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Improvements to Reservoir

Material-Balance Methods
J.L. Pletcher,* SPE, Marathon Oil Co.

Summary
Experience with material-balance data sets from the field and from
simulation has revealed some procedures that can be used to improve analysis of both oil and gas reservoirs:
Failure to account for a weak waterdrive can result in significant material-balance errors.
The assertion of previous authors that weak waterdrive exhibits a negative slope on the Cole (gas) and Campbell (oil) plots
has been confirmed. A weak waterdrive is much more unambiguous on these plots than on commonly used plots, such as the p/z
plot for gas.
A modified version of the Cole plot is proposed to account
for formation compressibility.
The reservoir drive indices are a useful tool for determining
the correctness of the material-balance solution because they must
sum to unity. The drive indices should never be normalized to sum
to unity because this obscures their usefulness and leads to a false
sense of security.
A modified version of the Roach plot (for gas) is proposed
that improves interpretation in some waterdrive situations.
Material balance has not been replaced by reservoir simulation; rather, it is complementary to simulation and can provide
valuable insights to reservoir performance that cannot be obtained
by simulation.
Introduction
Classical material balance is one of the fundamental tools of reservoir engineering. Many authors have addressed the difficult
problem of solving the material balance in the presence of a waterdrive (Refs. 1 through 5 are just a few of the more significant
ones). The emphasis in the literature has been on strong and moderate waterdrives. In this paper, examples of weak waterdrives
are shown in which the effects on the material balance are significant. All aquifers studied here are of the pot aquifer type, which
is time-independent.
In gas reservoirs, the plot of p/z vs. cumulative gas production,
Gp, is a widely accepted method for solving the gas material balance1 under depletion-drive conditions. Extrapolation of the plot to
atmospheric pressure provides a reliable estimate of original gas in
place (OGIP). If a waterdrive is present, the plot often appears to
be linear, but the extrapolation will give an erroneously high value
for OGIP. Many authors have addressed this problem (including
those in Refs. 2 and 5 through 8), especially in cases of strong or
moderate waterdrives. The p/z plot is actually more ambiguous in
weak waterdrives than in strong or moderate ones.
The Cole plot7,9 has proven to be a valuable diagnostic tool for
distinguishing between depletion-drive gas reservoirs and those
that are producing under a waterdrive. The analogous plot for oil
reservoirs is the Campbell plot.10 The literature has emphasized
strong and moderate waterdrives, the signature shapes of which are
a positive slope and a hump-shaped curve, respectively, on these
plots. Previous authors have recognized that weak waterdrives can
produce negative slopes on these two diagnostic plots, but this

author is not aware of any example plots in the literature. This


paper shows examples, using simulation and actual field data,
wherein a negative slope clearly reveals a weak waterdrive. These
plots are much more diagnostic than the p/z plot. Once a weak
waterdrive has been diagnosed, the appropriate steps can be taken
in the material-balance equations to yield more accurate results.
The Cole plot assumes that formation compressibility can be
neglected, which is frequently the case with gas. However, in those
reservoirs in which formation compressibility is significant, a
modification to the Cole plot is presented that incorporates formation compressibility and gives more accurate results.
The reservoir drive indices have been used to quantify the
relative magnitude of the various energy sources active in a reservoir. It is shown here that the drive indices are also a useful
diagnostic tool for determining the correctness of a materialbalance solution because they must sum to unity. If they do not
sum to unity, a correct solution has not been obtained. In some
commercial material-balance software, the drive indices are automatically normalized to sum to unity, which not only obscures
their usefulness but also leads to the false impression of having
achieved a correct solution.
The Roach plot has been presented11 as a tool for solving the gas
material balance when formation compressibility is unknown, with or
without the presence of waterdrive. This paper shows that for waterdrives that fit the small pot aquifer model, incorporating cumulative
water production into the x-axis plotting term improves the linearity of the Roach plot and gives more accurate values for OGIP.
Finally, it is argued that even in those reservoirs for which a
simulation study is performed, classical material-balance evaluation should be performed on a stand-alone basis. Simulation should
not be viewed as a replacement for material balance because the
latter can yield valuable insights that can be obscured during simulation. Performing a separate material balance study usually will
improve overall reservoir understanding and enhance any subsequent simulation study. Material balance should be viewed as a
complement to simulation, not as a competing approach.
In this paper, formation compressibility, cf, is assumed to be
constant and unchanging over the reservoir life under investigation. References are given for recommended methods to be used in
those cases in which cf is variable.
Gas Reservoirs
Cole Plot. The Cole plot7,9 is a useful tool for distinguishing between waterdrive and depletion-drive gas reservoirs. The plot is derived from the general material-balance equation for gas reservoirs:
F = GEg + Efw + We , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 1)
where Fcumulative reservoir voidage,
F = Gp Bg + Wp Bw ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 2)
Egcumulative gas expansion,
Eg = Bg Bgi ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 3)
and Efwcumulative formation and water expansion,

* Now retired.
Copyright 2002 Society of Petroleum Engineers
This paper (SPE 75354) was revised for publication from paper SPE 62882, first presented
at the 2000 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, 14 October. Original
manuscript received for review 7 December 2000. Revised manuscript received 10
September 2001. Paper peer approved 1 October 2001.

February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

Efw = Bgi

Swi cw + cf
pi p. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 4)
1 Swi

In Eq. 1, GOGIP, and Wecumulative water influx. Often in


gas reservoirs, Efw is negligible compared to Eg and can therefore
49

be ignored. Then, by substitution and rearranging, Eq. 1 can be


expressed as
Gp Bg
We Wp Bw
= G+
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 5)
Bg Bgi
Bg Bgi
Cole proposed plotting the left side of Eq. 5,

Gp Bg
, on the
Bg Bgi

y-axis vs. cumulative gas production on the x-axis. If the reservoir


is depletion drive (i.e., no water influx), the term on the far right
side of Eq. 5 goes to zero and the points plot in a horizontal line
with the y-intercept equal to G, the OGIP. If a waterdrive is
present, the far right-side term is not zero, and the points will plot
above the depletion-drive line with some type of slope. In other
words, the existence of a sloping line vs. a horizontal line is a
valuable diagnostic tool for distinguishing between depletion drive
and waterdrive.
Cole and others have suggested that the sloping waterdrive line
can be extrapolated back to the y-intercept to obtain the OGIP.
However, the slope usually changes with each plotted point; thus,
the correct slope for extrapolation is very difficult, if not impossible, to establish, so this method for estimating OGIP is not recommended. This does not, however, detract from the plots qualitative value in establishing that the reservoir is under waterdrive,
as opposed to depletion drive.
Dake7 showed two types of curving Cole plots in his Fig. 6.6,
a strong waterdrive curve and a moderate waterdrive curve, depicted here in Fig. 1. (Actually, Dakes plot is a slightly modified
version of Coles plot because Dake incorporated water production
into the y-axis plotting term; that is, he in effect moved the waterproduction term to the left side of Eq. 5. The net effect on the curve
shapes is negligible.)
Wang and Teasdale12 stated that in the presence of a weak
We Wp Bw
waterdrive, the far right-side term in Eq. 5,
, would
Bg Bgi
decrease with time because the denominator (gas expansion)
would increase faster than the numerator (net water influx). Therefore, the plotted points will exhibit a negative slope, as shown in
Fig. 1; indeed, this has been observed in practice, as will be shown
later in this paper. As reservoir depletion progresses, the points
migrate down and to the right toward the true OGIP; the smaller
the aquifer, the closer the plot will approach the true OGIP.
Note that the negative slope of the weak waterdrive curve represents an unexpected anomaly. The y-axis plotting term

