starts.
P is the average reservoir pressure after time, t. Subtracting equation ? from
equation ? Gives:
cV P
i
÷ P
( )
= qt
P = P
o
+
q
cV

\

.

t
o
÷ t
( )
P = P
i
÷
qt
cV

\

.

P
i
÷ P
wf
=
qµ
2tkh
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
3
4
+
2kt
µcr
e
2

\

.

...7
3.4.2 Generalised Reservoir Geometry: Flowing Equation
under Semi Steady State Conditions
• The key aspect of the radial flow equation under semisteady state conditions is
that the boundary of the reservoir has an effect on the flow regime.
• The pressure decline is influenced by the fact that there is a finite limit to the
amount of fluid present in the reservoir.
• The equations developed have been for radial geometries. However, the semi
steady state flow regime in nonradial reservoirs can be examined by the radial
equation if the shape of the reservoir can be attributed to a factor which
encapsulates the relative position of a producing well in a volume of reservoir
fluid.
• This non symmetrical geometry can be described by the Dietz shape factor
(given the symbol C
A
).
• Using the average reservoir pressure and assuming no skin factor, the pressure
drop is described by equation ? as:
P÷ P
wf
=
qµ
2tkh
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
3
4

\

.

Expressing the terms as
ln
r
e
r
w
÷
3
4

\

.

1
2
2ln
r
e
r
w
÷
3
2

\

.

1
2
2ln
r
e
r
w
÷
3
2

\

.

=
1
2
2ln
r
e
r
w

\

.

2
÷
3
2

\

.


=
1
2
2ln
r
e
r
w

\

.

2
÷ ln e
3/ 2
( )

\

.


=
1
2
ln
r
e
r
w

\

.

2
e
3/ 2
( )

\

.





=
1
2
ln
tr
e
2
tr
w
2
e
3/ 2
( )

\

.


The area drained (for a radial geometry) is πre
2
therefore the logarithm term
becomes:
where A is the area drained, =1.781 and Dietz shape factor, C
A
(for a well in a
radial drainage area) = 31.6.
¸
4tr
e
2
4tr
w
2
e
3/ 2
( )

\

.


=
4A
1.781 x 31.6 x r
w
2
( )
¸
(
¸
(
(
The final form of the generalised semi steady state inflow equation for an average
reservoir pressure is
For the pressure drop between initial reservoir pressure conditions and some
bottom hole flowing pressure during semi steady state flow, equation 7 can be
expressed as
or
In a convenient dimensionless form, this can be expressed as
or
P÷ P
wf
=
qµ
2tkh
1
2
ln
4A
¸C
A
r
w
2
+s

\

.

P
i
÷ P
wf
=
qµ
2tkh
1
2
ln
4A
¸C
A
r
w
2
+
2tkt
µcA

\

.

P
wf
= P
i
÷
qµ
2tkh
1
2
ln
4A
¸C
A
r
w
2
+
2tkt
µcA

\

.

2tkh
qµ
P÷ P
wf
( )
=
1
2
ln
4A
¸C
A
r
w
2
+2t
kt
µcr
w
2

\

.

