Injection-well Skin Effects t

This paper descnbes a short-term water-injectivity
testing procedure using portable equipment f or deter-
mining t he formation-fracturing pressure and changes
i n well-bore conditions with time An injection well is
shut in until pressure equilibrium is obtained i n t he
ar ea around t he well bore Three- t o five-minute t est
increments with varyi ng injection rat es ar e r un result-
i ng i n a plot of r at e and pressure, which is linear A
marked change i n slope occurs when t he fract ure pres-
sure is esceeded
The method has been successfully used f or determin-
i ng skin-factor changes and compares favorably with
other methods
Two problems t hat exist i n operating injection wells
a r e loss of injection rat e due t o skin buildup and forma-
tion fract uri ng due t o operating above t he fracturing
pressure A method first described by Dickey, et a1 , l
which was refined by Grandone, e t a1 ,? is being used to
determine t he slun buildup and fract uri ng pressure of
water-injection wells The t est method conslsts of shut-
t i ng i n t he injection well long enough t o at t ai n partla1
pressure equilibrium around t he well bore and measur-
i ng t he rate-pressure relationship f or short-tlme (3- t o
5-min) testing increments using t he field injection
equipment and portable t est equipment It has been
found t hat r at e and pressure have a linear relationship
until fract uri ng occurs Changes In t he slope of t he
rate-pressure curve with time wl l give a measure of t he
skin-effect changes When fracturing occurs t here 1s a
change i n t he slope of t he injection-rate-pressure
curve t hat is easily distinguishable
Examples of t est results and interpretations ar e
given and compared with analysis techniques t hat have
been proposed by Hall3 and Johnson, et a1 4 The anal-
ysis procedure of Hal l has been altered to account f or
several additional vanabl es Results confirm t he ability
t o detect skin buildup when periodic t est s ar e run
The expression defining t he steady-state flow of wat er
into a n injection well is:
7.07 kwh (Pw-Pe)
Qw =
1,000 BW pw In-
Qw = water-injection rat e, BWPD
kw = permeability t o wat er, md
h = formation thickness, f t
Pw = well-bore pressure, psi
Pe = reservoir pressure a t out er boundary, psi
're = radius of out er boundary, f t
1; = well-bore radius, f t
plu = wat er viscosity, cp
Bw = wat er formation-volume fact or
'Atlantic Rlchfield Company. Dallas. Texas
?Presented at the sprlng meetlng of the Mld-Gontlnent Dlstrlct. API
Dlvlslon of Production. March 1967
IReferences are at the end of the paper
The injectivity i ndes of a well is defined a s t he
change i n r at e relative to t he change in pressure i n t he
units BWPD per psi pressure difference, or in dlfferen-
t i al form
Injectivity-index measurements of t he ent l re reser-
voir system from injection well to producing well will
not definitely define changes i n skin effect The change
in t hl s injectivity index \vith time i s a function of mo-
bility ratio, relative oil-bank size, and fill-up condi-
tions, in addltion to skin damage I n order to measure
an injectivity index t hat will be primarily a functlon of
changes i n skin condition, t he radl us of ~nvest i gat i on of
a t est must be limited to a volume of t he reservoir ad-
jacent t o t he well bore This can be accoinplished by
shut t i ng i n t he injection well, creat i ng a stabillzed
pressure zone around t he well, and t hen runni ng an
injection t est of short duration The injectivlty index,
as measured under these conditions, is called t he "re-
st nct ed i nj ect i v~t y index" (R I I )
I n order f or t here t o be a linear relationship between
rat e and pressure duri ng a n R I I test, all t he t erms on
t he r ~ g h t side of t he equatlon must be constant Upon
inspection of t he equation, it can be seen t hat t he only
t erm t hat will vary is t he logarithm t erm r, / r, , Al-
