ESTIMATION
@
Abstract
Its calculating oilwell production, it has commonly been
assumed that producing rates are proportional to drawdowns. Using thi,s assumptimt, a wells behavior can be
described by its productivity index (Pi). This PI relationship was developed from Darcys law for the steadystate
radial flow oj a single, incompressible
fhid. Although
Muskat pointed out tha~ the relationship is not valid when
both oil and gas jiow in a reservoir, its use has continued
for lack of better approximations, Gilbert proposed methods of well analysis utilizing a curve of producing rates
plotted against b ot!omhole well pressures; he termed this
complete graph rhe infiow performance relatiorsship (IPR)
of a well.
The calculations necessary to compute IPRs from twophme fiow theory were extremely tedious bejore advent of
the computer. Using machine computations,
IPR curves
were calculated for wells producing from several fictitious
solutiongas drive reservoirs that co>ered a wide range O!
oil PVT properties and reservoir relative permeability characteristics. Wels with hydraulic fractures were also included. From these curves.. a reference IPR curve was
developed that is simple to apply and, it is believed, can
he used for most solutiongas drive reservoirs to provide
more accurate calculations for oil well productivity
than
can be secured with PI methods. Field verification i.s
needed.
Introduction
In calculating the productivity of oil wells, it is corn
monly assumed that inflow into a well is directly proportional to the pressure differential, between the reservoir
and the wellbore that production is directly proportional to drawdown. The constant of proportionality is
the PI, derived from Darcys law for the steadystate radial flow of a single, incompressible fluid. For cases in
which this relationship holds, a plot of the producing
rates vs the corresponding bottomhole pressures results
in a straight line (Fig. 1), The PI of the well is the inverse
of the slope of the straight line.
However, Muskat pointed out that when twophase
liquid and gas flow exists in a reservoir, this relationship
should not be expected to hold; he presented theoretical
calculations to show that graphs of producing rates vs
bottomhole pressures for twophase flow resulted in
curved rather than straight lines, When curvature exists,
Original matmacript received in Society of Petroleum Engln*rs o~@e
July 11, 1966. Revised manuscript reaekd
Dec. S, 1967. PaPer (SPE
1476) wae presented at SPE 41st Annual Fall Meetbra held in Dallas,
Tex,, Oot, 2.5, ISSC. @CbRyrlght 1S6S American Institute of Minims,
Metallurgical, and Petroleum Errsineers, k,
preferences given at end of papsr.
This paper will be printed hr Transactions Volume 24L3, which will
cover 196S.
JANUARY,
19611
Ps4nwclns
Fig. lStraightline
SATE,
MA KIMUM
bwd
2400
psi
PERMEABILITY
ACTERISTICS
 2000
w
a
CHAR
J
g,
1600
CUMULATIVE RECOVERV,
, !,
PERCENT OF ORIGINAL
14+
o. I OIL IN PLACE
1
d
.
k \
2500
A+PR
01%
BIPRw IT HP DIFFERENT
CRUDE OIL
FLOWING,
ALI. OTHER CON OIIIONS
2000
1500
OIL PROP
1000
.
.0
500
r~
Fhr.
., 2Contrx4terculculatetl inflow performance
relationships for a solutiongas drive reservoir.
F\
o
~~
l_L_L~
100
50
!50
200
250
300
I .0
(al
ACTUAL
IPRS
k!
a
0,8
&
Np/N=OJ%,2eh,4l.
:go,
~g
6le,8h
Io%
.3b
~z
~o
g ~ 0.4
I 2 A
I 4/.
ZS
ok
1 g
RESERVOIR
go.?
CONDITIONS
SAME AS FIG.2
.J.
..
o
0,6
0.4
0.2
PRODUCINGRATEfqo /~o)mox),
0.8
1.0
FRACTION OF MAXIMUM
n.s
0.2
ROOUCIN5
0.4
0.6
(b} DIMENSIONLESS
jor
Fig. 4Eflect
0.8
RATE klD~%)maa),
OF MAXIM1M
1.0
fRACTION
IPRS
JOURNAL
OF
PETROLEUM
T13CHNO_&OCY
had about the same bubble point, IPRs were then calculated for a third crude oil with a higher bubble poirit.