r
w
2
A
P
D
t
D
=
1
2
ln
4A
¸C
A
r
w
2
+2tt
D
r
w
2
A
The term involving the wellbore radius can be accommodated by using the
following modified dimensionless time
in which case
The calculation of the Dietz shape factors and their limitations in use is presented
the next Table. There are a series of common simple shapes with wells located
close to certain barriers and the shape factors associated with them. There are
also values of t
DA
which indicate the use of the shape factors.
(i) The infinite system solution with less than 1% error for t
DA
< X in this case, X is
the value of the maximum elapsed time during which a reservoir is infinite
acting and the Ei function can be used. The time, t is calculated by
This time is different to that quoted earlier in the section on the line source
solution and reflects the subjective decision as to the acceptable accuracy of
the solution using the Ei function.
t
DA
= t
D
r
w
2
A
P
D
t
D
=
1
2
ln
4A
¸C
A
r
w
2
+ 2tt
DA
t < t
DA
µcA
k
(ii) The solution with less than 1% error for t
DA
> X in this case, the semi steady
state solution can be used with the results having an error less than 1% for an
elapsed time, t
(ii) The solution which is exact for t
DA
> X in this case, the semi steady state
solution can be used with the results being exact for an elapsed time, t
For a real reservoir under semi steady state conditions, the volume of
reservoir drained by a well can be determined from its flow rate, and this
volume correlated to the structural map of the reservoir to determine the
shape. The values of shape factor can then be used to locate the position of
the well relative to the boundaries of the area being drained. This is not an
exact procedure and variations in the heterogeneity of the reservoir can alter
the pressure responses, however, it is an analytical step in the
characterisation of the reservoir.
t > t
DA
µcA
k
t > t
DA
µcA
k
3.5 The Application of the CTR Solution in Well Testing
• The study of fluid flow so far has related the pressure drop expected as a result of
a flow rate from a well in a reservoir. If the appropriate parameters, such as
porosity, permeability and fluid viscosity are known, then for a particular flow
regime, such as unsteady state, the pressure drop at a certain distance from the
well at a certain time after production starts can be calculated.
• In reality, only flow rates and pressures at wells can be measured directly, and the
most important unknown factor in the diffusivity equation is the permeability.
• Therefore, rather than calculate a pressure drop for a given set of conditions, the
pressure drop can be continuously measured and the permeability calculated.
• This is part of the objectives of well testing and for illustration, the following
example calculates the permeability and skin factor for a well in a reservoir.
• It is important to note that these examples all assume that an initially undisturbed
reservoir is brought on production, i.e. that there has been no previous
production in the reservoir therefore the pressure is at its initial value.
• In well test analysis, the previous history of a well must be accounted for. The
section on superposition will introduce the concepts of a multirate history for a
well.
4. THE CONSTANT TERMINAL PRESSURE SOLUTION
• In the constant terminal rate solution of the diffusivity equation, the rate is
known to be constant at some part of the reservoir and the pressures are
calculated throughout the reservoir.
• In the constant terminal pressure solution, the pressure is known to be constant
at some point in the reservoir, and the cumulative flow at any particular radius
can be calculated.
• The constant terminal pressure solution is not as confusing as the constant
terminal rate solution simply because less is known about it. Only one constant
terminal pressure solution is available, so there is no decision to be made over
which to use as in the case of the constant terminal rate solutions.
• Hurst and Van Everdingen produced the solutions for cases of an infinite radial
system with a constant pressure at the inner boundary and for constant pressure
at the inner boundary and no flow across the outer boundary.
• These can model, for example, a wellbore whose bottomhole flowing pressure is
held constant whilst flow occurs in the reservoir, or they can model a reservoir
surrounded by an aquifer.
• The same geometrical and property conditions apply as for the constant terminal
rate solutions: a radial geometry of constant thickness with a well in the centre,
and with fixed rock and fluid properties throughout, however, in this case there is
a pressure drop from an initial pressure to some constant value.
• In the case of aquifer encroachment, the radius of the “well” is the radius of the
initial oil water contact. The constant terminal pressure solution is most widely
used for calculating the waterencroachment (natural water influx) into the
original oil and gas zone due to water drive in a reservoir. This topic is covered in
the chapter on water influx.
5. SUPERPOSITION
• In the analyses so far, the well flow rate has been instantly altered from zero to
some constant value. In reality, the well flowrates may vary widely during normal
production operations and of course the wells may be shut in for testing or some
other operational reason.
• The reservoir may also have more than a single well draining it and consideration
must be taken of this fact. In short, there may be some combination of several
wells in a reservoir and/or several flowrates at which each produce.
• The calculation of reservoir pressures can still be done using the previous simple
analytical techniques if the solutions for each rate change, for example, are
superposed on each other.
• In other words, the total pressure drop at a wellbore can be calculated as the sum
of the effects of several flowrate changes within the well, or it may be the sum of
the effects caused by production from nearby wells. There is also the possibility of
using infinite acting solutions to mimic the effects of barriers in the reservoir by
using imaginary or image wells to produce a pressure response similar to that
caused by the barrier.
• Mathematically, all linear differential equations fulfill the following conditions:
(i) if P is a solution, then C x P is also a solution, where C is a constant.
(ii) if both P
1
and P
2
are solutions, then P
1
+ P
2
is also a solution.
These two properties form the basis for generating the constant terminal rate
and constant terminal pressure cases. The solutions may be added together to
determine the total effect on pressure, for example, from several applications of
the equation. This is illustrated if a typical problem is considered: that of
multiple wells in a reservoir.
5.1 Effects of Multiple Wells
In a reservoir where more than one well is producing, the effect of each well’s
pressure perturbation on the reservoir is evaluated independently (i.e. as though
the other wells and their flow rate/pressure history did not exist), then the
pressure drop calculated at a particular well at a particular time is the simple
addition of all of the individual effects superimposed one effect upon the other.
Consider 3 wells, X, Y and Z, which start to produce at the same time from an
infinite acting reservoir.
Superposition shows that:
P
i
÷ P
w
( )
Total at well Y
= P
i
÷ P
w
( )
Due to well X
+ P
i
÷ P
w
( )
Due to well Y
+ P
i
÷ P
w
( )
Due to well Z
Assuming unsteady state flow conditions, the line source solution can be used to
determine the pressure in well Y. It is assumed here that the logarithm function can
be used for well Y itself and that there will be a skin around the well. The effects of
wells X and Z can be described by the Ei function. There is no skin factor associated
with the calculation of pressure drop caused by these wells, since the pressure drop
of interest is at well Y (i.e. even if wells X and Z have nonzero skin factors, their skin
factors affect the pressure drop only around wells X and Z). The total pressure drop
is then:
where: q
Y
is the flowrate from well Y; q
X
is the flowrate from well X; q
Z
is the
flowrate from well Z; r
wY
is the radius of well Y; r
XY
is the distance of well Y from the
X well; r
ZY
is the distance of well Z from the X well
P
i
÷ P
w
( )
Total at well Y
=
÷q
Y
µ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
wY
2
4kt