Gp Bg
Bg Bgi

amounts to the apparent OGIP that would be calculated, assuming


no waterdrive is present. Therefore, under a weak waterdrive, the
apparent OGIP decreases with time, contrary to that for a strong or
moderate waterdrive.
Actually, before developing the signature negative slope, the
weak waterdrive curve begins with a positive slope in the very
early stages of reservoir depletion, as shown in Fig. 1. The very

early points are difficult to use for determining OGIP, however,


because they frequently exhibit a great deal of scatter that is introduced by even small errors in pressure measurement early in the
reservoir life. Technically, then, the curve is hump-shaped like
Dakes moderate waterdrive curve in Fig. 1, except that the positive-slope portion of the hump is over with very early and in
practice will not show up at all unless frequent and accurate very
early time data are obtained.
Modified Cole Plot. In some gas reservoirs, formation compressibility is not negligible, in which case Efw should not be ignored
and Eq. 5 should be written:
We
F
= G+
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 6)
Et
Et
where Ettotal reservoir expansion,
Et = Eg + Efw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 7)
The left side of Eq. 6,

the energy contribution from formation (and water) compressibility, as well as from gas expansion. The modified Cole plot consists
F
of plotting on the y-axis vs. Gp on the x-axis. Curve shapes will
Et
be the same as in Fig. 1. Vertically, the points will lie closer to the
true value of OGIP than the original Cole plot.
In reservoirs in which formation compressibility (cf) is a significant contributor to reservoir energy, such as abnormally pressured reservoirs, the original Cole plot will exhibit a negative
slope, even if no waterdrive is present. The modified Cole plot,
however, will plot in a horizontal line, assuming the correct value
F
of cf is used in calculating the term. Thus, constructing both
Et
the original and modified Cole plots will distinguish between those
reservoirs that are subject to both a weak aquifer and significant
formation compressibility and those reservoirs in which formation
compressibility is significant but there is no aquifer attached; for
the former, both plots will have a negative slope, and for the latter,
the original Cole plot will have a negative slope while the modified
plot will be horizontal. This assumes, of course, that formation compressibility is known with certainty, which is often problematical.
Actually, negative slopes on the original and modified Cole
plots can result from any unaccounted-for source of energy that is
decreasing with time relative to gas expansion. This could include,
for example, communication with other depleting reservoirs.
Drive Indices. Drive indices have been defined for oil reservoirs13
to indicate the relative magnitude of the various energy forces
contributing to the reservoir. Similarly, drive indices can be defined for gas reservoirs as follows.
Gas drive index:

Moderate

Formation and connate water compressibility drive index:


ICD =

Waterdrive
Weak
Depletion drive

Fig. 1Cole plot curve shapes as a function of aquifer strength.

GEfw
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 9)
Gp Bg

Waterdrive index:

Waterdrive

Gp , Mscf

50

GEg
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 8)
Gp Bg

Waterdrive

OGIP

GpBg / (B gBgi ) , Mscf

IGD =
Strong

F
, now incorporates in the denominator
Et

IWD =

We Wp Bw
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 10)
Gp Bg

The numerators of these three dimensionless fractions represent


the cumulative gas expansion, cumulative rock and connate water
expansion, and cumulative net water influx, respectively, all at
reservoir conditions. The common denominator is the cumulative
hydrocarbon voidage at reservoir conditions. If the material balFebruary 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

TABLE 1PROPERTIES OF TWO-CELL

TABLE 2PERFORMANCE HISTORY OF TWO-CELL

GAS-SIMULATION MODEL

GAS-SIMULATION MODEL

Node area
Node thickness = net pay thickness
Porosity
Gas reservoir pore volume
Aquifer original water in place

640 acres
200 ft
15%
74.510 6 res bbl
74.510 6 res bbl
15%
100.8 Bcf
100 md
6106 psi 1
3106 psi 1
239F

5M

OGIP
Permeability
?B
?M

Reservoir temperature

Cumulative

Water

Cumulative

Pressure

Produced

Produced

Water Influx

(psia)

(Bscf)

(STB)

(STB)

Year

ance has been solved correctly, the sum of these three fractions
equals unity.

Cumulative

Gas

6,411

0.000

5,947

5.475

378

273,294

5,509

10.950

1,434

552,946

5,093

16.425

3,056

817,481

4,697

21.900

5,284

1,068,632

4,319

27.375

8,183

1,307,702

3,957

32.850

11,864

1,535,212

3,610

38.325

16,425

1,752,942

3,276

43.800

22,019

1,962,268

2,953

49.275

28,860

2,163,712

10

2,638

54.750

37,256

2,359,460

IGD + ICD + IWD = 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 11)


If the drive indices do not sum to unity, a correct material-balance
solution has not been obtained.
In practice, drive indices calculated from actual field data rarely
sum exactly to unity because the data are not perfect. The summed
drive indices typically vary between values somewhat larger than
unity and somewhat smaller, with the degree of deviation from
unity a function of data quality. However, if the summed drive
indices are consistently greater than or less than unity, or show a
consistent increasing or decreasing trend, this is an indication that
a correct solution to the material balance has not been obtained.
Gas-Simulation Model. A simple two-cell gas model was constructed with the Eclipse14 reservoir simulator to study the effects
of weak water influx on gas reservoir material balance. One cell
contained gas at irreducible water saturation (i.e., a tank model
ideally suited to material-balance analysis), and the other cell contained an equal pore volume containing 100% water saturation.
OGIP was approximately 101 Bcf. A single well was produced at
a rate of 15 MMscf/D for 10 years, recovering a little more than
one half (54.3%) of the OGIP. Other properties of the model are
found in Table 1.
The simulator output at 1-year intervals was used to perform a
material-balance evaluation of the reservoir. Production and pressure histories used in the material balance are given in Table 2, and
pressure/volume/temperature (PVT) properties are given in Table 3.
The p/z plot is shown in Fig. 2, where each point represents year-end
conditions for Years 1 through 10. Because formation compress-

ibility in this case is significant, the p/z plotting term was modified
to account for the energy contribution from rock compressibility
with a method equivalent to that of Ramagost and Farshad.15
The plotted p/z points in Fig. 2 appear to lie on an almost
perfect straight line (R20.9998 after 10 years), giving the impression that an extrapolation to OGIP could be made with confidence. However, an extrapolation of the points made after 2
years, when 11% of the true OGIP had been produced, would yield
a value for OGIP of 109 Bcf, or 8.2% too high. After 5 years, the
error would be +6.5%. Even after 10 years and recovery of 54% of
the OGIP, the error would still be +4.0%. Errors of this magnitude
are not insignificant, even though this aquifer is very small.
Existence of a waterdrive would be practically impossible to
detect from well performance because even after 10 years, the well
made only 1.5 STB of water per MMscf of gas. In the simulation,
the well produced water only because the encroached water is
dispersed uniformly throughout the single cell. In an actual reservoir, the well would likely produce less water because of saturation
gradients, depending on the proximity of the well with regard to
the original gas/water contact.
Cole and Modified Cole Plots. The Cole plot (Fig. 3) for this
weak aquifer data set exhibits a negative slope. The plot corroborates Wang and Teasdales contention that the Cole plot clearly
indicates the presence of even a weak waterdrive, whereas the p/z

6,000

After 2 yrs.
(Cum.=11%)
G=109 Bcf
After 5 yrs.
(Cum.=27%)
G=107 Bcf
After 10 yrs.
(Cum.=54%)
G=105 Bcf

TABLE 3PVT DATA FOR TWO-CELL

Pressure

Gas Deviation

Bg (RB/Mscf) Bw (RB/STB)

Year

(psia)

6,411

1.1192

0.6279

1.0452

5,947

1.0890

0.6587

1.0467

5,509

1.0618

0.6933

1.0480

5,093

1.0374

0.7327

1.0493

4,697

1.0156

0.7778

1.0506

4,319

0.9966

0.8300

1.0517

3,957

0.9801

0.8910

1.0529

3,610

0.9663

0.9628

1.0540

3,276

0.9551

1.0487

1.0551

Factor,

2,953

0.9467

1.1532

1.0560

10

2,638

0.9409

1.2829

1.0571

February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

p/z (modified), psia

GAS-SIMULATION MODEL

5,000
4,000
3,000
2,000
1,000
0
0

20

40
60
G p , Bcf

80

100

Fig. 2Modified p/z plot from output of two-cell gas simulation.


