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making reserve estimates. There are other methods : Reservoir Simulation Decline Curve Analysis Neither volumetric methods nor material balance techniques address the problem of time. The methods have no explicit time indicators. Material balance equations rely on "production rates" to imply a time scale. We use history matching or assumed production rates to carry out the analysis. Both reservoir simulation and decline curve analysis have the added advantage that they allow us to predict reservoir performance through time.

RESERVOIR SIMULATION Reservoir simulation requires a complete three-dimensional description of three-phase flow in a reservoir where the fluid properties vary with temperature, pressure and composition (compositional simulator). One common simplification is to neglect the variation of fluid properties with the composition of the hydrocarbon mixture and assume dependence on P and T alone (blackoil simulator). The task remains very complex and requires large amounts of geological, petrophysical and petrochemical data and a complete understanding of the physics of porous media and the chemistry of hydrocarbon fluid mixtures. Reservoir simulation is beyond the scope of this introductory course and is covered by many texts and at least two SPE monographs.

DECLINE CURVES Decline curve analysis is a relatively simple empirical method that introduces a time variable into recovery prediction. Essentially, the pressure decline in the reservoir is "fitted" to one of three simple models: 1. exponential decline 2. hyperbolic decline 3. harmonic decline The harmonic curve is rarely used since it tends to be excessively conservative as a performance predictor. Each method involves "parameter fitting" where various empirical parameters are deduced from the historical performance of a reservoir. The decline curve is then used to extrapolate future performance.

EXPONENTIAL DECLINE The empirical model is: q = qi exp{ -Dt } where qi is the initial production rate (stm3/d), q is the production rate at time t (stm3/d), t is the elapsed production time (d), D is an exponent or decline fraction (1/d). Solving for D and t gives: D = - ln { q/qi } / t and t = - ln { q/qi } / D The cumulative production to time t (Np) is given by: Np = q dt = qi exp{ -Dt } dt = (qi - q) / D It follows that Np is a linear function of q.

t ln {q}

A well is estimated to have 11,000 (11 M) stm3 reserves (Np). 3 The initial production rate was 16 stm /d and the abandonment 3 rate is 0.8 stm /d. Determine: (a) the production life of the well (b) the annual production for each year Step 1: Calculate the decline fraction D. D = (qi - q) / Np = (16 - 0.8) / 11 x 103 = 1.38 x 10-3 /day Step 2: Calculate the production life. t = - ln { q/qi } / D -3 = - ln { 0.8 / 16 } / 1.38 x 10 = - 2996 / 1.38 = 2171 days = 5.94 years Step 3: Calculate qi and Ni after 1 year, 2 years, .... q1 = qi exp { -Dt } -3 = 16 exp { -1.38 x 365 x 10 } = 16 x 0.604 = 9.67 stm3/d 3 q2 = 9.66 x 0.604 = 5.83 stm /d 3 q3 = 5.83 x 0.604 = 3.52 stm /d 3 q4 = 3.52 x 0.604 = 2.12 stm /d 3 q5 = 2.12 x 0.604 = 1.28 stm /d 3 q6 = 1.28 x 0.604 = 0.77 stm /d N1 = (qi - q) /D = (16 - 9.66) / 1.38 x 10-3 = 6340 / 1.38 = 4589 N2 = 3830 / 1.38 = 2770 N3 = 2310 / 1.38 = 1672 N4 = 1400 / 1.38 = 1010 N5 = 840 / 1.38 = 609 N6 = 510 / 1.38 = 368

Step 4: Tabulate and check cumulative total. Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rate 3 stm /d 16.0 9.66 5.83 3.52 2.12 1.28 0.77 0.47 0.28 0.17 0.10 Annual Production 3 stm /d 0 4589 2770 1672 1010 609 368 222 134 81 49 Cumulative Production 3 stm /d 0 4589 7359 9032 10042 10651 11019 11241 11375 11456 11505

HYPERBOLIC DECLINE

The empirical model is: q = qi { 1 + bDit }-1/b

where 3 qi is the initial production rate (stm /d), 3 q is the production rate at time t (stm /d), t is the elapsed production time (d), Di is an initial decline fraction (1/d), b is the hyperbolic exponent (from 0 to 1).

Di = [ (qi/q)b - 1 ] / bt and t = [ (qi/q)b - 1 ] /Di b The cumulative production to time t (Np) is given by: Np = q dt = qi { 1 + bDit }-1/b dt = { qib / [ (1 - b)Di ] }[ qi1-b - q1-b ]

It follows that Np is a nonlinear function of q. Note that b=0 is the exponential model and b=1 is the harmonic model.

