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Principles of Well Testing

Introduction

The aim of well testing is to get information about a well and as well as reservoir. To get this information, the well flow rate is varied and the variation disturbs the existing pressure in the reservoir. Measuring the variations in pressure vs. time and interpreting them gives data on the reservoir and the well.

The well response is usually monitored during a relatively short period of time compared to the life of the reservoir, depending upon the test objectives.

the initial pressure pi is constant and uniform in the reservoir.in the well where the flow rate has been changed: this is the method used in most tests.Before opening the well on production. .or in another well: this is the aim of interference tests. .The pressure can be measured: . .The resulting pressure change with time is measured by a pressure gauge in the well near the depth of reservoir under study. .

During the flowing period.The variations in pressure are interpreted using a number of laws of fluid mechanics.p(t ) When the well is shut-in.. the build-up pressure change ∆p is estimated from the last flowing pressure p(∆t=0): Δp = p(t ) .p(Δt = 0) . the drawdown pressure response ∆p is defined as follows: Δp = pi .

. Drawdown and buildup test sequence.Fig. 1.

k/μ. It states that the flow rate of a fluid flowing through a rock sample is proportional to: . S.Darcy’s Law Darcy’s law is used to describe fluid flow in a porous medium.the mobility of the fluid. . .the pressure gradient applied to the rock sample.the sample’s cross-section. .

or on the compressibility of either the fluids or the rock.Sgrad p = . It does not depend on the porosity of the medium.Darcy’s law is valid within a time interval when the flow rate and other parameters are constant.∇ p μ μ A well test studies the variations in the pressure that occur after a flow rate variation. The vectorial expression of Darcy’s law is as follows: k k q = . Since the flow rate has varied. Darcy’s law can not be applied macroscopically to .

rw and re (Fig. 2): 2 πkh p w . Darcy’s law in radial flow is expressed by: k ∂ p q = 2πrh × μ ∂ r It can be integrated between two values of distance from the well.describe the flow around the well.p e q = rw μ ln re .

2 .Fig.

Compressibility All the information from a well test is obtained because the rock and the fluids are compressible. The compressibility of any material is defined by the relative change in the material’s volume per unit of pressure variation at constant temperature: c = -(1/V ) × (∂ / ∂)T V p It can also be expressed in terms of density: ce = (1/ρ)× (∂ / ∂)T ρ p .

even at irreducible saturation.the pore volume itself. When the decompression occurs.the oil. .by expansion of the fluids: .the water. the fluid is produced: .oil: ΔV = -c S V Δp o o o p . .Total compressibility of an oil reservoir: In an oil reservoir several components are compressible: .

ΔVp = -c p Vp Δp In contrast. the compressibility of the material itself is negligible in comparison. the fluid pressure decreases while the litho-static pressure remains constant. . thereby causing general fluid production.by a decrease in the pore volume Vp When decompression occurs. The pore volume decreases.water: ΔVw = -c wSw Vp Δp .

and a fluid of equivalent compressibility: ce = c 0S0 + c wSw + c p S0 (1.11) . .The overall compressibility of a pore volume unit is due to the sum of all its compressible components: c t = coSo + c wSw + cp The storativity capacity of a unit volume of the porous medium is equal to φct . Equivalent compressibility The reservoir is modeled by: .an incompressible porous rock with a porosity of φS0.

The diffusivity equation is written as follows in radial flow: ∂p 1 ∂ 1 ∂ p p =0 2 + ∂ r∂ K∂ r r t 2 (1.17) . k K= φμc t is called the hydraulic diffusivity of the Compressible zone The flow at a distance r from the well at time t can be calculated based on Darcy’s law and by solving the diffusivity equation which describes the pressure variations as: 2 q(r. t ) = qB exp(-r / 4Kt) (1.15) where porous medium.

2 Flow profile ( from Bourdarot. 1. qB= is the bottom hole flow rate Fig.where : q = is the wellhead flow rate. the distance from the well. 1996) . Fig. 1. G.2 shows the flow profile at time t vs.

Let us see at the variations in the flow profile between two times t and t’ (Fig.3) . 1. There is a negligible flow through the areas located beyond r2. The pressure drop between r2 and an infinite distance is negligible.It can be seen on the graph that between the wellbore and r1 the flow rate has almost the same value as near the wellbore.

1996) The area located between the well and r1 there is a flow close qB.Fig. 1. . From t to t’ the pressure drop between the well and r1 is small. G.3 (from Bourdarot.

The area located beyond r2’ is not yet involved in the flow. comes into play. It is in this area that the reservoir’s compressibility. This area is compressible zone. The pressure drop between r2’ and an infinite distance remains negligible. . The pressure drop in the well mainly reflects the reservoir properties in the compressible zone. Between t and t’ the pressure drop between an infinite distance and the well is therefore mainly due to what is occurring between r1 and r2’. allowing the flow to go from 0 to qB.

This is what enables a well test to: . . .identify permeability barriers. .characterize the average properties far way from the. permeability for example.detect facies heterogeneities.

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