Actual OGIP=101 Bcf.
51

Original

1.12108

110

1.06108

105



=
-intercept

1.00108

100
20

40

60

80

4,000

G p , Bcf

Pot Aquifer Plot. If the aquifer is relatively small and in good


communication with the hydrocarbon reservoir, and permeabilities
are sufficiently high, the aquifer can be represented with the pot
aquifer model, and original hydrocarbons in place (OHIP) can be
obtained from the pot aquifer plot1,16 or by using Tehranis
method.4 This type of aquifer should apply in high-permeability
reservoirs having a hydrocarbon/water contact where the water
leg is isolated from large regional aquifers by permeability pinchout or faulting. Examples would be found in the U.S. Gulf Coast,
where high-permeability sands typically are broken up into relatively small reservoirs by faulting. An example from the U.S.
midcontinent is shown later in the paper.
For the pot aquifer model, any drop in reservoir pressure is instantaneously transmitted throughout the entire aquifer. Mathematically,
We = cw + cfWpi p, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 12)
where Waquifer original water in place (OWIP), res bbl.
Substituting Eq. 12 for We and Eq. 4 for Efw in Eq. 1 and then
rearranging yields an equation of a straight line:

F
pi p GBgi Swicw + cf
= G+
+ cw + cfW . . . . . . . . . . ( 13)
Eg
Eg
1 Swi
Plotting

F
pi p
on the y-axis vs.
on the x-axis yields a straight
Eg
Eg

line with the y-intercept equal to G. This is the pot aquifer plot.
The value of this plot is that it permits determination of OGIP
without any prior knowledge of aquifer size, rock or water com52

&

8,000

P/E

12,000

16,000

psi-Mscf/RB

Fig. 4Pot aquifer plot for two-cell gas simulation.

Fig. 3Cole plot, original and modified, for two-cell gas simulation.

plot is completely ambiguous. The negative slope distinguishes the


weak waterdrive system from the strong waterdrive (positive
slope), moderate waterdrive (hump-shaped), and depletion-drive
(horizontal line) systems (Fig. 1).
Note that the ordinate values plotted in Fig. 3 appear to be
migrating toward the true OGIP value, 101 Bcf, as reservoir depletion proceeds. Thus, the most recent plotted point on the Cole plot
could be taken as the maximum possible value of OGIP, approximately 107 Bcf after 10 years (Gp54% of OGIP).
Because formation compressibility is significant in this example, the modified Cole plot should be used. As expected, the
points lie closer to the true value of OGIP than the original Cole
plot, Fig. 3. The ordinate value after 10 years is 104.4 Bcf, more
nearly approaching the true OGIP than the original Cole plot.
Included in Fig. 3 are values from the first year of production
at 1-month intervals, plotted with smaller symbols. The early time
points exhibit a steep positive slope. The negative slope develops
after approximately 10 months, when 4.5% of the true OGIP has
been produced. To obtain this early-time portion of the plot in an
actual reservoir, it would be necessary to obtain frequent and very
accurate pressure measurements. Even then, the points do not plot
with a constant slope, rendering impractical the extrapolation back
to Gp0 for the purpose of obtaining OGIP.

'

End of
year

True OGIP = 100.8 Bcf

"

Mscf

Modified

115

F/Eg ,

GpBg /(Bg Bgi ) or F/E t , Bcf

After 2 yrs.
(Cum.=11%)
=105 Bcf
After 5 yrs.
(Cum.=27%)
=102 Bcf
After 10 yrs.
(Cum.=54%)
=101 Bcf

1.18108

120

pressibility, or even initial water saturation. The sequence of plotted points will be from right to left.
The slope of the pot aquifer plot is given by the term in brackets
in Eq. 13. The water in place in the aquifer, W, can be calculated
from the slope if, in fact, cf is known with some degree of confidence. Rearranging the slope term,
A
W=

GBgi
S c + c
1 Swi wi w f
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 14)
cw + cf

where G and the slope are obtained from the least-square fit
straight line.
Fig. 4 shows the pot aquifer plot for the two-cell gas-simulation
example. As before, each plotted point (large symbols) represents
conditions at the end of each year. Also shown are straight lines
fitted to the data using the least-squares method, assuming that
analyses had been performed at several times during the reservoirs history (after 2, 5, and 10 years). Values of OGIP are obtained from extrapolation of those straight lines to the y-intercept.
Typically with this plot, the early-time points fall below the true
straight line that eventually develops, and such is the case with this
data. After 2 years of performance, an analysis would consist only
of points from Years 1 and 2, and the true straight line would not
yet be apparent, giving a value for OGIP approximately 4% too
high. Analyses conducted after 5 and 10 years would likely have
excluded the Year 1 data from the least-square fit. In all cases, the
OGIP values are significantly closer to the actual value of 101 Bcf
than the corresponding values obtained from the p/z plot (Fig. 2).
In Fig. 4, data points during the first year are plotted at 1-month
intervals with the smaller symbols. These points have a negative
slope and do not start turning over toward the correct positive
slope until approximately three-quarters of the way through the
year. This is typical of the pot aquifer plot; therefore, the plot may
not be usable in the very early life of the reservoir.
Table 4 summarizes the OGIP values obtained using the three
evaluation methods (modified p/z, modified Cole, and pot aquifer),
as well as the percent errors. Even the modified Cole plot solution
is closer to the true OGIP than the p/z plot. The reason the modified Cole plot is so near the true OGIP is that the aquifer is so small
for this example. For larger aquifers, neither the original nor the

TABLE 4MATERIAL-BALANCE RESULTS ON TWO-CELL


GAS-SIMULATION MODEL

Modified
% of
for
OGIP
% error
Produced
11 109.0 8.2
27 107.3 6.5
54 104.8 4.0
p/z

cf

Modified Cole Plot


% error
<108.9 <8.0
<107.2 <6.3
<104.4 <3.6
G

Pot Aquifer Plot


% error
105.3 4.5
101.6 0.8
101.0 0.2
G

February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

TABLE 5DRIVE INDICES AFTER 5 YEARS, TWO-CELL


GAS-SIMULATION MODEL
Modified

p/z

Solution

Modified

Pot Aquifer Solution

Year

IGD

ICD

Total

IGD

IWD

ICD

Total*

0.916

0.066

0.982

0.868

0.073

0.062

1.003

0.924

0.061

0.985

0.875

0.068

0.057

1.000

0.934

0.056

0.990

0.885

0.062

0.053

1.000

0.944

0.051

0.996

0.894

0.057

0.049

1.000

0.954

0.047

1.001

0.904

0.052

0.045

1.000

*Excluded from least-square fit.