Again, the characteristic shape was noted,
Two further runs were made to explore the relationship
under more extreme conditions. C)ne utilized a more viscous crude (3cp minimum compared with 1cp minimum ),
and the other used a crude with a low solution GOR
(300 scf/STB). With the more viscous crude, some straightening of the IPRs W?.Snoted. The lowGOR crude exhibited the same curvature noted in previous cases.
Runs were a[so made with the initial reservoir pressure exceeding the bubble point, During the period while
the reservoir pressure was above the bubble point, the
slopes of the IPR curves were discontinuous with the
upper part being a straight line until the well pressure
was reduced below the bubble point. Below this point
the IPR showed curvature similar to that noted previously. After the reservoir pressure went below the bubble
point, all the dimensionless IPR curves agreed well with
the previous curves.
w
K
0.
m
u)
w
a
a
E
5
>
a
w
m
w
0,
0
PRODUCIN9
SATE (qo/(qo
1968
)ma*),
FfSACTION OF
MAXIMUM
,, ,
Lo
TWOPHASE
(REFERENCF
FLOW
CURVE I
0.8 1
g
u
a
1.0
0.6 !==
>
LIQUIO
.;
,REFERENCE
CURVE
0.4
FLOW
,,
08 2
0 ~
12%
I 4 /.
0,4
0.2
.
RESERVOIR
sAME
o
t10
AS FIC.2
Fig. GComparison
0.4
0.2
0.6
FRACTION oF MAXIMUM
oo~
LO
0.8
.
cl/qmQR
CONDITIONS
RESERVOIR
CONDITIONS
SAME
AS FIG. 2
2000~\poNToFMATcH(
wELLTEsT)
o
1800
1600
\
\
1400
\
4\ STRAIGHT.
t~+
\
I 200
Y?
EXTRAPOLATION
LINE
[000
\
~,
k+
800
\
\f2
COMPUT*FR
\
< AL CULATED
IPR
\
\
600
\\
\@
\\.
400
\
i\
\~of
i,
~IPREXTRApOLAJF~\
\\\
~\;\
20 0
\
\\
so
~
OK
0
1
20
i,
\
lU
40
60
Ii
60
II
I,i
100
120
f40
:tiv:EFERENcE
,
\
\\r
[60
l\
180
200
220
240
260
280
300
%.1\
320
Fig. 7Deviations
86
when IPRs
are predicted
by reference
OF
PETROLEUM
CECEN(SLOGY
If the IPR curves for other solutiongas drive reservoirs exhibit the same shape as those investigated in thk
study, well prodl.activities can be calculated more accurately witha simple reference curve than with the straightIine PI approximation method currently used.
Applying one reference curve to all solution. gas drive
reservoirs would not imply that all these reservoirs are,
[ooo~o
200
:[:+:

[600
4.0
I I
N
o
 3,0 ;
I 50 .  1200 .
150
w
1200
~w
a
K*
x

100 
800
K
I 00
 2!0 *O
L
m
50 
RS
1
B.
.~f$
400
50
1.0
Pg
800
1,0
PO
0 
Jo
f)
o
1000
(o) Pb : 2r30
250
1000
psi
PRESSURE
2009
PREsSURE,
psi
I/Bg
psi
: 2130
(b)
2000
10
nflt
Zooo
psi
5.0
25:[
200
2000+50170
1600
 4,0
 6.0
t
[50
m
 3,0N:
I 200
l/Bg
a
100
am
 2.0
800
1.
.. ~,f)
~
 440
m
%
B.
50
,0
3.0
400
~o
onI
Y&
(c)
Pb
PRESSURE,
psi
PRESSURE,
2130
(d]
psi
pb
o:
2,0
2000
1000
o
psi.
: 2130
psi
or oo~~(o
[
ooo~o
II
[600
200
4.0
N
0
l;!3g
1200
I50
m
 3,0
m
a.
K
:
100
s 00
Pg
2,0
?
II
B.
50 IL
400
Po
 1.0
;1.OIAZI=Z!ZI=Z!O
(e)
Fig, 9Input
JANUARY,
196S
pb
:3000
2000
1000
PRESSURE,
PRESSURE,
psi
~
psi
(f)
12 XIOgin
(c,=
.
pb
psi
: 2130
psi
all cases).
87
identical any more than wou!d the preser.: use of straightline PIs for all such reservoirs. Rather. the curve can be
regarded as a general solution af the solutiongas drive
reservoir flow equaticms with the constants for particular
solutions depending on the individual reservoir characteristics,
Although one of the dimensionless curves taken from
the computer calculations could probably be used as a
reference standard, it seems desirable to have a mathematical statement for the curve to insure reproducibility,
permanency and flexibilityy in operation.
