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OTC 23629

Drill Stem Test Design Optimization Improves Quality of Reservoir Data and
Time Requirements for Deep and Ultra Deep Water Well Testing
Tomas Cervantes, Gerardo Bravo, PEMEX, Jan Loaiza, and Pablo Ruiz, Halliburton

Copyright 2012, Offshore Technology Conference


This paper was prepared for presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 30 April3 May 2012.
This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright.

Abstract
Energy requirements are continuing to rise, and because the oil and gas industry has been one of the largest contributors to the
fulfillment of energy needs worldwide, it is imperative that the technology needed to explore new arenas that can expand oil
and gas production be available. Since exploration for new reserves has had to move into more complex environments that
include deep and ultra-deep water reservoirs more difficult to access, all involved in exploration must also address the new
challenges for deepwater. For operators, attempting to produce these areas represents huge investments for development of the
new deeper reserves; for service companies, attempting to service these new developments means that new technologies must
be available to ensure that sufficient high-quality data is gathered in exploratory wells to justify subsequent production. This
requires that updates to technology be ongoing.
Drill-Stem Testing (DST) provides one of the most important reservoir evaluation methods for the incorporation of new
hydrocarbon reserves, because DST allows dynamic reservoir characterization and can assess potential production as well as
the proposed production plan. When target reservoirs produce heavy oil, gas, and condensate, DST in deep and ultra-deep
water requires prolonged periods of exposure to low temperatures and heat loss, which may not only affect viscosity for oil but
also result in hydrate formation in gas presence; in order to control all these variables, the DST design must focus on gathering
reservoir quality data that also consider safety and risk mitigation.
To achieve the above objectives, a new methodology that focuses on DST test design in deep and ultra-deep water has been
developed that considers new workflow criteria. It includes:
Analysis of hydrate formation
Injection design of viscosity-reducing systems
Realtime data acquisition
Operative decision making.
This paper presents details of this state-of-the-art method that enables reliable DST testing to be conducted in deep and
ultra-deep water and that can increase the quality of the reservoir data as well as reduce testing time and operational risk.
Introduction
Usually, exploratory wells drill many possible production reservoirs to evaluate the best exploitation scenarios, the number of
production intervals, and their productivity potential. One of the most important areas in the evaluation is gained through well
testing (Earlougher, R. J, 1977) (Soliman, M.Y., 2000). This is accomplished with a DST that consists of a pressure test using
a temporary string that evaluates all potential intervals that were identified through previously run openhole log results. Initial
information from seismic, perforation data, openhole logs and DSTs are necessary for a thorough calculation of the potential
reserves. The DST is particularly important as it can obtain reservoir fluid samples at surface and bottomhole as well, measure
hydrocarbon rates, and reservoir border effects.
DSTs are initiated after the well is drilled to evaluate hydrocarbon reserves at deep and ultra deep sea beds. A temporary
string composed of several tools that include a test packer, downhole shut-in valve, circulating valve and bottom
pressure/temperature gauges is run. The DST will flow the reservoir, which disturbs reservoir pressure, and then, shuts-in the
well to perform the build-up test.
Valves are controlled with annulus pressure; hydrocarbon and water rates are measured using surface well-testing
equipment, since it is possible to take fluid samples at surface in real time in order to characterize the hydrocarbon and water
flow. Figure 1 illustrates the equipment used in a typical DST Test.

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WELL HEAD CONTROL PRESSURE

CHOKE MANIFOLD.

WELL TESTING
.
SURFACESURFACE
WELL TESTING
.

PRESSURE
GAUGE

BURNER.
DST/TCP
STRING.
RESERVOIR

Figure 1 Equipment used in a typical DST Test.