modified Cole plot will give a value so close to the true OGIP as
in this example.
The slope of the solution line in Fig. 4 after 10 years is 1,103
RB/psi, giving a calculated W of 69.1 million res bbl using Eq. 14,
some 7% low compared to the true value of 74.5 million res bbl.
Cumulative water influx can be calculated from Eq. 12 as
2,346,000 res bbl after 10 years, approximately 6% less than the
2,494,000 res bbl from the simulation. Accuracy of the calculated
W and We would be improved by excluding from the least-squares
fit additional early data points after Years 2 and 3 that deviate
slightly from the true straight-line trend. However, when analyzing
actual field data, such subtle deviations are difficult to detect owing to normal data scatter.
Note that if in fact there is no aquifer, the pot aquifer plot still
applies. In this case, W goes to zero in Eq. 13. The formation
compressibility can then be calculated from the slope:
cf = A

TABLE 6DRIVE INDICES AFTER 10 YEARS, TWO-CELL


GAS-SIMULATION MODEL

1 Swi
Swi cw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 15)
GBgi

If for this data set it had been assumed that no aquifer were present,
a cf of 14.3106 psi1 would have been calculated from Eq. 15,
significantly larger than the known value of 6106 psi1. In a
real-world setting, this would be another indication that an unaccounted-for energy source is present. Case 1 of Wang and Teasdale12 shows an application of this method to an actual reservoir
believed to have no waterdrive.
Drive Indices. Drive indices were calculated for the two-cell
simulation model, assuming that the OGIP obtained from the modified p/z solution was correct, and compared with drive indices calculated with the more accurate pot aquifer solution. Table 5 compares the two calculations after 5 years of performance, and Table 6
compares the two after 10 years of performance. Drive indices for
the pot aquifer solution add up to unity as expected, except for
Year 1, which was excluded from the least-square solution fit.
For the incorrect p/z solution that does not account for the
aquifer, drive indices do not add up to unity until later in the
respective time periods. This would be an indication to the engineer making the analysis that his solution is incorrect. Therefore,
the criterion of whether the drive indices sum to unity is an indicator of the correctness of the material-balance solution. This point
is made because some commercial material-balance computer programs normalize the drive indices, which forces them to sum to
unity. This practice is counterproductive because it deprives the
engineer of a tool for evaluating the correctness of his solution and
gives the false impression that a valid solution has been obtained.
Only the raw calculated drive indices should be reported and
summed; they should never be normalized. This applies regardless
of the aquifer model being fitted to the reservoir.
In Tables 5 and 6, observe that not only do the drive indices for
the incorrect solution using modified p/z fail to sum to unity, but
they also show a consistent trend of increasing with time. This
trend is typical of incorrect solutions and can be used to distinguish
incorrect solutions from those solutions that are correct, yet have
drive-index sums that deviate from unity owing to normal data
scatter. That is, the latter will exhibit sums that are sometimes
February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

p/z

Solution

Pot Aquifer Solution

Year

IGD

ICD

Total

IGD

IWD

ICD

Total

0.895

0.064

0.959

0.863

0.080

0.062

1.005*

0.903

0.059

0.962

0.870

0.074

0.057

1.001

0.912

0.055

0.967

0.880

0.068

0.053

1.000

0.922

0.050

0.972

0.889

0.062

0.048

0.999

0.932

0.046

0.978

0.898

0.057

0.044

1.000

0.942

0.042

0.984

0.908

0.052

0.040

1.000

0.951

0.038

0.989

0.917

0.047

0.037

1.000

0.960

0.034

0.994

0.925

0.042

0.033

1.000

0.969

0.030

0.999

0.934

0.037

0.029

1.000

10

0.977

0.027

1.004

0.942

0.033

0.026

1.001

*Excluded from least-square fit.

greater than unity and sometimes less than unity, as opposed to a


consistently increasing trend.
To summarize, evaluation of this reservoir taking the common
approach of considering only the p/z method (modified to include
cf effects) would, on the surface, give every indication that a correct material-balance solution had been obtained for depletion
drive. Yet OGIP would be erroneously high, with the error ranging
from approximately 4 to 8%, depending on the stage of reservoir
depletion considered. Constructing the modified Cole plot or calculating drive indices would signal that the solution was, in fact,
not correct. The Cole plot, original or modified, indicates unambiguously that a weak waterdrive exists, in which case the pot aquifer
plot should be used to calculate the most accurate value of OGIP.
Oklahoma Morrow Gas Reservoir. Production history and
other data for an Oklahoma Morrow sand gas reservoir are given
in Table 7. The lack of water production, together with the decline
in reservoir pressure, suggested that no aquifer was present. The
p/z plot, Fig. 5, also gives no hint of aquifer support. The modified
p/z extrapolation gives G6.02 Bcf. (Note that even though cf is
only 3106 psi1, extrapolation of the conventional p/z that ignores cf gives G6.32 Bcf, some 5% greater.)
The Cole and modified Cole plots are shown in Fig. 6 and
exhibit the characteristic negative slope of a weak waterdrive system. (Note that the maximum possible value of OGIP from the
modified Cole plot is slightly less than OGIP from the modified
p/z.) Therefore, the pot aquifer plot was used to determine OGIP
and aquifer size (Fig. 7). OGIP of 5.44 Bcf results from the extrapolation of a line fit to the three data points using the leastsquares method (R20.934). Thus the p/z extrapolation gave a
value nearly 11% too high, even after being modified to account
for formation compressibility.
The slope of Fig. 7, 58 RB/psi, was used with Eq. 15 to calculate a value for cf of 12106 psi1, much greater than the estimated value of 3106 psi1 and too high for hard rock country.
Therefore, the estimated cf3106 psi1 was used with Eq. 14 to
TABLE 7OKLAHOMA MORROW GAS RESERVOIR
PERFORMANCE
Pressure
Days
0

Bg

(psia)

(RB/Mscf)

5,482

1.0471

0.5770

Gp (Mscf)

p/z

5,235

72

5,099

0.9960

0.5901

157,000

5,119

237

3,818

0.8286

0.6556

814,000

4,608

332

3,016

0.7341

0.7353

1,350,000
6

Other data: reservoir temperature = 140F; cf = 3 x 10

psi

; cw = 3 x 10

4,108
6

psi

and Sw = .3.

53

7,500,000

Conventional

5,000

Modified

p/z , psia

Conventional

4,000

Modified

3,000

2,000

1,000

GpBg / (Bg Bgi ) or F/Et , Mscf

6,000

Original
Modified

7,000,000

6,500,000

6,000,000

5,500,000

5,000,000
0

500,000

1,000,000

2,000,000
G

4,000,000

1,500,000

2,000,000

, Mscf

6,000,000

Fig. 6Original and modified Cole plots, Oklahoma Morrow gas


reservoir.

, Mscf

Fig. 5p/z plot, Oklahoma Morrow gas reservoir.

calculate W of 6.74 million res bbl. Aquifer size can be compared


with reservoir size by first calculating the original pore volume of
the hydrocarbon reservoir from:
PV =

GBgi
1 Swi

of unknown magnitude, and no waterdrive is present. Poston and


coworkers11 expanded Roachs solution to incorporate water influx. (Poston and coworkers described this approach as the solution plot method, but the Roach plot terminology is retained in
this paper as a more distinctive title.) Equation 6.10 from Ref. 11
can be expressed in modified form as
p zi p z 1 1 p zi p z Gp
=

pi p
G
pi p

5,440,000 Mscf 0.5770 RB Mscf


=
1 .3
Then, the aquifer is 6.74 million res bbl/4.48 million res bbl1.5
times as large as the gas reservoir. Cumulative water influx of
99,800 res bbl after 332 days is calculated with Eq. 12. This
equates to only 3% of the original hydrocarbon pore volume
(HCPV) of approximately 3,139,000 res bbl, yet it represents approximately 10% of the cumulative hydrocarbon voidage
(GpBg1,350,000 Mscf0.7353 RB/Mscf992,700 res bbl).
Drive indices are shown in Table 8 for the modified p/z solution and the pot aquifer solution. Drive-index sums based on the
OGIP obtained from p/z show a trend from too low at early time
to near unity at late time. Had the drive indices been normalized to
sum to unity, the fact that a problem existed with the p/z solution
would have been obscured. Drive indices based on the OGIP obtained from the pot aquifer solution fluctuate around unity, exhibiting scatter typical of field data.
Roach Plot. Roach17 rearranged the p/z relationship to solve for
the correct OGIP when formation compressibility is significant but
7,500,000