,
0.40
t
Sgc
0.35
0.30
.s,0%
Sw
19840/
13.90/.
.#
13,9%
23.5fl
= 23.5ft
2.1
19.49/0
k ~.
0.25
Sgc
Sw
+
20md
(l OO?/.
s,,):
k ~.
0,444
20md
(100%
s,,1=
0.444
I
k
k
f9
k ro
rq
ro
0,3
0,4
0.5
0(6
0.7
0,8
0.9
1,0
0,3
0,4
0,5
C,6
0,7
OS
1.0
0.9
(b)
(0)
0.45
0,40
0835
Sgc
Sw
0.30
L1 25
10%
Sgc
, 5%
19,470
Sw
19.4/0
13.90/0
13,970
: 23.5fi
:20md
kro
(l OOO/OS+l
r
0.20
0.15
ro
k
):
: 20md
0.444
..[
r9
0.10 
0.05
0 b
0.3
0,4
0,5
0.6
0,7
08
0!9
1,0
0,3
0,4
0,5
S( TOTAL LIOUID]
(4)
(cl
0,7
0,6
S(TOTAL
curves.
LIOUIO]
o#E
0.9
psi, Find (~) the maximum producing rate with 100 percent drawdown, and (2) the producing rate if artificial
lift were installed to reduce the producing bottomhole
pressure to 500 psi.
When q./(q.)~.,
from Eq, 1 is plotted vs p,,,/5,, the
dimensionless IPRreference curve results, Onthe basis of
the cases studied, it is assumed that about the same curve
will result for all wells, If q,, is plotted vs p~,, the actual
lPR curve fora particular well should result.
A comparison of this curve with those calculated on
the computer is illustrated in Fig. 6. The curve matches
more closely the IPR curves for early stages of depletion
than the IPR curves for later stages of depletion. In this
way, the percent of error is least when dealing with the
kigher producing rates in the early stages of depletion.
The percentage error becomes .greater in the later stages
of depletion, but here production rates are low and, as
a consequence, numerical errors would be less in absolute
magnitude,
The method of using the curve in Fig. 5 is best illustrated by the following example problem. A well tests
65 130PD with a flowing bottomhole pressure of 1,500
psi in afield where rhe average reservoir pressureis2 ,000
0.80
I4 %
0.60 
I2
%
Io%
0,4(
I 4 %
~
CRUOE OIL PROPERTIES,
FIG A1o
RELATIVE
PERMEABILITY
,FIG, A20
WELL SPACING z 20 ACRES
WELL RADIUS :0,33
FOOT
INITIAL RESERVOIR
PRESS URE:21300$I
BuBBLE POINT= 2130psi
0.20
~
SAME AS CASE 1, ExCEPT
.40ACRE SPACING
\
1
(o)
I
WITH
(b)
00
0.80 I 4 /.
0.60
12/e
14%
I 9 A
?
6 /e, 8 %
~:
0.40
CASE
0.20
WITH
OF 200md
TIIAT WEI. L
WELL
1
1
o
o
020
!
0.+0
1
0.60
I
0.80
0<20
0.60
040
qo/(%lmaa
[d]
0.80
1.00
It is anticipated that the most common use of the reference IPR curve will be to predict producing rates at highat lower drawdowns.
cr drawdowns from data measured
For example, from well tests taken under flowing conditions, predictions will be made of productivities to be
expected upon installation of artificial lift. It is necessary
to arrive at the approximate accuracy of such predictions,
Maximum error will occur when well tests made at very
producing rates and correspcmdingly low drawdowns
low
are extrapolated with the aid of the reference curve to
estimate maximum productivities as [he drawdown approaches 100 percent of the reservoir pressure. The error
that would result under such conditions was investigated,
and typical results are shown in Fig, 7. in this figure the
dashed lines represent IPRs estimated from well tests at
low drawdowns (1 I to 13 percent), and the solid lines
represent the actual IPRs calculated by the computer.
1.00
BuBBLE
=. ~Np/N:
0.s0
POINT
0,1/.,6/,,10/.
\\
\
\
yA
0.50
K
14%
<
5
la
16%
\
\
\
0.40
\
CASE
I o /.