The goal of a DST is to identify the following:


Reservoir Parameters.
1. Hydrocarbon Effective Permeability
2. Initial Reservoir Pressure
3. Reservoir Boundaries
4. Heterogeneity
5. Water/Gas Contacts
Well Conditions.
1. Skin Factor including pseudo skin
2. Fracture Length and Conductivity.
By creating teams of multi-disciplined personnel, the stake holders in the project can determine the interaction between
distinct geosciences associated with petroleum exploitation and can create values for the new reservoir. Unfortunately, the
worlds hydrocarbon reserves have dropped as a consequence of the economy, however, the energy demand has grown. Thus,
the need to look for new petroleum fields while maintaining economical constraints has shown that careful reservoir
evaluation, especially in exploratory wells, is critical to successful field development.
In the search for new reserves, operators also must address a variety of different well conditions such as those in deepwater development, which depend upon the reservoir conditions present and certain unusual rock properties that traditional
technologies are not capable of addressing. The new methodologies must enable thorough evaluation of the reservoir to
minimize operational risks and optimize platform time. This evaluation can only be made as a result of high-quality acquisition
of the reservoir data.
During the reservoir evaluation in this type of environment, the cooling effect from the sea bed must be considered; this
cooling effect can cause significant operating risks in the case of gas reservoirs, resulting from possible hydrate formation
inside the tubing. This can extend the platform time required, which will increase operating costs, and in some cases, can
cause loss of the main well production section. For heavy oil, the viscosity increment from the sea bed could affect the
production, even stopping flow, and significant problems can result when attempting to circulate and/or control the well.
The Evolution of the DST
Historically, successful drill stem testing has been faced with many new challenges as exploration has ventured into deeper,
more hostile conditions. These continually changing needs have triggered the revisiting of improvements in DST technology.
Below is a description of the various methodologies, best practices, and tools that have been required to satisfy the new
exploratory challenges that have surfaced:
a) OpenHole Evaluation. Traditionally, openhole evaluation has presented high risks because of the possibilities of sand
production, water breakthrough, production net pay, production uncertainty, test-packer leaks, cross flow, etc. Now, better
methods to control the risks and obtain better evaluations have been developed. These best practices include:
1.
2.

Setting the packer in the last casing


Integrating geosciences and best practices to determine the best intervals for evaluation

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3.
4.

Reducing the open hole sections.


Using the newly developed state-of-the-art tools now available that can evaluate the reservoirs and control risk while
obtaining high-quality results from pressure testing.
b) High Pressure/high Temperature (HPHT) conditions. A new generation of specialized evaluation tools and test packers,
pressure gauges for extreme reservoir conditions and safety procedures that permit evaluation of high pressure/high
temperature reservoirs have been introduced to the industry. In fact, the testing string can allow hydraulic fracturing to be
performed in extremely low permeability reservoirs to increase hydrocarbon flow for conducting the pressure test.
c) Unconsolidated formations. It is possible to evaluate this type of reservoir, but success depends on selecting the method
according to the source of the problem and the well conditions at the time of the test. In some cases, it is necessary use
screen technology in the DST string, and for other cases, a sand-control completion should be run before running the DST
string. When a mechanical solution is not sufficient to control sand production, it may be necessary to minimize the
drawdown during the flow period, so that the reservoir conditions will not be destabilized. The test can also be run with
special pumping fluid that can help to cement the sand grains.
d) Unnatural Flow. Some depleted reservoirs or those with abnormally low pressures will require artificial lift during the
DST evaluation. An electro-submersible pump (ESP) system, a jet pump, a gas-lift pump, a progressive cavity pump
(PCP), or a coiled tubing (CT) unit to inject gas or diesel at the bottom hole as an artificial lift method can be used.
e) Highly deviated or horizontal wells. Many wells are perforated to increase the reservoir drainage area or multi-stage
hydraulic fractures are conducted; DST can be executed in this well condition.
f) Offshore. DSTs can be used to perform evaluations with DST strings in offshore environments. Very often, this type of
test is used to search for new hydrocarbon reserves and to select the best fields for new well development.
Deep and Ultra Deep-Water Environments
Deep and ultra-deep water environments are the most challenging play to test, as they are associated with high operative costs
and additional risks. Modern platforms with advanced technology can enable drilling in difficult deep conditions; however,
high costs for the operating company will result. Any unexpected operational event can significantly extend the working time,
which will further increase the already higher operating costs. This is the reason testing activities have to be planned carefully
and designed with the proper technology for the prevailing conditions so that risks will be minimized and well testing
objectives for all parties will be realized.
The DST technique used must integrate improved technologies, knowledge already gained from experience in other areas
and improved disciplines that focus on safety and reduce testing time. DST evaluation is one of the most important tests that
can be run since the information obtained can help determine and optimize the final completion strategies chosen.
Considering the complexity of these offshore wells, the higher operative risks and the type of fluid that may come from the
targeted reservoirs, it is critical that all factors that can affect the DST evaluation results be studied as well as how any
detrimental conditions can be overcome.
Geothermal Temperature Profile. One of the most important factors to
OCEAN TEMPERATURE
considerer is the temperature profile at static conditions in the well,
PROFILE
including the temperature profile above the sea bed. The temperature
profile range expected in deep water is from 4 to 11C. See Figure 2.
Temperature (C)
15
20
25
0
5
10
Low temperatures in deep water can cause changes in drilling,
0
cementing, testing, completions, and stimulation. However, some of the
Surface
newly developed testing technologies and current best practices have
Thermoclinal
enabled successful testing to be conducted in this type of environment, but
500
the testing design will still depend on the activities being undertaken.
In the case of the DST, the cooling effect over the fluids that are coming
from the reservoir is one of the most critical situations that can occur during
1000
Deep Water
the test. It can affect the viscosity of the oil and/or generate hydrates into
the tubing during production; therefore, it is very important that the DST
design consider these conditions carefully in ultra deepwater conditions to
1500
minimize risks and assure stable production. (Wendler, C. et al, 2003)
(m)