though re must change duri ng a test, actual results
show t hat t he change is insignificant duri ng t he injec-
tion of small quantities of wat er This is to be expected
since 're/rm appears a s a logarithm t erm and is insensi-
tive t o small changes
Periodically meas ur ~ng t he restricted i nj ect i v~t y index
will show whether a change i n skin damage has oc-
curred For example, if t he restricted injectivity index
on a t est was found t o be 0 5 BWPD per psi and a
subsequent t est showed t he i ndes t o be 0 25 BWPD
per psl, then obviously skin damage has occurred
The critical i nput pressure of an injection well is t he
pressure a t which fract uri ng occurs When measuring
t he restricted lnjectivity index, t he critical i nput pres-
sure wlll ultimately be reached if a sufficient pressure
source 1s available and an increase 111 the lujectlvlty
index will occur. Operating above t he critical pressure
- lo', 2 0 0 0 PSI WP -
Fig. 1 - Schematic Diagram of Test Equipment
under normal conditions is not necessarily harmful t o
a waterflood The problem is a functlon of several phys-
leal properties of t he flood system, such as
1 Flood pat t ern
2 Vertical extent of t he fract ure
3 Direction of t he fract ure
4 Length of t he fract ure
5 Injectivlty below t he fract uri ng pressure
Importance of t he physical limits of t he fract ure
formed 1s self-explanatory There a r e no set rules and
each flood must be examined in&vidually If t he injec-
tivlty below fracturing pressure is low and wat er sup-
ply adequate, t here i s usually llttle t o be lost by operat-
l ng above fract uri ng pressure
A schematic di agram of t he t est equipment is shown
i n Fi g 1 and conslsts of a 2,000-psi working pressure
manifold with %-in and 1%-in turblne meters in
parallel, a 1-in throttling valve, and two 10-ft 2,000-
psi flexible rubber hoses Supplemental equipment in-
cludes a r at e indicator calibrated f or both met ers, a
pressure recorder with 2-hour and 24-hour recorder
hubs, and an assortment of connections The equipment
1s llghtwelght and can be easily carried i n t he t r unk of
a car The %-In met er has a n operating range of up
t o about 500 BWPD and t he 1%-in up t o about 3,600
A con~pl et e restricted injectivity index has two por-
tions a pressure-falloff t est and an injection t est The
falloff t est glves information which may permit calcu-
latlons of pernleability, skln damage, and reservoir
pressure It is necessary to make calculations pri or t o
runnl ng t he t est t o deternline t he length of shut-in
time required t o get a usable falloff t est Obviously, if
t he well goes on vacuum, t hi s portion will not be usable
Methods".G-i have been described i n t he l i t erat ure f or
analyzing injection-well falloff dat a
If t he lnjection t est i s all t hat is required, shut t he
well i n unt i l t he pressure-decllne rat e i s small and con-
st ant Thls time may vary from % hour to a day,
depending upon t he rock permeability I n order t o get
sufficient dat a points, t he stabilized wellhead pressure
should be a t least 200 psi less t han t he maymum avail-
able pump pressure
An example pressure chart of a t est 1s shown a s
F1g 2
f i el d Procedure
1 Connect t he pressure recorder t o wellhead and
record t he normal lnjection pressure f or several minutes
prlor t o shut-in If available, a 2-hour recorder hub
should be used unless t he estimated shut-in time exceeds
about 4 hours
2 Shut i n t he well a t t he wellhead and upst ream of
t he wellhead meter
3 Remove t he minilnum number of connections re-
qulred to install t he t est manifold Normally t hi s will
mean removing t he wellhead met er The degree t o whlch
t he wellhead has t o be disassembled depends upon t he
assortment of fittlngs carried
Fig. 2 - Example Pressure Chart of Test
We l l Formation Date
Fi el d
Number I Time I BWPD I PS l g
St a bi l i z e d Sur f ace Pr es s ur e PS l g Pr es s ur e