Swi cw + cf We Wp Bw
+
. . . . . . . . . . . ( 17)
1 Swi
pi pGBgi

The Roach plot consists of plotting the left side of Eq. 17,
p zi p z 1
p zi p z Gp
on the x-axis.
, on the y-axis vs.
pi p
pi p

The slope of this plot is 1/G, so G is equal to the reciprocal of the


slope. The y-intercept is the term in brackets on the right side of
Eq. 17 and incorporates formation and water compressibility, as
well as water influx and water production.
The difficulty in interpreting the plot in the presence of a waterdrive is that the y-intercept is not constant because the waterinflux and water-production terms in brackets do not remain constant. Thus, the correct slope is difficult to ascertain, and significant errors in OGIP can easily result.
Modified Roach Plot. The problem can be solved, provided
that the aquifer is of the pot aquifer type. Eq. 12 is substituted for
We in Eq. 17, which is then rearranged to move the waterproduction term into the x-axis plotting term, resulting in:
p zi p z 1 1
=

pi p
G

7,000,000

F/Eg , Mscf

= 4.84 million res bbl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 16)

6,500,000

p zi p z Gp +

pi p

Wp Bw
Bgi

Swi cw + cf cw + cf W
+
. . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 18)
1 Swi
GBgi

6,000,000

TABLE 8DRIVE INDICES, OKLAHOMA MORROW


GAS RESERVOIR
5,500,000

OGIP=5,440,000 Mscf

Days

IGD

5,000,000
0

5,000

10,000

P/E

15,000
g,

20,000

25,000

30,000

psi-Mscf/RB

Fig. 7Pot aquifer plot, Oklahoma Morrow gas reservoir.


54

Modified p/z Solution

Pot Aquifer Solution

ICD

Total

IGD

IWD

ICD

Total

72

0.849

0.080

0.929

0.767

0.167

0.072 1.007

237

0.886

0.060

0.946

0.801

0.126

0.055 0.982

332

0.959

0.048

1.007

0.868

0.101

0.043 1.012

February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

TABLE 9PERFORMANCE HISTORY AND PVT DATA FOR ONE-CELL


GAS-SIMULATION MODEL WITH FETKOVICH AQUIFER
Cumulative

Cumulative

Gas

Water

Gas

Pressure

Produced

Produced

Deviation

Year

(psia)

(Bscf)

(STB)

6,411

0.000

1.1192

0.6279

1.0452

6,130

5.475

2,163

1.1008

0.6459

1.0460

5,849

10.950

9,293

1.0828

0.6659

1.0470

5,565

16.425

22,286

1.0652

0.6885

1.0478

5,280

21.900

43,807

1.0482

0.7141

1.0488

4,992

27.375

78,152

1.0316

0.7434

1.0496

4,700

32.850

132,011

1.0158

0.7774

1.0505

4,403

38.325

219,211

1.0005

0.8174

1.0515

4,101

43.800

358,536

0.9865

0.8653

1.0524

3,787

49.275

607,252

0.9731

0.9243

1.0534

10

3,459

54.750

1,034,275

0.9610

0.9994

1.0544

pi p

, and the

y-axis term is the same as before. The y-intercept, the term in


brackets, is now constant; thus, the plotted points will have a
constant and correct slope. The method is demonstrated with a
simulation example.
Simulation Model. The gas model described previously was
modified to give a much stronger aquifer. The water-filled cell was
removed, and aquifer strength was provided by attaching a Fetkovich-type aquifer18 to the single-cell gas reservoir. Aquifer OWIP
was 633 million res bbl, or 10 times the HCPV. Aquifer productivity index (PI) was set to a high value, 485 RB/D/psi, and aquifer
compressibility (sum of cw and cf) was set to 9106 psi1. The
model was run for 10 years, as before. Simulation results and PVT
data are given in Table 9, and the conventional and modified
Roach plots are shown in Fig. 8. Plotted points migrate from left
to right with time.
Examining Fig. 8, the conventional plot appears to be linear. In
reality, however, the points are deviating slightly to the left with
increasing time because water production causes the y-intercept (in
brackets in Eq. 17) to migrate upward with time. The slope of
the conventional plot is 1.042105 MMscf 1, giving G1/
(1.042105)96.0 Bcf, almost 5% low to the true OGIP100.8
Bcf. The modified version straightens out the later time points and
gives G1/(0.9853105)101.5 Bcf, less than 1% high compared to the true value.
The y-intercept in Eq. 18 can be rearranged to solve for W,
provided that cw and cf are known. A value of 629 million res bbl
is calculated from the modified plot, only 0.7% too low.
The modified Roach plot has been tested for varying Fetkovich
aquifer volumes with this model, using values of W larger and
smaller than the 10HCPV used in the example. As W increases,
the deviation of the late-time points on the conventional plot becomes more visible; for W of 1 billion res bbl, it is clearly noticeable, and the late-time points are excluded from the least-square
fit. For W5HCPV, the conventional plot gives essentially the
correct G because water production is not too great. In application,
both the conventional and modified plots could be constructed as
in Fig. 8 and compared to determine the amount of deviation. If
only one plot is to be constructed, it should be the modified plot,
to be on the safe side.
A word of caution: the modified Roach plot has not been verified with actual field data because suitable field data have not
become available. Two questions come to mind when considering
field cases: first, whether an actual aquifer could be as large as that
used in the simulations and still perform like a pot aquifer, and
second, whether water volumes sufficiently large to cause the
February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

Bg

Bw

(RB/Mscf)

(RB/STB)

original Roach plot to deviate from a straight line can realistically


be produced before the wells load up. The method might at least
find application in enhanced recovery projects in which gas reservoirs are aggressively dewatered.
Oil Reservoirs
Campbell Plot. For oil reservoirs, the Campbell plot10 is the counterpart to the modified Cole plot for gas. It is based on an equation
analogous to Eq. 5 for gas:
F
We
= N+
, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 19)
Et
Et
where NOOIP in STB and Fcumulative reservoir voidage,
F = Np Bt + BgRp Rsi + Wp Bw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 20)
Etcumulative total expansion,
Et = Eo + mEg + Efw ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 21)
Eocumulative oil expansion,
Eo = Bt Bti ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 22)
Egcumulative gas expansion,
Eg =

Bti
B Bgi; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 23)
Bgi g

Efwcumulative formation and water expansion,


Efw = Bti 1 + m

Swi cw + cf
pi p; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 24)
1 Swi

and mthe ratio of initial gas-cap volume to initial oil-zone volume, at reservoir conditions. Bt is the total formation volume factor:
Bt = Bo + BgRsi Rs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 25)

The x-axis plotting term is now

Wp Bw
Bgi

[(p/z) i /(p/z) 1] / (p i p) , psi

p zi p z Gp +

Factor,

Conventional:
y = 1.04210 5 x1.08210 4
R 2 = 9.99710 1

0.00020

0.00016

Modified:
y = 9.85310 6 x9.64510 5
2
R = 9.99910 1

0.00012

Conventional
Modified

0.00008
18

22

26

30

x plotting term, MMcf/psi

Fig. 8Conventional and modified Roach plots, one-cell simulation.