Depth

Subsea Safety Systems. When considering that the bottom subsea tree is at
2000
the depth of the sea bed, it is necessary use a subsea safety system with the
DST string. This system has the capability to close the subsea tree rams,
and in the case of an emergency, assure the safety of the well at the sea bed.
2500
The use of a subsea safety system makes the operation more complex,
Figure 2 - Sea-Bed Configuration with one DST
because it is necessary to run the string first for correlation, and then, the
String
second for setting the packer and tubing-conveyed perforating equipment at
the depth for which it was designed.
New technologies in subsea safety systems are capable of disconnecting in seconds in case of any emergency, when the
platform is the dynamic positioning type.

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High Operative Costs. A semisubmersible platform or drill ship is used for most deep-water needs. This choice is very
expensive, because the conditions in which it must work are extreme; therefore, the operation must be designed with much
consideration given to the amount of time for the test. By optimizing the test, it is possible to reduce significantly the
operational cost for the test. Although a DST is an excellent source for obtaining reservoir/well information, the time spent in
each evaluation interval will have an influence on the decision of whether to evaluate additional zones or reduce the number of
intervals tested. Therefore, the test design must consider any new technology that can optimize the test time required, and
subsequently, reduce costs.
BOP Cans in the string. Depending on the characteristics of the well and reservoir, it is necessary to use ESP pumps or
electronic tools that require wireline in the annulus or an injecting sub that will use a capillary line in the annulus. If these
items are required, the string should include a BOP can that allows the capillary line and wireline to pass through it but also
allows the ram to be closed off from the subsea tree.
Gas Reservoirs in Deep and Ultra Deep Water
Usually gas and water will intermingle in the reservoir. It may be possible to reduce some of the water, but some of the water
could flow with the gas into the tubing. Water and gas flowing into the tubing causes one of the greatest operative risks during
a DST test, because it can generate hydrates that can plug the tubing (Wendler. C. et al, 2004). This plugging will require
additional operative costs, and in some cases, the hydrate could plug the tubing so that a sidetrack is required, or in worst case
scenarios, the well is lost. Figures 3a and 3b illustrate an example of hydrate formation and the gas envelope curve when a
critical hydrate formation zone is seen.
The point of temperature and pressure for different depths inside the wells should be out of the critical hydrate zone;
otherwise, water presence will increase the risk of hydrate formation inside the tubing.
In order for hydrates to form, four conditions must be present:
1. high pressure
2. gas
3. water
4. low temperature.