Poi nt
Time t o s t a b i l i z e mi nut es
Fl ui d Level
Sur f ace
Pr es s ur e
Maximum WH I n j e c t i o n Pr es s ur e Ps l g
Normal WH I n j e c t i o n Pr es s ur e PS l g
Normal WH I n j e c t i o n Rate BWPD
Date of "Normal" Data
Cum. I n j . M Bbl s, Date -
Per f or at i ons Tubing o r Casi ng Si ze
Pa t t e r n Per Cent Fi l l u p -
Evidence of Channeling, Bypassing
Remedial Work (Type, Dat es)
Net pay f t . Avg. Por os i t y %
Avg. Per meabi l i t y md
Avg. i n i t i a l o i l s a t u r a t i o n %
Avg. r e s i d u a l o i l s a t u r a t i o n %
Fig. 3 - Data Sheet - lnject~vity Index Test
4. Pressure-test t he manifold connect~ons with t he In-
jection system pressure
5 Run t he injection portion of t he t est In a series of
10-15 pressure increments of 20-30 psi each These
increments should evenly span t he pressure ranges
between t he stabilized falloff pressure and t he maximum
lnjectlon pressure Each t est increment should l ast from
3 t o 5 min The t hrot t l i ng valve i n t he t est manifold is
used t o control t he injection rat es If t he rat e range
exceeds t he capacity of t he %-in meter, t he flow can
easily be shifted t o t he 1 %-in met er r un Fig 3 i s t he
type of dat a sheet being used Trouble has been en-
countered duri ng t he t est s with debris causing t he
met er rotor t o stick This can usually be corrected by
back flowing through t he met er
6 Aft er completing t he injection test, re-install t he
wellhead fittings and set t he wellhead throttle valve t o
t he set t l ng prior t o t he t est
Various t rends which have been observed and inter-
pretations ar e discussed following
Exanlple I-(Fzg 4 ) This IS a t est on an injection
well located in t he Horseshoe Gallup Uni t (99T) In
northwestern New Mexico demonstrating normal re-
stricted injectivity ~n d e x behavior The rate-pressure
plot has a deflection point a t the cr i t ~cal i nput pressure
I 2 3 4 5 6 7
SURFACE PRESS, 100 p s ~ g
Fig. 4 - Example 1
SURFACE PRESS, 100 p s ~ g
Fig. 5 - Example 2
and has a normal operating condition below an ext rap-
olation of t he radial-flow portion of t he R I I curve
As pointed out previously, t he operating rat e and pres-
sure do not have t o agree with R I I t est results The
well is operating above t he critical pressure a s deter-
mined by t he R I I test, but a fract ure nlay or may not
be open under normal conditions This results from a
d~fference In t he average fornl at ~on pressure around t he
well bore duri ng t he t est a s compared w ~ t h t he normal
operating pressure. A lower forn~at i on pressure w~ l l
result In a lower fract uri ng pressure So long a s t he
normal operating condition is below an extrapolation
of t he lower slope, most of t he injected wat er 1s flowing
into t he format1011 in a radial-flow fashion
Exwmple 2-(Fzg. 5 ) Thi s injection well is located
In t he Loco Palacine Uni t (11H) in south-central Okla-
homa demonstrating a fract ure ~nflection point and,
in addition, had a normal operating condition well above
t he radial-flow portlon (low i nj ect ~vi t y index) of t he
injectivity t est Results of t hi s nat ure indicate a low
water-utilization efficiency may be occurring A substan-
t i al portion of t he injected wat er may be bypassing t he
formation by way of a fract ure network or wat er may
be channeling behind pipe A t racer survey or inter-
ference t est may help t o solve t he problem
Exantple 8 This t est is on an injection well also i n
t he Loco Palacine Uni t (12D1) showing a skin buildup
from t he t est of Jul y 1965 to Jul y 1966 ( Fi g 6, Graph
1) R I I decreased from 1 9 BWPD per psi to 0 5
BWPD per psi Skin-effect buildup can also be demon-
st rat ed uslng t he methods of Ha113 revised to account
f or a changnlg ,re and Johnson, et a1 4 The revised Ha113
procedure IS shown in Example 3-Graph 2 (Fig 7)
and t he Johnson, et a1 ,' shown in Example 3-Graph 3
( Fi g 8).