\

.

÷2s
Y

\

.

+
÷q
x
µ
4tkh
Ei
µcr
XY
2
4kt

\

.

+
÷q
Z
µ
4tkh
Ei
µcr
ZY
2
4kt

\

.

This technique can be used to examine the effects of any number of wells in an
infinite acting reservoir. This could be to predict possible flowing well pressures
amongst a group of wells, or to deliberately use the interaction between wells to
check reservoir continuity. These interference tests and other extended well tests
are designed to characterise the reservoir areally rather than to determine only the
permeability and skin factor around individual wells.
5.2 Principle of Superposition and Approximation of
Variable  Rate Pressure Histories
The previous section illustrated the effect of the production from several wells in a
reservoir on the bottomhole flowing pressure of a particular well. Of equal interest
is the effect of several rate changes on the bottomhole pressure within a particular
well. This is a more realistic situation compared to those illustrated previously
where a well is simply brought on production at a constant flowrate for a specific
period of time. For instance, a newly completed well may have several rate changes
during initial cleanup after completion, then during production testing then finally
during produc tion as rates are altered to match reservoir management
requirements (for example limiting the producing gas oil ratio during production). A
simple pressure and flowrate plot versus time would resemble figure below.
The well has been brought onto production at an initial flowrate, q
1
. The
bottomhole flowing pressure has dropped through time (as described by the
appropriate boundary conditions and the flow regime) until at time t
1
, the flowrate
has been increased to q
2
and this change from q
1
to q
2
has altered the bottomhole
flowing pressure (again as described by the boundary conditions and the flow
regime). The total (i.e. the real bottomhole flowing pressure) is calculated by
summing the pressure drops caused by the flowrate q
1
bringing the well on
production, plus the pressure drop created by the flowrate change q
2
 q
1
for any
time after t1. During the first period (q1) the pressure drop at a time, t, is described
by
where ∆P
D
(t) is the dimensionless pressure drop at the well for the applicable
boundary condition.
For times greater than t
1
, the pressure drop is described by
AP(t) = P
i
÷ P
wf
= AP
D
(t)
q
i
µ
2tkh
AP(t) =
q
i
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t)+
q
2
÷q
( )
2tkh
µAP
D
(t ÷ t
1
)
In this case, the pressure drop is that caused by the rate q
1
over the duration t,
plus the pressure drop caused by the flowrate change q
2
 q
1
over the duration
t  t
1
. In fact, the pressure perturbation caused by q
1
still exists in the reservoir
and is still causing an effect at the wellbore. On top of that, the next perturbation
caused by flowrate change q
2
 q
1
is added or superposed to give the total
pressure drop ( at the wellbore in this case).
In mathematical terms:
0 s t s t
1
: AP(t) = AP
D
(t)
q
i
µ
2tkh
t > t
1
: AP(t) =
q
1
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t) +
q
2
÷ q
1
( )
2tkh
µAP
D
(t ÷ t
1
)
In this 2nd equation, the first term is ∆P from flow at q
1
: 2nd term is the
incremental term ∆P caused by increasing rate by an increment (q
2
 q
1
). These
expressions are valid regardless of whether q
2
is larger or smaller than q
1
so that
even if the well is shut in, the effects of the previous flowrate history are still
valid.
The dimensionless pressure drop function depends as mentioned on the flow
regime and boundaries. If unsteady state is assumed and the line source solution
applied, then
AP =
P
i
÷ P
wf
qµ / 2tkh
= ÷
1
2
Ei
÷µcr
w
2
4kt