Gas Envelope Curve


8000
7000

Pressure [psi]

6000

CRITICAL HYDRATE
FORMATION ZONES

5000
4000
3000
2000
1000
0
0

10

15

20

25

Temperature [C]

Figure 3a Hydrate Plugging

Figure 3b Typical Gas-Envelope Curve

Tubing Pressure. Mixed fluid density into the tubing depends on several factors. The most important factor relates to the gas
hydrostatic being low while high pressure exists at the sea bed and above. Reservoir parameters also affect pressure in the
well; low permeability creates high drawdown. Bottomhole pressures might be low, but that means that the gas flow rate is
decreasing the temperature. Low reservoir static pressure can generate low bottomhole pressure, but in exploratory wells, gas
reservoirs usually will have high static pressures. When good permeability is present, high flowing pressure will result.

Water Presence. Water flowing with gas that is exposed to high pressures and low temperatures has a high risk of generating
hydrate. Usually, if the total water rate is not more than 100 bbls/day, glycol injected below the critical hydrate formation zone

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(below sea bed) could inhibit the hydrate formation. In the case of water coming from some aquifer or another zone with rates
higher than 120 bbls/day, the Glycol injecting system will not have the capability to inhibit the hydrate formation. Therefore, it
is very important to have a good cement seal behind the casing to avoid water coming from upper and lower zones that have
not been perforated.
Well Temperature Profile. When the sea bed is deeper, the zone will have a 4C geothermal decrease, and the cooled effect
on production fluids will increase the possibility of hydrates forming. The following are the tips to minimize or avoid hydrate
formation:
During the openhole log evaluation, it is important consider running a formation tester or Mini-DST to record the
farthest point in the wellbore in order to have a good dynamic and static wellbore characterization that will allow accurate
estimating of the water saturation and where the free water zones are located. This is essential in order to select the best
layer without mobile water or minimum mobile water for evaluating in order to assure that the perforated area will be as
far as possible from the water contact. This kind of test represents significant cost and time, and thus, the operating
company may consider this unnecessary, since the DST will be run after the casing is placed. However, when the costs
associated with the hydrate formation are reviewed, and the risks for the well that hydrate plugging could cause, the
necessity to do this extra step easily can be seen.
If the intervals selected for perforation and evaluation show low permeability, the operator should stimulate the formation
after setting the packer and before production commences to assure high flow rates during the DST. This will increase the
flowing temperature profile, and help avoid the hydrate critical zones inside the gas envelope curve. It will also reduce the
flowing pressure. The maximum rate should be dependent on how consolidated the formation is, because if the rate is too
high, it could destabilize the rock and produce sands in the case of sandstone formations. If the reservoir is a carbonate, it
can support higher drawdown during the production.
Some DST procedures include circulating a lighter fluid replacement for the control fluid in order to create a pressure
underbalance for perforating. The authors suggest that if coiled tubing will be used for the perforating operation, the
downhole shut-in valve should be closed before starting the perforating process, because if the gas and water flows
together, there is a good possibility that a hydrate formation exists, which could trap the unit; instead, the best practice
would be to use a circulating valve in the DST string, which not only saves platform time, but also, is safer.
When the gas flow through the choke generates extremely low temperatures, it is very important to have a heater and
backup in order to avoid freezing and hydrate formation.
Subsea safety systems must include the special BOP cans discussed earlier to allow pass through of the capillary injection
lines and wireline used for real-time data collecting systems.
Pressure/temperature real-time monitoring at different depths in the string including bottom hole, sea bed, and surface
require greater care to acquire information when the well is opened for the first time. Thus, the BOP must allow passthrough of wireline in order to monitor below the sea bed. By analyzing pressure behavior in those depths, it may be
possible to determine if a hydrate plug is starting to be created. This information will enable the decision of whether or
not to shut in well and re-plan the test to avoid formation of a total plug.
A modern pre-design hydrate control workflow (Figure 4) has been created to optimize the test and minimize the risks
involved so that the primary focus of obtaining high quality reservoir information can be accomplished.
Inflow/Outflow Plot
Inflow/Outflow
Plot