0 J UL Y 1 9 6 5
0 J ULY 1966
3 4 5 6 7 8
SURFACE PRESS, 100 p s ~ g
Fig. 6 -Example 3 -Graph 1
LOG row
Fig. 7 -Example 3 -Graph 2
0 1 - a I I
230 235 240 245 250 255 260 265 270
LOGI O 'ow
Fig. 9 - Example 3 -Graph 4
A plot based on the rewsed Ha113 method shows a
curve trendlng in a concave up direction indicating a
reduction in the kw value with time This type of anal-
y s ~ s is based on operating wellhead pressure and cumu-
lative water-lnject~on data Each polnt on the curve
represents a month's injection
A plot based on the Johnson, et a1 ,c variable rat e
procedure also shows a slun bulldup when comparing
the July 1965 R I I test with the July 1966 R I I test
"Skln factor" went from -0 01 psi per BWPD to +16
psi per BWPD
Example 3-Graph 4 ( Fi g 9) is a graph based on the
revised Hall3 procedure demonstrating the effects of a
fracture treatment and skln bulldup on another injectLon
well also ~n the Loco Palaclne Unit
Exc ~w~pl e 4 This test was on an injection well in the
Loco Palacine Unit (2D) Three curves are shown (Ex-
ample 4-Graph 1, Fi g 10)-a July 1965 test having a
A JULY 1966 - 2 4 HR FALLOFF - TEST 2
Fig. 8 - Example 3 - Graph 3
Fig. 10 - Example 4 -Graph 1
L OG r ow
Fig. 11 - Example 4 - Graph 2
1-hour shut-in time, a Jul y 1966 t est having a 40-min
shut-in time, and a Jul y 1966 t est having a 24-hour
shut-in time The t est s in Jul y 1966, having different
shut-in times, were r un to determine if t he level of
pressure stabilization around t he injection well affected
t he t est results Comparing t he R I I t est s of Jul y 1966
with 40-min shut-in time, and t he Jul y 1965 test, a n
increase in t he R I I from 1 BWPD per psi t o 1 5
BWPD per psi is shown Comparing t he Jul y 1965 t est
with t he Jul y 1966 test, having a 24-hour s hut - ~n tlme,
a decrease in t he R I I from 1 to 0 7 IS indicated We
mt erpret these test dat a as showing an increase in
injectir~ity The zone being injected into i s conlposed of
t wo intervals It appears t hat t he zone of higher kluh
has a threshold pressure of about 450 psig on t he sur-
face Below t hi s pressure most of t he wat er injection is
going into t he zone of lower ku,h and reservoir pres-
sure This can be confirmed by comparing t he slope of
t he 24-hour shut-in time t est above 450 psig with t hat
of t he 40-nlin shut-in cun7e These two slopes ar e vir-
tually i dent ~cal The occurrence of two zones co~nplicates
t he analysis because t he R I I becomes a function of
t he reservoir pressure 111 each zone III addition t o t he
k,,lt, around t he well bore
Fig. 12 - Example 4 -Graph 3
+- t I00
A plot based on t he revised Hall3 method (Exampl e
4-Graph 2, Fi g 11) gives a convex up curve indicat-
i ng well-bore improvement The Johnson, et al,4 inter-
pretation method (Example 4-Graph 3, Flg 12) glves
t he same indication as t he R I I plot
Exuwuple 5 (F.ig 13) These t est clata ar e from t he
Many Rocks Uni t (11T) located i n northwestern New
Mexico The R I I clata show ail extremely high re-
stricted injectivity index This waterflood has seen
Fig. 13 - Example 5
S K I N FACTOR : - 0 32 P S I / BWPD
virtually no oil response, even though t he estimated
fillup volume has been injected several times over The
stabilized shut-ln pressure is essentially equal t o t he
crltical i nput pressure Apparently wat er i s going into
a n extensive fract ure network with only a small por-
tlon of t he wat er actually flushing t he formation Thl s
is demonstrated by t he extremely slow pressure decline
when t he well is shut In, indicating a slow leak-off of
wat er i n t he fract ures to t he formation The R I I , a s