\

.

and the equation for time, t less than or equal to t
1
would be as expected
For times greater than t 1 the additional pressure drop is added to give
This approach can be extended to many flowrate changes as illustrated in the figure.
AP(t) = ÷
q
1
µ
4tkh
Ei
÷µcr
w
2
4kt

\

.

AP(t) = ÷
q
1
µ
4tkh
Ei
÷µcr
w
2
4kt

\

.

÷
q
2
÷ q
1
( )
µ
4tkh
Ei
÷µcr
w
2
4k t ÷ t
1
( )

\

.

This approach can be extended to
many flowrate changes as illustrated
in the figure.
This leads to a general equation
or
This is the general form of the principle of superposition for multi rate history
wells. For the specific case where the well is shut in and the pressure builds up, an
additional term is added to reflect this. Assuming that the well was shut in during
the nth flowrate period, the pressure builds during the shut in time, ∆t (i.e. ∆t
starts from the instant the well is shut in) back up towards the initial reservoir
pressure according to
AP(t) =
q
1
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t) +
q
2
÷q
1
( )
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t ÷ t
1
) +
q
3
÷q
2
( )
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t ÷ t
2
) +...
+
q
n
÷q
n÷1
( )
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t ÷ t
n÷1
)
AP(t) =
q
1
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t)+
q
i
÷q
i÷1
q
1
AP
D
(t ÷ t
i÷1
)
i=2
n
¿
¸
(
¸
(
P
i
÷ P
ws
=
q
1
µ
2tkh
AP
D
(t)+
q
i
÷q
i÷1
q
1
AP
D
(t
n÷1
÷ t
i÷1
+At)
i=2
n
¿
¸
(
¸
(
÷
q
n÷1
µ
2tkh
AP
D
At
( )
where P
ws
is the shut in bottomhole pressure;
tn1
is the total producing time before
shut in; ∆t is the closed in time from the instant of shut in
5.3 Effects of Rate Changes
The application of superposition to a well with
several rate changes is illustrated as follows. A
well is known to have the flowrate history as
presented in figure. It is seen that the well is
brought onto production at a flowrate, q
1
and
this is maintained constant until time, t1 at
which the flowrate is decreased to q
2
. This
second flowrate continues until time t2 when
the flowrate is increased to q
3
. In terms of the
reservoir, it is assumed that the reservoir is in
unsteady state flow regime and the line source
can be used to describe the pressure drop
caused by the flowrate changes. In this case,
the first flow rate change is when the well is
brought on production, so the change from zero
to q
1
causes the first pressure perturbation to
move into the reservoir
It is the bottomhole flowing pressure, P
wf
, that is of interest, and it can be calculated
using the line source solution. There is the possibility of a skin zone around the well,
so this must be accounted for. If no other flowrate change occurred, then eventually
unsteady state would give way to either semi steady state or steady state conditions
and the bottomhole flowing pressure would either decline at a steady rate or (if
steady state) would remain constant at some level. Assuming that this did not occur
and that unsteady state conditions still existed when the flowrate was changed to q
2
then the change q
2
 q
1
would cause a second pressure perturbation that would
move out into the reservoir, following the first one created when the well was put
on production. The reservoir is still in unsteady state conditions i.e. the first
pressure perturbation has not met any barriers so the reservoir fluid still reacts as if
it were an infinite volume and this behaviour is still causing a decline in the pressure
at the wellbore even though a second pressure perturbation has been created and
is moving out into the reservoir. The pressure drop due to this flowrate change can
be calculated by the line source solution and added to that produced by bringing
the well onto production.
Eventually at time t
2
, the flowrate is changed again. This time, the pressure
perturbation caused by q
3
 q
2
follows the first and second perturbations into the
reservoir, and again, as long as the reservoir fluid still behaves as if it were infinite in
volume, the pressure drop created by this flowrate change can be added to the
changes produced by the others to give the total pressure drop.
The pressure drop produced by bringing the well onto production is calculated by the
logarithmic approximation of the Ei function (it is assumed that the checks have been
made to the applicability of the Ei function and its logarithmic approximation).
The next pressure drop is that produced by the flowrate change q
2
 q
1
at time, t
1
. It is
still the bottomhole flowing pressure that is to be determined, therefore any skin zone
will still exist and still need to be accounted for. The second pressure drop is:
And finally the third pressure drop is:
The total pressure drop at the wellbore caused by all of the flowrate changes is
AP
1
= P
i
÷ P
wf
( )
1
=
÷q
1
µ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
w
2
4kt