10000

10000

1/8

1/4
3/8

FLOWING BTMBTM
PRES PRES
(psig)
FLOWING

(psig)

8000

1/2

8000

5/8
3/4

6000

6000

(39.34 MMPCD, 6111 psi)

4000
4000

2000
2000

10

20

30
FLOW RATE

0
0

Inflow
10
Outflow Whdchk ID = 16.00
Outflow
Whdchk
ID = 48.00
Outflow
Whdchk ID = 32.00
Outflow

Inflow
Outflow Whdchk ID = 64.00

20

40

50

(MMscfd)

Outflow Whdchk ID = 32.00


Outflow Whdchk
ID = 8.000
30
40
FLOW RATE
(MMscfd)
Outflow Whdchk ID = 24.00
Outflow Whdchk ID = 40.00
Outflow
ID = 64.00
Outflow Whdchk
Whdchk ID = 16.00
Outflow Whdchk ID = 24.00
Outflow Whdchk ID = 40.00
Outflow Whdchk ID = 48.00

Whdchk ID = 8.000

Figure 4 - Hydrate Control Pre-Design. Productivity Analysis

50

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The 4 primary areas of information required are listed below:


Initial Information: The first stage of this workflow consists of acquiring all information concerning the zone candidates
for evaluation. The information can include openhole log interpretation results, drilling information, well correlation
information, permeability estimates, static pressures, temperatures, pressure/volume/temperature (PVT) samples, well
geothermal temperature profiles, etc.
2. Productivity analysis: This consists of forecasting the production by simulating the testing conditions, building an inflow
performance relationship (IPR) plot that considers bottomhole or surface flowing pressure vs. production rates for each
choke by using the initial information and productivity computer software. Permeability is one of the more critical
parameters that can affect the results of the productivity analysis; openhole logs corrected by formation tester results can
provide an approximate permeability profile.
3. Well Flowing Pressure and Temperature Profile Calculation: By using stress-analysis software, it is possible reproduce
all operative scenarios that will occur during the DST, including flow periods with all chokes (generated in the previous
productivity analysis stage), and also, input of the flowing pressure and rates forecasted. These profiles correspond to the
fluid flowing pressure and temperature profile for the chokes from the bottom to the surface. (See Figure 5.)
4. PT Hydrate Curve: Every depth has a corresponding dynamic point of pressure, and this section of the workflow is to
predict if certain pressure/temperature groups of points will be located in the critical hydrate zone. This enables
optimization of the testing design concerning mitigation for this risk condition.
In some cases, all points are located outside of the critical hydrate zone; therefore, regardless of the water rate, there is no
risk of hydrate formation. Following is an example of this kind of analysis and its results:
After flow periods, the well being shut-in, begins the Build-Up. Therefore, it is very important to select the best option
for this operation in order to avoid hydrate formation. Shutting-in the well at surface is the most unsafe method, because the
water is going to segregate, temperature will decrease significantly, and the pressure system will increase at its maximum
value (Figure 6a). The best practice consists of shutting-in the well at the bottom hole using the test valve, and immediately,
decreasing pressure above the downhole shut-in valve until 0 psi or closer appears at surface (Figure 6b).
1.

Sea Bed

Sea Bed

Figure 5 - Hydrate Control Pre-design. Well Flowing Pressure and Temperature Profiles

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16000

16000

14000

CRITICALHYDRATE
FORMATIONZONE

14000

12000

12000

10000

10000

Pressure (PSI)

Pressure (PSI)

Envelope Curve
Bottom hole shut in
Choke 3/16 in
Choke 3/8 in
Choke 1/2 in
Choke 3/4 in