measured, is not a n indication of wat er volume going
1 Peri od~c measurement of t he R I I can detect skin-
effect changes t hat may result from sediment buildup
on t he formation face or from remedial t reat ment s
2 R I I tests can be used as a n indication of injected
water-ut~llzation efficiency
nPt = pressure drop i n tublng, psi
PIuh = wellhead pressure, psi
H = depth of sand, f t
pw = dens ~t y of water, Ib/in'-ft
IL = fornlation thickness, f t
into t he formation but t he volume t hat t he fract ure
system can absorb
face, psi, f t
P, , re = pressure a t and radius of oil bank, psi, f t
XCo = mo b ~ l ~ t y of wat er zone md/cp
X" = mob~l i t y of oil zone kg,/$. md/cp
M = inobility ratio, hl17/Xo
A = ratio of area swept by displacing phase t o
area swept by displaced phase, fract ure
S = s k ~ n effect
Qlu = water-inject~on rate, BWPD
Qo = oil-flow rate, STB/D
Bm = wat er formatlon-volume factor, RVB/ STB
Bo = oil formation-volume factor, RVB/STB
As , , = change in wat er saturation, fract ure
PI , , r, , = pressure a t and radius of well bore, PSI, f t
Po,o, roll, = pressure a t and radi us of oil-water inter-
Hall3 proposed a water-injection well analysis technique based on t he following equation
707'1w'ie X P t ~ h d t -k
7 07 k,,,Ii
Qludt =
Bw BW I n y
Blu plu In- (H~Iu-Apt -Pe)
A plot of cumulative wat er injection [ 1 Qwdt ] vs a pressure function
[ 1 Ptuhdt + ( Xp r AP t - P J
X d t I
yields a curve t hat indicates changes In
7 07 k,,h
t he values of
Te I
The assumption IS made t hat all t erms ar e constant except k,,, so t hat changes In slope
Bw plu I n 7
ar e reflections of changes i n k,,, Halls polnted out t hat estimates of changes i n k,, ar e a minilnum slnce ba(r, /rlo) is
actually Increasing with time The equation also assumes a mobility ratio of 1 if Pp IS used a s t he pressure a t t he
oil bank-unswept area interface or a t t he producing well
Assume an incompressible radial flow system with a steady-state pressure distribution pri or to fillup
cxo (Po,,-Pe)
Qo Bo =
QO BO = Qw BIu
(Pw-POI,) + (Pow-Pe) = (PI,-Pe)
Substituting ( Al ) , (A2), and (A3) into (A4) ylelds
' r e
- = constant pmor to fillup =
Since QIu, 111 rolu, and (Pw-P,) ar e functions of t i me-
Substituting (A7) into (A6) yields
2 T h AS, @ Jrmaz 1
5 61 ( A) * I 2
" C% (Pw-Pe) clt (A8) row in TO,. draw + (M b~= + S-ln r w) 1 Qwdt = 2!-
Substituting (A9), (Al O), and ( Al l ) into (A8) ylelds
A plot of t he l eft hand side of t he equation vs log10 I.OIU will yield a curve t hat is convex up if damage has occurred
or convex down if improvement The t erms of t he left-hand side of t he equation ar e determined as described by Hall3
and log YO,, can be found by uslng Equat ~on ( Al l )
Damage i n Waterflood Input Wells, J. Petr. Tech., 85,
lDickey, Parke A and Andresen, Kur t He The Be-
havior of Wat er-Input Wells, APZ Drzllzng and Pro-
dzictzon Practzce, 34 (1945)
and Ho11eyman9 ln~ection
Rates and Pressures for Water Mid-Conti-
nent Oil Sands, U S Bur Mz nes RZ 4600 (1949)
SHall, H N How t o Analyze Waterflood Injection
Well Performance, World Oil, 128, Oct (1963)
4Johnson, C R, Greenkorn, R A, and Widner, G W
A Variable Rat e Procedure f or Appraising Wellbore
J a n (1963)
SMathews, C S Analysis of Pressure Buildup and
Flow Test Data, J Petr. Tech, 862, Sept (1961).
sGuerrero, E T How t o Fi nd Injection Capacity and
Skin Effect from Pressure Falloff Dat a from Wat er In-
jection Wells, Reservoir Engineering-Part 71, Ozl Gas
J , 206, Sept 21 (1964)
THazebrook, P , Rainbow, H; and Mathews, C S.
Pressure Falloff in Wat er Injection Wells, Trc~ns Am
Znst. Mznzng Met Engrs (Petrole?im Development and
Technology) 213, 250 (1958).