55

F / Et , STB

TABLE 10PROPERTIES OF OIL-SIMULATION MODEL WITH


POT AQUIFER

Strong
Waterdrive

Sw

cf
cw

OOIP

Moderate
Waterdrive

Reservoir temperature
Bubblepoint pressure

Weak
Waterdrive

Depletion drive

Bobp

OOIP
Aquifer OWIP

20.8%
28%
26106 psi 1
2.28106 psi 1
158F
2,648 psia
1.2697 RB/STB
20 million STB
80 million STB

F , RB
Fig. 9Campbell plot curve shapes.

Plotting

F
on the y-axis vs. F on the x-axis will yield a plot
Et

with one of the characteristic curve shapes shown in Fig. 9, which


is analogous to Fig. 1 for gas. In other words, like the Cole plot, the
Campbell plot is useful in a qualitative sense for distinguishing
between depletion-drive reservoirs and strong, moderate, and weak
waterdrives. If the reservoir is depletion drive, the plot can be used
quantitatively because the y-value of the plotted points equals the
OOIP. But if a waterdrive exists, the slope of the plot is changing
continuously, so extrapolation back to the OOIP is hazardous and
is not recommended.
As with the Cole plot for gas, the weak aquifer curve on the
Campbell plot again exhibits a negative slope except for a brief early
period of steep positive slope. Thus, the apparent OOIP, calculated
assuming no waterdrive (i.e., NF / Et), exhibits the counterintuitive
trait of decreasing with time in the presence of weak waterdrive.
This was recognized at least as early as 1963.16 The negative slope
has been observed in field data and in data from simulation.
Oil-Simulation Model. A multicell simulation model of an undersaturated oil reservoir with an attached pot aquifer was constructed
with the Eclipse14 reservoir simulator. The model used PVT and
other properties similar to those encountered in U.S. Gulf Coast
sandstones: high permeability, porosity, and formation compressibility. Reservoir properties are shown in Table 10.
Pressures and produced volumes from the simulator output
were used to perform a material-balance evaluation of the reservoir. Performance data are given in Table 11, and PVT data are
given in Table 12.

TABLE 11PERFORMANCE HISTORY OF OIL-SIMULATION


MODEL WITH POT AQUIFER
Cumulative

Cumulative

Oil

Water

Gas

Pressure

Produced

Produced

Produced

Days

(psia)

(STB)

(STB)

(Mscf)

2,855

305

2,779

192,821

94,513

Cumulative

700

2,627

633,942

312,064

1,285

2,457

1,314,880

710,670

1,465

2,402

1,524,400

850,934

2,005

2,223

2,152,960

26

1,355,720

2,365

2,080

2,572,000

60

1,823,250

2,905

1,833

3,200,560

822

2,732,860

3,235

1,665

3,584,680

11,135

3,397,740

3,595

1,460

4,003,720

97,443

4,216,120

56

The decline in reservoir pressure and lack of significant water


production for 8 years could lead to the interpretation that no
aquifer is present. The recommended method16,19 for solving the
material balance for an undersaturated oil reservoir without water
influx is the plot of F vs. Et, which should be a straight line with
OOIP equal to the slope. Fig. 10 is the plot for these data. Leastsquare straight lines were fit to the data, assuming that evaluations
were performed at various stages in the life of the reservoir, after
3, 7, and 20% of the true OOIP had been produced (after 700,
1,285, and 3,595 days, respectively). Calculated values of N
(shown in the legend of Fig. 10) are in error by +160%, +90%, and
+50%, respectively. For this perfect data set, it is obvious that the
points do not lie in a straight line, but for real field data, the
curvature could be obscured easily within normal data scatter,
leading to the false conclusion that no aquifer is present.
The Campbell plot for these data, Fig. 11, clearly shows the
signature negative slope of a weak waterdrive, even after just the
first two or three data points (700 and 1,285 days, respectively). As
with the modified Cole plot for gas reservoirs, the points migrate
toward the true OOIP with time.
Because a weak waterdrive is present, the correct materialbalance solution for this case is obtained from the pot aquifer plot
that has been derived for oil,16 similar to that for gas. Because the
F
p
oil is undersaturated,
is plotted on the y-axis vs.
on the xEo
Eo
axis (see Ref. 16 for derivation). The y-intercept gives the OOIP.
The plot for this case is shown in Fig. 12; the sequence of plotted
points is from right to left.
Several solutions were obtained from the pot aquifer plot at the
same point in the reservoirs life as before. The initial data point at
305 days lies below the correct straight-line trend that has become
apparent after 1,285 days (third plotted point) and so is excluded
from that least-square fit. The solution at 1,285 days gives a value
of N of 21.7 million STB, within <10% of the true value. Sometime after 1,285 days (that is, after the third plotted point), it
becomes apparent that the second data point at 700 days is off
trend as well. Therefore, the second point is excluded from subsequent fits, giving increasingly accurate answers.
Aquifer OWIP is calculated from the slope of the pot aquifer
plot, using the oil version of Eq. 14 (i.e., N replaces G, and Bti
replaces Bgi; formation compressibility is known in this simulation
example). After 3,595 days, the slope is 3,090 RB/psi, from which
W of approximately 79 million res bbl is calculated, very close to
the known value of approximately 80 million res bbl. Oil reservoir
pore volume is approximately 35.7 million res bbl, so the aquifer
is about 2.2 times as large as the reservoir.
Drive Indices. Drive indices for oil reservoirs as defined in Ref.
13 are presented here in modified form.
Depletion-drive index:
IDD =

NEo
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 26)
F Wp Bw
February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

TABLE 12PVT PROPERTIES OF OIL-SIMULATION MODEL WITH POT AQUIFER


Days

Pressure (psia)

Bo (RB/STB) Rs (Mscf/STB) Bg (RB/Mscf) Bt (RB/Mscf) Bw (RB/STB)

2,855

1.2665

0.5010

0.9201

1.2665

1.0222

305

2,779

1.2677

0.5010

0.9637

1.2677

1.0224

700

2,627

1.2681

0.4973

1.0502

1.2720

1.0228

1,285

2,457

1.2554

0.4671

1.0977

1.2926

1.0232

1,465

2,402

1.2512

0.4574

1.1146

1.2998

1.0233

2,005

2,223

1.2383

0.4269

1.2010

1.3273

1.0237

2,365

2,080

1.2278

0.4024

1.2825

1.3543

1.0240

2,905

1,833

1.2074

0.3579

1.4584

1.4161

1.0246

3,235

1,665

1.1949

0.3277

1.6112

1.4741

1.0250

3,595

1,460

1.1802

0.2908

1.8526

1.5696

1.0254

Segregation (gas cap) drive index:


ISD =

NmEg
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 27)
F Wp Bw

Waterdrive index:
IWD =

We Wp Bw
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 28)
F Wp Bw

In addition, when cf is significant, as it is in this example, the


formation and connate water compressibility drive index is defined
as follows:
ICD =

N1 + mEfw
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 29)
F Wp Bw

The common denominator in Eqs. 26 through 29 is the hydrocarbon voidage. If the material balance has been solved correctly, the
sum of the four drive-index fractions equals unity; that is,
IDD + ISD + ICD + IWD = 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 30)
Table 13 shows drive indices for the oil-simulation case for the
depletion-drive solution and the pot aquifer solution after 3,595
days. Drive indices for the depletion-drive solution do not add to
unity. Had the values been normalized to add to unity as in some
commercial software, the fact that the depletion-drive solution is
incorrect would have been obscured. Indices for the waterdrive
solution add to unity as expected, excluding the first two points at
305 and 700 days, which were not used in the least-squares solution fit; thus, their indices would not be expected to add to unity.
In conclusion, the presence of a weak waterdrive acting on this
oil reservoir would likely be overlooked without examining the
Campbell plot or the raw (not normalized) drive indices, just as
with the gas reservoir cases discussed earlier. Significant errors in