CRITICALHYDRATE
FORMATIONZONE

8000

6000

4000

8000

6000

4000
Envelope Curve
Surface shut in
Choke 3/16 in
Choke 3/8 in
Choke 1/2 in
Choke 3/4 in

2000

2000

0
0.00

10.00

20.00

30.00

40.00

50.00

60.00

70.00

80.00

0
0.00

10.00

20.00

30.00

40.00

50.00

60.00

70.00

80.00

Temperature (C)

Temperature (C)

Figure 6a - Gas Envelope with Shut-in at Bottom Hole

Figure 6b - Gas Envelope with Shut-in at Surface

After the well is shut in at bottom hole, and there is no flow, the best practice would be to inject Methanol-Ethylene-Glycol
(MEC) above the shut-in valve in order leave an interface between gas (below valve) and water segregated (above MEC).
Once the shut-in valve is opened again; this interface will avoid a mixture of water and gas because MEC has a density heavier
than water.
Figure 6a indicates that from 944 m to surface will generate hydrate in water presence both with 3/16-in. and 3/8-in. In
this case, the well will be produced with a minimum of 1/2-in. to minimize risk.
5.

Water Production vs. Glycol Injection Relation: Figure 7 shows that hydrate formation can be inhibited by injecting
Glycol, but current technologies only allow injection of up to 800 liters/hr; therefore, for water production above 120
bbl\day, it will be very difficult to inhibit hydrate formation. Figure 6 shows a case of water breakthrough where water
rates are higher, or a communication behind casing with a water free zone was not perforated.
This hydrate-control pre-design workflow can help to minimize operative risk, reduce operative costs, and evaluate the
reservoirs so that the resulting data is of the quality necessary to obtain the objectives proposed for the DST.

Glycol Injection Vs Water Production

1000

WGR=20[bl/mmscfd]

GlycolInjection (ltrs/hr)

900
800
TOTALINJECTIONRATE =680LTRS/HR

700
WGR=15[bl/mmscfd]

600
500
WGR=10[bl/mmscfd]

400
LOWERINJECTIONRATE =272LTRS/HR

300
WGR=5[bl/mmscfd]

200
100
39bpd

105bpd

WGR=1[bl/mmscfd]

0
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Water Production (bpd)


Figure 7 - Hydrate Control Pre-Design. Operative Glycol Injecting Capacity

140

160

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Case History
In order to incorporate new hydrocarbon reserves into PEMEX production, a DST test was designed to gather reservoir quality
data, minimize operational risks, and optimize platform time.
To achieve the five objectives listed on the previous page, the service company and the operator applied the modern
workflow described in Figure 4 and focused on:
Analysis of hydrate formation
Real-time data acquisition
Operative decision making
Design of the temporary string.
Pre-design
Initial Information
Reservoir parameters and fluid properties are summarized as follows:
Well Type: Producer
BHP: 6,936 psia
Sea bed depth: 1928m
Borehole diameter: 8.5 in
Net pay: 26.4m
Temp @ sea bed: 4.2 C
Porosity: 0.22
BHT: 78 C
Total Skin: S = So + DQ

So: 0.1
D: 0.0012 d/Mscf

Well Flowing Pressure and Temperature Profile Calculation


Based on initial well and reservoir information, a production analysis was applied in order to calculate the Inflow Performance
Relationship (IPR) curve and the Vertical Lift Performance (VLP). Then, was possible to reproduce all operative scenarios that
could occur during the DST, including flow periods with all chokes (generated in the previous productivity analysis stage); and
also, the input of the flowing pressure and rates forecasted. The next figures were the flowing pressure and temperature
profiles in the tubing. Figure 8 below indicates:
From 2148 m to surface will generate hydrate in water presence with 1/4-in choke.
From 1905 m to surface will generate hydrate in water presence with 3/8-in choke.
From 1691 m to surface will generate hydrate in water presence with 5/8-in choke.
From 1524 m to surface will generate hydrate in water presence with 1-in choke.
Shutting in the well at bottomhole using the test valve, and immediately, decreasing pressure above the downhole shut-in
valve until 0 psi is indicated at surface would help to avoid hydrate formation in this critical condition.