\

.

÷ 2s
¸
(
¸
(
AP
2
= P
i
÷ P
wf
( )
2
=
÷ q
2
÷q
1
( )
µ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
w
2
4k t ÷ t
1
( )

\

.

÷2s
¸
(
¸
(
(
AP
3
= P
i
÷ P
wf
( )
3
=
÷ q
3
÷q
2
( )
µ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
w
2
4k t ÷ t
2
( )

\

.

÷2s
¸
(
¸
(
(
P
i
÷P
wf
( )
= AP
1
+AP
2
+AP
3
5.4 Simulating Boundary Effects (Image Wells)
One of the intriguing possibilities of the application of the principle of superposition to
reservoir flow is in simulating reservoir boundaries. It is clear that when a well in a
reservoir starts production, there will be a period where the flow regime is unsteady
while the reservoir fluid reacts to the pressure perturbation as if the volume of the
reservoir was infinite (i.e. an infinite acting reservoir).
Once the boundaries are detected, there is a definite limit to the volume of fluid
available and the pressure response changes to match that of, for example, semi steady
state or steady state flow. This assumes that the pressure perturbation reaches the
areal boundary at the same time, i.e. if the well was in the centre of a circular reservoir,
the pressure perturbation would reach the external radius at all points around the
circumference at the same time (assuming homogeneous conditions). If the well was
not at the centre then some parts of the boundary would be detected before all of the
boundary was detected. This means that some of the reservoir fluid is still in unsteady
flow whilst other parts are changing to a different flow regime. This would appear to
render the use of the line source solution invalid, however, the effect of the nearest
boundary in an otherwise infinite acting reservoir has the same effect as the
interaction of the pressure perturbations of two wells next to each other in an infinite
acting reservoir.
Therefore if an imaginary well is placed at a distance from the real well equal to twice
the distance to the boundary, and the flowrate histories are identical, then the
principle of superposition can be used to couple the effect of the imaginary well to the
real well in order to calculate the real well’s bottomhole flowing pressure. Figure below
(left) illustrates the problem and the effect of superposition. Figure below (right) shows
a simplification of the model.
This shows a planefault boundary in an otherwise infinite acting reservoir, as in the
top of figure (left). To determine the pressure response in the well, the line source
solution can be used until the pressure perturbation hits the fault. Thereafter there
are no solutions for this complex geometry. However, the reservoir can be modelled
with an infinite acting solution if a combination of wells in an infiniteacting system
that limit the drainage or flow around the boundary is found. The bottom of figure
(left) indicates 1 image well with the same production rate as the actual well is
positioned such that the distance between it and the actual well is twice the distance
to the fault of the actual well. No flow occurs across the plane midway between the
two wells in the infiniteacting system, and the flow configuration in the drainage area
of each well is the same as the flow configuration for the actual well. Pressure
communication crosses the drainage boundary, but there is no fluid movement across
it and the problem of the flow regime has been resolved: the real well can be thought
of as reacting to the flowrate in it and to the pressure drop produced by the imaginary
well on the opposite side of the fault. The pressure drop is therefore:
where the symbols have their usual meaning, and L is the distance from the real well
to the fault. The skin factor is used in the actual well, but not in the other (image) well
since it is the influence of this image well at a distance 2L from it that is of interest.
P
i
÷ P
wf
= ÷
qµ
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
w
2
4kt