A well is estimated to have 11,000 (11 M) stm3 reserves (Np). 3 The initial production rate was 16 stm /d and the abandonment 3 rate is 0.8 stm /d. Assume the hyperbolic exponent is 0.5. Determine: (a) the production life of the well (b) the annual production for each year Step 1: Calculate the initial decline fraction Di. Di = [ qi0.5 / 0.5 Np ] [ qi0.5 - q0.5 ] 0.5 3 0.5 0.5 = [ (16) / 0.5 x 11 x 10 ] [ (16) - (0.8) ] -3 = [ 4 / 5500 ][ 4 - 0.894 ] = 2.26 x 10 /day Step 2: Calculate the production life. t = [ (q/qi)b - 1 ] / bDi = [(16/0.8)0.5 - 1] / 0.5 x 2.26 x 10-3 = 3472 / 1.13 = 3073 days = 8.41 years Step 3: Calculate qi and Ni after 1 year, 2 years, .... q1 = qi [ 1 + bDit ]-1/b -2 = 16 [ 1 + .00113 x 365] 3 = 16 x 0.501 = 8.02 stm /d q2 = qi [ 1 + bDit ]-1/b -2 = 16 [ 1 + .00113 x 730] 3 = 16 x 0.300 = 4.80 stm /d N1 = {qi /[(1-b)Di]}[qi - q1-b] = {4/1.13 x 10-3}[4 - 2.83] = 4680/ 1.13 = 4137 N1 = {qi /[(1-b)Di]}[qi - q1-b] ={4/1.13 x 10-3}[2.83-2.19] = 2560/ 1.13 = 2267

b 1-b b 1-b

Step 4: Tabulate and check cumulative total. Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rate 3 stm /d 16.0 8.02 4.80 3.20 2.28 1.71 1.33 1.06 0.87 0.72 0.61 Annual Production 3 stm /d 0 4137 2267 1431 986 720 549 433 350 288 242 Cumulative Production 3 stm /d 0 4137 6405 7836 8821 9542 10091 10523 10873 11161 11403

HARMONIC DECLINE The empirical model is: q = qi / { 1 + Dit } where qi is the initial production rate (stm3/d), q is the production rate at time t (stm3/d), t is the elapsed production time (d), Di is an initial decline fraction (1/d). Solving for Di and t gives: Di = [ (qi/q) - 1 ] / t and t = [ (qi/q) -1 ] / Di The cumulative production to time t (Np) is given by: Np = q dt = qi { 1 + Dit }-1 dt = { qi / Di ] } ln { qi/q } It follows that Np is a logarithmic function of q.

A well is estimated to have 11,000 (11 M) stm3 reserves (Np). 3 The initial production rate was 16 stm /d and the abandonment 3 rate is 0.8 stm /d. Determine: (a) the production life of the well (b) the annual production for each year Step 1: Calculate the initial decline fraction Di. Di = { qi/Np } ln { qi /q } 3 = { 16 / 11 x 10 } { ln { 16 / 0.8 } -3 = { 16 / 11000 } { 3.00 } = 4.36 x 10 /day Step 2: Calculate the production life. t = [ (q / qi) - 1 ] / Di = [(16 / 0.8) - 1] / 4.36 x 10-3 = 19000 / 4.36 = 4354 days = 11.92 years Step 3: Calculate qi and Ni after 1 year, 2 years, .... q 1 = q i / [ 1 + D it ] = 16 / [ 1 + .00436 x 365] 3 = 16 / 2.59 = 6.17 stm /d q 2 = q i / [ 1 + D it ] = 16 [ 1 + .00436 x 730] 3 = 16 / 4.19 = 3.82 stm /d N1 = {qi / Di} ln { qi / q } -3 = {16/4.36 x 10 } ln {2.59} = 3670 x 0.953 = 3497 N1 = {qi / Di} ln { qi / q } -3 ={16/4.36 x 10 } ln {1.62} = 3670 x 0.479 = 1758

Step 4: Tabulate and check cumulative total. Year 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rate 3 stm /d 16.0 6.17 3.82 2.77 2.17 1.79 1.52 1.32 1.17 1.04 0.95 Annual Production 3 stm /d 0 3497 1758 1184 894 718 601 516 452 403 363 Cumulative Production 3 stm /d 0 3497 5255 6439 7333 8051 8652 9168 9620 10023 10386

The three decline curves, exponential, hyperbolic (b=0.5) and harmonic are shown graphically for comparison. The exponential (b=0) and harmonic (b=1) curves are special cases of the hyperbolic model. The harmonic curve is very conservative and predicts rapidly reducing flow rates. The exponential curve is most optimistic. In general, decline curves are fitted to production data using the hyperbolic model by varying the b-exponent. Experience indicates that typical "b-exponent" values are: solution gas drive (depletion) 0.45 - 0.67 gas cap drive 0.20 - 0.67 water drive 0.00 - 0.75

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