Temperature Profile Calculation

Pressure Profile Calculation

Figure 8 Pressure and Temperature Profiles

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PT Hydrate Curve
Once the well flowing pressure and temperature profile have been
calculated, all points are introduced into the methane gas
envelope. Figure 9 shows that there are groups of points that are
located inside the critical hydrate zone, regardless of the choke
size. Thus, during flow periods when water is present, hydrate
would be created.
In this case, it is recommended that the well be flowed with a
minimum choke of 3/8-in. to minimize risk and keep relative lowflowing pressure. Also, it was recommended that the Glycol
injection sub used to inhibit hydrate formation with low water
rates be located at 2200m.
Water Production vs. Glycol Injection Relation
At this point, it is necessary to know the relationship between the
glycol injection rate and the water production in order to predict
the glycol injection rate necessary to inhibit the formation of
hydrate. The glycol has the effect of reducing the temperature at
which hydrate forms, and the effect on the hydrate curve depends
on the concentration. In order to inhibit the hydrate formation, it is
necessary to ensure that the proper glycol concentration is used
during the entire operation. (See Figure 10)

Figure 9 - Gas Envelope including shut-in at bottomhole.

6000
5000

Pressure[psi]

4000
Glycol10%wt
3000

Glycol30%wt

2000

Glycol50%wt

1000

withoutglycol

0
20

15

10

10 15
T[C]

20

25

30

35

40

Figure 10 - Glycol Injection vs. free water production relationship.

Currently available technologies and the placing of two injection subs only allowed injection of up to 680 liters/hr; therefore,
in this case, since water production is above 105 bbl\day, it would be very difficult inhibit hydrate formation; thus, the
decision to shut in the well had to be made in order to avoid hydrate plugging inside the tubing.
Test Results:
This reservoir was perforated underbalanced using TCP guns; pressure differential was created by circulating with fluid lighter
than the control fluid and using a bottom-circulating valve to minimize the damage on the wellbore. The pressure and
temperature at different depths were monitored with a bottomhole real-time system. Real time allowed observation to
determine if hydrate was being formed. After the initial clean-out period, the well was producing with three different choke
sizes. Figure 11 shows the pressure vs. temperature points at difference depth in the tubing were placed in the gas envelope
plot:

10

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7000

HydrateCritical
Zones

6000

5000

1600meters

Pressure (PSI)

605meters
4000

3000

2000

Envelope of Gas
Flow 3/8"
1000

Flow 7/16"
Flow 1/2"

0
0.00

10.00

20.00

30.00

40.00

50.00

60.00

70.00

Temperature (C)

Figure 11 - Real-flow-period Gas Envelope

Relative temperature [F]

elative temperature [

Figure 11 indicates that during the flowing periods, the possibility that hydrate could form existed above 1600 meters; this
determination coincided with the pre-design analysis. The results here confirmed that the pre-design was an excellent tool for
enabling design and performance of a DST test in safe conditions.
Through use of the real-time monitoring system, it was possible to observe the flowing pressure during the flow periods as
well as the build-up test. 70.53 hrs after shut in, the system showed the conditions that were occurring in the well. Figure 12
illustrates these well conditions.

144

143F
(61.7C)

139

6,602psi
(464.1kg/cm2)

BuildUpat
70.53HRS

Flujo
X
3/8

5500
Pressure [psia]

Pressure [psia]

6500

Flujo
X
2

Flujo
X
7/16

Flujo
X
1/2

5168.9psi
4500

4875.9psi
4709.4psi
Clean
out
with
multiple Chokes

RealTimeGauge@3918m
4243.3psi

5/21/2011

5/22/2011

5/23/2011

5/24/2011

5/25/2011

Relative temperature [F], Pressure [psia] vs Time [ToD]

Figure 12 Real Time Monitoring during DST test. P/T History

5/26/2011

5/27/2011

OTC 23629

11

The analysis of the pressure test in real time after 70.53 hrs identified the behavior shown in Figure 13.

dp

Gas potential [psi2/cp]