12,000,000

Other Considerations
In this paper, water compressibility, cw, considers only the liquid
phase. That is, the energy contribution from gas dissolved in the
water, coming out of solution as reservoir pressure declines, is
ignored. Fetkovich et al.21 examined this problem for highpressure gas reservoirs and concluded that the energy contribution
from gas dissolved in the water is usually important only late in the
reservoir life (below approximately 1,500 psia). To account for
this additional energy, they defined water total formation volume
factor, Btw, analogous to oil total formation volume factor:
Btw = Bw + BgRswi Rsw. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 31)
They also defined water total compressibility, ctw:
ctw =

Btw Btwi
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ( 32)
Btwi pi p

The energy contribution from gas dissolved in the water can be


incorporated in the equations presented in this paper by substituting Btw (Eq. 31) for Bw and ctw (Eq. 32) for cw. The Campbell and
modified Cole plots would be affected, but not until later in the
reservoir life when pressure has declined. The pot aquifer plot no
longer applies because the slope is no longer constant, and the
Roach plot no longer applies because the y-intercept is no longer

3,595
days

8,000,000

60,000,000

F / E t , RBL

F,

RB

50,000,000

After 700 days (Cum.=3%)


=52 million STB
After 1,285 days (Cum.=7%)
=38 million STB
After 3,595 days (Cum.=20%)
=30 million STB

4,000,000
0

the calculated values of OOIP would be obtained using the depletion-drive solution (compare the calculated values of N in Fig. 10
with those in Fig. 12).
Carlson20 pointed out that even when material-balance results
are ambiguous or do not provide very accurate quantitative answers, valuable qualitative insights may still be obtained. For this
oil-simulation case, the pot aquifer material-balance solution after
700 days is considerably in error, and even after 1,285 days, it is
not particularly accurate (Fig. 12). However, the negative slope of
the Campbell plot (Fig. 11) clearly shows the presence of a weak
waterdrive even after only 700 days (first two data points), a valuable
piece of information obtained early in the life of the reservoir.

0.0

30,000,000

1,285 days
700 days
305 days

0.1

40,000,000

Et,

0.2

RB/STB

0.3

20,000,000

0.4

Fig. 10Solution plot for oil-simulation case, assuming no waterdrive.


February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

5,000,000

10,000,000

15,000,000

F , RBL

Fig. 11Campbell plot for oil-simulation case.


57

210,000,000

305
days

170,000,000

STB
F / Eo ,

50,000,000

=
-intercept
N

10,000,000

1,285 days

3,595
days

20,000

p/ E, ,

40,000

psi-STB/RB

60,000

Fig. 12Pot aquifer plot for oil-simulation case.

constant. Fetkovich et al. presented a method for evaluating gas


reservoirs under these conditions.
In this paper, formation compressibility, cf, is assumed to be
constant and unchanging over the reservoir life being investigated.
Fetkovich et al. presented a method to account for changing formation compressibility in gas reservoirs, and Yale et al.22 presented a method for oil reservoirs.
Various workers have investigated the effect of errors in measured reservoir pressure on material-balance results. However, to
this authors knowledge, such an evaluation has not been performed on weak aquifer material balance such as presented in this
paper. Further study is needed of the sensitivity of these relationships to errors in pressure.
Material Balance and Reservoir Simulation
The perception exists among some that classical material-balance
methods have been rendered obsolete by reservoir simulation. Because simulation incorporates material balance on a cell-by-cell
basis, it may be argued that stand-alone material balance is superfluous and therefore serves no utility on those reservoirs that are
subject to a simulation study.
In response, it is argued that material balance and simulation
are complementary rather than competing tools. Material balance
can provide valuable insights into reservoir mechanisms and processes that may be obscured by the multitude of parameters that go
into simulation.
Consider the cases shown in this paper in which weak waterdrives are not apparent from performance data. Simulations performed on these reservoirs without benefit of a prior materialbalance study might well have resulted in rock and fluid parameters being adjusted to achieve matches on the wrong values of
OHIP. If the waterdrive is of the pot aquifer type, as in this paper,
material balance can solve for OHIP and aquifer size simultaneously and unambiguously, without resorting to trial and error
(provided that sufficient reservoir history is available). Even in
cases in which the material-balance solution is more ambiguous,
the analysis often yields qualitative insights that are as valuable as
quantitative results.
Material balance should be performed before a simulation
study to help narrow the range of the many parameters that can be
adjusted during simulation as well as the magnitude of adjustments
that are considered reasonable. And, of course, it is impractical to
perform a simulation study on every reservoir.
Dake provided an especially cogent discussion of this issue in
Ref. 7. He summarized the situation appropriately: numerical
simulation and material balance must not be regarded as competitive techniques: we have too few tools in reservoir engineering to
discard any of them.
Conclusions
1. The Cole plot (gas) and Campbell plot (oil) diagnose the presence of a weak waterdrive unambiguously. Depletion-drive
plots, such as the p/z, are ambiguous in the presence of a weak
waterdrive and can give OHIP values that are erroneously high
58

p/z

Solution

IGD

ICD

Total

IGD

IWD

ICD

305

0.151

0.405

0.556

0.100

0.700

0.269

1.069*

700

0.209

0.368

0.577

0.139

0.636

0.244

1.019*

1,285

0.454

0.293

0.747

0.301

0.506

0.194

1.001

1,465

0.489

0.282

0.771

0.325

0.486

0.187

0.998

2,005

0.582

0.256

0.838

0.386

0.442

0.170

0.998

2,365

0.643

0.240

0.883

0.427

0.415

0.160

1.001

2,905

0.739

0.214

0.953

0.491

0.369

0.142

1.002

3,235

0.806

0.196

1.001

0.535

0.336

0.130

1.001

3,595

0.892

0.174

1.065

0.592

0.290

0.115

0.998

Days

After 700 days (Cum.=3%)


=39 million STB
After 1,285 days (Cum.=7%)
=21.7 million STB
After 3,595 days (Cum.=20%)
=20.3 million STB

90,000,000

Modified

700 days

130,000,000

TABLE 13DRIVE INDICES AFTER 3,595 DAYS,


OIL-SIMULATION MODEL WITH POT AQUIFER
Pot Aquifer Solution
Total

*Excluded from least-square fit.

by a significant amount. As suggested by previous authors, the


weak waterdrive signature on the Cole and Campbell plots is
shown to be a negative slope.
2. The negative slope of the Cole and Campbell plots amounts to
the counterintuitive characteristic of decreasing apparent OHIP
with time.
3. The modified version of the Cole plot should be used in cases in
which formation compressibility is not negligible compared to
gas compressibility, such as abnormally pressured reservoirs.
4. If a correct solution to the material balance has been obtained, the
drive indices will sum to unity (allowing for normal scatter). If the
drive indices do not sum to unity, a correct solution has not been
obtained. The drive indices should never be normalized to sum
to unity because this obscures their usefulness as a criterion for
determining the validity of the solution and gives a false sense
of security. Only the raw calculated values should be reported.
5. The Roach plot can be modified to improve gas reservoir interpretation in the presence of a pot aquifer by incorporating cumulative water production in the x-axis plotting term. This procedure has not been tested on field data, however.
6. Reservoir simulation does not eliminate the need for classical material-balance analysis. Material balance can reveal insights into
reservoir performance that cannot be obtained from simulation,
such as the presence of a weak aquifer that is not otherwise obvious, as in examples presented in this paper. Material balance is
complementary to, not competitive with, reservoir simulation.
Nomenclature
A slope
Bg gas formation volume factor, L3/ L3, RB/Mscf
Bo oil formation volume factor, L3/ L3, RB/STB
Bt total or two-phase oil formation volume factor
(Eq. 25), L3/ L3, RB/STB
Bw water formation volume factor, L3/L3, RB/STB
Btw total or two-phase water formation volume factor
(Eq. 31), L3/L3, RB/STB
cf formation compressibility, L3/L3/(m/Lt2), vol/vol/psi
cw water compressibility, L3/L3/(m/Lt2), vol/vol/psi
ctw total or two-phase water compressibility (Eq. 32),
L3/L3/(m/Lt2), vol/vol/psi
Eg cumulative gas expansion, L3/L3, RB/STB in oil
reservoirs, RB/Mscf in gas reservoirs
Efw cumulative formation and water expansion, L3/L3,
RB/STB in oil reservoirs, RB/Mscf in gas reservoirs
Eo cumulative oil expansion, including original
complement of solution gas, L3/L3, RB/STB
Et cumulative total expansion, L3/L3, RB/STB in oil
reservoirs, RB/Mscf in gas reservoirs
F cumulative reservoir voidage, L3, res bbl
February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