\

.

÷2s
¸
(
¸
(
÷
qµ
4tkh
Ei
÷µc 2L
( )
2
4kt

\

.


There are other examples of the use of image wells to mimic the effect of
boundaries on flow. The larger networks require computer solution to relieve the
tedium. To complicate the simple fault boundary described earlier, consider the
effect of a well near the corner of a rectangular boundary. In this case, there are
more image wells required to balance the flow from the real well. Figure below
shows the boundary and the image wells.
Four pressure drop terms are required to
determine the pressure at the actual well.
The total pressure drop then is the sum of
the pressure drops caused by all of the wells
at the actual well.
P
i
÷P
wf
( )
= AP
rw
+AP
2L1
+AP
2L2
+AP
r3
P
i
÷P
wf
( )
Total at actual well
= P
i
÷P
( )
at actual wellbore, rw
+ P
i
÷P
( )
Due to image well 1 at distance 2L1
+ P
i
÷P
( )
Due to image well 2 at distance 2L2
+ P
i
÷P
( )
Due to image well 3 at distance R3
The number and position of
image wells can become
complex.
In the apparently simple geometry of an actual well surrounded by two equidistant
barriers, such as illustrated in figure above, the flow can be balanced as before by
defining image well, i1 on the right. On the left side, the barrier is balanced by
image wells i2 and i3 (because seen from i2, there is a barrier with 2 wells on the
other side  a real well and an image well). Now there is an imbalance in
production across the right barrier, so image wells i4 and i5 are added. This
unbalances the left barrier and image wells i6 and i7 are added. This should
continue to infinity, however, since the line source solution is known to have little
influence above a certain distance from the actual well, the number of image wells
used can be fixed with no error in the approximation.
Even more complex patterns can be
devised. Mathews, Brons and
Hazebroek (Matthews, CS, Brons, F
and Hazebroek, P, A Method for the
Determination of Average Pressure
in a Bounded reservoir. Trans.
AIME.201) studied the pressure
behaviour of wells completely
surrounded by boundaries in
rectangular shaped reservoirs.
Figure shows the network of wells
set up to mimic the effect of the
6. SUMMARY
Steady state radial inflow equation:
Initial reservoir pressure solution
Average reservoir pressure solution
q =
2tkh P
e
÷ P
wf
( )
µB
o
r
e
r
w

\

.

q =
2tkh P÷ P
wf ( )
µB
o
r
e
r
w
÷
1
2

\

.

Hurst and Van Everdingen’s solution for CTR:
For a known flowrate
Pressure at a specific radius
Pressure at a specific time
r
D
=
r
r
w
and r
eD
=
r
e
r
w
t
D
=
kt
µcr
w
2
P
D
r
D
, t
D
( )
=
2tkh
qµB
o

\

.

P
i
÷ P
r ,t
( )
P
D
=
2tkh
qµB
o

\

.

P
i
÷ P
wf
( )
P
wf
= P
i
÷
qµB
o
2tkh

\

.

P
D
Validation for line source solution:
100µcr
2
k
< t <
µcr
e
2
4k
t >
25µcr
2
k
Validation for ln approximation to Ei function:
¬ P = P
i
+
qµB
o
4tkh
ln
¸µcr
2
4kt

\

.

where : ¸ = 1.781
If ln approximation is not valid, the Ei function is used:
¬ P = P
i
+
qµB
o
4tkh
Ei ÷
µcr
2
4kt

\

.

Unsteady state:
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