1E+8

BORDEREFFECT

1E+7

Derivative

1E+6
1E-3

0.01

RADIALFLOW

0.1

10

Time [hr]

Log-Log plot: m(p)-m(p@dt=0) and derivative [psi2/cp] vs dt [hr]

Figure 13 - Real Time Monitoring during DST test. Log-Log Plot

Sensor TP
@ 3894m

Sensor TP
@ 2353m

Figure 14 shows the reservoir response, which indicated a homogeneous condition with the presence of one border effect
attributed to a sealing fault. (Matthews, C.S. et al, 1954) With these results, it was possible to confirm that the fault was
present in the geological information, but the most important fact shown was the confirmation that the pressure data were not
affected by any well-condition effect. This fact ensured that the quality of the information obtained was accurate.
In addition, the optimized DST string included an extra pressure gauge below the packer, which monitored the annulus.
Because of that gauge, it was possible determine the pressure drop through the screen. We observed pressure drop through the
screen of 867 psi, 1256 psi and 1690 psi with 3/8-in., 7/16-in. and -in. chokes respectively. With this information, we could
determine with accuracy the skin factor associated with the reservoir.
Figure 16 illustrates the well's dynamic pressure profile.

1563m
OMNI
valve

Sensor TP
@
3916.1.2m

STV

Sensor EA
@ 3954.2m

38m

Aequiv =0.123in2
Dequiv =0.3957in

Pscreen

Figure 14 - Dynamic Pressure Profile in the Well

12

OTC 23629

Conclusions
The key for success relies on planning, risk evaluation, and risk mitigation.
The integral approach followed before the test was performed optimized the evaluation time and improved the
reservoir information obtained.
The use of a Hydrate-Control Pre-Design Workflow process before performing a DST test can provide a method to
minimize operative risk and obtain representative reservoir quality data in gas and deepwater reservoir environments.
The success of deep and ultra deep-water DSTs will depend on the previously run integral analysis or pre-design
analysis that considers the type of fluid and reservoir, the geothermal temperature profile, and the operative
conditions.
Based on well and reservoir information, the pre-design process indicated that the well should be flowed with a
minimum size choke of 3/8-in. to lessen the risk of hydrate formation during the test.
Based on well and reservoir information, the injection sub depth was set at 2200 m.
The recommendation was also made to shut-in the well at the bottom hole using the test valve, and immediately, to
decrease pressure above the downhole shut-in valve until 0 psi was noted at surface; following this procedure would help to
avoid hydrate formation.
Current technologies only allow Glycol injection of 680 liters per hour; therefore, in the case history discussed in this
paper (where water production was more than 105 bbl\day), it would be very difficult to inhibit hydrate formation
because of the limitation on the amount of glycol that can be injected.
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank the management of PEMEX and Halliburton for their encouragement and permission to publish this
paper.
References
1. Earlougher, R. J.: Advances in Well Test Analysis, Second Printing. AIME (1977).
2. Matthews, C.S., Brons, F., and Hazebroek, P.: A Method for Determination of Average Pressure in a Bounded Reservoir, Trans., AIME
(1954).
3. Soliman, M.Y.: Well Test Analysis, Halliburton (2000).
4. Wendler, C. and Mansilla, C.: Options and Special Considerations for Successful Deep-Water Well Testing of Heavy- and Low-PourPoint Oils Case Histories, SPE (Marzo, 2004) 86944.
5. Wendler, C. and Mansilla, C.: Deep Water Well Testing for Heavy- and Low-Pour-Point Oils Issues, Options, Successful
Methodology: Case Histories paper OTC 15279 presented at the 2003 Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.,
May. 5-8, 2003

SI Metric Conversion Factors


gal
ft
in
psi
cp
md
bbl
F

x 3.785 412
x 3.048*
x 2.54*
x 6.894 757
x 1.0*
x 9.869 233
x 1.589 873
(F - 32)/1.8

E - 03
E - 01
E + 00
E + 00
E 03
E - 04
E - 01
=C

= m3
=m
= cm
= kPa
= Pa
= m3
= m3