\
CASE6
\
SAME AS CASE
020
PLUS
1, ExCEPT
HAS
5 SKIN
WELL
(o)
1.00
0.s0
I4
8%
/.
12
{*
0.40
CASE
SAME
0,20
C=
AS CASE 1, EXCEPT
LESS VISCOUS
FIG. Alb
0.20
CRUOE
OIL
0.40
WITH
*SAME
FROM
0.60
AS CASE
VISCOUS
0,60
1,00
1. EXCEPT
CRUQE
OIL
0,20
0.40
FROM
WITH
MORE
FIG. Aid
0460
I
0.80
1, )
qo/(%)mOx
(d)
(cl
Fig.
12Calculated
dimensionless
IPR curves.
I
cause better agreement is noted between IPRs and reference curve throughout most of the prodhcing life of the
reservoirs and because well tests are ordinarily made at
greater drawdowns.
..=,,=.
Application of Reference Curve:
Other Types of Reservoirs
it appears intuitively that some curvature should be expected in the IPRs whenever free gas is flowing in a
reservoir, For radial flow, this curve should lie somewhere between the straight line for a singlephase liquid
flow and the curve for singlephase gas flow, The dimrilsionless IPRs for the two types of singlephase flov, are
compared with the suggested reference curve for mlution gas drive reservoirs in Fig. 8.
Conclusions
IPR curves calculated both for differeut reservoirs and
for the same reservoirs at different stages of depletion
varied severalfold in actual magnitude, Nevertheless, the
curves generally exhibited about the same shape.
This similarity should permit substitution of a simple
empirical curve for the straightline PI approximations
commonly used, Maximum errors in calculated produc.
tivities are expected to be on the order of 20 percent
compared with 80 percent with the PI method, Productivity calculations made with the reference curve method
rather than with the PI method will show smaller production increases for given increases in drawdowns and, conversely, less lost production for given increases in backpres?urcs.
[.00
0.80
060
10 /0
16%
? o /
5
n
0.40
CASE
cASE
10
02:t:,;:,E~,;,,,,,;,,?
\
I,
BUBBLE
POINT
ExCEPT
WITH
SAME AS CASE
HIGHER
PERMEABILITY
FROM
wITH
CHARACTERISTICS
FIG. A2b
(a)
Loo
\
0.80
\
yA
\
20 %
\
0.60
Io %
Io %
N ~ IN =0.1%
\
<
28/*
18 A
\
\
;
a
\
040
\
CASE
\,
[1
CASE
0.7.0
sAME AS CASE
PERMEABILITY
FROM FIG. A2b
ERTIE!3 FROM
~~
~
)
qo/(qOl mox
(c)
L~
0!20
12
I, EXCEPT
WITH
CHARACTERISTICS
ANDCRUDEOIL
PROPF! G. Alb
)
0.40
1.00
\
,
\\
0.80
.A, NP/kz
O.l/e,
2%
\..\
\
\
\
\
T,A
20 i.
26%
0.4C
Iov.
6 v,
10%
\ \:N=O**
N,
\
\
CA
. SE13
CASE
[4
\
\
\
SAME AS CASE
0.20
GOR
CRUDE
1, EXCEPT
WITH
LOW
FROM
\\ FIG. Aif
WITH
PERMEABILITY
CHARACTERISTICS
Y FROM FIG, A2b ANO CRUDE OIL
PROPERTIES
FROM FIG. Ale
0
(b)
1,00
0.80
IO*A
2%
4 (*
0,40
CASE
SAME
0.20
ERTIES
CASE
[5
1
0.40
I
0.60
APPROXIMATELY
OF FIG, A.2d
APPROXIMATE
FIG. AIc
1
0.80
Lc
16
0.20
FROM
PERMEABILITY
STRAIGHT
LINES
LINES
I
0.60
OF
1
0,80
%A%)maa
(d)
(c)
Fig. 14Calculated
dim m@lcss
References
1. Evineer.
H. _H, and
e.
, .
w.,
4.
II
.,,
.r&
TV,
Sheldon,
J. W.:
Solution
APPENDIX A
Input Data
Figs. 9 and 10 illustrate graphically the input data (crude
oil PVT characteristics and relative permeability characteristics) from which the theoretical behavior of simulated
reservoirs was calculated by the computer,
IPR clirves,
APPENDIX
biograplzical
sketch
o/
1