G original gas in place (OGIP), L3, Mscf


Gp cumulative gas production, L3, Mscf
ICD formation and connate water compressibility drive
index, L3/L3, fraction
IDD depletion-drive index, L3/L3, fraction
IGD gas drive index, L3/L3, fraction
ISD segregation (gas cap) drive index, L3/L3, fraction
IWD waterdrive index, L3/L3, fraction
m ratio of gas cap OGIP to oil zone OOIP at reservoir
conditions, L3/L3, dimensionless
N original oil in place (OOIP), L3, STB
Np cumulative oil production, L3, STB
p pressure, m/Lt2, psia
Rp cumulative produced gas/oil ratio, L3/L3, Mscf/STB
Rs solution gas/oil ratio, L3/L3, Mscf/STB
Rsw solution gas/water ratio, L3/L3, Mscf/STB
Swi initial water saturation, fraction
W aquifer original water in place, L3, res bbl
We cumulative water influx, L3, res bbl
Wp cumulative water production, L3, STB
z gas deviation factor, or compressibility factor, dimensionless
Subscripts
bp bubblepoint
f formation
fw formation and water
g gas
i initial
o oil
p cumulative produced
s solution
t total
w water
Acknowledgments
I thank Marathon Oil Co. for permission to publish this paper
following my retirement, particularly Jim Gilman for his special
efforts. Teresa Schaller ran the oil-simulation case presented in the
paper. Stuart Cox provided the Morrow Gas data and consulted on
the interpretation. Lois Fitzpatrick provided valuable help formatting this paper.
References
1. Dake, L.P.: Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co., Amsterdam (1978) 2729, 303337.
2. Bruns, J.R., Fetkovich, M.J., and Meitzen, V.C.: The Effect of Water
Influx on p/z-Cumulative Gas Production Curves, JPT (March 1965) 287.
3. Chierici, G.L., Pizzi, G., and Ciucci, G.M.: Water Drive Gas Reservoirs: Uncertainty in Reserves From Past History, JPT (February
1967) 237; Trans., AIME, 240.
4. Tehrani, D.H.: An Analysis of a Volumetric Balance Equation for Calculation of Oil-in-Place and Water Influx, JPT (September 1985) 1664.
5. Vega, L. and Wattenbarger, R.A.: New Approach for Simultaneous
Determination of the OGIP and Aquifer Performance With No Prior
Knowledge of Aquifer Properties and Geometry, paper SPE 59781
presented at the 2000 SPE/CERI Gas Technology Symposium, Calgary, 35 April.
6. Agarwal, R.G., Al-Hussainy, R., and Ramey, H.J.: The Importance of
Water Influx in Gas Reservoirs, JPT (November 1965) 1336; Trans.,
AIME, 234.
7. Dake, L.P.: The Practice of Reservoir Engineering, Elsevier, Amsterdam (1994) 73, 8284, 97, 133134, 472476.

February 2002 SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering

8. Lee, J. and Wattenbarger, R.A.: Gas Reservoir Engineering, Textbook


Series, SPE, Richardson, Texas (1996) 5, 236.
9. Cole, F.W.: Reservoir Engineering Manual, Gulf Publishing Co.,
Houston (1969) 285.
10. Campbell, R.A. and Campbell, J.M. Sr.: Mineral Property Economics,
Vol. 3: Petroleum Property Evaluation, Campbell Petroleum Series,
Norman, Oklahoma (1978) 26.
11. Poston, S.W. and Berg, R.R.: Overpressured Gas Reservoirs, SPE,
Richardson, Texas (1997) 105106.
12. Wang, B. and Teasdale, T.S.: GASWAT-PC: A Microcomputer Program for Gas Material Balance With Water Influx, paper SPE 16484
presented at the 1987 SPE Petroleum Industry Applications of Microcomputers, Del Lago on Lake Conroe, Montgomery, Texas, 2326 June.
13. Craft, B.C. and Hawkins, M.F., revised by Terry, R.E.: Applied
Petroleum Reservoir Engineering, second edition, Prentice-Hall Inc.,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ (1991) 63.
14. Eclipse 100 Reference Manual, 19821999, Schlumberger.
15. Ramagost, B.P. and Farshad, F.F.: P/z Abnormally Pressured Gas
Reservoirs, paper SPE 10125 presented at the 1981 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 57 October.
16. Havlena, D. and Odeh, A.S.: The Material Balance as an Equation of
a Straight Line, JPT (August 1963) 896; Trans., AIME, 228.
17. Roach, R.H.: Analyzing Geopressured ReservoirsA MaterialBalance Technique, paper SPE 9968 available from SPE, Richardson,
Texas (1981).
18. Fetkovich, M.J.: A Simplified Approach to Water Influx CalculationsFinite Aquifer Systems, JPT (July 1971) 814.
19. Wang, B., Litvak, B.L., and Bowman, G.W.: OILWAT: Microcomputer Program for Oil Material Balance With Gascap and Water Influx, paper SPE 24437 presented at the 1992 SPE Petroleum Computer Conference, Houston, 1922 July.
20. Carlson, M.R.: Tips, Tricks, and Traps for Oil Material Balance Calculations, paper 9507 presented at the 1995 Annual Technical Meeting of the Petroleum Society of CIM, Banff, Alberta, 1417 May.
21. Fetkovich, M.J., Reese, D.E., and Whitson, C.H.: Application of a
General Material Balance for High-Pressure Gas Reservoirs, paper
SPE 22921 presented at the 1991 SPE Annual Technical Conference
and Exhibition, Dallas, 69 October.
22. Yale, D.P. et al.: Application of Variable Formation Compressibility for
Improved Reservoir Analysis, paper SPE 26647 presented at the 1993
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, 36 October.

SI Metric Conversion Factors


acre 4.046 873
E01
bbl 1.589 873
E01
ft 3.048*
E01
E02
ft3 2.831 685
F (F32)/1.8
psi 6.894 757
E+00
E01
psi1 1.450 377
scf/bbl 1.801 175
E01

ha
m3
m
m3
C
kPa
kPa1
m3/m3 (st)

*Conversion factor is exact.

Jeff Pletcher retired in 1999 from Marathon Oil Co.s Petroleum


Technology Center in Littleton, Colorado. He was an advanced senior engineer working in the areas of reservoir evaluation and reservoir engineering training. His career spanned
more than 30 years, all with Marathon. Previous assignments
were in production and reservoir engineering in Illinois, Texas,
Louisiana, and the general office in Findlay, Ohio. Pletcher holds
a BS degree in petroleum engineering from Marietta College.

59